You may recal that 10 months ago I set myself a goal to complete 50 "challenges" before my 50th birthday in October. These challenges might be personal, with family or with friends. The first was to complete the Beachy Head Marathon on my 49th birthday and the last will be to run the same race the day before my 50th.
Well things have been going reasonably well and I have now completed 34 challenges. Here is a brief summary:
In November I built a training studio for my wife's personal training busines, Aspire Fitness Solutions. She and her team are now using it for training clients every day.
In December I completed the "All you can eat sausage challenge" with my son Cam. Between us we ate 33 Tesco's Finest Cumberland sausages.
In January I hit 50 consecutive backetball shots with Cam.
In February I ran my first Mud Run. This was hard work and I'm pleased with the result but I paid a lot of money to run around some muddy woods which I can do for free outside my front door; or better still pay £3 to run a traditional XC race and get covered in cowshit.
In March Jane and I skied Les Deux Alpes from top to bottom in one go. We have been wanting to try this for years.
In April I ran the Brighton marathon. On LCHF of course. With little training I ran a good race and finished fast and strong. Next year as a V50 this will my target race and I hope to get close to 3 hours again.
In May I took my family to see Tom Paxton. I grew up listening to this man sing and it was wonderful to hear him again in his 50th and last year of touring in the UK. The kids were bored senesless!
In June I hit my target of 30 concurrent Strava course records. Some of them were cheaply won but some I am very proud of. Jane and I also gave a public talk on the LCHF diet, with me gassing on happily for far too long on my favorite subject of Cholesterol.
In July I went to a music festival for the first time in my life. We saw Hugh Masekela and Van Morisson at Love Supreme in Glynde. A very pleasant evening with good friends.
In August we took the kids on a 3-Week road trip in California. We visited Malibu, San Francisco, Yosemite, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Big Bear Lake and Santa Monica.
A wonderful experience for all 4 of us. I took Molly shopping in Vegas (yes that was a challenge!) and I also snuck in a fabulous run named "50 Switchbacks to the South Rim", an 800 meter climb in Grand Canyon.
We also spent two days with Jane's cousin Adrian and his wife Karen at their home in Modesto. Ados was one of the early pioneers of ultra distance running. In 1983 he ran the length of the Himalayas in 100 days with his brother Dick. He was also an early "winner" of The Badwater Marathon (his route caused some contraversy though, as he neglected to use the road and short-cutted across the salt flats on skis!). I took a brief run in Death Valley and concluded that anyone trying that particular challenge must be made of different stuff entirely.
I seem to have got my climbing legs back as I followed my Grand Canyon run today with "The Tank Tracks Challenge", 12 repeats of our local hill, amounting to 1500 meters of ascent fuelled by fat. This is the most climbing I have done since the 3 peaks 4 years ago.
There is a lot more to come in the next 2 months and I'll do well to complete the full 50. But even if I do not, I have had a lot of fun along the way.