I said I’d keep people informed on my progress and I’m pleased to say that, this weekend, the scales finally tipped in at 106kg, which is just under 16st 10lb, meaning I’ve lost my first stone!
As for the running, I’m consistently getting out 2 or 3 times a week (usually 3) and adding some cycling in between – I’ve had some problems over recent weeks as I’m running in the evenings when I’m tired/run-down but I am making some progress – my times for the loop around town (about 2.65 miles/4.25 km) have been dropping (although I’d like them to drop a bit more!), and I’m pushing a little further on the weekends too with a run around the local country park (about 3.4 miles/5.5 km).
I have to say that the support I’ve received so far has been amazing – and that support has taken a number of forms – financial, practical, and motivational:
- Lots of people have donated at my JustGiving page and many more have promised support when I write to tell them how I’m doing – after all, this is a long term challenge and it’s great motivation when people add a little more to the pot each time I take a (metaphorical) step forward.
- Some of of the guys in the street have provided physical support by accompanying me on my runs – it’s good exercise for all of us, and it’s great motivation to make me run (and the light evenings should help more).
- There’s also been some great financial support from my family and friends (who would all like to see a fitter, healthier Mark), including one friend and former colleague who surprised me by showing just how well he knows me. Garry Martin has generously offered to match donations from anyone who knows us both, up to a ceiling of £500. There’s a catch though – if I don’t complete the challenge, Garry pays out nothing. That’s because he figured it’s too easy for me to go part way, congratulate myself and say “that’s enough”. He’s right too – so we’ve agreed some realistic and challenging targets that I need to meet. I need to get down to 14st 7lb by my 40th birthday next year, and run at least 3 races of 10km or above. That’s going to be hard, but it’s also realistic – and achievable… although I’d like to hope that I might exceed these targets too.
The next challenge is the Harrold Pit Run, on 30 April, before my big push for the BUPA London 10K on 30 May – I’m hoping that I can shed at least another half stone over that period too, as lugging my not-inconsiderable bulk around must be making things harder!
If you’d like to support me in my quest, either as a one-off sponsorship, or as a “micro-donation” of £1 or £2 each time I lose a chunk of weight or run a race, please visit my JustGiving page. If you’re a UK tax payer, please check the option to add gift aid (which means your £1 is worth £1.28 to charity). If you know Garry too, then remember that your donation counts twice (your £1 plus gift aid, is effectively £2.56 when Garry matches it).
Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far – and thanks for your continued support.