Walking and running for shiny medals!

I might be in my mid 40s but I’m certainly not too old to get excited when a shiny medal pops through my letterbox!

I’ve discovered an international community of people who love to jog, walk, run, swim, row or do whatever to claim their well-earned medals. Whether it’s medals to celebrate doing your first 5K, running a marathon, jogging the distance of the English Channel or even walking Route 66, there’s a medal out there for everyone.

So, here’s my collection… so far! It all started when I did the Couch to 5K program earlier this year when I was still morbidly obese. I wondered if there might be a medal to reward myself and, wow, I came across so many websites including those I’ve listed at the end of today’s post. I’m now filling my 2nd medal hangar. You know, I could just exercise for the sake of it but working towards these MAKES me want to get out there and get fit!

This last one turned up this week! I LOVE it and it even came with a stunning T-shirt.

Many of these medal companies will ship internationally so you want to check out the ones I’ve come cross so far:

Conqueror Medals https://www.theconqueror.events/ These are STUNNING!!!! Brilliant quality and you’ll find thousands of people doing these challenges on the Facebook group My Virtual Mission (super friendly and supportive group!)

Virtual Racing UK. A really great mix of medals with new ones coming out all the time https://www.virtualracinguk.co.uk/ Helpful staff.

These are pretty cool as you can set how far you want to aim for each month and, each month, the medal design changes to make it seasonal https://www.raceatyourpace.co.uk/

Ace Races …. a new discovery for me but lots of short term challenges here https://ace-races.co.uk/

Virtual Runner https://www.virtualrunneruk.com/race-length/fun-run-races/ This is also a new discovery but I’ve signed up for 3 medals for 2021 so far.

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Does 5K sound to far? You know, back in February, I couldn’t walk 100 metres without having to stop and I was in pain. Honestly, I struggled to get up the stairs without being breathless. But Race at Your Pace do medals from covering 5 miles over a whole month so even if mobility isn’t great right now, I hope you can find one that’s doable but perhaps push that comfort zone a little bit!

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Do you have any medals? Any you’d like to do? Perhaps you’ve got a place in mind that you’d love to see turned into a virtual medal challenge. I’d love to know

Have a great weekend everyone

Love Erika xx

Week 22 weigh-in: 5 lbs away from losing 100 lbs!

Hey guys

I really REALLY hope that I will be blogging next Monday not only to tell you my latest weigh-in but to tell you that I actually finished the London marathon. I’m just visualising being able to say the words ‘did it’ even though it’s feeling incredibly daunting right now. My runner’s bib arrived through the post, which I think adds to the sense of occasion. I don’t know. It all feels a bit surreal right now but I believe that I CAN do it…and, if I believe that I can do, I’m more likely to actually do it!

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • I’ve lost 2lbs
  • My weight is now in the lower 230s

What could Erika improve on?

  • I don’t know why but my fluid intake has been pretty low, as in any fluid intake. From today, I’m making a more concerted effort to drink more throughout the day rather than realise just before going to bed that I’ve barely drunk anything!
  • I also need to improve my sleep. I think that mere, ‘little’ issue of a marathon (!!!) is on my mind but I’ve read that poor sleep can be linked to weight difficulties. It’s not that I’m snacking in the evenings as I don’t eat after 8pm but let’s see what I can do.
  • For the past few days, I’ve eaten a bit more than normal. Yes, I need to make sure I’m eating enough when taking on such a huge physical feat but I need to make sure that my sensible eating is back on track. What’s good is that despite eating a bit more than normal (when compared to the past 7 months), I haven’t binged and I haven’t eaten anything sweet but I just need to get back on track with my food choices.

Erika’s next target(s):

  • Walk/run the virtual London marathon on Sunday
  • 3 more lbs until I can have a helicopter lesson
  • 5 more lbs until I’ve lost 100 lbs in total and my BMI is under 35 – I’m so excited about this!

You know, although I lost 2 lbs this week, I don’t feel as if I’ve really been on track. Whilst I can’t wait for Sunday, part of me is keen to just get it over and done with so that it’s not at the forefront of my mind. Does that make sense? I had hoped to get to the 100 lb weight loss milestone by marathon day which isn’t going to happen but I need to be kind to myself! Erika, you’re doing the London Marathon at least 95 lbs lighter than if you did this in February. Let’s celebrate that!

Hope you have a good week. I’ll be back on Thursday or Friday with my next blog. Actually, I don’t know what the topic will be so, if there’s anything particular you’d like me to write about, please do say!!

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
74 lbs76 lbs234 lbs35.6
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

Are you ever too old to get medals for walking?!

Hey folks

Well, I’m going to answer this question straightaway with a huge resounding “No”!!! You see, I’m discovering that there’s an international community of thousands of people working towards challenges through walking, running, jogging, swimming, cycling and much more, and I’d love to tell you about this.

How did you discover medals, Erika?

Back in February when I weighed 329 lbs, I couldn’t walk more than 100 metres without being puffed out. Part way into this weight loss journey, I pushed myself to do Couch to 5K and in fact completed nearly all of it whilst morbidly obese. But I wanted something to celebrate my achievement, something tangible and I discovered this beauty below. But I’ve now also discovered there are LOTS more medals out there!

What medals are there?

So, yes, there are medals for real events like running marathons, etc. However, I’m discovering virtual events where you use your phone or tracking device to progress through predetermined routes, such as walking the Inca Trail in Peru, walking Route 66, walking 160 km to Mount Everest base camp, etc. Once you’ve achieved the distance, you submit your evidence and, whoop, a shiny medal drops through your letter box. My favourite websites are My Virtual Mission (I LOVE their medals), Virtual Racing UK and Ace-Races UK. But a word of warning…they’re addictive!

How does working towards a medal help?

For me, I love a target. Something to aim for. Something I can achieve. I’m not just exercising for the sake for it and some websites/apps actually show you how far you are along the route, sending you virtual postcards, etc. Like on My Virtual Mission, I can see where I am on the map but there’s also a brilliantly supportive Facebook group. Tonight, I’ll be covering some more distance as I work towards my next medal. It’s much cheaper than going to a gym!

Which ones have you got to far and which ones are you planning?

So far, I’ve got medals for Couch to 5K, 50 miles of running in July, 100 miles of running in August, a 31 day challenge through August where I was set daily fitness challenges, the width of the English Channel (34 km which is below), the Inca Trail (42 km) and Hadrian’s Wall (165 km). I also got a medal for walking 5km along a local route that I’d been too unfit to even try. When I accomplished it, I deliriously jumped onto the app and claimed the medal straightaway!

I’m currently working towards a 290 km New Zealand-based walk and, separately, a 160 km Mount Everest one. In under 5 weeks, I’ll be running the official 2020 Virtual London Marathon that will result in a medal (hopefully!)….and so many more.

This is from My Virtual Mission – jolly heavy!

Once I have quite a collection, I’ll share lots of photos! Some medals are coming from the US so it’ll take a bit of time but who doesn’t like something shiny! I might even put a ‘wall medal holder’ on my birthday present list. Get me, I love working out!

Love Erika xx