One of my 2017 goals was to get back in shape. I’ve always been working out but after my second baby, my weight had climbed to completely new heights. I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes and I felt uncomfortable in my body. The worst part was that I felt weak, and low on stamina. I wanted to get my strength and energy back.

The first three months I started to log my food intake and run twice a week in the morning. The runs were short, around 30 minutes in which time I managed maybe 3.5 km (2 miles). After three months I couldn’t see much progress. I decided to set some proper, big goals, and get on a program.

I’d signed up for a half marathon twice before in my life, but never actually ran it. I decided it was time to finally do it. In May I signed up for the Bristol Half Marathon, downloaded a training program and started to run a whole lot more. My aim has been to run three times a week in the morning, 30 minutes at a time, and a long run on a Saturday morning.

Yup, I’ve been getting up at 6am to run around the park while everyone else sleeps. I have been skipping my Friday glass of wine and going to be at 10pm so that I have the energy to run a 10K on a Saturday morning. I didn’t think I had it in me, but I’ve enjoyed it.

I’m not just jogging, I’m in training. Yeah, baby!

And just look at how beautiful the park is at 6.30am.

***

Today was a long run day. I ran for 90 minutes and almost 12 km. That’s the longest I have ever ran in my entire life.

Most of the time it was chucking it down with rain. My old foot injury was coming back. It hurt. But I was feeling wonderful. Invincible.

For the first time since my second baby I’m starting to feel like this when I run. Strong! Like I could run for however long I wanted. It’s a wonderful feeling. My legs can take it, and my lungs can take it. I find the right pace and I feel like I could just go on and on.

When I finished I felt completely the opposite. My stomach hurt. My legs were jelly. I could barely step on my bad foot. I felt sick.

After I had a re-hydrating drink, a shower, lunch and a nap, I started to feel better. But for the rest of the day I’ve been feeling tired, constantly thirsty and a little head-achey. I can’t wait to go to bed. (Is 9pm too early?)

It’s seven weeks until the half-marathon and I’m terrified. In those 7 weeks I will need to build myself up to be able to run almost twice as long as I did today. I don’t know if I can do it.

I’m also questioning whether this personal challenge is worth it at this moment. I have a lot on my plate right now, and having a health goal this straining and exhausting feels like a lot to add on top of everything. Maybe I should reconsider the sanity of this task.

But of course I’m not giving up to this little voice in my head. I was feeling strong, like I could go on forever, I want more of that! Giving up is not going to get me any more of that.

That’s how a good goal works. It motivates. It keeps me going. It reminds me why I go out with a sore foot when it’s raining cats and dogs. Every run is a win. Even a bad one will make me stronger.