With each new year comes the idea of a fresh start: the motivation to start this, quit that, improve this, reduce that…the infamous “Propósitos del Año Nuevo,” or “New Year’s Resolutions” as we say across the pond.
I worked as a fitness instructor at the UND Wellness Center during my college career, and through that experience I gained keen insight into the most notorious of New Year’s trends: the super-swelling of gym attendance during the first month of the year, followed by a sharp drop-off as early February. As someone who maintains a relatively consistent activity level throughout the year, I just see January as the time of year when going to the gym can be more stress-inducing than stress-relieving.
So my “anti-resolution”, for January at least, was to NOT purchase a gym membership (I pay month by month) at the fabulous Gimnasio Alhóndiga, but instead to run outside more (ironically during the coldest and rainiest month of the year) and become more creative and resourceful with home workouts.
To have something more specific to work toward, I rather arbitrarily decided that I want to run 100 miles (or 161 km for those of you from countries which have more sensibly adopted the metric system) by the end of January. I truly don’t consider this a particularly impressive goal, but it will be a PR for me I suppose. If you think I’m just being modest, you need to read Born to Run (hugely inspirational for me), and then my piddly 100 miles will seem trivial to you as well.
I started this venture on January 5th, and since I usually do my longer runs on the weekend, I’ve decided that I will polish off the 100 miles on Sunday the 29th, probably with some sort of epic odyssey run to break my PR of miles run in a day (currently 13.1; a half marathon.) I’ve decided to take two days off each week, so that gives me exactly 19 separate runs to total 100 miles–an average of 5.3 miles per run. As you can see from my low-tech tracking method below, I’ve got some work to do before the 29th:
*Note: I also use MapMyRun.com as a more”high-tech” tracking method to ensure distance accuracy and to plan my routes. This calendar simply serves as a visual encouragement (it’s taped to my closet) to get out and hit the pavement so I get to use my über-cool hot pink pen to record my accomplished mileage.
You can also see that I’m tracking hiking miles as well, but that’s just for fun–the only miles that will count toward my 100 mile goal are those that I run. I’ve also recently decided to track the amount that I walk each day for commuting, errands, meeting up with friends, etc. I already know that the average is somewhere around 3 miles per day, but I’m curious to monitor it more closely and get an accurate total.
By a very conservative estimate, after adding up 100 miles run + X miles hiked + X miles walked, I will cover over 200 miles on foot in the month of January. That works out to an average of 6.7 miles (over 10km) every single day.
I’ve run in a few half marathons over the past couple of years, and I’m excited to have another one lined up for this March in Santander, Spain: a coastal city just a bit west of Bilbao. I’m also flirting with the idea of running my first full marathon at the end of April in Madrid.
What goals do you have for staying active in 2012?