Doing it for charity

One of the worst things about the injury I picked up at the beginning of this year was it’s impact on stuff I could do. I couldn’t run, early on I could barely walk, and I couldn’t spin. Running and spinning are my favourite forms of cardio – the feeling afterwards is incredible – but the concentrated bruising I’d picked up on the ball of my foot meant I simply couldn’t. 

Now, after having to cancel running both Canalathon and Manchester Marathon (AGAIN dammit), I’m setting myself up for challenges to help me get my fitness back. I’ve had six weeks of being able to do very little and now I need to get myself back on track. 

So aside from signing up for two half marathons and another marathon towards the end of the year, I’ve picked two rather different challenges for May. 


The first the Spinathon. Manchester Spin Factory (which I really want to argue is actually in Salford because my closest one is near Salford Station) has set up a challenge for 1 May after the Great Manchester Cycle was cancelled. They’re hoping that rather than charities miss out on the money that would have been raised by cyclists, those who were going to take part will register online and take part in an 8 hour spin for charity. You can do an hour, two, up to the full 8 hours.


Myself and a friend booked on for 6 hours of spin between us – two hours in the morning, a break for lunch (and all the food) and then a further hour. 

We were then informed that both the morning sessions were cancelled and asked to move to the afternoon. After explaining that three solid hours would be a little much, I asked for them to simply allocate us a two hour slot and that would be fine. 

I received no further information until late night on the Friday before (the spin session was on the Sunday). We were then told that one of the morning sessions was reinstated and confusingly that the other morning session had been fine the whole time. I was confused. The emails were confusing – we had since made other plans and it was far too late to change them.

After a discussion, we decided to cancel. 

I found this frustrating, especially as I’d spent time putting in extra spin sessions and training to make sure I could manage the three hours over the day, to then have it cancelled, to then have it reinstated last minute. 

A holding email asking us to wait for an update would have been sufficient, but instead we received nothing until the Friday before. For a single spin class, that would have been fine, not for three hours of spin. Instead, I’m concentrating on my running. For now anyway. 

The hope is that people who wanted to take part in the Cycle who now can’t due to the giant holes in the Mancunian Way can still raise money through the Spinathon – there are spaces for 60 spinners per hour, so that’s potentially a lot of legs on bikes. 

Whilst I’m tempted as hell to aim for eight hours, I’m thinking two or three might be my limit, particularly due to my second May challenge, which is also for charity. 


And that brings me to my second charity challenge. OutRun May is for Macmillan Cancer Support. You can set your own distance challenge from 10 miles+ and you do it over the whole of the month, so it can be broken down to suit you. I’ve signed up to run 80 miles (or rounded up to a whole number 130KM) in May and given that will mean me running every day, my legs may not forgive me if I sign up for 8 hours of spinning and then try to run a bit. Ouchy.

As a bonus, I know that OutRun May will see me drop a few pounds of podge and so I can lose the extra wobble that I’ve put on with not being able to do any cardio at all. I like that I wobble, but I know what makes me comfortable. 

Add to the above, I’m also (I know, right?) taking part in the Great Manchester Run alongside 1099 other colleagues from the University of Manchester in our very own Purple Wave, and I think that’ll keep me going for a while.

I don’t have a running problem.


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With thanks to the gorgeous Michelle for the image of her, myself and Mr Linford Christie. 

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