On The Run · Review

22 Questions for 2022 | Q&A – Part 1

Last year, I summed up my year with 21 questions, so I’ve decided to do the same for 2022, this time using 22 questions, of course! In Part 1, I answer the first eleven which look at how my year started, my achievements, my challenges, runners who inspired me, and my ‘Medal of the Year’ to name a few things! As you can see, there is a lot to talk about so let’s get started!

1/ How did your year start? When 2022 started, I was in the middle of training for an ultra-trail marathon to take place in March in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It was such a difficult training cycle for me, and I remember being so disappointed that most of my runs just didn’t feel great. Not only that, but I wasn’t enjoying running any more. In this blog, I expressed that given my lack of enjoyment, I was choosing to put in the time, effort, sacrifice and sweat to achieve this ambitious goal. But it took travelling to Ghana in late January for me to emotionally connect with running again – as I explored Senchi and Atimpoku, I experienced a shift in mindset and knew I had two main options, that I could sulk my way to Addo or enjoy the process and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This mindset shift was exactly what I needed.

2/ What other challenges did you encounter during the year? I got Covid-19 three weeks before my ultra. Thankfully, it was a mild variant, and I was back in training a week later. Also, the lack of motivation I experienced at the start of the year came back after running my ultra-trail marathon and was something I had to work on throughout the year.

3/ What were some of your running achievements? This question was initially hard to answer as I feel my lack of motivation and significant drop in running performance clouds everything – I’m slower than I’ve been in years, there have been no personal bests, I’ve run fewer kilometres than ever before, and my VO2 max has plummeted. BUT… I did run an ultra-trail marathon in the mountains of the Eastern Cape in South Africa which was an incredible achievement. I also participated in 15 races between March and December. And I ran in 11 new places in four different countries – Botswana, South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania.

4/ What did you most enjoy about the year? The fact that races returned! Nothing beats that race atmosphere and it’s something that motivates me. I’m glad I travelled outside Gaborone for some of them – Addo, Kanye, and Phikwe. I also enjoyed exploring new places – I will never forget how it felt running to the Adomi Bridge in Ghana or hiking in Pugu Hills in Tanzania.

I also reached out to more runners to share their stories and enjoyed the process of working with them. It was so pleasing to see how their stories inspired so many people. Plus, I love that they are from five different countries – Kenya, Singapore, Wales, South Africa and Botswana!

5/ What are you most proud of this year? That I completed an ultra-trail marathon after an incredibly taxing mental and physical training cycle; that I ran a strong Half Marathon in Phikwe; that I was brave enough to explore so many places on my own even in foreign countries – this isn’t always easy, but I did it; and that each time I stumbled or fell, I came back.

6) What was your favourite running route in Gaborone? I mostly ran close to home in Marapoathutlwa – if you run around the whole neighbourhood, it’s about 8km, but within that perimeter there are countless routes, so you never actually have to leave the neighbourhood, especially as many of the roads are relatively quiet and safe with a wide shoulder. But this year I also ran a lot more in central Gaborone. Although I don’t like how busy it gets, I do love the feeling of running through the Main Mall with all its great photo opportunities!

7) What was your favourite new piece of running gear? This has to be my new Brooks Adrenaline 22 shoes from my brother-in-law Gorata.

8/ What are you thankful for this year? That things started to feel normal – we stopped wearing masks in August (outside) and September (inside); also, all other restrictions were removed around then; and I felt the worst was over. We had survived the pandemic.

9/ Which runner(s) inspired you? So many! But if I’m to narrow it down, I’ll say Myfanwy, Khanyisa and Tshireletso. Myfanwy had an extraordinary year running over 2,500km but what inspired me was she just kept showing up, no matter what. Khanyisa shared her endometriosis story in March when I named her my Woman of the Year – but what I never shared is a few months later, she summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. And finally, Tshireletso who ran Comrades, the world’s oldest road ultra-marathon (90km) in nine hours. She sacrificed a lot during training but her fighting spirit shone throughout.

10/ What was your favourite race? Of the 15 I did, I would say – the Phikwe Half Marathon is where I felt my best; the route was amazing; and I just loved ticking this race off my bucket-list.

11/ What is your “Medal of the Year”? This was a hard pick – I shortlisted the 15 down to six – UB, Boitekanelo, Spar Women’s Challenge, Spar Community Series, Addo and BDF. Then I got help from Facebook – the votes produced a clear Top Three: BDF, Addo and Spar Women’s Challenge. Thank you to all who voted! In the end, I went with the People’s Choice and one that won my heart from Day 1 – creative, bold… and PINK, this is our Medal of the Year for 2022!

How was YOUR year of running? What are you most proud of? What was your biggest challenge? Which runner inspired you? What was your favourite medal?

Iā€™m joining Kooky Runner and Zenaida on their link up, Tuesday Topics. Be sure to read their blogs and catch up with other runners from around the world.

17 thoughts on “22 Questions for 2022 | Q&A – Part 1

  1. This was a great idea for a post… it really sums up your year in a nutshell… and you really had so many accomplishments and experiences.

    I agree that the return to racing is the best… all around for running, and people seeing people.

    I laugh because my greatest achievement was not getting sick all year… it seems that few people can say that. I credit being outdoors and running for that… or maybe I have a super immune system… knock on wood.

    Hopefully we both have a successful and healthy 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was so desperate for races to return and had almost given up and then all of a sudden, all these races were announced!

      So few people can say they didn’t get sick so that is a great achievement! You must be doing something right!

      Can’t wait to see all you achieve in 2023 – you are such an inspiration.

      Like

  2. I’m so proud of you and the year you had! YOU made it through some tough training cycles, challenging races, hot weather conditions, AND, you got your self out of a running slump (twice, right?). “unslumping” oneself is tough and it’s such a personal thing…no two runners will experience it the same way, nor will any of our “unslumping methods” be foolproof on others. So, congrats on a great 2022 šŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A great 2022!
    Exploring new places on your own in a foreign country can be quite daunting, but you did it! Iā€™m not sure I would have managed to muster up the courage ā€“ well done!!
    Iā€™m excited to see where 2023 will take you. Do you have any more ultras planned?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.