Every Tuesday, Svveat Stories brings you Svveatspiration: an inspiring series of first-person narratives from our fitness community’s unsung heroes. This week, Emily Rudow shares how she’s running her way to a world record.

I’ve always been into athletics. Growing up, I mostly played hockey and soccer. My love for running didn’t come about until I was doing my BBA at Wilfrid Laurier University. First, I found a simple yet effective workout plan that involved doing high-intensity intervals on the treadmill for 22 minutes combined with resistance training. I stuck to that plan religiously for about a year before switching to outdoor runs, starting with about 4 to 5 kilometres in distance.

I completed my first half-marathon and my first triathlon when I was 21 years old. I was soon hooked on long-distance running. Since then, I’ve run three half-marathons and four full marathons, including the 2017 Boston Marathon.

Emily Rudow running

Inspired by Chris Guillebeau’s book The Happiness of Pursuit, I came up with a quest of my own: to run 10K every day for the month of January. After I completed the challenge, I had an itch to do something more extreme—perhaps break a world record.

I started researching the Guinness World Records database and came across the record for most consecutive half-marathons: 60. Beyond breaking the existing record, I also wanted to raise money and awareness for the Canadian Cancer Society, a cause I care so deeply about that has affected my family and many close to me.

On behalf of my startup Oneiric, I decided to set a goal of running 70 consecutive half-marathons, because our core value is about pushing personal limits.

When I first announced my challenge, I received an influx of supportive and encouraging messages. On the flip side, I received several messages from friends and family members who were concerned about my health and the risk of injury. I let some of those fearful messages get to my head: A few days into the challenge, I experienced anxiety at night. I couldn’t sleep and I felt terrified before leaving for my runs. A week in, my legs and feet started to hurt and my knees felt like jelly.

To overcome this hurdle, I experimented with recovery techniques and found one that worked great: icing my knees, stretching and the wonderful foam roller. Some days are definitely harder than others—both mentally and physically—but my body eventually adapted to the long distances.

Day 55 of #RUN70 – After yesterday's sore and brutal run, today's was so much better! Legs and body felt good, soreness was gone and I've broken in my new runners😀. The most vital thing that's helped me get through this challenge is recovery – Icing my knees, rolling out my sore muscles with the foam roller, stretching (which I hate doing) and consuming enough carbs pre-workout to keep me energized and enough protein post-run for muscle recovery. I try to be consistent, but some days are still really hard and exhausting. Just over 2 weeks left in the #RUN70 challenge! 📆 Thank you to everyone who's donated so far to the @cancersociety. Donation link on bio🙏🏻😀 . . . . #RUN70 #nikerunning #nikerunclub #nikeplusrunning #summerunning #canadiancancersociety #runforcancer #halfmarathon #marathon #running #runToronto #torontorunning #runeveryday #run #NRC #worldrecord #worldrunners #happinessofpursuit

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The best advice I can offer new runners or those who are just starting their fitness journeys is to just get started, one kilometre at a time. It’s a gradual progression. Set goals that scare you, but you know are achievable.

I’m so grateful for the supportive messages of encouragement I’ve received and for the generous donations this campaign has received so far. To donate, please visit the #RUN70 donation page. And feel free to join me on a run if you’re in the downtown Toronto area!

Follow the rest of Emily’s half-marathon streak on Instagram and get ready to be inspired.

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