Despite setbacks and illness, former GB international Colin McCourt remains focused on breaking 16 minutes for 5km to avoid getting 17 tattoos

So we are nearing the end of the year and yes, I haven’t run the time yet (read more about Colin’s bet here).

Honestly, I thought I would have had this wrapped up by the end of the summer. I was in shape to get it done then, I was flying. Then life got in the way but I didn’t stop running. I got ill, the baby got ill… we all got ill multiple times. Thanks to the baby starting nursery he has brought home all kinds of coughs and colds.

It’s been a crazy year so far. It has been amazing being able to run again and run properly. Going from barely being able to run for 10 minutes to being able to run daily 10 milers – I forgot what running means to me and how it makes me feel.

To me, this year has been like re-setting my brain. When I was running full-time I would think ‘man, I want to be normal’ – go to the pub, eat what I want and to have my weekends back. So I did it – I got a job, I drank every weekend and I ate what I wanted.

Guess what? It wasn’t what I thought it would be.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it, as, if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t have my beautiful Rebecca or my son, which is something I could never have dreamed of. But I have a burning inside me – it eats away at me if I miss a run or have a rest day.

I want to run to push myself. Whether that gets me anywhere – back to running fast again or even just under this magical 16-minute 5km barrier – is yet to be seen. You never know what you are capable of if you don’t keep pushing and moving forward.

Now as I write this we are six weeks from Christmas. I have a big 5km this Saturday in Burnley. I am in shape and I just need to get it done once and for all.

One last thing – who is anyone to tell you ‘you can’t’? Only listen to yourself. Set your goals and go after them. Whatever they are just be strong and believe. See you on the other side.

» You can read more on Colin’s challenge here. Look out for regular blog posts from Colin here, while you can also follow his journey on Instagram here