Today I signed up for something and I’m already petrified.
Why on earth would a human being put himself in this position? For many reasons. I will share with you three reasons why I’m doing it now, and three more reasons once I finish the challenge in May 2021.
I’ve never run more than 24 kilometres in my life. I’ve never run a marathon or an official half marathon, although I have run the half marathon distance, by myself here in London.
Why not take baby steps and start with half marathons? Then gradually move to a marathon and then perhaps to 100k? It’s a logical question. Last month alone I run only 92 kilometres in the whole month, and that number includes the half marathon distance.
Well you see, my mentality is a bit… I either go all in or not at all. I don’t seem to find a balance and be in the middle. I’m scared of heights, so what do I do? Perhaps visit the Shard in London? No. I have a better idea, jump out of plane. I don’t believe that we can be half pregnant, you are either in with your heart and soul, or you are out.
It began when I was scrolling through Instagram and saw an advert for the Ultra Challenge. I saw they had different events. I think they have, like, 14 events for 2021. I researched a bit and saw that there are different options. I liked the London 2 Brighton Challenge, mainly because I’ve been living in London for six years and I always wanted to visit Brighton. I love the sea and I do miss it, sometimes, as I come from a Mediterranean island, Cyprus.
Here are the options: 25km, 50km or 100 km. Immediately I thought of the 25 km. Then I thought ‘Why not 100 km?’ I did a poll on Instagram stories and asked my friends if I should do the challenge. Everybody said yes, except two people. Once I asked that question publicly, I knew the answer. I was going to sign up for the challenge.
Different things came to my mind. ‘I have so many things going on’, ‘I need to finish a project that I’m working on’, ‘I need this and I need that’. Then I did more research and saw the negative consequences of doing a run of that distance, and all the other bad things. But then I reminded myself the most important lesson I always say to myself – will this make you a better human? Will this move you out of your comfort zone? The answer to both was ‘Fuck, yes!’
To push our limits, to go to places we’ve never been to, requires courage, and it requires us to be uncomfortable. My biggest fear is not growing, it’s being stagnant. This challenge is a different kind of challenge. I am reminded that doing the 75HARD challenge inspired me to push more, starting HIIT classes came from the challenge, and this is just the next step, the next step to move forward.
You know, I’ve been doing personal development for years now, going to UPW (Unleash The Power Within) event by Tony Robbins, reading David Goggins’ Book Can’t Hurt Me Now, going to seminars, workshops, learning stoic philosophy. All that is good – but what’s the point of doing any of that if we are not taking actions at the same time? The problem with a lot of people that follow personal development or are in the personal development space is that there is so much talk, but very little action. Being motivated is never enough. I wasn’t motivated this morning to get into the cold shower but I still did it, I got on with it.
It was because of David Goggins’ book that I ran the half marathon distance last year. My longest run was 10k before that. It’s not about just reading and attending seminars, it’s doing the hard, deep work.
One of my goals is to explore my potential. I truly believe that we all are capable of so much more than what we are doing. It’s just we’ve been brainwashed to not pursue our goals and ambitions for different reasons – which is a whole different topic. So how can I explore my potential? By reading and watching Netflix? Of course not, I have to get my hands dirty. This challenge is a form of personal development, and a mental toughness lesson. Because having muscles is one thing, having abdominal muscles is another thing, having money is another, but having mental strength, having a strong character is a whole different level. And, unfortunately, we live in a world where a lot of people are mentally weak. So for me, becoming mentally strong means I’m developing my character, which is one of the most important traits humans can have.
And what a great way to show people that vegans can run ultra marathons, right? A lot of people say that we don’t have energy or we need protein or other excuses. Well I’ve been vegan for two years now, and I’ve run half marathon distance. Now is time to do an ultra-marathon of 100 km on a vegan lifestyle, and predominantly being on huel!
The other reason I’m doing this is to raise money for abandoned dogs. You knew it was coming, don’t act surprised. There were more than 56,043 stray dogs in the UK alone in 2018, according to the Dogs Trust’s Stray Dogs Survey Report. An estimate of 1,462 dogs were put to sleep across the UK. This is really sad, but we can all do something.
Here’s what we can do: donate. I’m running for the Dogs Trust. They run 21 rehoming centres to save over 16,000 abandoned dogs. You can donate as much as you like, you can choose how much you want to donate, it can be £10, £20 or £100. Within the next couple of months our goal is to donate £595 in total. Your donation will mean something to a dog without a family, your donation might save a dog’s life, you might be responsible for giving a chance at life to a doggie out there. So I would appreciate if you can donate today what you can. I’ve set up a page on JustGiving, which you can find here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alexnovicov100k
In the meantime, there is a lot of work to be done, a lot of training involved in the next couple of months. I’m ready to start training and go and do this challenge. If you would like to come and join me during the 100k run you absolutely can, and if you would like join me on a training run, you can as well, just drop me an email on [email protected] and we can arrange it.
See you on the other side!