Saturday, 3 October 2009

Where does the time go ...?

I really don't know the answer to that poser. I last blogged on August 31st, so it's over a month since I finished my 365challenge for CRUK and, while I know I wanted to have a little rest when I finished, I hadn't meant to disappear so completely! And it's not as if there hasn't been anything to blog about, that's for sure!

Where to start? Okay, you all know that I finished my 365challenge on August 31st, and as of today, my personal fund-raising pot has grown to £7980.75 - which is very healthy, but I still want to see if I can grow it to £10K over the coming weeks/months. As a group, the 365ers have raised just short of £24K to date, and with more 365ers coming on board soon, and several of the existing group still collecting sponsorship, that figure can only continue to grow, which is very exciting.

After I finished my 365challenge year, I did actually do NOTHING for about 10 days. I hadn't intended to stop so completely, but circumstances got in the way, and it was suddenly getting towards the middle of September. So, to motivate myself back into action, I only went and signed up to run the Rhyl Run10K for CRUK at the end of October! I'd been enjoying my newly re-found ability to run, so this seemed like a good idea at the time. But training hasn't been as fluid and consistent as I'd like it to have been, as I'm also just coming to the end of two weeks holiday from work which has involved time in London and the Lake District, and while I've attempted to get some runs in (including a lovely early morning run in Hyde Park), it's not been quite as structured an approach to preparation as I'd have liked. So I now have about 3 weeks until my 10K and quite a lot of running to fit in before it happens ... wish me luck.

I've also been enjoying being back in the mountains, an interest re-ignited by the 3 Peaks part of my 365challenge (that thing has a lot to answer for).

In September, I've managed a hike up Y Garn in Snowdonia, with Susie, our Golden Labrador (her first excursion into the hills, and one that will be repeated, but maybe not every time, as she kept trying to pull me over sharp edges!), and, while in the Lake District, I did a 12 mile hike around the Fairfield Horseshoe above Ambleside, where we stayed, while I tested the water on a newly emerging challenge ... I'm thinking of tackling the Wainwrights, all 214 peaks in the Lake District above 1000ft. My first thoughts on this was that it would be a good, on-going project to focus on over a period of maybe 5 - 10 years (the Lake District is about 110 miles from my home, so it's not a totally straightforward day trip if I want to climb a bunch of hills and get back for supper!). However, after meeting a guy on the hills last week who was 40 peaks into his 5th round ... THIS YEAR ... my plan seems a little feeble. I'll have to rethink.

September also saw not one but two reunions: the first the 30 year reunion of my final year at school back home in Monaghan; the second the 15 year reunion of the group I did my clinical psychology training with in Bangor, North Wales. Both went off really well, but as I've kept in regular touch with most of my clinical colleagues over the years, it was meeting up with my old school mates, most of whom I hadn't seen for those 30 years in between, that was the most surprising. It really is strange to walk into a bar and see so many faces that you recognise after so many years away. Really good to catch up with them and hopefully it won't be so long again til the next time.

Of course, the 365challenge and Cancer Research UK haven't been forgotten either. I attended a training session with CRUK in Manchester in September to become a volunteer speaker for the charity and I hope to take on a series of talks for them over the coming year, starting off with a couple of presentations at up-coming volunteer conferences this month and next, where I can plug the 365challenge further.

At the training, I met Mark Bristow, another volunteer speaker, and he contacted me just the other day to kick around some ideas about how he and his business can help promote the 365challenge too ... hopefully I'll have some more news on this soon.

As well as Mark, I've been contacted by three or four other potential 365ers in September, and I hope that as they get their plans sorted out, I can let everyone on here know what they'll be getting up to. It is so good to hear from total strangers who have been grabbed by the concept and want to commit their time and effort to this important cause under the 365challenge banner.

So you see ... I've not been idle! There is lots too that I've not mentioned, like cruising on the Thames and Lake Windermere, visiting one of Brenda's daughters, Emma, in London, or getting along to support 365er Fred at her first full triathalon, but hey, there is only so much time in the day, isn't there?

Oh, maybe that's where the month has gone ...

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