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 🙂
- Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Active During A Lockdown
- Why You Should Start Planking This Lockdown
- What I Miss Most About Outdoor Running
- How The Un-Canceled Project Kept Me Positive During Lockdown
- 10 Ways To OUTRUN Your Excuses
- Running Towards 40 (Update 1)
- 7 Key Benefits of Running Solo
- Embracing Life with The Un-Canceled Project 2
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.