“Bring Sally Up” Challenge – Week Three

The Ordinary Runner - Running Blog - Bring Sally Up Challenge

When you’re in lockdown, you might as well try something new.

I’ve attempted the Bring Sally Up Challenge.

Week Two Review

Two weeks into lockdown and two weeks of the Bring Sally Up Challenge. After progressing from 46 to 68 seconds in week one, I had a very different experience last week.

I started where week one finished – at 68 seconds. But my progress stalled, forcing me to reconsider my form.

It seemed I was doing push ups wrong.

Once I’d put things right, I went backwards. 68 seconds became 55 seconds. It took the rest of the week to “progress” to where I’d started. Not great!

A new week offers fresh potential. Will I see any progress?

Let’s find out.

Day Fifteen:

Maintaining my two days on, one day off routine, week three starts with an off day.

The Joe Wicks sessions have become less compelling – neither me nor my daughter could be bothered – and it was looking to be an exercise-free day.

But, I’m an excitable, childish man in many ways. The recent arrival of new running shoes was too much to bear. So, I laced up and hit the streets.

The Ordinary Runner - Reebok Floatride Everyday Energy
Who can resist new trainers? Not this Ordinary Runner

Also, I’ve changed my mind about not running during lockdown.

I typically run in the morning, but the morning was long gone before I decided to head out. In the end, it was 7:30pm by the time I started my first Lockdown Run.

I enjoyed it. A moderately paced 5k, with a small break to take disappointing photos of the pink moon.

These trainers are amazing. Once I’ve put a few more miles on them, I’ll write a little review.

Day Sixteen:

I admit to feeling nervous as I started the Bring Sally Up Challenge this morning.

What if I couldn’t pass 68 seconds, again? What if that really was my limit? After all that effort, where would I find the motivation to carry on?

Genuinely – I could see myself laughing the whole thing off.

A deep breath as I hit play. Easing through the first few push ups, I felt good. The long pause arrived – the familiar sting as you hold, low to the ground, arms beginning to quiver.  

I pushed back up, then down again. Twice more, up then down. I’d done it. I’d beat my best time.

I can go all day, I thought. I’ll never stop. I’ll… actually, no. I will stop. I’ll stop right now.

Still, 71 seconds.

Maybe I won’t jack it in.


Day Seventeen:

Bit of a lazy day today. I did the challenge and repeated yesterday’s 71 seconds.

I intended to run, but it didn’t happen.

Instead, I bought beer.

I might run early tomorrow.

Let’s see how the beer goes this evening.

Day Eighteen:

The Ordinary Runner - early morning sun

Maybe it was the lure of new trainers. Possibly the promise of empty streets. Or, perhaps it was the running bug, agitating my legs with an irresistible itch.

Whatever it was, something dragged me out of bed just after six o’clock this morning.

Full of enthusiasm, I was greeted by the dawning of beautiful day.

There were more people out than I expected. Never so many that I couldn’t stay safely distant though.

And, what’s more, the morning crowds are a warm and friendly bunch. I’ve found my spiritual (running) home during lockdown, among the early risers.

It was a great run – four miles with a few photo stops along the way.

Day Nineteen:

Saturday of the Easter weekend. The sun riding high in a cloudless sky. Unthinkable warmth under normal circumstances. But these aren’t normal circumstances – this is England in lockdown, of course the sun is shining. What else would it do?

Much like Christmas Day, the only option is to start drinking as early as you can get away with. As a sensible, mature grown up, that seemed to be around lunchtime – unlike Christmas Day, which, as everyone knows, is much, much earlier.

But first, some push ups. Following a rest day yesterday, I was cautiously optimistic for progress. And rightly so – I achieved 79 seconds. Up eight seconds against Thursday and over ten seconds improvement for the week.

I wonder if tomorrow will see any further improvement. Even one extra push up would be welcome.

Day Twenty:

A small backwards step today. I didn’t feel right from the start. Tight shoulders, lazy feeling in the arms, mild hangover hovering around my head.

It’s okay. I managed 71 seconds again. I could, possibly, have pushed on. But this is a marathon. Lockdown isn’t going to end quickly. I’ve still got time.

And besides, it’s Easter Sunday. There’s a massive leg of lamb in the oven and a bottle of red wine with my name on it.

See you on the other side!

Day Twenty One:

Another day off from the Bring Sally Up Challenge and another early start.

Today’s run was sponsored by “Typical British Easter Bank Holiday Weather”.

That seafront breeze presents its very own challenge.

The Ordinary Runner - seafront shelter

Bring Sally Up Challenge – week three summary

With Coronavirus hopefully reaching its peak in the UK, I’m still far from peaking in this challenge.

Good progress – particularly compared with last week. And, I’ve started running again.

Will I be able to pass 90 seconds next week? Come back next Monday to find out.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash