Goals · Review

Focus: Fight: Finish (Mid Year Review 2020)

My running theme for 2020 is “Focus – Fight – Finish” but of course when I chose those words I had no idea just how much I’d have to focus and fight to finish all the goals I had set. A year dedicated to my first marathon and 19 other exciting races (local and international) quickly turned into a series of yard runs and virtual races and when we were finally allowed outside, we had to be masked! But I’m pleased to say, I’ve survived the hurricane that was the first half of the year and here is a recap of the second quarter. (Click here for a summary of the first quarter). 

Running Challenges. After I stopped training for my marathon in March, I shifted my focus to other running goals, particularly those listed in my #40By40 Challenge. First up was a 40 day running streak that I successfully completed on 1st May. The first 11 days were smooth-sailing but when we were hit with heavy lockdown restrictions, I ended up running the remaining 29 days on my malfunctioning treadmill and when that failed, I ran circles in my yard. In total, I ran 202.61 km with my shortest run being 4 km and my longest 12.15 km. I also took part in some virtual challenges. One was the Mzansi Lockdown ULTRA Marathon Challenge which was started in South Africa as a way to keep runners motivated as they were also not allowed to run outside for several weeks. I managed 127.45 km as part of this challenge. I also did a Gabs Striders Running Club 10K Race on the 3rd May in a homemade bib and on my treadmill.

But the second quarter was largely dominated by the 12-week virtual race series The Un-Canceled Project organised by Run The Edge. This project helped to keep me and many others upbeat and positive with weekly running themes. In total, I ran 28 virtual races, ranging from 5K to 15K, and blogged about my amazing experience here and here.

With no marathon to train for, I set my goal on getting faster. So on 4th May, I started a 10-week 10K program to get me to a sub-60 time. I was searching for programs online when a free training program from Fitness From Africa, a coaching company in South Africa, popped up on my Facebook feed! Not one to pass up a free opportunity, I immediately signed up and the following day Coach Marcel contacted me with a program starting Monday. I thought training for a 10K would mean lots of short fast runs. But I was in for a huge surprise! The program has 5 running days a week including 2 speed sessions, a longish mid-week run (12K) and 2 medium to long runs over the weekend (12-18K). Running 5 days was very tough for me, so I quickly settled for 4 days. Although surprised at how much running I had to do for a 10K, I’ve really enjoyed myself and this past Saturday, I did a 5K time trial, and achieved a new 1:28 min PB, 28:24. This was by far the biggest confidence boost 2 weeks from my 10K “race”.

Even with the lockdown, I managed 485.7 km, 38.2 km more than I ran in the first quarter. My highest mileage (ever) was June with 177.8 km! All because I’m training for a 10K, the irony!

I Run Gabs City. One of the many reasons I run is to explore the city and it took running to get me to truly appreciate a place that’s been home for decades. I love changing my routes so I get to see different buildings or areas in the city. During lockdown, this is something I really missed and I dreamt of all the places I’d explore once we were allowed out again. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Every weekend, I’ve chosen places to include as part of my run and once my run is complete, I’ve shared some information on social media of the different monuments and buildings, when they were built and their significance to Gaborone. Quite often, when I don’t feel like running, I’ve been motivated by the building I’m planning to visit that day!

Blogging: The lockdown inspired some new content for the blog. As my mum always used to say, “Nothing is so bad, it’s not good for something!” Here are all the blog posts from this quarter 🙂

When I was marathon training, I approached Naèma who is a fitness enthusiast and health foodie from Dream.Run.Free to guest blog for me on what to eat and avoid when training for a marathon. She did such a great job and here is the post – Marathon Training Nutrition 101.

Onward! Will any race organisers dare to hold a race in the third quarter of the year? I highly doubt it. But what I do know is I’m digging deep to finish the goals I’ve set for myself that are within my control. In 10 days, I will attempt a sub-60 10K run. A few weeks after that I will try a 2:15 Half Marathon. Whatever else 2020 wants to throw at me, I will continue to run.

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” – Dean Karnazes

How have you adjusted to our “New Normal”? What are you enjoying lately? What new challenges are you doing? How are you staying motivated? Why do you run? 

I’m joining Kooky Runner and Zenaida on their link up, Tuesday Topics. I’m also joining the Runner’s Roundup with Mile By Mile, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, Running on Happy, and Organic Runner Mum! Be sure to read their blogs and catch up with other runners on the link-up. Such great inspirational posts from around the world.

33 thoughts on “Focus: Fight: Finish (Mid Year Review 2020)

  1. This is one of your most inspirational blogs. What an achievement. Despite the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions you have come out so strong and so fast. The set back just gave you more fuel i think 😅 Absolutely amazing read and such an honour to be in your circle and witness the excellence 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that 10K program! I like the way they structure it, although I am also surprised by all your long runs. Seems to be working, though!
    Great job on your 5k PB!! I can’t wait to see what you will achieve in 2 weeks for your 10K!
    Keep us updated, please!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have had a great year so far! I think a lot of us shifted our focus and have worked on new things, not knowing that they would be so beneficial. Great job Shiastho! I love that you crushed that 5k.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this positive post! It’s so easy to get bogged down in everything that’s going on.

    I run to keep my heart strong, to have a sense of accomplishment, to get moving outside.

    I will probably have a few more virtual races. I signed up for races I wanted to support, or causes I wanted to support — or a mug, in one case (haven’t actually signed up for that one yet).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judy. This whole situation has given us so many life lessons.

      I love the reasons you run and for me having that sense of achievement is a huge one. Running distances I never even imagined was possible and realising that, wow, I did that!

      Good luck with those virtual races! And yes, sign up for the one with the mug!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. High 5 for a strong first half of 2020! I’m excited to see what the 2nd half of the year will bring you. This isn’t a *bad* year, it’s just some unexpected things happened so we had to change our goals. Good luck on sub 60!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And I think you are spot on with what you’ve said. The biggest test this year has been seeing how we adapt and restrategise or refocus. We are so used to things going as planned that maybe this was a test that was needed. I’m really looking forward to that sub-60 attempt!


  6. You’ve been riding such an amazing train, I can’t wait to see what’s next in your list of achievements. That 5K, though…pure sweetness 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am impressed with how focused you have been! Sounds like you are really getting a lot out of this new running program you are doing. I also find it difficult to run more every other day. Keep on!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You have done SO WELL in these challenging times – I’m very impressed! I have been managing 4-5 runs per week but keeping them short, I couldn’t do that plan. But what a wonderful 5k time, you must be so chuffed!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s amazing to see all you have accomplished this year even with the lockdown and no real races to do! Its great that you keep taking on different goals. I love that quote “Nothing is so bad, it’s not good for something!” And your words for the year are very fitting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s one of my favourite quotes of all I time. I find myself repeating that every time I get into a difficult situation. Thank you Lisa – it’s been quite a roller coaster year, but how amazing and supportive this online running community has been. I think that has really contributed to all of us changing goals and still running in some way!


  10. You are doing so amazing!

    You’re right – there are a lot of good things to come out of lockdown. A lot of bad, too, but we can focus on the good.

    I’m doing the Best Damn Race Florida Virtual Challenge, and the Hadrian’s Wall Challenge, to keep me motivated and moving. Both are going great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We can focus on the good, otherwise, it would be such a struggle to get through the days. So excited for your challenges and can’t wait to see you crush those goals!! So proud of how far you’ve come from where you were a few months ago.


  11. It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through the year! You’ve really done a lot to have a positive outlook and make up for having to lockdown. You have a wonderful attitude about it all and let’s see what the second half of the year holds (hopefully better things).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love your positive attitude! You’ve had a great 6 months and I loved following along. I am so excited for you to crush your 10k goal. I have a very old PR and would love to one day get under an hour too.


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