Sometimes you got to do what you got to do


Have you ever been in a situation whereby you have said to yourself “I am never doing that, ever again!” only to find that you do said thing again? I’m not talking about accidentally emailing your boss an inappropriate message, nor am I talking about eating a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s followed by a family sized bar of Cadbury’s chocolate. I’m talking about sky diving, bungee jumping or in my case, the Vienna Half Marathon.


Let me give you a little background information. If we look back to 2014, it was a big year for me. I started training with Dan Mitchell of Dan Mitchell Fitness, in January. By March, I became his online client (I live in Vienna) and to be honest? It’s probably the best investment I’ve made.


For those who know me, I like sports, being active and keeping fit. However, I absolutely loath running! The odd 5km here and there; we get on splendidly. Anything more is #boresville!


Everyone has a bucket list, right? Last year, when I found out that OMV sponsored the VCM (Vienna City Marathon) I thought it was stupendous idea that Gareth and I both run it; yup, that’ll be one off the bucket list (I’ve already sky-dived, FYI!) So what did we do last year in preparation for a 21km race? Yup, absolutely nothing! I mean, literally, we didn’t train. I think I may have actually only did about two 5km runs within the space of signing up and running the damned thing. Asides from the unbearable pain we endured after we finished (yup, totes finished it… a whopping 3hr and 37 minutes later!) I actually finished it. Me. A person who has never done a long distance race/run in her entire life. I have the medal and I was pleased as punch. However I outright said “Not doing it again next year, have done it, that’s it!”


So I focused on my strength training for the rest of the year. It comes back to January 2015 and Gareth (my fiancé) says to me “I think I’m going to do the half marathon again this year, I need something to challenge me. Fancy training with me?” you see, we’re getting married 21 June of this year and obvs, I want to look absolutely amazeballs in my wedding dress and as much as I loathe running (as we previously established) Gareth has been through all the training with me; who am I to say no to him, when he’s been there for me. If this is not love, I don’t know what is! So I agreed and then I thought “Well. If I’m training, Hell, I may as well run it again too”. And that’s exactly what I decided to do.


We started training the beginning of Feb until a week before the half marathon – a good 14 weeks. Within this plan, it was a build up from smaller runs to bigger runs from anything to 2-3 runs a week and I’d also incorporate two lots of strength training as well, providing my body was up for it. The one thing I’ve learnt throughout the 14 months of coaching with Dan – pushing yourself hard in terms of training and not listening to your body does more harm than good. The outcome is usually a more negative one that anything else.


I tracked my food. I kept to my macronutrients, but I also allowed myself to have that glass of wine if I wanted it, to have that burger or rack of ribs – Hell, we were approaching Spring so all the Gelato places were opening and for those who have been to Vienna in the Summer or live here, you can appreciate a good ice-cream, so yeah, I totally allowed myself that too! And you know what? This hasn’t been just throughout my training for the half marathon; this has pretty much been how my lifestyle is for the past 14 months.


Race day approaches. The weather wasn’t really what we were expecting – it was HAWT!! Oh my gosh it was hot… and for the runners out there, you all know running in heat is never fun. I wanted to

beat my time from last year. I had a goal and it was achievable. I get to the finish line, cross it and saw that it was 3hr 22mins. I was literally deflated, beyond words. Yes, ok, it was around 15 minutes or so off my time from last year and I should have been happy with that, but whilst I was training I knew I could have done better. And so the results come out. Official finish time…? 2hr 58mins baby! YES! A whole 40 minutes off my time from last year! Needless to say, I sucked it up, didn’t cry and enjoyed the afternoon with our friends. Until I got home and cried like a baby; nothing better than built up emotions and letting them release for around half hour!


The moral of all of this is this. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to do something you’re not keen on. But more importantly, sometimes you need do things for other people, those who have been there for you throughout your own journey. And sometimes it’s good to give yourself a challenge to work for.


If you can achieve something you never thought you could, it is proof to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. For those of you who make constant excuses, but want to lose weight/get fit/get lean/etc. just remember, it doesn’t happen yesterday. The best part of all of this is when you look back to when you started and to have; in my case the past 14 months, achieved you know it’s been worth it. Will my journey end here? Hell no. It’s only just beginning.


I just want to add one more thing. Asides for my lovely Fiancé I want to say a huge thanks to Dan and the guys in Dan Mitchell Fitness. Without all of them, support, banter and guidance none of this would have been possible. Yes, it’s my hard work. And yes, it’s down to me to achieve what I put my mind too, but having a good support network is priceless.


So with all of that said, the photos below are a comparison of when I did my first half marathon on the 13th April 2014 and my second, 12th April 2015. I would like to add and point out, my weight is exactly the same as 2014 as now in 2015. In fact, I actually think I weigh more now! But my measurements have changed dramatically. Scales aren’t worth it. Photos and measurements speak volumes.Cassandra Race 2 Cassandra Race 2014-15

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