After watching this Ted Talk about 30 Day Challenges I decided what better way to kick off the year than to embark on my own challenge, fitness. When I say I decided I mean that Mukondi decided for us. We set off the very next day so as not to procrastinate or wait for Monday (which I’ve learnt is like the gateway drug of procrastination). The challenge was quite simply to run 5km every single day for 30 days. We would track our distance and pace using the Nike Plus app. Easy right? Nope. Here are a few things I learnt through this challenge:
Lesson 1: Every single day is a huge commitment. Huge. Every single day means come hell or high water or crazy deadlines or people’s weddings or hang overs or sleep overs or too much food or too little food. It means every single day. My advice is if you can, run with someone. Even if it’s virtually. Having someone to keep you accountable who is in it with you goes a long way.
Lesson 2: Eat well. Eating food that nourishes you will keep you alive past 3pm. Running really takes it out of you so if you don’t get the correct nutrition you won’t manage through long work days. I found out the hard way by nearly falling asleep during meetings one too many times during the first week. Conversely there is a reason why they say wait two hours after eating before you go running. Another hard lesson…I won’t get into how I came to learn that in case you’re eating right now.
Lesson 3: Mornings are better. Eliminating every possible change in day that could prevent you from missing your run is the easiest way to stay on track (See what I did there). Days get crazy, meetings run over and deadlines get tighter. Running before you even get into the madness of the day is a winning formula. This does mean getting up at the crack of dawn but it’s totally worth plus you get a jump on the day’s activities.
Lesson 4: It’s okay not to get it right the first time. Or is it? Nothing hurt more after all that hard work than to be derailed because of a crazy leave-work-at-midnight type of week. We felt so helpless. We ran mornings, nights and even treadmill when it rained but then there were those last few days when we just could not get out there. Bittersweet. We ran a total of 24 days and 133,91km and yet it feels like the challenge won.
Lesson 5: There’s always a chance to try again. And that I will. I haven’t stopped running since the challenge ended actually, I did a 10km race and two 5km dailys so in the words of Coldplay “Everything’s is not lost”. And to end on a slightly romantic point, I hadn’t seen this many consecutive sunrises and sunsets in my life – it can really do something for one’s spirit.
Instagram pics below. x