The Equinox Projects
There are two solstices and two equinoxes every year. Solstices mark the longest (summer) and shortest (winters) days while the two equinoxes mark the midpoints between when the day lengths are equal - spring and autumn. The next equinox is March 20th 2023. I use solstices and equinoxes as markers, sometimes to gauge progress or to start a new challenge, I've run ultras for my own entertainment on them. So since the inception of Late Rising this march 20 will be the beginning of Equinox One. which will run into midsummer when it will be replaced by Solstice one. It will be a chance for new challenges and maybe a long run or whatever I come up with at the time.
It's also a chance for you as a reader to kick something off. Commit to something for Equinox One - Take a walk every day, 10 pressups a day. Eat healthily every day. Anything you like. Three months to challenge yourself a little and set up good habits (again I know I'm shouting into a void here but that's not the point - The point is that i'm shouting at all). The Equinox Project is open to everyone and anyone. No barriers. You set your goal. You are accountable to yourself not me. I's love to hear though if it does inspire you to take part. Become part of a small community of encouragement. As part of Equinox One I will be training some friends towards a half marathon. That's my challenge too.
Equinox Two - Began on 21/06/23 - A summer equinox - Makes things slightly different and harder as I don't deal so well with heat but this is still going to be a running challenge one (I suspect many will be) So definites in this equinox so far are Preseli Dib Dap on June 25th - this one is a bit of a jump into the unknown for me as it is a 4 hour mountain trial requiring map reading skills. Then there is the Pier to Pint marathon from penarth Pier to Wick Fete for our charity fundraising - people can guess how many steps I will take to finish it. This could be a hot one as it's in July but even if I have to set off early and break it up I will get it done. Then Sept 2nd there is the Riddum which is a 30 mile ultra around the Rhymney Valley Ridgeway with Pegasus Ultrarunning.
Those are the nailed on events that are in the schedule. There are also two shorter fell races in the West Wales/Preseli area in August which I will decide on later as its a long way to go for shorter races - I suspect I will go though as I love the races Carwyn organises so much and want to join in and support.
I also have various plans and porjects on the boil that I am working on logistics for and will hopefully launch during the six week summer holidays. As a pledge to Equinox Two I will definitely launch one or more of these projects.
Equinox One began on 20/3/23 - My challenge? To step up to the plate in training the others. All I can do is offer my services and hope they will take them up. if they don't during this period then I can do little else, they can make excuses or struggle on the day. I will encourage but i can't force people to run.
21/3/23 - Training session after work. I will be there. Let's see who else will be.
And the answer was 3 people turned up! A great run around the "Wick loop" - a little fast maybe but they were keen. Hopefully as the weather and light improve we will see more people and progress. Next up sunday.
27/04/23 - Over a month since we began and results are - patchy. More are slowly joining in but it seems hard to motivate people to get up and move. I am surprised and then when I think about it I realise I shouldn't be. These days I'm highly motivated and driven but it wasn't always that way. So if I think hard I can see my reaction to being asked to train. It really is a case of getting people started and then hoping to keep momentum going. I could try fear - as in - "we have less than six months now" but I don't think that will elicit the right response at the ,moment. Maybe as time passes it will become necessary. So all I can really do is encourage and keep providing opportunities to join in. To that end I've already made it clear that we will be starting from scratch and total beginners will have the focus and sessions will be tailored for them. And that has encouraged a few I think. I'm offering advice to anyone who wants it. Encouraging on a one to one level. I can't do or give much more at this point. I won't give up though. It will come together, it has to.
End of Equinox One - 21/06/23
Mixed results although overall I'm happy with progress - perhaps not on the training front which you would think would be the only importan thing. Confused? Let me explain. No matter how i tried, switching days, times, trying to accomdate everyone the response was always the same - patchy, People just weren't interested in making a consistent effort. I even tried parkrun in porthcawl, giving up 2 hours of my and Murph time to try to get people going but only a few ever joined in and they were both motivated and doing well anyway. At the end of the day I can't force people to get out and exercise and it became apparent that I was in the main making tiny gains while impacting highly on mysself both in time and stress. So when summer kicked in and evening runs with Murph became impossible I have stopped trying to organise training and people will have to work it out for themselves. I am of course still available for advice and guidance and also runs if it fits resonably with my schedules. But right now our running is done at dawn and I can't see people getting out of bed at 5 AM to join us.
What has been good though is the progress on the fundraising front which is what all this was aimed at in the first place. We've got things moving, I got sponsorship forms designed and printed and again given people all the tools I can to go forward for it. I hope they do. I can't make them and at the end of the day they committed to this and a charity and if they don't then they can live with it. I've done and am doing all I can.