January 11, 2016

Motivational Monday #135

Happy Motivational Monday! This whole week, I have been feeling absolutely fantastic about my run from Thursday--it was definitely the highlight of my week. Unfortunately, we got some really bad weather over the weekend, and the roads are super icy now. It looks like I may have to start doing my speed work on the treadmill, so I am really happy that I managed to get in that one really good (confidence-boosting) run before the weather turned.

Yesterday, I went out and ran 30 minutes in the ice/snow. It was freezing rain in the early morning, and then transitioned to snow and got extremely cold. By the time I headed out for a run, it was ridiculously windy, and the rain had frozen. I was running on a layer of ice topped with a layer of snow. Yaktrax had sent me a pair of their Yaktrax Run's for review back in November, but this was the first chance I've had to try them out! They worked really well, and if it hadn't been so windy, I probably would have enjoyed running in the snow.

Here are the Yaktrax--I'll write more about them when I've gotten some more use out of them!

After I uploaded my run, I loved what Smashrun had to say when I moused over the weather:

Haha :) I wrote a post a couple of years ago about running in the winter, but I still get emails asking about it all the time. Here is the post, if anyone wants to read it. I happen to love running in the winter!

Anyway, let's get on with Motivational Monday... Enjoy!

I received the following in an email from Emily. Usually, I edit down the submissions to just a paragraph; but Emily's was the only submission this week, and the whole story is so inspiring, I decided to post the whole thing. It's a great story!
"Four years ago, I managed to lose about 30 pounds; and since then, I’ve gained it back and then some (...the usual story!). I had also let my fitness level deteriorate massively and was generally feeling unhappy with my life. Back in March of 2015, I left my job as a doctor in the UK and relocated to Cambodia where I am currently volunteering with a charity that provides free health care to poor Cambodians. This brilliant organization serves isolated communities who live in floating villages on the largest lake in south-east Asia, and is entirely funded by donations. 
When I heard that there was a half-marathon in the town where I’m currently living, I signed up on a bit of a whim. The main attraction was that the course winds around Angkor Wat, a stunning complex of Cambodian temples built over a thousand years ago. I also thought that I could try to raise some sponsorship for the charity that I’m working for to help them continue providing medical care to a vulnerable population. 
Having never been much of a runner (in the UK I probably ran about once a fortnight!), let alone a runner that runs races, I think I probably underestimated the challenge I’d set for myself. Deciding to train for my first ever half-marathon in a place where the average temperature is 35⁰C (95⁰ F) and the humidity is regularly over 80% might seem like a questionable decision... There were many times when I just wanted to quit. 
When I started to transition from running on a treadmill in a beautifully air-conditioned gym to the outside world, I truly thought it might beat me. Getting up at 5 a.m. to run while it was marginally cooler, and still getting sweatier, redder and more dehydrated than I knew was possible, pushed me to my limits. 
However, after 4 months of training, and a whole lot of sweating, I managed to complete my first ever half-marathon on December 6, 2015. My main target had been to make it across the finish line, and I hardly dared to hope that I could do it in less than 3 hours, so I was absolutely thrilled to finish in 2 hours and 43 minutes. I also raised nearly $2000 for the charity that I’m volunteering, for which will be a huge help.  
As well as getting much fitter and actually starting to enjoy running, I managed to lose about 15 pounds while training for this half-marathon. It was less than I had hoped, but it turns out that running makes me ravenously hungry (who knew?!). Despite this, I feel like the whole process of setting myself what seemed like an insurmountable challenge and achieving it through sheer determination and hard work and just not letting myself give up has reminded me that I CAN do difficult things. I’ve still got a long way to go to get to the weight I want to be, but I think I finally believe that I can do it now!"


  1. Loved the MM story. What awful temps to run in but she did it. I can't imagine how awesome she felt when she finished. :-)

  2. Loved the MM story. What awful temps to run in but she did it. I can't imagine how awesome she felt when she finished. :-)

  3. Awesome story! I'm currently training to race walk my first half. I'm scared but excited!!

  4. Wonderful story. Sounds like she's in a fantastic place now physically and mentally.

  5. Great story! Running in our winter weather is suddenly much more appealing!

  6. What a great story! Talk about motivating. I am having the same issue here in Central America, but I just keep pushing. Glad to hear someone else has been successful!!

  7. What a wonderful story Emily!! I am in awe....heat like that sucks all the life out of me but you got it done!!

  8. Wonderful job Emily! Way to go!

  9. Oh gosh! Hot humid summer running is my least favorite. You go woman! And what a great organization to volunteer for. I'm reading all about it now.

  10. Wow!! That is amazing! What a wonderful person to be doing the work she is.

  11. What an awesome mix of you and Emily. Running in snow and ice to running in sweltering heat!!! Great motivational story!

  12. Great MM story! Give me the cold anytime.
    Congratulations Emily!

  13. Congrats Emily, not only did you do something you weren't sure you could but you did it while raising $2000 for your charity. What a fantastic thing you did for yourself but also for the people in Cambodia. So, so inspiring :)


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