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January Handicap winner Elin Loftesnes and her 12 day challenge

After Wednesday nights great performance to be top of the pile in the January Handicap Run, Elin was happy to share the story behind her 12 day challenge which helped her achieve this! Here is Elin’s account…

January’s handicap run winner!

I’ve been a member of SJ for 15 years and I am very much an up and down runner. I can easily not run for weeks and then have a “comeback” and get back into it for some weeks and then fall off the wagon again. And as much as I hate always having to start again I still end up doing it.

I started thinking over the summer holidays that running didn’t used to be this hard….. took a hard look at myself and figured out that it couldn’t be just the lack of running but maybe the extra kilos I was carrying had something to do with it as well….
Come September I came across the 5:2 diet on Facebook and had a quick look and thought I can do this. It’s not really dieting – just eating a less calories -2 days out of 5. Kids went back to school and I started planning my fasting meals of 500 cals. Found it very easy as I’m used to going through work without having time to eat anyway and just had a main meal at night. A lot of soups. The weight started coming off nicely and I straight away noticed  that running became a little easier and the times were improving.
I would also go for more runs as it was easier. I was quite determined to make sure I kept the weight off ( 7.5 kg )and knew running more would only be a bonus.

X-mas is a really hard time for me to get any running done as we are very busy at work (Cinema) and the excuses come very easily to not go for a run.
Again an ad came up on Facebook from Running heroes about a 12 day challenge. Just what I needed to keep my fitness over X-mas.  Someone else to decide what I was going to run.  Signed up immediately. Everything was linked to Strava (manual entries not accepted so no cheating) and for each day you completed you were entered into a competition as well; with prizes like race entries and Decathlon vouchers. There was also a main draw at the end and if you completed all 12 days you got 12 entries.  What’s not to like! It started quite nice and easy but got a little tougher at the end.
Day 1 – a run, Day 2 – 2 miles, Day 3 – 33 min, Day 4-4 miles, Day 5-5km, Day 6 – 60 min, Day 7 – 7 miles, Day 8 – 80 min, Day 9 – 9km, Day 10-4.216km (10th of a marathon), Day 11- 1h 11 min and Day 12 – 12 km.

It all fitted in nicely with the local park runs so managed to get the Xmas day and The New Years Day Double ticked off. It was also nice to have some company from Sarah Alexander and Janet Ford on the longer runs at the end- thank you. Every day I felt a little stronger and was lucky not to pick up any niggles. I knew I was getting fitter and running had become enjoyable again.
After clocking up 70.2 miles it was nice with a 2 days rest before the handicap. After having set my time in November where I ran flat out I was keen to see if I could improve on my time. The Run was really good and I came away with beating my time with 2 min 25 sec. new PB 🙂

And after not being successful in any of the challenge competitions I was really happy to walk away with the January Cup !

Thank you for sharing that Elin and I may have to give something like this a try myself to find a way to improve my handicap!

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