I’m sharing MiO in my life as part of a sponsored series for Socialstars™
Have you heard of Alison Desir?
She recently led a group of awesome runners in a Run for Planned Parenthood from Harlem to DC for the Million Women March.
Whilst her epic 240 mile relay run and the subsequent $100K+ fundraising success are very very impressive, the most inspiring aspect to Alison’s story is her Harlem run club. I had to pleasure to hear her talk in Boston around the Marathon weekend in April, and hearing about her experience of starting a run club was one of the most heartbreaking yet heartwarming tales.
I blogged back in November about how disappointed and embarrassed I was that Zoe and I had organised a NYC marathon brunch…and two people showed up (read about it here). I literally felt like Alison had given me a big hug and push forward when she admitted that her run club, Harlem Run, that now attracts up to 150 people each week, started as just her. For months and months, she was the only one to show up. And yet she continued, just incase someone turned up…and eventually they did.
She didn’t give up. She kept showing up on a Wednesday night, in the spot she said she’d be until it worked.
I don’t think I could be so strong, but her message that marathon weekend, that you have to keep going, work hard and hope that it pays off, has stuck with me.
My marathon journey so far has been full of ups and downs, from my first London Marathon (4.54), to my Berlin PR (3.49), my failed BQ attempt in Chicago (4.10), to the smart race but failed PR attempt in Boston (3.59). The marathon can eat you up and spit you out, it can make you question your entire training cycle, your strength and your sanity, but the rewards are so so worth it.
And I’m not giving up on the BQ dream.
I’m struggling with the idea of shedding for the wedding and was so touched by all of your comments and support. Sitting down and writing about my feelings towards losing weight for our big day forced me to remind myself of when I have felt strongest, most confident and happiest…and it’s when I’m marathon training.
Can you see where this is heading??
I’m running the Richmond, VA marathon in November!!
Voted America’s friendliest marathon, the race is long enough after our wedding (and honeymoon!) that it won’t take over but it’s close enough that I’ll start training properly very soon and so I’ll feel like I have a legit goal that I’m willing to work my ass off for that isn’t just about aesthetics.
The idea of not giving up goes further for me than just the BIG goals, it’s about the small, daily challenges too.
Like not giving up halfway through that hard speed workout when things get tough. Not giving up on your plan to choose healthier foods, or foam rolling, or prioritising your sleep. Going to the gym to complete your strength workouts rather than just prioritising your runs and letting your cross training fall to the wayside. It’s about not giving up on the little things, to make the big things feel less scary and more achievable.
I’m excited to have partnered with MiO liquid water enhancer to help me not give up, to continue working towards my marathon running goals and to share my return to training over the next few months. MiO is a bit like squash, you add it to water to give it some flavour and get a double whammy of 30mg sodium in their Original version and 75mg in the Electrolyte version so they’re a great choice during/post workout. The name literally translates from Spanish to ‘mine’ meaning you can personalise your water with their range of flavours (or even mix and match).
I drink a lot of water on a daily basis, so find it fun to add a little flavour without any calories to some of my drinks, whilst those of you who struggle to drink enough H2O during the day may find this little hit of flavour is enough to encourage you to drink a little more!
Here’s some MiO motivation to help stop you from quitting…
- Remind yourself WHY you’re doing it. What’s your motivation to achieve your goal? Whether it’s to prove something to yourself, to others, in memory of someone or for your own wellbeing, taking the time to think about the why can help push you forward.
- Have an accountability buddy, a friend, running partner, parent or significant other that will help keep you on track. Someone you don’t want to let down or wouldn’t want to admit that you hadn’t given it your all.
- Give yourself mini rewards – like a new pair of running shoes, a workout top, a fancy brunch or even a mini reward like letting yourself have a glug of your MiO flavoured water after completing a certain number of speedwork reps.
- Maintain a positive mental attitude. Even though it didn’t go to plan, during the Boston marathon I kept repeating ‘today is a good day for a PR’ over and over in my head. I didn’t reach my goal but I also didn’t stop trying to reach it. I am proud for giving it my all and running a smart race in the heat that day.
- Keep your energy up by scheduling regular rest days, having some proper days off, sleeping well and trying not to feel overwhelmed by the challenge. (If you need a little pick me up you could always add some MiO energy to some water for a caffeine hit ?)
- Find someone who inspires you. When I’m lacking motivation I turn to other running bloggers, read athlete’s autobiographies, or read about those who have overcome adversity to achieve their goals – it’s usually enough to get me to lace up my shoes and head out the door.
- Mix things up, if you’re training to run a marathon and need a break from the road, give a trail run a go, or even add some cross training like cycling, swimming or a weights session in there to add some variety.
- Embrace the challenge – if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it! Use the journey to your goal as an opportunity to grow, to develop and to improve.
Check out my marathon announcement vlog and my first week of training video here:
Is there anything you have given up on that you regret? What’s your current ‘will not give up’ project?
Photos by Anna Jackson. This post is sponsored by MiO.