New Year Resolution #2:
Get Fit… and back into the skinny jeans
This series is all about the top New Year Resolutions. One of those is “Get Organized”. Have you ever made this resolution? How did it go? Did you do a “crash & burn” weekend on Jan. 2nd and everything was back to the way it was by Jan. 10th? Try using organization as a tool for whatever change you desire. You may surprise yourself!
I’m not really a runner. One year of middle school cross country may have turned me off for a lifetime. But, several years ago, I took up racewalking… and learned a lot about myself and what it takes to get to the finish line.
It’s crazy, but I just did it.
A few years ago I did something crazy: Portland to Coast Relay. Then, I did it two more times after that and actually finished the race. Then, I did something even further out of my comfort zone: a half marathon. Then, this year, I did it again…. only this time I actually trained for it and improved my total time by quite a bit…. and I didn’t have crippling blisters on my heels… and I didn’t sleep for three days afterward… or feel like I wanted to cut off my own feet…
Training & a coach was way better than going it alone.
My lovely friend talked me into doing the Portland to Coast Relay the first time. I thought, “Oh sure, I can do that.” The first time I did it, I could count on one hand how many times I went on a training walk. Let’s just say I did one leg (I was supposed to do three), and then had incredible nausea and fatigue and couldn’t continue. Yeah, nice teamwork (my teammates had to pick up my slack… *insert intense guilt here*).
The second time I did it, I decided to train (a little) more and felt better afterward. The third time I hired a racewalking coach and my body thanked me due to much improved form.
Then came the half marathon… There’s strawberry shortcake at the end? And a shiny medal? Oh, alright.
I convinced two of the Portland to Coast friends to do it with me. They obliged, and we set off to do it. Because I’m a bit of a slow learner, I only did about a handful of training walks preparing for the race. If you only walk about 5 times, you FEEL every inch of that 13.1 miles. Even if it is all flat terrain. I “hit the wall” at 8 miles. I had to practically crawl the last 5.1. And they were out of that luscious strawberry shortcake when we finally arrived at the end. Great.
Then I made the commitment, on my calendar.
So, this year, I decided I was going to do the half marathon right. I found a real training schedule, put it in my calendar, sweet talked my neighbor into doing it with me and started a Facebook group to hold me accountable. You know what? It worked. Did I do all the walks? No. Did I do most of them? Yes. Did I do them all on the exact days they were on my calendar? No, but I got about 85% of it in. That felt really good.
Then, we did the race, and I took 25 minutes off my total race time. I felt like a million bucks when I was done! It wasn’t perfect, but I made progress over my last race time. The race wasn’t about the race. It was about the commitment it took to GET to the race and finish to the best of my ability. The hard work, organized effort and determination to be better got me there to receive my second finisher’s medal.
It doesn’t take a half marathon, but it will take commitment.
If you’re making a resolution to “get fit” this year, you don’t have to do a half marathon or go on a reality weight loss show. What I learned was to commit to something that pushed me out of my comfort zone, and then mark it in pen on my calendar. When it’s in front of you everyday, there’s no guessing and no getting out of it. Does that mean you’ll do it perfectly? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean you to fall off the wagon and lay there in the mud. Get back up, check the calendar in the morning and get moving.
Get fit in the New Year:
1. Set a goal
2. Get on a schedule
3. Set up reminders in your calendar
Make a commitment to yourself and follow through, however imperfectly. Just get moving!