Week 52 – The End of Things

In Which I Cycle 106k and Run 5k



My final week. A week of endings. Although the running and swimming targets have already been met, there was still some cycling to do. I finally knocked off the last few kilometres on the 30th December – one day in hand. And so, my objective has been met and the year comes to an end. Any feeling of achievement and elation has been somewhat muted by the recent death of my mother. She was given a natural burial on the 29th of December – the sun was shining warmly and the burial ground was a pleasant rural hillside just outside Loughborough. There was  no music, singing or readings – just a few words from me, my sister and her partner. Then the coffin was lowered into the ground and we all trooped off for tea and sandwiches at my sister’s house. It was short and sweet and, I felt, entirely appropriate – intimate and almost affectionate.

Against that backdrop meeting my last target seems almost irrelevant and trivial. And yet, cycling 10,000 kilometres has taken a huge amount of time and organisation over the year – I will almost be at a loose end next year without all my exercise objectives to meet. I don’t know how much I will do in 2016 or what project I should attempt (if any). For the sake of completeness and consistency here is the cycling ‘Manhattan’:


A slow build-up to begin with – so much so that I thought I couldn’t possibly achieve my target – then lots of daily circuits and a few long trips leading up to the ‘End-to-end’ fortnight of large daily rides and settling back to a steady daily rhythm. The few gaps in the sequence are mostly due to being on holiday and bike-less.

The number of days for each 1,000k: 95(!), 47, 32, 19, 24, 8, 16, 41, 33, 47.

And here’s the graphic for the year by discipline and week (cycling= blue, running=red, swimming=yellow and units are changed so the disciplines are to scale with each other):


The final totals for the whole year were – cycling: 10,011 km, running: 1,011 km and swimming 100km. Very binary!

And a final graphic, showing how the daily targets varied and were ultimately met:

running targets

Final thoughts: I’m certainly fitter and a little slimmer than I was at the start of the year. I’ll try to keep the Parkruns going but will probably revert to cycling only as a means of transport and swimming will definitely only be a holiday recreation. As I sit here typing this, my heartrate is bumping along at 62bpm – maybe I’ll use that as a benchmark in years to come to see how fit or unfit I may be becoming.

Lastly, thanks to those friends who have read and commented over the year – it was motivating to know you were there.



Thursday 24th December. A somewhat busy and blustery day running last-minute errands before Christmas. Scraped together 17k of cycling, motivated by the fact that I have less than 100k to go now.

Fri. Christmas Day! There’s a seasonal Parkrun – the reverse of the usual course – so I join in the festive exercise at a gentle pace even though I’ve met my running target for the  year, in case I haven’t already made that abundantly clear.parkrun29

Then down to Peckham for Xmas at Cathy’s. Lovely food, games, crackers and the statutory catatonia in front of the television. Cycling = 17k.

Sat. A Boxing Day walk around Nunhead cemetery (cheering!) then cycled home with the bike computer malfunctioning (I suspect the battery is losing its mojo), but 14k of riding estimated.

Sun. A quiet day at home – just a 16k ride in a largely empty park.

Mon. An old friend was in town, so met for a coffee and catch-up in Islington in the morning and in the afternoon cycled to St Pancras and took a train up to my sister’s in Loughborough, leaving the bike at King’s Cross with 13k covered in the day.

Tue. Mum’s funeral – a natural burial with no religious nonsense & with a eulogy from me. A nice wake/buffet afterwards and a train home in the evening – my bike still where I left it yesterday. Only 4k for the ride home.

Wed. A ride and then coffee with John in the park. Later, a trip to Somerset House to see the ‘Tintin’ exhibition and an excuse for more coffee and some cake. 25k cycling logged, which takes me comfortably past the 10,000 km target for the year. 🙂 Challenge now finished. Hurrah!

Week 53!

The 365th day – New Year’s Eve. Just a 3k run.



7 thoughts on “Week 52 – The End of Things”

  1. Gareth,

    I’ve followed you since I met you that morning in waterloo. I’ve also told a whole lot of people about your brilliant quest!

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mother.

    You’re amazing to have reached your goal, its totally inspiring.

    I hope to run into you one of these days…maybe in the park!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just read your family passings after watching the second part of the Apu Trilogy, but in the comfort and company of my brother and family. It’s been loads of films and a couple of great Welsh mountain hikes between the weather. And lovely home made food.so happy new year…Tony

    Liked by 1 person

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