Back in the summer of 2014 I began running. Not just jogging round the park for fun, but actual “proper” running to help manage depression and anxiety and give my brain some down time. I got myself the C25K app and I began to train. I signed up for my first (and so far only) Obstacle Course Race over a distance of 5K in the September to give myself a target. Then I did something a bit crazy and signed up for a half marathon in Stockholm 1 year later in September of this year. I had no idea the journey I was about to go on.
With a big goal in my future I knew I had to stayed focused on it to have any chance of completing the 13.1 miles. Most other fitness activities such as some body-weight training I had been doing, stopped. Any time I could carve out of my days and weeks was devoted to running. I decided I would start my training in February and that I wanted to be able to run 10 miles by the end of June. 3 miles was easy, I’d already completed that distance with the C25K app. 4 miles didn’t seem too much after that. There was a mental block though going from 4-6 miles. On one of my longer runs, a beautiful day in Spring, I had the worst run I’ve ever had. I barely managed two miles before some abdominal pain stopped me. I tried to walk it off. 1 mile later it still hurt to run. Another mile came and went as I walked my way home. I was not a happy bunny to be walking up my pathway after what I had hoped would be a breakthrough run. I began to question what I was doing and was it really worth it? I projected myself forward to the day in September when I would have to run more than double the distance I’d just attempted and I knew I had to carry on.
I continued to focus on covering the distance and sure enough, by the end of June I’d completed my first 10 mile run and then in early July I did my first 10k race. Keeping my longer term goals in mind and working towards them with focus and my “blinkers on” really meant that nothing else got in the way.
When I began the training plan, I found a 12 week plan online. Knowing that due to childcare and working times I wouldn’t be able to complete the 4 runs a week required of the plan, I gave myself 8 months to complete the plan. I also knew that most of July wouldn’t be a training month. I determined the days I could run and how far I needed to go each week to hit my goals, firstly the 10 miles in June and then to do 13 miles in mid-August.
After my first “bad” run in the Spring, I had to dig deep the next week to go back out on my longer run and still cover the miles. A change in route helped me stick with it and push through the mental block to hit the 6 mile stage. This felt momentous. It was the furthest I had ever run. Head down, and carry on.
Goal setting and getting
I didn’t realise it at the time, but deciding my goals and being specific about them, keeping them front and centre of my mind, setting signposts along the way and knowing what I wanted to achieve at the end of it, were perfect practice for my business and the life of an entrepreneur. I learnt that I may hit bumps in the road and I will undoubtedly have to change the plan but if I keep the goal in mind, I will achieve it. I have a route map of how to achieve anything and I have the experience to know I can get it.
Hard Work pays off
September 12th 2015 saw me complete my goal of running a half marathon. Not only have I learnt valuable lessons in achieving my goals, but I’m fitter, mentally, physically and emotionally than I have ever been. I can recognise in myself the twitchiness and problems managing emotions if I don’t run regularly. I am more focussed and clearer on goals in my life across the board and I know the self-development journey I went on with running fortifies me for the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, not to mention the compassion and skill-set I can use to help others achieve their goals and ambitions.
If you think you can do a thing, or you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. – Henry Ford.