We always push ourselves so hard in every aspect of life without stopping enough to check in with ourselves – I know I do. I started 2018, optimistic about my exciting challenge to Run Europe; barely into Spring, busy work, fighting illness, run down and exhausted – I was full of doubt. Training was behind, and I questioned if I really could Run the World? Is it viable whilst working full time, even with an extended summer break? How can I find time to train, plan the logistics and Run across Europe this year, around work and responsibilities as a Mum, Step Mum and Granny? I needed to press pause, check in and then press reboot.
I decided to do this by fasting in a German Clinic, minimising travel from work and allowing my body to heal itself and give my mind time to figure out how I could actually achieve my ambition. I was worried on Day 1 as the doctor informed me he disagreed with marathon running, it killed people and he did not support my running ambitions!
For 9 days I have simplified my life and given myself time. It’s been challenging and emotional. The journey is about my evolution of which Run Europe is a part. I’ve confronted deep thoughts and fears to find out if I will be mentally strong enough to cope when I’m running alone for 6wks across Europe. Mornings have started at 5.30am with a little morning yoga then running in the fresh air and birdsong filled forests of Bad Pyrmont at dawn. Herbal tea and a tiny pot of honey for breakfast, and then I’ve focused on flexibility. My aim was to develop simple timed routines combining the best of what I know: rollers, fascia training, Chi Running, yoga – especially breathing, bars and rowing. I’ve developed my own personalised routines that prioritise breathing before running, and make flexibility an essential part of my day as well as planning in strength training. My goal is for running to be as effortless as possible, flowing from run to work to life rather than competing with each other creating stress. I’ve had treatment to correct long standing issues in my neck, back, pelvis and foot from car and bike accidents and surgery which have helped hugely.
After a light vegetable broth at lunch, afternoon discussions and personal work has focused on digestion, nutrients, hypnosis and mental health. I’ve refined my techniques and routines to maintain a healthy mind and body. Consistently eating healthily whilst travelling is hard but I’m confident in my new approach, it includes a cunning plan to cook simple healthy meals in no time at all, whilst at work!
It was fabulous to hear from the previously admonishing doc, telling me that from the evidence he saw there was no reason I shouldn’t be Running the World – mentally and physically I’m suited to this ! I’ve done a lot of soul searching though as this is a massive commitment, but by pressing pause and re-booting I now know not only that Run Europe is the right thing for me to do, but how I’m going to do it. I have created a holistic approach to life, which includes my training. This is very different to having a training plan continually competing for time and I believe it will help me to maintain a healthy, stress free body and mind.
Run Europe route is finalised, totalling 1300km from its start in Schiphol, Netherlands to the completion in Riga, Latvia. Having run across Netherlands I will pick back up in Germany, running north to Hanover. I will then continue to run solo to the Polish border, through Poland into the Russian state of Kalingrad. From this Russian outpost I will continue through Lithuania into Latvia along the Baltic Coast, finally finishing in Riga in early September.
A special thanks for all the support and patience from the team at Yorkshire Runner, Otley for believing in my dream, without their support and that of Ron Hill clothing and Altra shoes I wouldn’t be able to do this.
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Enjoy your weekend,
A revised and rejuvenated Granny Tish