I am aware that my blog has been a little barren of late. This lack of blogging was principally because November left me with no time to run as a result of family “issues”. During that time I swung between thinking “I really need to go for a run”, to “running’s not really that important in the scheme of things” to “actually, I could quite get used to this inactivity”.
Then, when I had the opportunity to step out the door again, I struggled to find any motivation. And then on 30 November I read an article in The Guardian about Advent Running and it was just what I needed to give me a kick up the whatsit!
Advent Running was founded a few years’ ago by James Poole and Claudia Shroegel as a fitness challenge to counteract the inactivity which December can bring with shorter days, awful weather conditions and Christmas festivities. It has mushroomed from a challenge for friends to becoming a global, primarily social media based, platform. Basically participants have to aim to be active for at least 30 minutes a day, every day from 1 to 25 December. It doesn’t have to be run based, it can be swimming, cycling, yoga, dance etc.
Additionally, Advent Running is a challenge, not a competition. You don’t have to log your endeavours anywhere (unless you want to) and you don’t get “punished” if you don’t manage to complete a day’s activity.
So, 1 December came (it was after all only the next day!), I laced up my trainers, stepped outside the front door and went for a run. In fact, for the first time ever, I ran around my home village – I’d never realised it was quite so hilly! I loved it so much I went out again the next day but went off in a different direction. How come the walks to school (both primary and secondary) seemed so long but when you’ve got one eye on your Garmin, they’re actually very short!
The support on social media from other Advent Runners is astounding – my posts have never had so many “likes”! There is a definite sense of we’re all in this together, with complete strangers congratulating or commiserating with each other, and the pictures and back stories are so inspiring.
And Advent Running has not just lead to me running in my home village. Another first was when I went for a solo run after dark! Obviously I kept to well lit roads and a route I knew like the back of my hand but I have to say, I really enjoyed the experience – especially as the dark meant nobody could see my red face!
We’re currently on day 17 and although I have to admit that the first weekend proved a bit tricky timing wise, I’ve managed to do some form of activity each day. Oh, no, I lie! I didn’t manage to do anything on day 15 because I was too busy making a crown (as you do) but to make up for it on day 16, I did a 7k run in the morning and then a 35 min walk in the evening.
(my masterpiece crown – as yet unfinished – and no, it’s not “Frozen” inspired, I came up with the idea all on my own!)
And there’s another first, I have never gone for a walk in my local area – running around it is enough. But I decided to use this as an opportunity to wear in my new trainers and having posted my Christmas cards, I went off for a stroll along the roads I’d run along in the morning. Only this time I had the opportunity to admire the Christmas lights (apart from one house which had gone completely over the top – thank goodness I don’t live opposite them – light pollution or what!).
Obviously day 25 is getting closer and there is a worry that this renewed vigour may dissipate along with the mince pies and turkey. In the last two years, I’ve had Jantastic to get me motivated in the New Year but unfortunately this year that initiative is taking a break, so what am I going to do? I thought I could try Janathon, another activity based challenge which runs through the whole of January, but I can’t seem to find anything about that either so perhaps they’re taking a break too. I shall keep my eyes open but perhaps I could do my own thing! After all, it’s not rocket science!
In the meantime, Day 17 is still outstanding and I need to get my trainers on and go for a run with my running group 🙂