Fitness, Health, Miscarriage

RED January 2022 Review

Well RED January is over again. Last year was the first time that I participated in an effort like that, I did some in 2020 but not officially and didn’t run every day. I quite wanted to look back and reflect on how I coped and what I achieved.

My efforts

1 Jan 20226.21km36m 12sShorts and tee shirt!
2 Jan 20223.86km20m 38sShort and sweet
3 Jan 202210.64km1h 02m 41sMaking the best of the last day of holiday
4 Jan 20223.29km18m 17sLocal loop, down the hill of doom
5 Jan 20225.11km29m 41sRemnants of overnight snow
6 Jan 20223.29km18m 44sCold gaps between leggings and socks
7 Jan 202214.44km1h 45m 44sUp the massive hill, didn’t get too lost on a new route
8 Jan 20223.66km20m 16sFeeling lazy
9 Jan 20225.79km31m 06sSpeeeedy down the hills
10 Jan 20224.01km23m 51sNice and gentle
11 Jan 20225.13km30m 25sIn the dark, heavy legs
12 Jan 20223.85km22.17Chilly chilly, but beautiful
13 Jan 20224.44km26m 47sVery cold again
14 Jan 202218.01km1h 51m 32sFoggy but cleared up to be a lovely run
15 Jan 20224.04km22m 22slocal loop
16 Jan 20226.16km32m 43sDamp baptism for new shoes
17 Jan 20224.04km22m 23sWith a little hill sprint
18 Jan 20226.06km38m 39sStunning skies
19 Jan 20225.19km31m 05sBig distance month in sight
20 Jan 20225.03km31m 54sVery slippery under foot
21 Jan 202219.26km1h 53m 51s10miles without stops, PB
22 Jan 20225.77km29m 45sZoomies
23 Jan 20226.27km33m 53sRewarded with cheesecake made by large boy
24 Jan 20225.55km30m 02sAbsolutely freezing, bitterly cold
25 Jan 20225.38km29m 57sTime to retire some old shoes
26 Jan 20225.16km30m 30sLove where I live
27 Jan 20225.01km28m 57sProbably shouldn’t have sprinted up that hill
28 Jan 202223.06km2h 19m 27sRemembering boy3, PBs for HM and 20km.
29 Jan 20225.17km27m 32sNot much of a recovery run
30 Jan 20225.10km26m 44sOut and back, quick again
31 Jan 20225.52km31h 37mSnowdrops!
TOTAL224.9km23h 55m
Distance challenge completed on Jan 29th 2022

How it felt

I’d been running regularly all through December, even making it out on Christmas day and up my local big hill. Then a long 25km bike ride too for good measure. So I came into January pretty active and up for lots of exercise.

The first couple of weeks were fine, I didn’t push hard as I knew it might be a long haul and I didn’t want to get too tired at the beginning. I intended to do 5km a couple of times a week and 3.5km for the rest, except for longer runs on Fridays.

By the start week three I was really getting into my stride, feeling good and strong legs. I realised I’d already covered almost 100km and might tot up 200km by the end of the month if I kept going.

Last year I hit 100km on the 29th of January, so 200km was looking like a fantastic achievement to aim for.

I’d always planned to run a half marathon on the last Friday of the month, to mark the third anniversary of losing baby boy3. I planned out a new route and made sure I was doing 16km or more on the Friday runs to guarantee I’d cope with the distance. I was really enjoying those long runs and that HM was an absolute joy.

I doubted my direction about halfway through and had to check my map, then thought I was going to have to run along a 60mph road for a bit, but the path reappeared and it was all fine. When I turned to take the east route home and avoid the Hill of Doom, I realised I was on 20.8km and just had a few hundred metres to go. So I stepped up the pace and then had to speed up some more to move between a horse and rider in one direction and walkers in the other. By the time the HM distance ticked over I was doing a 4m30/km pace – not for long, but I was amazed I still had that in me after that distance. I eventually arrived home just over 23km, my longest ever run. Checking my Garmin time, I found a 2h05m51s PB for my half marathon.

A year ago, my goal was a 2h30m half marathon for my 40th. Now I want to target 2 hours!

What I learned

I knew from last year that I possess secret depths of determination that come on when I decide to run. When I’m out on the road on a long run and its 3km home and I’m tired, I don’t stop – or not for long, just a drink of water and a pause to catch my breath before carrying on. I’ve never yet needed to phone himself and ask him to pick me up because I’m too tired or in pain, but then I haven’t fallen and hurt myself badly either. I actually fall prey to the temptation to pause on shorter runs much more frequently than long ones. I think I’m built for longer distances, both physically and mentally.

Running every day takes a different sort of determination though, it’s more a dedication to a plan, creation of a habit. I’ve had to be organised, had to plan new routes, had to get myself ready for a run well before setting out so I can squeeze it between meetings and then be brazen enough to sit in video calls red-faced and sweating, and had to be disgusting enough to wait for a shower until work’s done for the day.

So those 224km aren’t just down to me and my legs, himself and the boys get to take some credit too. They’ve supported me logistically and large boy has rewarded me with his own chocolate on occasion! He has previously unknown generosity for someone succeeding in a challenge he wouldn’t even consider.

What’s next?

Well my habit was so well formed that I didn’t do a good job of stopping and ran on 1st February as well – making it a 32 day streak, only 8 days short of my long sequence last summer. However, then himself got a positive COVID test and large boy brought the cold from hell home from school, generously sharing it with me. So between extra chaos of being the only adult allowed to leave the house and now feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus, running is taking a back seat just now.

I know it’s only temporary though, I’ll get back out there next week I hope.

Love from Smell xxx

9 thoughts on “RED January 2022 Review”

  1. I love your little comments after each run! Some of these made me giggle. Congratulations on surpassing your goal. How did you get started with running? I really want to get into it but find it so tough. Would you recommend an app like couch to 5k?
    Hope you all feel better soon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started with couch 2 5km in autumn 2019. Initially on the treadmill but I hated it and fell off the program by just going outside and running 2-3km a few times a week. At the end of Jan 2020 I did my first 5km and I’ve never looked back. My husband has done couch 2 5km purely on the treadmill and is sticking with that as it suits him. Do however much you like, where you like, find your place and your pace and enjoy!


  2. I really love that you discovered secret levels of determination (this is such a great way to explain something like this). It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we try out something or do something new/push ourselves a bit. Congratulations on 224km!

    Liked by 1 person

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