Not Quite to Plan

Both my blog and Strava feeds have been very quiet in recent weeks. Safe to say my plan of reaching the 800km mark by end of July has not happened. In fact I haven’t been for a run in more or less a month now which has definitely had a major impact on my physical and mental well-being, though perhaps not as much as the reason for not running!

This lack of progress is certainly not a result of my own choice or laziness. About six weeks ago now I started experiencing a lot of back pain. I’m no stranger to the occasion twinge but this was pretty constant and increasingly severe, enough that my wife convinced me to go to the doctor about it. Wind forward a few days and I also developed numbness and weakness in both legs to the point that just walking normally for any distance became extremely difficult, let alone trying to run. An MRI scan identified two herniated discs in my lumbar spine, damage to a third, and I’m awaiting further scans/tests to rule out damage elsewhere…

So yeah, that’s fun! Aside from the obvious uncertainty and worry as to the state of my health, and what the course of action might be to correct the issue, one of my main concerns is not completing the challenge I set myself for this year. Short of any miracle treatments it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing any more running for quite some time, so the 2020 Tonne Run Challenge total looks set to remain at 701km until the end of the year.

Whilst obviously not wanting to put myself at risk of greater injury I’m keen to complete the challenge in some form or another. Walking the remain 299km in the last 3-4 months of the year may be how I decide to tackle this, but keen to take some advice from health professionals before I make any decisions. If even that’s not possible I’ve wondered about trying to get a few people to commit to running 300km in the last quarter of the year on my behalf. Who knows, maybe I’ll start a trend!

My progress on the Tonne Run Challenge may have ground to a halt, but the needs of The School of Hope’s pupils in Jocotenango absolutely have not. Students and their families continue to rely on EFTC’s efforts to provide food, hygiene supplies and educational materials through this time. Have a look here ( to see how staff have adapted to the needs of their community in these worrying and uncertain times. I continue to sponsor one of the students there and would really encourage anyone that can do likewise to do so (have a look here –

And, of course, I may not get to 1000km this year by running (though I’ll definitely make up the numbers some how) but I’m determined to get the the £1,000 figure. Please do consider donating to EFTC through my Virgin Money Giving page (link below) to support their incredible work.

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