First guest blog from a fellow challenge taker!

Well as usual in the Reader household this week's hasn't gone to plan. After an exhausting weekend and a high needs toddler I did manage to achieve planning our races for next year and getting in touch with those race organisers who hadn't yet released their dates to see if they could tell me them.....amazing when you explain what you're doing the support you get!! So far none of the dates have clashed, the biggest challenge will be staying fit through May when we'll be racing every weekend 😱

Paperwork mess.JPG

So last week I wanted to be accountable for my actions. I did manage some sleep and I planned our races out so I count that as 2. Next week I have to tick off at least one more!!

 I have some amazing people in my life who are all striving for different goals. I want to introduce my first guest blog this week, Emma is the sister of a very good friend of mine and this year she is completing her own 100 mile challenge. Here is her challenge and blog for this week:

Hi. So I’m Emma (yes, another one). Wife to Pete, Mum of four, Principal Scientist and I run my own Health and Wellness Company – one busy lady you could say!

You know the saying, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’? Well, this is pretty much my mantra. When life throws you something you didn’t ask for, turn it into something useful, find the positive and turn it into your advantage. There are so many things in life we can’t control, so why worry about them.  I suppose you could say I am a ‘glass always half full’ person

This wasn’t always the case for me though. If we go back a few years, having just increased our family by 2 unexpectedly overnight (a long story), I was struggling, riddled with anxiety, running myself ragged looking after our family of 6. Looking back, I think I was in shock, unable to process the reality of what had happened, the additional young people to care for, the enormous impact upon our families live. Yet I had to continue with the day to day living, holding down my scientist job and caring for my family. I was riddled with worry, I wasn’t the ‘glass half full person’ I was the ‘why us? glass half empty’ lady, and I certainly wasn’t enjoying my life.

During this period, I think my husband and I lost ourselves. We forgot who we were, consumed with this ‘event’ that had happened to us, stuck in ‘ground hog’ day. We weren’t living, we were just surviving, focusing all our energies on caring for everyone else and ‘just getting through the day’.

Then one day I woke up,  fed up of it all, tired of surviving, tired of being the victim. From that moment on, I decided to take control of my life. Yes, things had happened which I couldn’t control, but I COULD control how I reacted to them, how I thought about them. I took a long hard look at myself. I decided what I did and didn’t like about my life, what I wanted to change, and set to it. What kind of person did I want to be? This resulted in starting my own business. Something that was mine and would create a residual income for my family, but on my terms. So, with a little bit of courage, I jumped straight in. Having your own business goes hand in hand with personal development, and I have taken much time to develop myself over the past few years, working on a positive mindset, visualising my goals. I find I am more productive when I have a goal to work towards. Goal setting has revolutionised both my family life and my business.  

One other big change I have made is to prioritise myself. This may sound selfish to some, but we all need to look after ourselves as our main priority. Think about air travel. During the safety briefing on a plane, we are always told that in the event of the cabin losing pressure, oxygen masks will appear in front of you. Parents/carers are told to place theirs on first, before assisting their children. This is because if you don’t attend to yourself first, you will lose consciousness, and if you are unconscious, how can you help others? The same principal applies to self-care.

During the past few years, I have blossomed. My anxiety has vanished, I am loving my life again with my family. A few minutes of work every day on myself and my business is reaping its rewards. Nothing gives me more pleasure than helping other to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle, just by a few simple changes to diet and activity. Never underestimate the positive impact a healthy lifestyle has on others.

I truly believe with determination, and hard work, anybody can achieve what they want. Life is for living. I challenge everyone to follow their dreams, and life their best life. Who doesn’t want to live as the best version of themselves?

For this 100 mile challenge, I have pledged to run/walk 100 miles in organised events. All of these (except one which isn't open for entrants yet) have been booked. The 100 miles will be completed through the following runs:

  • Cambridge half Marathon - 03/03/2019 - 13.1 miles

  • Edinbrugh half Marathon - 26/05/2019 - 13.1 miles

  • Durham City 10 km - 25/07/2019 - 6.2 miles

  • Great North Run - 08/09/2019 - 13.1 miles

  • Sedgefield Serpentine - 15/09/2019 - 6.2 miles

  • Keilder Half Marathon - 13/10/2019 - 13.1 miles

  • Northumberland BIG 10 miler - 23/11/2019 - 10 miles

  • and one Walk, a 26 mile hike over the Northumberland coast.

This makes a combined total of 100.2 miles in events (not to mention the miles for the training).

I have ran a half marathon before (I have run the GNR twice) but I have never ran or trained for anything quite this big.

I'm also running most of these races by myself - again something which is new to me (and I'm a little nervous about it - no one by my side helping me to get round).

Karen Lodge