By Ashlee Lawson
Sometime in April. I decided it would be a good idea to challenge the Ladies of DRC with a 5K, every day, for the entire month of May. There were a couple of us who knew what we would be in for–31 monotonous days of finding time and energy to run. To my surprise, a good majority of the group was super excited to put both their mind and bodies to the test. I’m still not sure why, but it was their enthusiasm that helped to make it all happen.
I’m super proud to say that over 30 women began the challenge and 10 women finished strong finding a way to run at least a 5K every single day. In total, over 1700 miles were run through rain and blazing heat, and while managing the Brooklyn Half and world traveling. Congrats Ladies!
A few lessons learned on the run:
- Accountability matters.
I wanted to give up SO many times. If it wasn’t (1) for each of the ladies’ encouraging words in the group and (2) the MapMyRun notifications that let me know in real-time that everybody else was putting in work but me, this would NOT have been possible.
Lesson: Surround yourself with people who want to see you do and be well. It’s amazing what you can accomplish together.
- It’s ok to slow down, literally.
When the challenge first began, I just KNEW I was going to earn a PB every day lol. I was about to be so fast by the time it was all said and done. That might’ve lasted a week. It came to a point where instead of focusing on how fast I was running each day, it became increasingly important to just finish. By the end of the challenge, I was running even slower than when I started…but I got it done.
Lesson: Like Charlie Dark often says, “It’s not how fast you go, it’s how you cross the finish line.”
- Recovery is key.
If you know me, you know how much I hate stretching. It’s SUCH a chore. Who wants to spend an extra 15-30 minutes stretching and foam rolling? Not me. This challenge forced me to properly recover (almost) every day, because had I not, I wouldn’t have been close to prepared to get up the next morning to tackle the next 5K.
Lesson: Along the way, it’s necessary to do things we don’t want to do, to get where we want to be.
I’m grateful for the lessons learned along the way, I’m feeling primed and well-oiled to begin marathon training, and feel closer than ever to an amazing group of women who want to help each other be better in running and in life.
Below are a couple lessons learned and goals smashed by some of the ladies that participated:
When I told people, I was going to run 3 miles a day for 31 days their immediate reaction was “oh are you training for a race?” and then when I said no, I’m doing this to test my willpower, I then got the deer in the headlights look. But it was true! AND it seemed pretty badass! Without the #ThirtyRunDayChallenge and the support of the other ladies there is no way I would have been able to do this and set a PR.
This #ThirtyRunDaychallenge, like everything DRC does, is about way more than running. It’s about finding that part of you that wants to quit & constantly disappointing it. It’s about pushing yourself to the point where the only thing you can do is win. It’s about being the best version of yourself daily, while knowing you’re not alone. It’s about being one of the amazing #LadiesofDRC
I entered our #ThirtyRunDayChallenge knowing it would take dedication and consistency, yet I didn’t realize that a mere 3 miles would be so difficult; after all, I’m decently in shape. However, I quickly realized that conquering the mental game of running would be the only way I’d last for 31 days. The most rewarding part of this experience was when Nesi told me how proud and impressed she was to see how much I’ve grown since last spring. HUGE thanks to Ashley Gardner and Leo Reid for their friendly competition that ultimately turned into accountability. I never would have run 140 miles without y’all.
Would I willingly do another #ThirtyRunDayChallenge?
If I did, would you join me?