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Oh, #AdventRunning, why must you be so challenging? Week 2 has been a mixture of ups and downs and I have never felt more tired in my life. Couple that tiredness with the fact that I have been ill this week, and you really don’t have a match made in running heaven. Nevertheless, I did get out running almost every day…

Day 8 – Another 5.1K logged for the eighth day of #AdventRunning, and it was really slow, painful and generally horrid. I am convinced that I am actually getting worse at running. Is that even possible?

Day 9 – This was a much needed rest day, and by rest day I actually mean ice skating at the Natural History Museum. It felt great to take a ‘proper’ day off from running and to just have a leisurely evening doing all-things indulgent (plenty of food!). Whilst this was a non-running day, it was also unfortunately another late night, so it wasn’t a day that left me feeling particularly refreshed, but it was certainly good for the soul.

Day 10 – This run was great, perhaps there really is something behind the science of rest days? I ran with my husband, who was unfortunately having achilles pain again (and meant that this was his last run of the #AdventRunning streak), and we covered 6.5 blustery kilometres along the seafront. I really enjoyed this run and it made me realise that I wasn’t getting worse at running but that my body really needs a break sometimes. That being said, before heading out on this run I was huddled by the radiator saying I didn’t feel well and wasn’t sure if I could run – so I guess it is mind over matter sometimes.

Day 11 – On the eleventh day of #AdventRunning I was ill. So ill that I couldn’t even make it into work, which is quite unlike me. I stayed at home all day feeling sorry for myself, barely being able to move, and thought that this might be me crashing out of the #AdventRunning community. Then 9pm hit and I had run out of almond milk but really needed a cup of tea (#firstworldproblems). And so I decided to run to the shop, taking in a bit of a detour to add some distance. It was only 4K, and admittedly I had to walk the 0.7K back up the hill to my house, but it was some mileage. I felt rotten the whole time though and my internal dialogue was telling me off for running whilst ill.

Day 12 – Still ill but headed out for a very short and gentle morning run in search of protein pancakes and green smoothies. Needless to say I was exhausted by the time I got back home, and spent approximately 5 hours during the daytime asleep. Very unlike me, but I felt like my body was well and truly broken and I didn’t have the energy reserves to participate in regular life.

Day 13 – This was another short run, this time in the countryside. It wasn’t great, I still felt ill. But I did it, and that’s what counts. Frustration was well and truly taking over by this stage as I felt like I was letting myself down and not doing my running justice.

Day 14 – This was a non-running day, though still active. I walked 3 miles in total during the day and then had a very exciting coached swim session from approximately 6.30-9pm (more on this soon…). Again, I was still feeling well and truly under the weather and wondered whether I’d be able to cope with swimming. But I did, and it was great fun. It was certainly challenging too, but it made me realise just how much I love swimming and how I cannot wait to get through advent so that I can start cross training properly.

Lessons learnt this week: You shouldn’t run when you’re ill – it does nothing for your physical or mental health. Running every single day is not for me – I’ll keep at it throughout advent but cannot wait to drop down to three runs a week again with two swims and a cycle. Still have not quite mastered the art of fuelling myself properly for all this running, but I certainly have earnt my fair share of mince pies. The #AdventRunning community is pretty spectacular – the support they show you day after day, no matter how small your accomplishment, is unwavering – they are a truly special group of people. Despite how much I have moaned during this post, I still absolutely adore running.

Distance Target: Although I ended up having a terrible week for illness and slow running, I have in fact hit 64.8% of my distance target, which I am very pleased about. This means I have 35.2K left to run between now and Christmas day – 11 days, I can totally do that. I also finish work this coming Friday for a few weeks which means I will be able to spend more time running during daylight hours, which I also think will help improve my timings and general feeling towards running.

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