#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 12

Date: 12 June 2020

Miles today: 13.1

Total miles: 159

Highlight of the run: New trainers! They arrived only yesterday but were needed so badly that they completed their first half marathon only 14 hours after getting un-boxed.

Today I was exploring Burnham Beeches. I cannot believe I have lived so close to so many gorgeous places that I have never been to. It took a pandemic and silly running challenge to actually start discovering my area. I even made it to a different county!

I have really enjoyed my daily half marathons for many many reasons, but perhaps the top reason is that every new run is a sort of an adventure. You never know who you’ll bump into – a fellow Datchet Dasher, a hot topless runner (I wish) or a lorry driver stopping his truck in the middle of traffic lights to give you a parenting advice (yes, that actually happened). Every morning when leaving my house for a run I was excited about all the adventures that are waiting for me. And there were loadssss of them! Like for instance today – if you heard screams in Burnham Beeches, it was me trying to shake huge ants off my pants. Note to self: watch where you pee…

Now I shall retire and rest because tomorrow is the last day of my running challenge and I wouldn’t want to let you down, would I? Huge thanks for your incredible support and for sponsoring my runs. I’ll check in tomorrow once I conquer my 13×13 challenge. And watch out – there might just be one cute little rabbit left to be pulled out of my hat… 😉

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 11

Date: 11 June 2020

Miles today: 13.1

Windsor Castle

Total miles: 145.9

Highlight of the run: Despite weather forecast, we miraculously managed to stay dry on yesterday’s and today’s run. I actually enjoy running in the rain, my child less so.

I ❤🍕

Day 11 and I’m losing it. It’s like my entire world consists of running, thinking about running, talking about running, planning runs, rolling on a foam roller and listening to Baby Shark. Yes, that’s correct. Baby Shark. Dooo dooo dooo dooo dooo. My son is normally very lively, so he knows he can have and do anything that will keep him happy and still in the running buggy. So when he requests to watch a one hour (one hour!!!) YouTube video with Baby Shark on repeat, who am I to say no?

Apologies if you expected a daily dose of running wisdom. There isn’t any. Apart from the obvious – do NOT listen to Baby bloody Shark for an hour straight. Just don’t. Because if you do, dooo dooo dooo dooo dooo… 🦈

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 10

Date: 10 June 2020

Miles today: 13.25

Total miles: 132.7 and counting

Highlight of the run: Apart from running with my lovely fellow Dasher Louise, the other highlight was exploring Harmondsworth Moor which is quite literally next to my work but I never got the opportunity to discover all of it. Gorgeous spot!

Miss you British Airways 😘

Doing my little #13x13challenge I am lucky to get loads of praise that includes me being called amazing, inspirational and even a “remarkable athlete” (which is my favourite one as I hardly think of myself as an athlete, never mind a remarkable one). While snooping through Strava today, I came across this mad woman who does ridiculous mileage, and a half marathon is just her every day warm up. What I am trying to say – if you are trying your best, don’t let anyone make you feel like that’s not enough. The only person you should compare yourself to is your past self. And make sure you are better than that person! Whether it means running your first mile, getting your 5K under 25 mins, or aiming for your first ultra – it is always an amazing achievement as long as you give it your all.

So give it your all! 🙂

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 9

Date: 09 June 2020

Miles today: 13.1

Total miles: 119.5

Highlight of the run: I survived it! And had to wait for baby geese to cross the path 😍 Cuteness overload!

Jubilee River + baby geese

I was wondering how many half marathons will I get to do before I start struggling. The answer is 9. It was everything but easy peasy today. I woke up feeling like someone took my body apart and reassembled it in a dodgy way. If I listed everything that hurts, we would be here forever, so let me just highlight that I found out that elbows can hurt (from taking turns with a buggy with a fixed wheel) and also discovered a painful lump in my groin. Oh yay! 😱

Strangely enough, I am happy to be struggling, because I was starting to get worried that I can do 13 half marathons in 13 days easily, and that would be just disappointing. The point of a challenge is that it’s difficult. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a challenge. So now, finally, this is starting to get a bit more interesting! What will it feel like tomorrow I wonder? Will I catch a second (actually third) breath or will I shuffle like a zombie? Who knows. Whichever it is, I am already excited to find out because that’s all part of my 13×13 challenge, just like pain is part of being alive….and I surely prefer being alive, over not being alive. So here’s to pain! 😉

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 8

Date: 08 June 2020 (over half way there so can put my feet up)

Miles today: 13.13

Total miles: 106.4

Highlight of the run: Wearing my Slough half marathon t-shirt while taking four Slough Strava segments (with buggy obviously). Gotta show the town who rules it! 😆👑

This morning, it took me a while to figure out what day it is and how many half marathons I have left to do. They all start to blur together. I am dreading to see another Strava notification and cannot be bothered to even start thinking about tomorrow’s route. Nahhh, just kidding!! I thought I would be over it by now but still loving it. Only just took a shower after my run but am already thinking about where shall I head tomorrow – excited! It never gets boring and never gets old. Even my little monster starts each day with pointing at the buggy saying it’s “Derry new running buggy” and mummy has “ouchie legs” but we will go running regardless. 😆 If I could teach my child only one thing, it would be that he needs to get out and see the world…and nature will then teach him the rest.

Happy running everyone, and thanks for reading! You can always sponsor my blog and my running here.

Grand Union Canal (Slough arm)

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 7

Date: 07 June 2020

Miles today: 13.1

Total miles: 93.3! I am now finally the boss of our club’s weekly leaderboard (for the first and most likely also the last time ever). Over the moon!

Hanging in there 🙂

Highlight of the run: Discovering there is a double espresso caffeine gel (thanks Steve!). Can I just have that each morning instead of my coffee?

Another run with a fellow Datchet Dasher today, yay! And because we are sad sad people, we wore our club vests while talking about Strava segments and VO2 max. I felt it was appropriate to “dress up” (yeah, in lockdown times, wearing club kit is considered dressing up). After all, it is Sunday and on Sunday you should wear your best outfit when going to the church. Running and going to a church are activities that suprisingly have more in common than you’d think. You know the feeling when you step into a cathedral and just go “wow”. It’s the combination of high ceilings and gold plated ornaments and statues and paintings and the smell, that leave you in awe and feeling humble and small. Isn’t it just the same when running outside in nature? It’s just “wow”. The sun and sky and fresh air and water surfaces and greenery… I always feel humble surrounded by all the beauty, but I don’t feel small. I feel powerful, strong, on the top of the world, and most importantly eternally grateful for everything I can experience ❤

And what are you grateful for? 🙂

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 6

Date: 06 June 2020

Miles today: 13.1

Total miles: 80.2 and still not on the top spot of our running club’s leaderboard! (Ron, if you are reading this, can you please NOT run tomorrow? Thank you 😂)

Highlight of the run: Running with a fellow Datchet Dasher (which is the best running club you can imagine) (actually the only running I’ve ever been part of so I have no real comparison).

I am traditionally a bit of a loner and a solo runner. However, since the beginning of lockdown/ my furlough, I have had 95% of my real-life conversations with a 2 year old which is mildly brainwashing. The last time I spent in a company of an adult was five days ago, so it was simply delightful to talk to a grown up about grown up things while jogging in the Windsor Great Park today.

I am starting to realise I find way more enjoyment in social interactions when I don’t have too many of them (three one hour sessions per week would do). So since I will need to start job hunting at some point, I am trying to figure out what kind of work can I do that will allow me to run every day and spend a lot of time on my own. Any ideas? 😂

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 5

Date: 05 June 2020

Miles: aesthetically pleasing 13.13

Total miles: 67.1

Cappuccino time!

Highlight of the run: Finding a good spot for a mid-run wee wee. Always a great success 😄

I have to admit – I was struggling yesterday afternoon/evening. My knees were hurting and I was generally drained (no matter how much carrot cake I ate). I was not up for running another bloody half marathon. This morning, when I eventually got out of the house and started jogging, I was not feeling it at all. But then I thought of my favourite quote by Emil Zátopek.

You know who he is, right? An incredibly inspiring Czech runner whom you can thank for (your favourite) interval training :). Oh, he also ran 5K under 14 minutes. And was the first one to break the 29-min “barrier” in 10K. But arguably, the coolest thing about him is how he totally randomly won a gold medal for running a marathon in 1952 Olympics. That year he already got gold in the 5K and 10K events, and then he made a last minute decision to give his first marathon a go… and won the bloody thing! To this day he remains the only one to have achieved all three in the same Olympics. What a hero!

Anyway, back to his quote. He said “Když nemůžeš, tak přidej” which is boringly translated as “Are you out of breath? Go faster!”. I prefer to translate it in a more poetic way: When you’re struggling, kick it up a notch.

At the begining of today’s run I was struggling. So I kicked it up a notch and ended up running my fastest buggy half while getting a crown on three Strava segments along the way. Something silly compared to Zátopek and his medals; for me an achievement nonetheless 😉

So next time you are struggling (in running or anything else for that matter), kick it up a notch and watch yourself succeed! Happy Friday folks!✌

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 4

Date: 04 June 2020

Miles today: 13.5

Total miles: 54

Highlight of the run: Wearing my superhero undies to give me superpowers!

Windsor Great Park traditional lollipop. (For non-locals: this is a route starting on the Long Walk, followed by a loop around the Copper Horse statue. Windsor Great Park is generally excellent for buggy running – wide concrete roads, with barely any traffic. Come and visit us!)

As I mentioned on Strava, I am only just starting to realise that this challenge might be hard. (Haha, silly of me right?) I have done some crazy stuff in my life (like moving to a different country four times, running a marathon with no marathon training, or singlehandedly raising a child). Looking back, they sound incredibly scary but at the beginning of each life “challenge” I was totally oblivious to the effort it’d require and pain it’d bring me. And that is probably why I tend to do silly (or perhaps admirable) things and quite often succeed in doing them – because at the beginning all I have is a vision, and only start worrying about the details when it’s too late. They say that luck favours the prepared, right? Well, where do you draw a line between getting ready and simply procrastinating (as a subconscious way of postponing what one was meaning to do, because one doesn’t feel prepared). Newsflash – you never will feel fully prepared. The right time is now. Do that thing you have always been meaning to do, because tomorrow it might just be too late…

Tofu and avocado salad ❤

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 3

Date: 03 June 2020 – Global Running Day!

Miles today: 13.1

Total miles: 40.4

Highlight of the run: Realising I am fit enough to run at 09:30 pace while being able to sing at the same time! Huge (insincere) apologies to all the cyclists who snuck up on me and had to hear some cheesy hits.

Today I went back to my rivers, but ran in the opposite direction than I did yesterday – that often completely transforms the route and gives one a different perspective. Speaking of perspective: last night I found out I will be made reduntant because my current role will not exist in our soon-restructured company. (I am not writing this to get sympathy, because although I appreciate it, I certainly don’t need it. You can always sponsor my running challenge instead😉.)

A good friend of mine said that I should really put my 13×13 challenge on hold so I can stay at home and be upset. How about no? If anything, that is yet another reason to get out for a run! A year ago, I suffered with anxiety because I could not handle uncertainty very well. 2020 is nothing but a series of never-ending uncertainties, yet I feel at peace. Why? Obviously, exercise (running) plays a massive role in this. And then there is also my slogan – just have a little faith! (Sorry, if you’ve heard it too many times from me.) I refuse to be upset over things I cannot change; I refuse to waste the little time I have been given sitting around and be sad; I refuse not to be happy! So I continue to have a little bit of faith that things will work out just like they always did, and that my life will get better year by year, just like it has done so far. I am not going to say that everything happens for a reason. I am saying that we have to find a reason in everything that happens. One door is closing, but I can already feel the bloody draft from all the other doors being opened!

So if you are in a similar situation, or if you are worried about all the other worriable things, just have a little faith…and also go running. While running, think of everything you can be grateful for, especially those things that we take for granted – like being able to run in the first place. I promise you, there is always way more to be grateful for, than to be worried about!