As you know, I have taken on the #AdventRunning challenge this year and have also decided to run 100K in those 25 days too. Each week I will attempt to write a blog post recapping how the week has gone and how close I am to achieving my goal. The first week of #AdventRunning was quite up and down for me – in hindsight I should have allowed myself one or two rest days before embarking on this challenge, and yet I forced myself to have an incredibly active weekend which was followed by a swim session and a run on the last day of November. Needless to say, I was not refreshed going into #AdventRunning…
Day 1 – The morning of the first day of #AdventRunning started brilliantly. I went out for a sunrise 5K and took what I consider to be a rather great photo. Unfortunately my Strava messed up on this route, but I wasn’t too fussed about that as I knew I had a run commute later in the day to look forward to. The run commute to my husband’s place of work so that we could play staff badminton was fine, although shorter than I had wanted as I took a wrong turn which cut out a mile of what I had planned to run (never thought I would be moaning about a short cut!). And then once we were home and tucked up in the warm my husband decided he wanted to take part in #AdventRunning and my 100K challenge. And so the running kit was put back on and off I went for my third run of the day…
Day 2 – The second day hit me like a brick wall. My chest felt tight from the moment I woke up and I thought that I was perhaps coming down with a cold or something grim – as it happens, I think it was just my asthma rearing its ugly head. I ran in the evening after work, and had to walk for a few seconds after 1K…this continued for the entirety of the run and I ended up with an incredibly slow 5K time. I was so disappointed with myself.
Day 3 – This day was no better. It was staff run club and again I had to keep alternating between walking and running. Considering the week beforehand I had been comfortably running 6K in about 30 minutes, I really was starting to beat myself up. Again my chest was tight, and on the inclines my legs were feeling heavier and heavier. Another terrible run.
Day 4 – Finally, the fourth day of #AdventRunning gave me some renewed hope. I finished work early as it was our staff Christmas lunch – this meant that half of my run was in daylight (well, dusk) and it really was a stunning day. I managed 5.1K, running the entire way, and was finally at a time I could smile about (although still nowhere near where I used to be). This was also the day when I realised that I had been too hard on myself in previous days – considering I have only just finished my course of physio after having some pretty awful injuries over the past few months, in addition to having asthma which I choose to ignore most of the time, plus the fact that I had increased my activity considerably but without increasing my food intake, I started to think that I was doing okay and needed to lighten up a bit.
Day 5 – Another really great run. Husband wanted to run with me as it was a Saturday evening and we decided on a cliff top run – of course we left the run until the evening, just as 47mph winds were setting in which added to the challenge. My husband also struggled with calf and achilles pain and had to stop a few times to stretch out. Other than this, it was a very productive run and one which left me feeling incredibly satisfied.
Day 6 – This was a short run. I had been in London all day so we only got out to run at 10pm – far later than I had wanted but still, a short and late run is better than no run at all. I had originally planned to have a rest day too, but couldn’t stop myself from squeezing in 3K (I think I may discard all scheduled rest days now and just have a shorter run on those days instead). I also didn’t dress appropriately at all as it was a quick scramble to put my kit on – I ended up with a jumper but no shirt, and a hat but no hairband. Unfortunately the run was unseasonably warm and I ended up a few minutes in running with my hat off and hair down, and with my jumper rolled all the way up my torso, allowing the world to see my sports bra and tummy. I don’t even run in just a sports bra in the summer so this was quite out of character. But my gosh, I was SO hot. I can only imagine what it must’ve looked like to anyone who drove past us – a girl with long blonde hair running through the streets at 10pm in just a sports bra and tights.
Day 7 – The seventh day of #AdventRunning was okay – it wasn’t a spectacular run, but it was over 5K and I felt great by the time I arrived home. Again, I ran with my husband who experienced pain in his achilles, and again it was a late night run – we didn’t get home until about 10.30pm. I am not the biggest fan of late night runs as I always feel like I have so much that I still need to do in the evenings, and I was exceptionally tired, but still – a run is a run and it was a good way to end week 1.
Lessons learnt this week: Running every day is tough – from the logistics of fitting a run in when life is busy, to forcing your tired body to lace up your running shoes at the end of a busy day, it simply is tough. Your run will not always be what you wanted it to be, but that is definitely okay and things will improve. Do not beat yourself up over the things you cannot control, but do take proactive steps to fix those within your control. And always say yes to someone offering you cake.