Who would have thought that 25 days ago when we were all so eager to get out there and take on the challenge of #AdventRunning that we would actually make it through to the end? Because I had my own 100K challenge running alongside #AdventRunning I started the month thinking that I cared more for my 100K and therefore wouldn’t need to run every day. My gosh, how wrong I was. As soon as you start getting involved in the AR community, you are hooked. There is no escaping. It is simply brilliant seeing the posts from all the other runners, swimmers, yogis, walkers – everyone keen to give themselves a little festive competition, and so you end up not wanting to let everyone else down – you feel compelled to post your daily photo or update, because the response you get from those people you may not have ever met before, who are just so keen to cheer you on, is overwhelming. Although I have loved every minute of it (even the super challenging bits), I am glad to have made it to the end…

Day 22 – The last few days of Advent Running were pretty non-eventful. After an early morning doctor’s appointment to check on my general health I headed out for my daily run. It was torrential weather – blustery winds, torrential rain…miserable, really. But I had no choice, I had to get out there, and so I did.

Day 23 – This was another tough day, my legs felt like lead and my lungs were hurting. My whole body was tired of running by this point, however the weather was wonderful – I think it was about 14 degrees, brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies. I really hadn’t expected such a mild December, but what a treat for us all. Despite how tired I was, the conditions of the day meant it was a fantastic run for head space.

Day 24 – My favourite run of #AdventRunning by far. I went out just as the sun was setting, it was fairly windy but dry and warm, and it was my fastest 5K for a while. There was something very calming about running on Christmas Eve, I saw hardly anyone else whilst out and I just loved every single second of it. If I could capture all of my emotions on this run and store them in a little jar forevermore, I would.

Day 25 – My final run, Christmas Day! I won’t lie, this run was tough. And was more of a slow plod. I have never been a fan of running early in the morning so made the choice to run post-dinner, big mistake. I was so full and uncomfortable, and had really overdressed, but I was so proud of myself whilst running my final Advent Run. My family were out for their evening walk at the same time, and walked the reverse of my route so we all crossed paths at a certain point so they could take a quick photo of me and cheer me on. I couldn’t be happier to have made it to the end of my 25 days of running.

Lessons learnt this week: Running every day is just not for me, but being part of the #AdventRunning community is wonderful and is one I fully intend to stay involved in all year. I won a pair of Adidas trail shoes on Day 13 of AR and am excited to take on more trail runs in the new year. I’ve had an awful lot of time to listen to, and reason with, my own internal dialogue throughout December and have learnt a lot about myself and made a few important decisions about how 2016 will pan out – I’m excited for the challenges that come with a new year and a ‘new me’. Bring it on, 2016.

Distance Target: Throughout #AdventRunning I meticulously tracked my distance and stats, and am incredibly proud to say that I covered 114.4K throughout those 25 days. My husband ran a good part of that distance too, which was pretty special as we’re newly-weds and it was fun to start the challenge together. Although I am now planning on dropping down to three or four runs per week (because I’m just about to start my triathlon training, hooray!), they will hopefully be good quality sessions and I am planning on tracking as much of my activity throughout the year.

To all those who completed all or part of #AdventRunning, a huge well done. To Claudi and James who are the most fabulous organisers of this great challenge – a heartfelt thank you! And to everyone else, I hope to see you #AdventRunning next year!

Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

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