I did it. I honestly wasn’t sure I would, but I did it.
I ran 5k.
If I’m honest, I’ve never run 1k before this year. I’ve never wanted to run before this year. Despite all the nay-saying — entirely in my own head — I got myself up on Sunday morning and ran 5k for Cancer Research UK. The most amazing thing is that I only felt like dying a little bit along the way!
As soon as I woke up, I knew I wouldn’t get far without a green smoothie. I’m not a morning person, which is primarily due to the fact that I don’t
believe in sleep. I used to average about 3 hours of sleep a night, and I never felt worse for wear for it. After cutting out gluten, I added about an hour a night. After my nasal surgeries, I added about 30 more minutes. I still have difficulty actually falling asleep, and my anxiety gets the best of me when something important is happening the next day. It was no surprise when I was staring down the clock at 2am, only 8 hours before the race was scheduled to begin.
Why a green smoothie, though? Well, I learned a lot in the 30 day challenge, especially about what my body needs.
- Fruit sugars are important fuel because they are unprocessed and unrefined. They feed your cells to keep you moving.
- Hydration is desperately important in physical activity. Even if you’re like me and don’t sweat much, your body burns up moisture and releases it through your breath, as well.
- The fibre in the greens and whole fruit keep things moving in your system — the last thing you need is to feel a big lump in your belly as you’re running!
- I put a banana in almost every smoothie, and the potassium it contains helps to prevent and repair muscle tears, cramps, and spasms.
- Chia seed and flax meal are easy additions to add protein to maintain muscles.
- Coconut water as a base lends more than just water as it is high in electrolytes, which combat dehydration. Choosing one with added sodium means that it’s a bit more processed, but studies have shown that it hydrates at the same level as sports drinks.
- You need calories to burn as you run. They might as well be from real food sources.
- Green smoothies taste good.
Fuel in and shoes on, my mother-in-law picked us up to drive to the Stormont Estate, the home of the Northern Irish Assembly and the 5k. They didn’t release a course map, so I did not expect that big hill in the front would actually be part of it. Equally, I didn’t know that the gorgeous paths through the woodlands trail would be included. I’ve never run on loose gravel, in mud, or up a giant hill, so there were a lot of firsts in that day. I didn’t exactly have a good run time, but it was more a matter of showing myself I could do it at all. It’s a success in my book.