My 196 Day Challenge!

My 196 Day Challenge!

Back into the archives of Belle’s Running Blog, I used to post at the end of every week what training I’d done and what races I’d run that week along with some personal snippets.

Then I was hardly running at all and it was mostly a ‘narcissistic journal’ of what I should have done but didn’t!

So in the interest of getting back into the Blog, which I love, the 196-day challenge was bourne.

(Running is going to be 75% of it because let’s face it, this is a running blog, but I’ll also share some other aspects of the challenge which are not running related).

So what is the 196-day Challenge?? The end date is the beginning of a super fun holiday and I thought to myself, I wonder what I can actually achieve in 196 days! I reckon, quite a lot!!

What am I going to achieve as part of the challenge: –

  • Run 10k in under 54 mins
  • Find ways to make some extra money (I’ve got some holidays in mind!)
  • Get up to GCSE level in Spanish
  • Work hard on my blog, because I love it
  • Lose an undisclosed amount of weight
  • Get the house up together so my house rabbit can live in the luxury that he deserves (he doesn’t he’s naughty as heck)

Ok so, I’m already on day 22, which means I’ve got 174 days left so here’s what I’ve managed in 4 weeks…


I’ve started running outside again with the real people and the nature and it feels great!

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this already here but I had to take some time away from running because, in a nutshell, it left me heartbroken!

The last time I ran outside was during the Martock 10k 3 months ago, where I’d achieved my Personal Best time at the year previous, but it was a total disaster, which had been the case for every race I’ve run so far in 2019.

I actually cried for the first time ever crossing the finish line out of sheer disappointment.

It was not the start to the year that I’d hoped.

I didn’t only feel horrible when I ran with zero energy but my times were just awful too. A repeat race I did, the Minchinhampton 10k, was 13 minutes slower than the year before.

And there was no explanation for it, I wasn’t injured I wasn’t undertrained I just… didn’t feel right.

So I decided, like Ross and Rachel from Friends, running and I should take a break.

But now I’m back! And Sundays are now my outside run days. I’ve missed seeing the squirrels and getting soaking wet (like today) and just listening to my music and glancing down at my watch whenever I felt like it because that to me is what running is all about.

I’m going to run more at the gym – let’s pray to The Trip gods that I don’t just hop on the spin bike every time – even if it’s a mile here and there, I want to ease myself in and definitely avoid injury.

I am suffering a teeny tiny bit already with my right foot, it’s so troublesome, it’s what stopped me running back in 2017 after my half marathon.

So, 2 runs in the bag and I’m looking forward to Run Every Day January where I’m going to ramp up the running!

Speaking of Run Every Day January, I’ve already ordered my buttons to sew onto 2020’s t-shirt, and they are c. u. t. e! Last year that was my biggest challenge, having the motivation to sew on some buttons every day but this year, doughnuts might just spur me on a little bit!

Losing Weight

I’ve worked out that I only need to lose a little bit of weight each week which is absolutely achievable, the worst part is keeping it off because I’ve discovered a love for red wine!

I’m not going on any sort of diet, except to try and make better food choices, the only thing I’m going to really do is make sure I’m keeping track of my daily calories. It’s literally the only thing that I’ve found works, I cannot do this intuitive eating business, I want to eat all. the. time.

Make extra money

I have some things up my sleeve to make some extra money but I haven’t quite started it yet. When pay day is here… it’s happening!

In the past, I tried to do some leaflet delivery which was just absolutely awful! I thought, I love walking and being fit it’s perfect. Except the streets they had me delivering to were the type where each house was REALLY far away from the next one.

I was walking miles and miles at a decent pace, with a huge bag across my shoulders, and not getting anywhere near the amount delivered that an ‘average’ person should be able to. AND I never got paid for the work that I did.

I also passed the tests for transcription work, which is right up my alley. I am a pretty swift typist, however, you only got paid per 1 minute of transcription… which means you had to type A LOT. The effort it would have taken just didn’t seem to match the rewards.


I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish and it’s about time I actually did it!

I love languages and grammar and all things words so learning Spanish feels like a pleasure and not a chore… except when I get to a difficult lesson and I feel like I don’t know anything!

So far this month I’ve amassed 12 hours of learning, not including listening to daily Spanish podcasts in the car and changing my Netflix settings to Spanish to watch Spanish speaking and subtitles.

I’ve watched so far in Spanish (which is weird but great if it’s a favourite of yours) Hot Fuzz, Shrek, Shrek 2, The Barkley Marathons, Suits and The Good Place.

You can pick up so many words and phrases from this method and it really gets you used to listening to what sentences should sound like and just how fast they actually talk!

My Baby, The Blog

It would just be awesome if I could write a somewhat successful blog because I love writing, I love engaging with people and also helping people occasionally (I do try!).

It is hard work though so trying to fit it in around everything else is a challenge but I’ll sleep when I’m dead (or at least at the end of the challenge!)

A decorated home is a happy home

I adore decorating but let me tell you this is something else! It’s hard work for little reward and it’s soul-destroying.

I’ve come to the conclusion that little and often is the name of the game but we’ve got a 196 day deadline so it’s not a slow pace.

While I love decorating I’m not that great at ‘dressing’ a room no matter how many Pinterest ideas I look at.

And there you have it! Challenge accepted and in full swing and I can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like at the end.

I’ll be fluent (I won’t) in Spanish with a beautifully decorated (let’s cross all our fingers) house, fitting into all of my old clothes that don’t fit me any more, sitting there with my 10k PB medal around my neck while reading my successful blog and planning my next holiday with all of the extra money I’ve made…

Phew I’d best crack on!

I’d seriously urge you to try your own 196-day challenge and see what you can achieve in that amount of time.

Write out your short term goals and then break them down into weekly tasks so they don’t seem quite so scary.

I promise you’ll be hitting your goals in no time!

1 Comment

  1. September 23, 2019 / 3:54 pm

    You are a far more dedicated runner than me! I never run in rain!

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