Two years ago today I embarked on one of my lifes biggest challenges – to run the first ever race of my life.
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I was incredibly nervous and I had no idea what to expect from the race (would I make it!?) and from the first ever Bridge The Gap event that gathered many running crews from around the world to run & party.

My berlin race kit

I did everything by the book, and I had great difficulties going to sleep the night before so I decided to have two nightcaps to calm my nerves. Not sure what it was, but 2 whiskey sours later and they resulted in me accidentally pouring one all over me… Clearly thats not pictured here, but lets just say that I was happy I brought extra running tights with me!

Orsi before the Berlin Half Marathon

I wish I could describe all the thoughts and feelings that were hidden behind that smile. Some are too personal to talk about here, but I remember telling myself that due to my knee issues, I would just run the race with no expectations and try to enjoy it and savour the moment.

Orsii finishing the Berlin Half Marathon
I know I have posted that picture a million times on the blog, but there’s been very few moments in my life where Ive been so genuinely proud of myself and what Ive accomplished.

My first ever run

That’s the first run I ever made. I thought I was going to cough up my lungs and the thought of running 13.1 miles seemed impossible. But I did my best, put in the training and despite injury and self doubts, I completed it! And looking back on all the pictures, I looked really good whilst doing it too! (Im jealous of my past self…!)

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These were the total miles that I had run on the exact day of the 2 year anniversary of the race (which was a few days before the actual anniversary this year). If you’re counting in KM that is the same as 1448,7 KM! In March alone this year I did 115 miles (that’s 185KM) which is more than double of what I used to run per month in the past 2 years!

So all in all, it’s pretty damn incredible! Especially if you think about the fact that  Im not “built to run” –  it takes me a lot of effort to do it – just look at my first ever run and how slow I was!

Orsii 15 miles!

I’ve been a bit sad and disappointed about the fact that Im still around a stone and a half heavier this far into my training, compared to my weight 2 years ago – despite running double the amount. But when it really gets me down and I feel super insecure, I try to look at how far I’ve come and not lose faith in the fact that I can achieve anything if I put my mind to. Whether that is a degree, or running a marathon, or losing weight and getting leaner.

So thanks to everybody who have helped, supported and inspired me along the way. With only 6 weeks left to both my marathon and my final MA deadline, Im starting to feel the heat, but Im really trying to keep my cool and focus on my journey and how far I’ve come since that first run on the 10th December 2012.

I never thought or dreamed about running a marathon in my life, and with the miles still increasing in my training plan, I think it’s safe to say that the journey to race day has so far been much more challenging on both my body and mind than the actual race day. Mind you, that might change once I actually have to run the damn thing!

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I baked a big batch of cinnamon and apple buns in preparation for Mother’s Day

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The new colourful cushions and the pineapple print really adds a splash of happiness to our living room, I love it!

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Bought some nice tulips for Mother’s Day to go with the colour scheme of the room, they are definitely in my top 3 favourite flowers!

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And of course no big celebration can happen without some traditional Swedish princess cake – it was a Mother’s Day hit!

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I somehow managed to get my in-laws to put up our new mirror during their visit. Felt very cheeky but they did an amazing job and we are so happy with the result. It has really made the entire room feel lighter and more spacious!

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The extra daylight and the flowers and all the small pops of colour has really made it feel like spring has sprung in our livingroom – which makes working from home a bit less depressing if I’m honest…!

Despite the stress and pressure that comes from marathon training and MA project, I have to say that overall, I haven’t been this happy with life for a very long time (and that even includes the mini breakdown I had the other week!). Feeling extremely grateful at the moment!

Orsii health journey

I wasn’t born fat, but looking back on my life I would say I’ve spent around 15 years having a messed up relationship with food and exercise, which meant I wasn’t just overweight but also unhappy.

Why am I saying this?

Well, it’s because of a thought that hit me during one of my runs this year that I can’t get out of my head…

As most of you know I moved to London in 2005, the same year I started this blog, and I thought I had it all figured out. But going through the archives I can’t help but to shake my head in disagreement.

I have changed so much since 2005, not just physically but mentally too. And during my runs this year when I have been struggling the most, I’ve been trying to dig deep and discover why I’m actually training for this marathon. I mean, it’s not like I’m getting paid to do it!

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First I thought it might be for the sense of accomplishment – but I quickly realised that it was just a by-product.

Then I thought ‘Maybe it’s because I will get in shape and lose weight’ – it has been one of the main reasons since I started running 2 years ago, but again, considering how much exercise goes into marathon training, getting fitter and leaner is at this point also just a by-product of it all, not a main reason.

The deeper I kept digging, the more I started to realise that this time around, I wanted to train hard and run this race because of the positive effects it will have on my future self.

Sound a bit confusing? Let me explain:

For the first time in my life I am noticing that my body isn’t changing and recovering as fast and as easy as it used to. I know it’s a fucking cliché and I could never relate to it when my mum used to complain about it when I was younger, but I finally get it now.

Trying to get back into shape this time around hasn’t been as easy as before – my body hasn’t adjusted as quick and as easy, and I can tell that I am getting older and that things are slowing down a bit.

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I know I know, I am pretty young in the grand scheme of things, BUT! It really made me think about my attitude towards myself and life in general, and how my body will (most likely) gradually deteriorate with time whilst my mind will (most likely) do the opposite.

And it makes me sad that I used to take my body for granted.

I regret not treating it better and I am fascinated by the fact that when my mind wasn’t “mature enough”, my body (technically) had such great potential. And now, the more my mind develops and matures over time, the more my body will deteriorate – especially if I don’t take care of it.

So, despite the fact that this marathon training will have a lot of positive impact on my current life, my main goal with it is not to “just be able to run a marathon” and then go back to my old behaviour.

I think actually, the main goal of all of this is to stop taking my body for granted and to work towards leading a life that is filled with healthier habits, a happier mind and a stronger body.