Fitness: 5×50 Challenge

The last few weeks of my life have been a bit of a blur. There have been some definite highlights – such as our photoshoot with Anna Moffat for Bon Tot, slowly gaining more followers on Instagram and Facebook, seeing readers return to the blog (THANK YOU!) and of course – normal Edinburgh life has continued with my kids!

On the flip side, I lost out on an opportunity I had been hoping for, and had the worst case of tonsillitis I can remember. I’ve been on really strong antibiotics for the last week that have made me super drowsy and sick. It’s made it incredibly hard to retain perspective on events… and you know, function!

With the beginning of Spring and warmer weather in sight, I’ve decided it’s definitely time for a shake up – so although it may be a tad ambitious – I’ve signed up for the 5×50 Challenge.

Launched as a charity in 2012, the 5×50 Challenge encourages people to run, walk, jog or cycle 5K (or 30 minute exercise equivalent) every day for 50 days. For a £5 registration fee, which largely goes to one of the charities supported by the Challenge, participants have to log what they do each day and can follow how other challengers are getting on. I’ve signed up to do 5K each day so I thought I’d share my thinking:

5x50 Challenge 2016 - the motivation to get me moving this Spring. Are you joining in?


I would dearly love to say that I’ll be running 5K daily but in reality, I’m not there yet. My pelvic floor is still a bit of a mess after giving birth, although I’ve continued to do a lot of exercises to improve this – 5K is still a fair distance to run.

Additionally, I would guess that my hormones are still affecting my ligaments because I’ve found that my knees and ankles are still pretty sore in the mornings. I know that they loosen up a lot during pregnancy but I don’t think I’ve seen the same recovery rate that I did after having Katie.

After running a few longer races and a half marathon in 2013, I’d really like to return to running – and particularly parkrun. It strikes me that covering this distance walking each day – is a good place to start!


Thomas is becoming fairly predictable as to when he needs to nap in the morning and thankfully – is pretty good at falling asleep in his buggy. However, I’m pretty sure if he could talk he would state his preference is falling asleep on me… preferably whilst drinking milk.

When Katie was seven months, I got in a similar panic that she would only fall asleep in my arms and this would be no good for her going to nursery. I think they may have given me a form to fill in with her ‘routine’ and I had an outright mental meltdown as she blatantly didn’t have one! This was solved by putting her in her buggy at the same time everyday with her dummy, bunny and white noise (I know – every sleep crutch going) and walking for a full hour.

I can’t pretend that I kept the walking up because after a couple of weeks, she got to the point where as soon as I walked her from the kitchen to the hall she would be asleep… and I’d walk back to the kitchen to find biscuits!

But I at least know that this method is possible and this time round… I’ll keep up the walking – minus the multi sleep devices!

Weight loss

I may have had good intentions at one point during my pregnancy but I’m pretty sure most people get to that point where cake is just a necessity. I’d probably blame my Bake Off obsession – but it’s fair to say I didn’t do well with keeping my weight gain to a reasonable amount. I’m not sure what a reasonable amount is… but I’m pretty sure eating multi packs of Frazzles is not on any healthy pregnancy diet sheet.

I haven’t wanted to drop all my baby weight quickly, as my obvious priority has been maintaining a milk supply with Thomas. The aim is supposed to be to lose 1lb a week – had I kept this up I would’ve been back at my weight by the end of April. As it stands – I’m about 7 weeks behind with that aim.

That’s not so bad but I’m returning to work in June and need to fit into my work clothes! Yes, I could buy some bigger ones but I always think that work clothes are such a boring way to spend money! Obviously, you can find some nice things but they have to be sensible and given that I own a lot already, it just seems kind of wasteful!

Head Space

I used to love running because it gave me time to think and process each day. I guess some people do yoga, some people go out to unwind… I like to run. Walking isn’t so different from running (except the speed and sweat), so I’m also hoping it gives me time to think.

My Mom completed a similar challenge when the clocks went back – as something positive to do to remember my Dad. I’ve found that the passing hasn’t made much difference to how much I miss him – I still think about him every day and find that he creeps up at the most random of times. When life is busy and filled with activity, it can be hard to find the time to remember everything that I want to. I think it’s definitely time to carve out some space to just be.

I’ll be tracking my distance using my Fitbit and Nike app. It’s going to be a bit crazy as I’ve got all three kids off for the Easter holidays so will have to be dragging them out whatever the weather but it feels good to be aiming for something!

I like to be accountable to other people – I know that if there’s an expectation that I’ll be doing something, I’m far more likely to complete whatever it is so I think this is a really good format for me. However – maybe ask me in 10 days if I’m still so keen! I’ve invited some friends to walk with me in the mornings but if you’re up for a walk in the next 50 days – give me shout!


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