60 miles in July challenge - complete!
Posted: Thu, 05 Aug 2021 16:14
Active Oxfordshire's Healthy for Life pillar is set out to get Oxfordshire's residents living longer, better by moving more.
The blog below outlines 60 year-old Active Ambassador Fiona's 60 miles in July Challenge and the journey she took back to full health.
What was the challenge to get fit?
After a caring responsibility ended after 10 years with the sad loss of my mother in her nineties, I was exhausted and had not paid attention to my own health. A year ago, the last year in my fifties, I decided to visit the doctor, optician, and audiologist to get back to a sense of wellbeing and start some sport again.
I wasn't sleeping at all well, so the doctor prescribed some HRT which has transformed my sleeping pattern. New glasses improved my ability to sit in front of a screen again and lastly a hearing test showed I have loss of 30% hearing in both ears following a head injury accident 5 years ago.
Physical activity background
I used to be a competent competition rider both eventing and show jumping and after having my daughter 17 years ago I gave up riding and took to running to keep fit. This was a timely way to stay on top of fitness. 10 years ago, exercise started to take a back seat, as I took on more of a caring role, alongside working, my fitness didn't get priority! A serious head injury 5 years ago resulted in me stopping any exercise for 18 months.
Starting again from scratch was hard and I owe a debt of gratitude to Abingdon Athletics who encouraged me back to running on their couch to 5K course they ran alongside the Abingdon Parkrun.
How the journey is going – work in progress!
Fast forward to this year, I worked hard on fitness, carrying on running 3 times a week through lockdown. I joined Abingdon Athletics and started running regularly with the club run on a Tuesday evening. And I have achieved more than I thought I could.
As my special birthday month loomed, I decided to set myself a challenge and do a run for 2 miles every day throughout the month, with a total of 60 miles in July. I have stayed accountable on social media through July and am both amazed and delighted in attracting sponsorship for the Oxford Samaritans to the tune of £900 to date. It has taken grit, determination and focus to run daily, especially on those early July hot days, the only time I could run was 6.30am! I have received so much encouragement from my family, friends, new running friends and support from Active Oxfordshire and I would like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart.
Physical activity is for all ages – Age is just a number!
I did my first Parkrun last weekend and one week after turning 60 I got a PB (personal best) time, I was chuffed and so I would encourage anyone to have a go at challenging yourself with a fitness target and go for it. You may not reach the moon but in trying you may just reach the stars! Visit my Just Giving page, for the full story: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fiona-perkins5