The other day I realised some of you might be asking yourselves: 'Why is this random student suddenly writing about running?'
So, today's post is all about me, me, me - the author of this blog and my goals I work towards everyday (in running, that is.)
That is why I want to reflect on my year of running 2019 so far and also let you get to know me better and what my blog is trying to achieve. And maybe in the process I can inspire some of you.
We don't usually do sports without a competitive drive, so what is my WHY?
'We’re the creators of our own experience – remembering this, and living our lives from this perspective empowers us.' – Mike Robbins
I strongly believe life should have a purpose. Something that makes you get up in the morning and takes you out of your comfort zone. Living an ordinary, comfortable day the whole year round does not challenge your character or give you perspective on what's important.
For me, the WHY of my life has changed many times. It used to be horse riding, then making music, then rowing for a little while and now I am sure I have found a sustainable alternative - running. Do I like going outside when I'm already in my warm slippers? Not always. Do I enjoy having tight leg muscles and stinging headaches after a race? Not really. But still, I keep coming back and running more and more. Why is that?
As I have mentioned before, we are hard-wired to want to run! We are the Olympians of the animal kingdom when it comes to long-distances. No one can outrun us.
Running is painful, it takes effort. Pushing for anything in running, whether it is a certain PB time or distance will absolutely destroy your will to live for a few minutes or hours. But then why do we see millions of people a year lining up on the start line of running races all over the world? Because in between those 2 to 4 to 60 hours, they are experiencing raw living - body against human will. And it is a beautiful thing. No materialistic thing will make you feel so fulfilled.
That why I am writing this blog, to try and motivate the desire in you to focus on something that really challenges you.
Let's look at my plans for my upcoming running journey!
1. Run the 15-Mile Illuminator Race (26th of October 2019)
This race is more of a training run for me, but with a very great added bonus - it is dark! For this one I will have to strap my head torch on and run through the forests in the deep of night. The race starts at around 6pm and I am aiming to finish in 3 hours, but it might take me longer or less time, depending on my daily form. I just cannot wait to experience the feeling of running through the cold night with only the sound of my feet running on the damp ground!
2. Run the Wooler Ultra-Marathon (16th of November 2019)
This bad boy is my WHY for this year. If I can finish this race of 45.6 km length with 1848 metres of climbing with intact legs, I will be a very happy human. The race is set in the heart of the Northumberland National Park and will be testing my mental and physical endurance like never before. I will be running the race with my boyfriend and his brother, who completed this race in 7:20:00 the year prior. Am I terrified of messing this up? 100%, but if my boyfriend's brother voluntarily comes back for a second try, how bad can it really be? The hardest part about this race is forcing yourself to do the long-distance oriented training plan. So far, I have not been following the recommended 20-mile runs on a Sunday, but as the race draws closer I will be increasing my mileage without any hesitation!
I know that if I cross that finish line, it will make for one hell of a race report on my blog. And if the medal and buff you get isn't motivation enough, fishing my first marathon ever surely is.
3. Run the Faroe Islands Mountain Marathon (5th of September 2020)
Anyone who knows me knows I love Iceland! Naturally, the next progression from that must be a running and exploring visit to the Faroe Islands. It is a self-governed part of Denmark consisting of 18 sharp, pointy and very few flat islands.
Named one of the '50 Best Trail Races In the World', the Átjan Wild Islands Festival offers 500 lucky runners the opportunity to race on this rugged, beautiful part of our earth.
I will be one of the few lucky individuals who will fly to Tórshavn next year and run 42.2 km over an elevation gain of 2800 metres! This will without a doubt be the hardest thing I have ever done.
If you watch this promotional video from last year, you will understand why I am counting down the days until I am on that plane. The sheer beauty of those views and ridge lines will make the pain of that distance go away!
4. Run 2000 km in 2020!
1000 km - For many people this distance probably does not sound very impressive. It doesn't even come close to what I want to achieve next year, but it is a great start for 2019. I only properly started longer-distance running around April , so I hope to run over double that distance next year. It's crazy how running 100 hours in just over half a year can make you feel like a really active athlete and then you realise for some people this is only the duration of two races. What a humbling thought!
Strava has been a fantastic tool in monitoring my average running time and also a great way to connect and interact with like-minded people. It's sort of the Instagram for exercise-enthusiastic people. If you want to see cool little maps of where you have been, definitely check out the app!
I hope this post let you know what I am trying to achieve in the future and why running (or having a strong drive) is so important to me. Maybe you got inspired to pursue something that you haven't thought about for a while because you're scared of failure.
I might fail at accomplishing any of my four plans because the human body is so unpredictable, but I sure will push through whatever life is trying to throw at me.
Thank you for reading!
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