There is nothing more satisfying that setting out to do something and completing it (and even more so when it’s for a good cause).
On the evening of the 31st October, I had a very spontaneous decision to run 100km over the month of #Movember, to help raise money and awareness for men’s mental health. I was inspired by a friend of mine, Steph Butt who had set out to do a very impressive 150km over the course of the month of November – it wasn’t her first time either!
I’m not a runner, I don’t particularly enjoy it (as those of you that follow me probably know by now) but if I could ‘suffer’ short term by running 100kms to help those who suffer on a daily basis then it was something I was willing to do.
There were days where I loved it, days where I hated every step of it. Mornings where I wanted to go to the gym instead and exercise in a way that I love and makes me feel good. It was a mental challenge, it was a physical challenge, it tested me, it pushed me in ways which I didn’t think possible.
So what have I learnt? I’ve learnt that more so than ever, it’s the mind that wants to give up before the body. I’ve learnt that fuelling your runs/workouts appropriately makes the biggest difference. Carbs for performance make such a huge difference. Running 8kms was sometimes far easier than the smaller 3km runs if I would have fuelled myself correctly. I’ve learnt that it doesn’t make sense to push your body when you’re exhausted, take the rest – don’t underestimate the power of a few days off, you’ll only come back stronger and with a new sense of motivation. Always listen to your body and leave your ego at the door – it’s not about the speed or times of each run, it’s about running 100 kms over the course of the month – no matter how fast or slow!
A few other little tips I learnt along the way are:
- Let your food settle before you run
- Always double tie your shoe laces
- Go to the toilet before you set off
- Coffee is your best friend
- Cold water swims, Epsom salt baths & magnesium oil will help your body recover so much faster.
- Make an epic playlist which you can get lost in.
- Not fuelling yourself will only compromise your training and you may find it hard to reach your goal. Fuel your workouts, don’t be afraid of wholesome complex carbs – this made the biggest difference to each of my runs.
- Do it for a good cause as it will hold you accountable.
I’m a huge advocate for setting yourself a goal. It doesn’t have to be physical, it can be social or even something very personal but setting yourself a target is about holding yourself accountable and setting a plan to achieve something you’ve always wanted to achieve. I can guarantee you that having a path, something to work towards gives you so much more purpose to every-day life. We’ve all got goals, but how many of us set out to do something and then just give up? Change your mindset and habits. Set yourself a small goal today and stick to it – do it for you!
I also just wanted to say a huge thank you to every single one of you that donated to this amazing cause, I am so grateful to have such wonderful family and friends who were so generous in supporting me and the Movember charity. Thanks to Steph for the inspiration and to my gorgeous friend Caroline (@creatureofhealth) who ran 100 kms alongside me, who pushed me and kept me motivated every step of the way!
So, what’s the next challenge I’m setting myself you may ask? I think I already know! Watch this space…