I only started running this year, by the time I’d completed my first 5k race at the end of February I was hooked and set myself some pretty tough goals.
Along with entering races I also joined a challenge being run by Under Armour called ‘You Vs The Year’. The challenge is to cover at least 1000km during 2016.
For seasoned runners, although still a challenge, it’s maybe not as much of a challenge as it is for a beginner. Some people in the Facebook group made up their own challenges and upped the amount they personally wanted to hit to 1000 miles, 2016km and so on. For me averaging just over 83km per month was enough of a challenge so I’ve stuck with the 1000km goal.
Now here’s the problem and I think any runner or sports person will back me up on this, sometimes you just don’t want to do it! Sometimes it’s raining (hello! We live in Wales!), sometimes there’s something good on TV and sometimes you just plain can’t be bothered. So I’ve had some good months and some bad months and at the end of November I was really really considering just accepting the fact that there was no way I was going to reach 1000km.
The fact is giving up sometimes is easier than carrying on and sometimes it’s not giving up, it’s accepting that you’ve done your best, however, at the beginning of November I knew I hadn’t done my best and that I could push myself harder and reach that 1000km goal.
By the beginning of December I’d reached 900km and this year instead of having an advent calendar I’m taking part in the ‘Fat Girls Guide to Running’s Countdown to Xmas Challenge, where everyday we have a healthy challenge (plus an on going squat challenge, don’t even get me started on the squats!) and one of the challenges was to write a list of 5 things we wanted to do before 2017. So now I’ve pledged that I will finish my 1000km and furthermore I really want to do it before Christmas (are you noticing a pattern with me and challenges yet?). I’ve worked out from where I am now to complete it before the 25th I need to do 6km a day. So the dog’s going to have lots of extra runs, I’m going to be out in all weathers and I’ll be at every Parkrun from now until Christmas, hopefully celebrating tipping over the 1000km mark at the Newport Christmas Day Parkrun.
We set ourselves these challenges, big or small, because we want to change something, whether that be going for a run once a week or covering 1000km in a year. I know for a fact when I’m running in the rain, not being able to see (people with glasses, you understand) I’ll want to give up but I also know when I hit that 1000km I’ll be so proud of myself. There’s no medal for this challenge, no t-shirt or goody bag, just the fact that you yourself know what you’ve managed to achieve.
So, this is my new thing and it’d be great if other people started doing it as well, why wait until January for a resolution? December, February, August or whatever month you choose if you want to start something new, start it! If you want to commit to something, commit! If you’d told me this time last year I’d now be closing in on 1000km I wouldn’t have believed you, but guess what - I am! Plus do you want to know another secret? I’ve already signed up for the 1000-mile challenge for next year!
So lets all get our elf thinking caps on for what can you commit to or try before the end of 2017? Little steps make way for big adventures…