Life's milestones seem to come in clusters, not evenly spaced. In the last weeks my husband started a new job & entered his 50th year. Also together we moved house, packing most of our shared lives into two shipping containers. Our next home is currently a building project. We're on that cusp of the next big birthday and, of course, I want a running achievement as a milestone marker. What should it be?
A series of marathon seems popular, but big city crowds aren't my thing. Maybe I could try to do as many different parkruns as possible between my 49th birthday & my 50th? That probably wouldn't amount to many as I'm not exactly free to travel every weekend. Maybe, rather than set a personal running goal, I could organise an event, creating a Bann Valley Bog Trot (just want to use that name) or Mojo Masochists' Challenge (5 races, 5 consecutive days, lots of mud, water, forests and hills - sound familiar Fife AC?). Actually, I'm working on an event, but that's all hush hush!
Back to the 50th birthday milestone. I could keep it simple - one iconic run. I was born at the summer solstice so how about a midnight sun marathon at Tromso, or running the length of Hadrian's Wall, or roping in some friends to tackle the West Highland Way, or a mile on Hayward Field? Maybe I'll just jog around the fields and dream of all these possibilities, stymied into in-action.
I've one clear ambition, inspired by my club mate Brigid Quinn. Brigid's best marathon this year was in 4hrs 18mins 2secs. She had fallen over and was detained by medics for several minutes. She ran last Saturday's parkrun in 25:15. She is 71. The age grade for that parkrun is 89.64%. Brigid is my hero. My best age grade for 5K is 82.79% and I really want to get closer to Brigid's grade - high 80s, if not achieving the international standard of 90%. Thus my running project over the next 21 months is to bring my 5K time down under 19 mins. Project 5K<19@50! The long term project will to keep running for another 20 years and perform at the levels demonstrated possible by the likes of Brigid, Terry Eakin & Angela Copson.