Hi, my name is Ant and I’m a complete idiot.
Now that we’ve got the pleasantries out the way, let me talk to you about the challenge I set myself and why. But first, let’s travel back in time, about 18 months ago. I was over 20stone in weight. It wasn’t a good sight. I had to find my penis when urinating by feel, because my belly was so large. I couldn’t jog more than 20 meters without getting out of breath. So I decided to do something about it. I’ve told the story a million times and I’ve documented it on YouTube. Which you can find in this playlist here. My point being, I was fat. And I lost a lot of weight. Yay me. (Don’t worry, the idiotic stuff is coming)
Then nearly a year ago, after sort of flatlining on my weight loss journey and after watching an unhealthy amount of fitness influences on the internet. FYI, most of them are full of shit. - I decided to join a gym, but I also decided to make a financial investment in myself and to get a personal trainer. Since I can’t keep any of that private. You can watch a video I made about that here and here. The first link is basically me talking about getting covid after the first session. Those videos we not very popular, so I decided not to make any more after that. But I left them on the channel - along with all my previous weight loss videos, hence why the channel used to be called The Diet Diaries.
Anyway, so I started training twice a week. With zero confidence I would also run on a treadmill in my third session. I did try lifting alone with my plan, but the gym was so busy I had a mild panic attack and it was literally the worst experience of my life. (Well, not literally, but I am prone to exaggeration).
Over the past year I’ve made some good progress, my chest is bigger, my deadlift is 120kg now, I am decent squatter and I have the little shadowy thingy that suggests that a tricep has come a knocking. But my belly still needs a lot of work. I was going through my old ‘before’ photos, ready to take my annual once and I basically hit rock bottom. I didn’t see much difference at all. Yes, there is some. But for me, I felt like I was letting myself down. But I wasn’t going to let this beat me. I have done 1 pull up. Yes just one, and it was crap, but I did it. So with my PT taking some time off this week, I decided that I was going to run 50km in 7 days. And spoiler, I did it. And this is why I’m an idiot, I didn’t do any preparation of this and because I was so concerned about my upcoming photos, I did most of them fasted. I know, I know. Never again.
It’s Sunday, late morning. And I’ve got into my head that I am going to run 10km. Unfortunately the treadmill at my gym likes to throw people off after 60 mins. So unless you’re in the sub 10KM category, when linking the treadmill to your Apple Watch, which I do, means that you’re doing really well in the 5km club. 10km. Not so much. So at 8.93km, the treadmill goes into cool down. And I have to restart.
The next evening after a pretty rubbish work day, despite my original plan to rest, I decided to run out my bad mood. That did not go as planned. I forgot to remove my glasses, I forgot to take water, it was about 27℃ and there was no air in the air. Lots of inclines but after 7.5km I was done. Not fun whatsoever, so with the heatwave we’re having, I decided a poorly air conditioned gym was better for the rest of the challenge.
After taking a day of rest I decided that I needed to make up for some lost time and I decided that this evening I was going to make sure I (a) ate some carbs and (b) paced myself. I’d been very conscious of my very high heart rate (190+) on Run 2 and now I was going back to the gym. I could keep a closer eye on it. I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about how long it would take. I set myself a target of 15km and whatever happened, I was going to try really hard not to let my BPM go above 180. I did learn from this, more on that later. Run 2 went okay, I felt that it was a solid effort. Annoyingly not so fantastic was that when the treadmill reset after 60 mins I decided to get a top up on my water, but the water in the gym wasn’t working properly, it was basically a trickle. Not good. Don’t worry, I have complained. Though I don’t think Total Fitness care as this has been an issue since I started. Anyway, good run.
Now the original plan was for me to break the final 17 point something km into 2 half and do one on Friday and one on Saturday. But I did have strength training session on Thursday and my legs weren’t feeling the best, which was a blessing because Final Fantasy XVI was also released and I’d been playing it non-stop. So I took a rest day.
As I was walking to the gym on Saturday, Day 7 - I had 2 options, the first was the stick to the half and half plan and run again on Sunday. But that wasn’t the challenge, and I’ve got this annoying habit of driving myself, even when I shouldn’t. And this is where it went a bit wrong.
After only 2 coffees, I decided whilst walking to the gym that I was going to complete the challenge. I knew the treadmill would reset at least twice. I also knew how I felt on run 3, so I was going to make sure my BPM didn’t go over 170. This way I could maintain pace and complete the challenge without injury. How wrong I was.
Okay, so I blame girls aloud, because as soon as that mega mix came on and I was flooded with endorphins, I was basically run-dancing on the treadmill and it was amazing. I didn’t give a shit what any passer by though, I was running over 17km and completing my challenge. The first hour - fine. Good pace, good tunes. No complaints.
The second hour, at about 45 mins into that and I was around the 14.5km mark, the slight pain in my upper shin/knee was becoming really prominent. Dancing - shouldn’t have done that. I completed the hour and at this point I was in horrendous pain. I was even taking meditation tops and focusing on the LG logo on the cheap flat screen TV with poor satellite signal opposite me and trying to block out the pain, the limping. “I stand by you” by Girls Aloud came into my ears at full blast. And as I completed the hour. All I could think was, is it 2km left? Or 3km? Damn. I’d not really kept a log, just been texting people with running updates in the desperate need to acceptance and attention. In my head I thought I had to run 17.2km, but I was once again doubting myself.
Fuck it. 2km.
The final 2km was put into the treadmill and I got the speed up to 8 km/h, but had to dial it back. I wavered between 7.7 and 8 with some slower spots when my zen-LG-Mediation experiment started to fail. But I crossed the finish line. I’d done it. Not sure at this point how much I’d done, but frankly, it had done me.
I limped home. Dry heaving, my stomach was churning like a cement mixer. And as I write this now about 6 hours later, my knee is strapped up. Walking is a bit of an issue and if this blog is littered with typos, spelling errors and profanities, it’s because I’ve also had quite a bit of codeine that I found in the back of a draw that I’d forgotten about.
I am glad that I did the challenge.
The Total distance was 50.94km
The total running time was 6hrs 12m 22s
I burned 6315 active calories and 7214 calories in total. Not that I understand the difference there. Let’s go with 7k as it sound better.
The thing is that now I have an injury that I need to recover from, my PT is obviously going to be annoyed because I should have stopped when the leg started hurting and I should have listened to my body - I didn’t I was to focused on achieving my goal whatever the cost. Any why did I do this, because I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid that after 18 months of weight loss I’m going to end up going back to the way I was. I’m afraid that after 12 months of hard work I’m going to look at the photos and not see any progress.
But I know I will, because if I can run 50km in a week and I can deadlift 120kg and do the world's shittiest pull up, I can hit my fitness and aesthetic goals. I just need to stop being so fucking impatient.
Thanks for reading. I don’t apologise for the swearing.