I’m overdue in sharing my resolutions for 2016, due to slothful New Year’s Day recovery in the couch, in the bed, on the floor and, actually, on the treadmill and running circles around my kitchen island, but we’ll get to that later. What is certain is that I didn’t prioritize writing, and today I’m determined to do so.
- I will take 10,000 steps per day, every day, on average throughout the year until I reach or exceed my goal of 2016 miles ambulated in 2016. Indeed, I signed up for Run the Year as a means to support this end. As I looked back over 2015, while I did a better job of taking more steps, I’m not nearly as consistent as I’d like to think I am at meeting this goal. This year will be different.
- I would like to be in solid enough condition to run at least two half marathons this year. Maybe three. I am hoping to run the Snohomish Women’s half marathon on Mother’s Day this year. Unlike my previous half marathon, I would like to have several consistent, long runs under my belt that exceed eight miles. When I ran the River Run in October, the furthest distance I had ever run was eight miles. Once. Before that it was six miles. I wasn’t ready at all for that race and I’m impressed that I did as well as I did. To support my goal of a half marathon, I have signed up for a 10K (6 mile) run on Valentine’s Day called ‘My Better Half-Marathon, and three weeks later on March 6th, I’m running a 15K (9 mile) called the Hot Chocolate Run. With consistency after that, I have over a month to run myself into readiness for the next half marathon. Then I want to do the Beat the Blerch half marathon in September with Gigi.
- I would like to weigh 170. I’ll be honest. This used to be a vanity number and, while I kept it in front of me as a goal, it wasn’t a real goal. More like an ‘if I really want to push myself’ goal. But I read an article recently that proposed that even if you’re chubby and work out, you’re not lengthening your life more than you would if you just stayed chubby. According to this article, which was a decades long study of over a million people, it really is a numbers game. The closer you are to your ideal weight while exercising nets the best results of a longer, healthier life. According to the doctor’s chart, I exit ‘overweight’ and become ‘normal’ at 170. I’d like to give that a try.
- I want to integrate weights into my workout routines more often. During break, I’ve given myself about 15 minutes three times a week to pull some weights and it seems totally doable. 🙂
- A friend of mine passed away on Christmas Eve. It was a savage and swift cancer attack that left everyone gasping at how quickly it moved and left two daughters and a wife alone in its wake. Throughout the clinics, the chemo, the rallies and falters the family echoed the refrain that: No matter how good or bad you think life is, wake up each day and be thankful for that life. Someone, somewhere else, is fighting to survive. I think about it all the time. One of my resolutions is to remember that no matter what, this world is a beautiful place to walk through and this life is a gift. Each day needs to be lived with the honor and respect that it deserves, and if someone else can’t, then I need to do that for them. I’m living my best life this year, in honor of this friend and the family he left behind.
This next part is me being a little more bossy pants than I usually feel comfortable with, but it’s something I see and hear a lot about. I hear a lot of people feeling like they’re stagnating. Or even more challenging, I see people stagnate who don’t realize they have stagnated in their fitness routine and they complain to me about not making progress. Stagnating looks like:
- Still walking the exact same mileage in the exact same amount of time several weeks, months or a year later. If you started out walking a 16 minute mile last January, your mile should probably be a little faster now. Or you should be walking a little further.
- If that same distance or effort doesn’t make you get out of breath or sweaty, you need to go faster or farther. If you’re not sweating and breathing hard, it’s not cardio.
- Taking breaks out of fear more than necessity. If you’re running along and know you always stop at a mile because you get tired and you’re looking forward to the break, ask yourself if you really need to stop. If you’ve been running that mile or two or three for a few weeks or more, most likely your body is ready for you to push a little further. Try adding another minute, or half mile, or to the next stop sign, or whatever deal you have to broker with yourself to make yourself go a little faster or a little further. Take baby steps, but push yourself just enough to get that great burn and confidence boost.
- You give up the second you get out of breath or sweaty. Cardio is sustained out of breath, heavy breathing, getting sweaty for a long time. I like to sweat for at least 40 minutes. More if it’s something fun like Zumba or another novel activity. I sweat through my clothes, especially under my boobs, on my back, and I wear black pants because butt sweat is my own personal reality. I used to feel so humiliated if I got sweaty or red or out of breath, but, HELLO! That’s what it looks like when you work out! You sweat, breathe heavy and pull lots of air for a long time! It’s a good thing! Embrace it!
We are all guilty of it, and there’s nothing wrong with taking a workout easy from time to time, but if you’re truly honest then you’ll remember that results and change come from honest to goodness hard work and energy output. Fitness isn’t medicated, it can’t be faked and while being thinner certainly has been nice for me, being fit has changed my life. It’s always worth pushing a little bit harder in this area, within reason, in my opinion. So if you’re stopped, if you’ve stagnated, be honest with yourself when you ask yourself why you’re stagnating. I was surprised that my why was a fear of failure and assumption that I just couldn’t do it. It was better to stop myself than suffer the humiliation of being forced to stop, apparently. I would freak out at three miles, inducing an asthma attack without failure, time and again. I thought it was a signal from my body, but one time I accidentally ran right past three miles without noticing and it seemed to change everything. Give it a try. 😊
I thought of your post today when I was running. It was getting hard and I wanted to stop and then I remembered the part about stagnating. Thanks for writing what I’ve been thinking of will think. It’s so helpful in this journey to know others are going through the same thing.