Day 3: FCG My Epic Week Team

Resolution IT

We are really grateful to ResolutionIT for putting a team together for the FCC EPIC Challenges Week, with the impressive goal of completing at least 10 Olympic Triathlons. Thank you and congratulations on your 10th anniversary!

Completing 10 Olympic Triathlons is no mean feat, especially when you have to fit it in around the day job. Shaun Lane from ResolutionIT tells us more about the team’s fantastic effort.

How did Resolution IT’s employees react to the suggestion that you get involved with My EPIC Week?

They were apprehensive initially, but also excited. There was an air of confidence about fitness levels but when we wrote down what we’d have to do we realised it wasn’t going to be easy and we’d better get out and do some training!

What is your challenge and why have you chosen it? 

Ten of us are taking part, all doing different distances due to different fitness levels and other commitments. The target is a minimum of 10 Olympic Triathlons. Ideally we’d like to achieve nearer to 20 but we’ll be content with 10. People are doing different activities each day and then recording the distances.

We have to schedule it around work: going out for early runs and cycle rides, swimming at lunchtime and going out late in the evening. I’m not a morning person myself but some of them are getting up at stupid o’clock to do a run – it’s really quite impressive!

What inspired ResolutionIT to take part in the FCG My EPIC Week?

It’s our company’s 10th anniversary so we’re doing 10 challenges throughout the year to raise money. This Is EPIC was one of the charities we had chosen, as we’re big supporters of This Is EPIC and of Warren and Phil themselves, having worked with them over the years. This week coinciding with our anniversary has made it a company challenge as well as helping the charities.

How is it going so far?

After Day One it’s looking like we’ll go way above our original target of 10 Olympic Triathlons so it’s going really well. As a team we achieved about double what we’d aimed to do in a day so we’re hoping we can continue like this. There’s a buzz around the office and everyone is excited to get out and do their bit.

Day two of our FCG My EPIC Week. Meet our Mark Smith!

This is Mark’s first EPIC Challenge and it’s a big one! Philip and Warren will still be sleeping when you start your cycling each day, so you definitely deserve a high five for that! Welcome to the fold and good luck, Mark.Mark Smith Day 2

Can you tell us a little about you?

I’m a 45-year-old father of twin girls, married and a self-employed Customer Service Consultant from Guernsey. I’m a keen cyclist and a member of the Guernsey Velo Club. I’ve been cycling competitively for about 13 years but recreationally all my life.

What is your challenge and why have you chosen it?

I’m going to be doing 100 miles on the bike every day. I first heard about the EPIC Challenge from Warren and, having done several endurance events previously, it piqued my interest. I knew, however, that to make it challenging I would have to do a long ride every day.

What training have you been doing?

My normal training for the racing season started in January so aside from a few longish rides and a 100-mile time trial in June I haven’t done any specific training, which is probably why I feel a bit underprepared.

What inspired you to take part in the FCG My EPIC Week?

Being self-employed I didn’t think I could fit it into my schedule, so decided I’d do it next time it came up. I was then at a conference where one of the speakers talked about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone; this talk really resonated with me and I decided that if my schedule doesn’t give me time then I will make time. I’m planning on starting my rides at 3am, so I can then fit in a full day of work too.

Day one of our FCG My EPIC Week. Meet our EPIC Challengers!

 

It’s Day One and we have already heard from some of the fantastic people taking part in the FCG My EPIC Week. We’ll be hoping to keep you inspired in your own challenges by sharing their stories.

Our first post comes from Dawn Sealey. Thanks for your support, Dawn, and best of luck with your challenge!

Can you tell us a little about you?

I’m a working mum with a three-year-old boy, Jack. I started running after he was born. I’ll never be the fastest runner (in fact I’m frequently at the back of the pack) but I appreciate the good health and good friends running affords me. After a traumatic start to my son’s life, running also helps keep me sane and my husband has been known to gently suggest I go for a run when I’ve got a case of the mean reds! As an extra challenge, and so that I might participate in triathlons, I decided to learn to swim properly earlier this year and just over a month ago swam my first ever full length of front crawl (well a type of front crawl anyway!!). I’m doing a couple of swimming lessons a week now and it’s slow progress but a great feeling of accomplishment to be learning a new skill at this old age.

I’m also inspired by my son – there is nothing more heart-melting than when he puts on his trainers and announces to me he’s off out for a run (don’t worry I never let him get too far).

What is your challenge and why have you chosen it?

My challenge is to complete a half Ironman distance across the week. I wanted a tough challenge to push myself but also one where I could involve and inspire as many people as possible to join me on either a run, swim or cycle and fit it around work and family. I have colleagues, friends and family joining me throughout the week on various sessions and I’m hoping Jack will do a few with me too. The organisation alone of fitting in all these sessions is one of the biggest challenges.

What training have you been doing?

I’m still running a couple of times a week and in addition to the swimming lessons I’ve been trying to fit in some cycling, mostly commuting.

What inspired you to take part in the FCG My EPIC Week?

I’ve followed Phil and Warren’s challenges over the least few years and they did a talk at my offices (GFSC) which inspired many of us to push ourselves but also explained how the charity was benefitting communities in a real way. This is EPIC and Guernsey Mind are both amazing charities and myself and my colleagues are always happy to support them in any way we can.

Have you taken part in any previous EPIC Challenges?

I took part in the Kings Mills run and the Y-Front Run and my husband and I did the family run with the buggy before EPIC 12. It is starting to sound like I’m stalking them!

Break it down

This post could easily be titled ‘common sense’ but one thing that Warren and I have learnt about setting goals and targets since 2014 is the absolute necessity to break them down.
At our recent talk at the IoD Shadow Management Awards we had the pleasure of listening to a number of students present on their experiences of shadowing managers and leaders in local businesses. Many of the presentations included some great definitions of leadership, the different approaches to leadership and how leadership and management are two different things. There was also talk of vision, strategy and goals across the presentations, from team goals to setting a 20 year vision for an island (yes Guernsey).
In 2014 Warren and I took on 7 Marathons in 7, which was our first lesson in how to breakdown big goals. I specifically remember in the evening following marathon no. 1 thinking to myself “wow, we have 6 more of these xxxxxxxx to go”. This then transferred into multiple messages to Warren about how big this challenge was and looking at the end point at the end of day 1. We discovered that this is categorically the wrong way to look at any big goal, target or challenge. In the midst of the challenge you cannot focus on the finish, as this will inevitabley create a the feeling of being overawed by the challenge or goal.
We soon realised that focusing on what is immediately in front of you, rather than the finish line, would enable us to focus on progress, to achieve smaller goals and for confidence to remain high during the challenge.
On day 2 we broke the marathon down into smaller goals and milestones. We had water stops set out at mile 5, 10, 15, 19 and 23, these became our new goals, not the 7 marathons.

 

How did this help? 

 

It helped by taking our focus off the enormity of the challenge, which harvest negativity, in the dark moments when you need to dig deep it is much more effective to focus on the progress made than the miles left! Shifting focus onto smaller goals enabled us to tick off progress on a regular basis. Rather than waiting 4+ hours to celebrate progress we were ticking off the targets every 50 mins or so.
By marathon no. 7 on day 7 our targets had reduced down from the water stops to lamp posts. As we made our way through the final few miles of our 184.3 mile week-long challenge, our eyes were fixed on the next lamp post which was 100 yards away. This made the last few miles fly by in terms of progress.
This lesson learnt has become a constant part of our training and challenges since 2014. But it is also relevant in so many other areas outside of crazy challenges. Whether you have a personal goal, a goal for your team or a 20 year vision for an island there is huge benefit in breaking them down into smaller goals.
The impact will be to see and experience progress, which all of us need to ensure we don’t give up easily or give up at all. 
With our third EPIC Moonlight Marathon coming up this may be a helpful lesson for any participants who are either getting their trainers on for the first time in ages, running at night for the first time or have pushed themselves to take on a few extra miles than you normally would. Here are three tips:

 

  1. Don’t over think it 
  2. Break it down into smaller milestones / targets 
  3. Remember to enjoy it, as you’ll be with people who are in the same position as you. 
#NeverGiveUp 

More lessons from training

This year Warren and have not taken on an ‘EPIC’ Challenge, we have however, started to train for something in 2017. We have been chatting to family and close friends about the plans for next year and we are usually met with shock and a few expletives.

We are not announcing our challenge until later this year but we have given ourselves 18 months of training, which started in January this year. For our 7 Marathons in 7 Days and 48 hours on a treadmill we had around 10 months of full training.

One thing that doesn’t stop is the lessons that we learn from our training sessions, especially as they are now taking on two extra elements.

One of the biggest lessons to have learnt , or to have reiterated to us, in the past 6 months is that it is ok to have a bad training day or training session. We often chat to people about our experiences from the challenges in the last 2 years and how at various stages during them we had to hit the ‘reset’ button and go again. This also happens in training and the one thing we have learnt is to not beat yourself up when it happens, which can be easier said than done.

We’ll let you into a little secret…we regularly have bad training sessions, where the legs feel empty, the mind is full of negativity or you are struggling to break into a smile. We’ve learnt that often the tough sessions are the ones that will contribute the most to to the process of being the best you can be. Where the easy option would have been to quit. These sessions may not be the quickest or the prettiest but you finish them, and that it was counts, that is what helps build the mental strength, which is critic lot taking on any sort of challenge.

So remember, if (when) you have a bad training session, just forget about it, don’t listen to the negative voices and enjoy the fact that you didn’t quit. 

(The picture in this post is following a tough sea swim with my wife Louise, who made the swim look super easy whilst I struggled behind her. A training session that required a reset).

 

 

 

Guernsey Cliffs + Guernsey Dairy Half Marathon

Today was another training milestone for Warren and I. A few weeks ago, when we both entered the Guernsey Dairy Half Marathon event, Warren came up with the bright idea of a cliff run before the half-marathon, just to add a few extra miles to the run. I had the even brighter idea of saying “Yes, lets do it”.

At 5:15am this morning two tired runners met at the foot of the cliff paths in St Peter Port, Guernsey. We felt prepared, we had our natural protein bars and Nakd bars, along with a litre of coconut water each as well as 2 litres of water in our back packs. We set off on the cliffs at a steady pace, with the cloud cover it felt very muggy. And then it got a little more challenging. Unfortunately a stomach bug started to get the better of me around Moulin Huet, which made the cliffs feels 10 times worse than they are – and they are tough when your feeling 100%.

It was a combination of trying to win a huge mental and physical battle, along with some very good (Rocky Balboa like) encouragement from Warren that meant I was able to finish the cliffs and make it to the start line of the Guernsey Dairy Half Marathon.

With 15 miles on the clock already I wondered whether trying to add 13.1 miles to the total was a sensible move, especially with how I was feeling. The atmosphere at the start of the race was great and the adrenaline kicked in, not running was no longer an option. The Guernsey running community is a fantastic one, very inclusive, right level of competition and definitely the right level of everyone running because they simply enjoy it.

Thankfully we didn’t have too long a wait at the start line, a quick change of trainers (from Trail into the Natural), a change of t-shirt and we were ready for the half marathon. The course is a beautiful stretch along the west coast, round the north of the island, around the Bridge and the final few miles along the east coast back into St Peter Port.

Warren and I weren’t running for a particular time, it was about getting more miles and hours on feet ‘under the belt’ as we train for our EPIC48 World Record weekend in September. We were feeling good, I say good – I probably mean ok, up to around 10 miles, then the heat started to kick-in with Warren and both of us underestimated the need for further food towards the end of the half marathon. The support along the whole route was great, lots of people clapping, shouting words of encouragement and cheering you on.

The finish line was a very nice sight, we both needed it. after 28.5 miles we were feeling the strain and a little bit of pain. But much like the Saffery Champness Rotary Walk it was another good learning experience about out mental toughness, nutritional requirements and pace strategy. The picture at the start of this post only tells the story of the last 100 yards, joy at seeing the finish line (thanks to Phil Nicolle for the picture!). A big well done to the team behind the Guernsey Dairy Half Marathon and well done to every single runner, there seemed to be a bunch of PB’s set today!

The money raised from our EPIC 48 World Record Challenge will support the following charities and projects:

  1. The Hub, through the Sunflower Project support children and families who have experienced bereavement or are living with someone they love having a serious illness.  The project has supported over 100 families since launching last year and the support has been invaluable.
  2. This Is EPIC, Help people living in extreme poverty in Africa through Village Savings and loans projects. The aim is to impact over 7,000 people through implementing new Village Savings and Loans groups as a result of the fundraising in 2015.
  3. NSPPC, Fund many projects which aim to either prevent child abuse happening or to help those who have already been abused.
  4. Dreams Come True, Help children with serious and life-limiting illnesses to have a special wish realised for them.

Thank you for your support.

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EPIC48 team challenge spawns battle of the Colleges

The Ladies’ College and Elizabeth College are among the first to sign up for the EPIC48 team challenge.

They will run on treadmills in Market Square for four hours in September alongside Philip Smith and Warren Mauger.

Each team to sign up has to raise a minimum of £1,000 and fundraising athletes Philip Smith and Warren Mauger, who are themselves attempting to run further than the current world record of 251.79 miles on treadmills, are certain that this will help dramatically with getting to their target of £100,000.

The team challenge is open to all companies and organisations, with a maximum of five people per team.

Further fundraising opportunities linked to the EPIC48 event will be announced over the next few months.

The Ladies’ College team was the first to sign up for the team challenge, within 24 hours of information being released and their friendly rivals Elizabeth College were soon to follow suit.

Principal of The Ladies’ College Ashley Clancy said: “We often ask our students to put themselves outside of their comfort zone; we felt this was the perfect opportunity for us to do the same.

“We are excited about supporting EPIC48 and The HUB especially, giving us the opportunity to give back to an organisation that provides great support to The Ladies’ College and young people on the island.”

George Hartley, Principal at Elizabeth College said: “We are delighted to be entering a mixed team for the event in September which is going to benefit highly deserving causes, but it’s also an incentive for staff to keep fit over the summer.

“Once we heard The Ladies’ College were signed up it was a no-brainer. Bring on the challenge!”

For two local charities, This Is EPIC and The HUB, the money raised during the 7 in 7 Challenge last year was beneficial and greatly appreciated.

Last year the HUB put the money towards two specialist projects. This year, team manager of The HUB, Charlie Cox has chosen one specialist area – The Sunflower Project. This aims to support children and families who have experienced bereavement or are living with someone who has a serious illness.

This Is EPIC will be putting the money raised towards implementing new village savings and loans groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The aim is to impact over 7,000 people this year and into next by helping them overcome extreme poverty in a sustainable way.

Anyone who would like to participate in the team challenge can sign up at http://www.epicchallenges.gg/#section-epicfortyeight-team-challenge

 

Running the Saffery Champness Rotary Walk

38.56 Miles

4,870 Calories

3,572 ft Elevation Gain

9:58 min/mi Average Pace 

They are the statistics from our training run two days ago, which was to run the Saffery Champness Rotary Walk. As the title of the event indicates, this is a walk, a beautiful 38(ish) mile walk around the cliffs and coastal paths of Guernsey. Warren and I saw it as a perfect training run for our EPIC48 World Record Attempt, and thank-fully the organisers kindly let us use it as a training run. Why was it ideal? For a few reasons, it meant a lack of sleep (4:30am start), it was our longest run ever, it had mixed terrain, we’d have to manage our nutrition on the run and it would push us, really push us physically and mentally.

After a 3am alarm call I was in town and ready to set-off on the run at 4:30am. One thing I learnt from the 7 Marathons in 7 Days last year was to break down the distances, by Marathon no.7 we were doing it down to 100 yard finish lines. I wasn’t sure how best to break down the SCR Walk, in my mind I wanted to break it down into small chunks, but for some reason my gut feel was to approach it as a cliff run and then a long distance run. These are two things that both Warren and I have done a few times before, but never as a combined run. Breaking it down into two sections helped me mentally approach the run.

A few people have said that the run must have been easy for us with all of our training. I can assure you, there was nothing easy about running the SCR Walk. The cliffs are brutal, they are brutal for a couple of reasons, the main one being the inability to get any sort of rhythm to your running. You constantly face steps up or down, twists and turns and inclines and declines.

I came off the cliffs right on 3 hours, and I was feeling ok in terms of nutrition and hydration. My approach was quite mechanical and one that I had learnt from a previous run. Don’t want until your hungry to eat. I made sure I ate a banana, a bit of flapjack or a shot block gel every hour of running. The little and often seemed to work 3 hours into the run.

From a mental perspective I was feeling ok, I had completed the first part of the run and was now focussed on the ‘long training run’. The west coast stretch to Portinfer was beautiful. There was a gentle tail wind, the ice was going out and the sun was shining. For 10 miles or so it was easy to forget and ignore the body starting to complain about what I was putting it through.

The route takes you as close to the edge of the island as possible, which around Grand Havre and L’Ancresse area, plays tricks on the mind. You look into the distance and see a milestone and think “yes, I’m making progress”. Before you know it you are weaving around the coastal paths and it feels like you are running away from the finish line rather than to it.

At about 31-32 miles I had to adopt a run-walk strategy, again, this wasn’t planned, I’d never tried this before as I’d never run this far in one hit. My approach was to run for 1 mile and then walk for 1 minute, just to give the body an element of rest and recovery. It really helped and from just past The Bridge I was able to run at a steady pace to the finish line. A big thank you to Toby Birch who drove past me, stopped and offered me a water that I threw over my head as it was starting to become very hot during the last couple of miles into town.

At the finish line I was greeted by the amazing SCR Walk volunteers that handed over medal, a much needed apple juice and dose of encouragement which immediately took my mind off the enormity of the 48 hour world record challenge.

Running the SCR Walk felt as tough as running our 7 Marathons in 7 Days last year, but it was a great learning experience in terms of how our bodies react to being pushed further than before, how we approach nutrition and developing our mental strength to break through situations when our bodies are telling us to stop, to give and to not take one more step.

It was also a good opportunity to be reminded about the purpose behind our challenge, as this is the fuel that drives us on. Knowing that each training run, each battle of the mind and body that we win and every step we will take during the 48 hours will help change the lives of people that are in desperate need of help and support.

The money raised from our EPIC 48 World Record Challenge will support the following charities and projects:

  1. The Hub, through the Sunflower Project support children and families who have experienced bereavement or are living with someone they love having a serious illness.  The project has supported over 100 families since launching last year and the support has been invaluable.
  2. This Is EPIC, Help people living in extreme poverty in Africa through Village Savings and loans projects. The aim is to impact over 7,000 people through implementing new Village Savings and Loans groups as a result of the fundraising in 2015.
  3. NSPPC, Fund many projects which aim to either prevent child abuse happening or to help those who have already been abused.
  4. Dreams Come True, Help children with serious and life-limiting illnesses to have a special wish realised for them.

Thank you for your support.

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