April Challenge: Run Every Day

A while back I tried to complete a run-every-day challenge that I set myself, however I was unable to complete it… so I decided to try again, but this time instead of announcing it and then feeling foolish when not able to complete it, I kept it to myself except for telling a few running buddies.

And you know what?! I did it! I ran 30 times during the month of April. I had 2 slight ‘adjustments’ during the month 1) I actually started on 31st March & skipped 1st April for a bunch of reasons; 2) I was unable to run on 5th April due to time constraints so I ran twice on the 6th 🙂 So, a total of 30 runs, in 30 days, for a total of 140.06 km’s for the month!

I had 2 simple rules:

  1. Run every day, a minimum of 2km’s per day
  2. HAVE FUN!

And here’s how it went:

Obviously I started off all gung-ho and ready to go, and runs were easy-peasy. I had to really force myself to cut runs short knowing that this was going to be a big month in total.

I had a 10km race in the middle of the month, which ended up being a bit of a fail. My body was feeling fine but mentally I wasn’t ready for the race nor did I want to be racing, so I struggled for most of it, until about the 7th km where my body and mind decided to work together and I flew through the last 3 km’s. Go figure.

The rest of the time was pretty neutral – getting out there every day and doing my thing. Sometimes going a bit hard (especially when it was an interval training session!), sometimes just plodding through my 2 km’s, and sometimes enjoying a nice long, slow run at the track with friends.

The last 5 days were incredibly difficult to get motivated to run. Not that my legs were tired or sore or anything, just that mentally I had had enough. I was thankful that one of those days included a ‘long’ run with friends on the weekend which made that day much more bearable and enjoyable…. while the other days were simply awful and I only just managed the 2km minimum I’d set myself as a rule.

However, on one of those days in the last week, I had scheduled it to be a 5km run-day. I got changed after work to head over to the autodrome, but on my way there decided to head home and run within JVC instead. I made it home, but then only made it as far as lying on my bed for a while, while I argued with myself to get out there and RUN! I eventually convinced myself that I just need to do 2 km’s… not even 15 minutes of running… so get. out.there! And I ended up absolutely loving the run, and doing 4km’s by the end of it! What a great feeling it was 🙂

And then last night when I got home from work I laced up my shoes and headed out the door, with a 5km run in mind, as that would give me 140 km’s for the month.

Not even halfway into the run my body started telling me that it’s time to rest – 30 days of running is now enough. But I was determined to get my 140 km’s so I did around half of the ‘run’ as a walk, but the last km was thoroughly enjoyable as my legs opened up and I dashed home – looking forward to putting my legs up and NOT running.

140.06 km’s in the bag 🙂 The highest monthly mileage I have ever done – the next closest month was 101 km’s in November last year.

What I’ve learned from running everyday

In February I set out on a quest to run every day…. and along the way I’ve learned quite a bit about running, commitment to running and having, what’s turning out to be, an off year for my running.

  • I get to really play around with my runs – if I don’t feel like going for a long run on a day that was “scheduled” for a long run then I don’t… and it works the other way too; if I’m scheduled for just a quick run around the block but feel like going for 14 km’s then I do 🙂
  • Foam rolling is a lifesaver!
  • It’s actually a great way to help with a hangover – that fresh air and 15 minutes or so of pushing myself around the block is a great head clearer! (When I can drag my lazy butt out of bed though 😉 )
  • I get to practice different types of fuelling on runs without the fear of missing out on a crucial training run if things go wrong with any particular fuel attempt
  • I no longer run because I have to (against the training schedule)… I run because I want to
  • I don’t have to literally run every day – some days my body needs a rest and so I listen to it (or I’m just downright lazy)
  • I need a much bigger playlist
  • I’ve always got great bubble bath at home – a bubble bath after a long run is soooo relaxing
  • I don’t have to feel too guilty when my ice cream craving goes through the roof
  • I’ve learned a lot of different routes and had fun exploring my neighbourhood(s)
  • I love races
  • I hate feeling guilty for skipping a run
  • It became a part of my every day routine, like brushing my teeth (unfortunately the last few off months that I’m having has meant that there’s been a decline in the every day routine of running 😦  )
  • I don’t have to literally run 365 days of the year to call myself a runner
  • I love running
  • Running is hard work – especially on those days when you really don’t want to
  • I’ve come to love sports massages, even though they hurt at the time – kinda like running 😉
  • No matter how sluggish I am lately in my slump, I’m still a runner and I’m proud to be one
  • I need a lot more sports clothes
  • Strength training is vital for improvement in running – my kickboxing is getting so much better and I’ve recently joined the gym
  • Humid runs are tough work, but oh so rewarding
  • Low fat chocolate milk after a run is awesome
  • I need more running shoes
  • GO RUN!

Race day tomorrow

I have a 10 km race tomorrow – just a small, fairly random race that I entered a while back in order to keep me motivated towards my run.every.day challenge.

The challenge is going really well so far – I admit that I have skipped the odd day here and there for various reasons (for example I’m not running today because tomorrow is race day. I also didn’t run on Monday because I spent 3 hours walking around a mall – and bought 2 new pairs of running shoes while doing so 🙂 )team sports

The race is organised by Team Sports UAE – this is the first event of theirs that I will be participating in… watch this space for the review and details on how I did, to come over the weekend 🙂