#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 ๐Ÿ˜˜

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

#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 ๐Ÿ˜ 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! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

#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! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ‘‘

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. ๐Ÿ˜† 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 โค

And what are you grateful for? ๐Ÿ™‚

#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 ๐Ÿ˜‚)

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? ๐Ÿ˜‚

#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 ๐Ÿ˜„

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 Zรกtopek.

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 “Kdyลพ nemลฏลพeลก, tak pล™idej” 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 Zรกtopek and his medals; for me an achievement nonetheless ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!โœŒ

#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 โค

#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 instead๐Ÿ˜‰.)

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!

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 2

Date: 02 June 2020

Miles today: 14.2

Total miles: 27.3

Highlight of the run: Spotting a fellow buggy runner – one child in a buggy and the other one cycling alongside her. Genius! Now I know what to do once my monster does not fit into the buggy any more. Problem solved!

Today I did my most favourite route of all. I just love running/walking alongside rivers. Water surfaces are always enchanting, and my two rivers give me a sense of peace, tranquility and also joy. There is no other place you can experience these feelings – but in nature. So I do love to venture out and follow my river paths which are at some places fairly traily. The Thames Path from Dorney Lake all the way up to Taplow is bumpy, with dips and stones and tree roots. It was impossible to conquer with my old running buggy, so I am super thrilled that my new buggy just whizzes through the terrain. The suspension is great so my little passenger does not complain. If you are looking for a running buggy, then I totally recommend the one I have – an excellent value for money. I will write a more detailed review in a couple weeks’ time.

Oh and I also got carried away and accidentally took a longer route which added an extra mile on top of my half marathon. I promise myself that I won’t do even one step over 13.1 miles in the next 11 days ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now I shall enjoy my (alcohol-free) beer (I am an athlete after all and my body is a temple! ๐Ÿ˜ ) while planning tomorrow’s route.

Thanks for reading and for your support!

#13x13challenge with buggy: Day 1

Date: 01 June 2020

Total miles: 13.11

Highlight of the run: Getting my lovely neighbour out for a 2.5 mile jog (pic below). She enjoyed it and wants to do it again on Wednesday! I love seeing people getting out and active ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ Huge well done to her!

I didn’t plan any specific route because after two rest days I just wanted to run and feel free. That is probably why I foolishly decided to take a random path, instead of the main road, and ended up fighting my way through a sea of nettles, because I always stubbornly refuse to turn back. My child in the buggy was stunned by the adventure (and by the nettles) so he didn’t complain much, apart from an occasional “ouchie”. Anyway, getting stung by nettles is actually good for you as it increases blood flow in affected area. I remember an elderly woman in our village who used to whip her legs with nettles as a “cure” for arthritis. I suppose there is always a little bit of truth in old wives’ tales. Having said that, I think I’ll stick to wider nettle-free paths in future ๐Ÿ™‚

It comes without saying that day 1 is usually the easiest so I have no complaints, apart from my slightly niggly knees. However, in my experience, the more I run the better they get so let’s just hope for the best.

If you get out for a run/jog/walk today (and I insist you do) here is a veggie lunch tip that has everything you need to fuel your body with healthy stuff: coconut milk and lemon grass stir fry with tofu. I’m just tucking into it now โค