A year ago last week, I saw this hashtag on Twitter: #RunEveryDay.  It was started by a sportswear company and people could “sign up” on their website and receive motivational emails throughout the month.  With no desire for any more spammy emails clogging my already stuffed-full inbox, I just opted to run and tweet about it, and donate £1.00 per run to Northamptonshire Rape Crisis at the end of the month.

On the first of October, I was off – #RunEveryDay challenge was on.

Unlike my friends, I somehow thought I needed to add the daily runs to my normal 7-day a week fitness timetable.  As well, a week into October, I started karate classes.  It will come as no surprise that I developed Achilles tendonitis in both ankles by 18th October.  So I stopped….I’m kidding.  Nope, I began getting up 30 minutes earlier (oh yeah, I am scared of the dark, so as if running every day wasn’t a challenge enough, I made myself do it before dawn!) to ice both ankles to get the swelling down a little, before strapping them in sports tape and running/limping across my estate in the dark, cold morning air.

I wrote about my inner struggle over whether to stop or not in this blog.  I questioned whether I was showing “strength” by continuing with #RunEveryDay, despite painful injuries in both ankles, or if it was a sign of my “vulnerability” that I was unable to let myself quit, and possibly feel a failure for being unable to finish the month?

I can promise you had I known that I would do severe, lasting damage to my tendons and calves that would continue an entire year, I most definitely would have sucked the lemon of vulnerability, and stopped.  Totally.  Instead, I hobbled to Hallowe’en, pleased to have won two very inflamed Achilles tendons and the pleasure of telling people I had done #RunEveryDay the whole of October (and my other 7 workouts and two karate classes a week).  At least Rape Crisis got their whole £31 donation, too.

Since then, forced to cut back on running and high impact classes, I spent a fair bit of time on the stationary bikes in the gym, or doing bendy things in BodyBalance classes during the past 11 months.  Now #RunEveryDay is upon us again, and I would love to enjoy the sense of achievement on October 31st, knowing that I had run every day for the whole 31 days, even in the dark mornings which saturate my bloodstream with adrenaline and cortisol.

I now know also that sense of satisfaction will likely come at too high a cost.  This time, my challenge is not whether to #RunEveryDay, but instead, whether to pull out of it should #RunEveryDay become too painful.  It remains to be seen whether I will be able to do that, to give up if I am too injured.  The difference this time is that giving up under those circumstances, and listening to my body, I realise and believe, would be a true sign of strength.

So that’s my goal.