3 of 4 Stars: Do Recommend.
There are two reasons to do this review: 1) It’s just a normal thing to do after embarking on a challenge. 2) I’m freaking out about what I’ve gotten myself into for next year. It’s one thing to do something that might be considered obnoxious (or fantastic and fun if you’re one of those weirdos, no offense, who’s actually good at the whole distance running thing) once a month; it’s another to do something that might be considered obnoxious (or fantastic and fun if you’re one of those weirdos, no offense, who’s actually into the whole comprehensive health and wellness thing) every single day for a year. And a leap year no less.
366 days of good decisions may be a bit much for a schlub like me.
But yeah, that’s that, but before we get full swing into the crazy goals of next year (and notice I said goals, not resolutions ’cause, quite frankly, resolutions can go to hell), I thought it would be fun to really contemplate what this past year has been like for me as I sought to accomplish one goal and just generally try to do better as a human being in other areas without any specific goals.
Stability (sort of)
The easiest bit of stability to see is in my times:
For the life of me (re: I made minimal efforts and they didn’t lead to stellar results), I couldn’t improve my time. I knew when I was sub-31 on that first 5K that I was screwed. I was hoping to break 35 that day, and then I went and overachieved (and almost gave my breakfast to the asphalt at the end).
The weird part is at the beginning, I wasn’t really ready to run. At the end, I was injured and not running (or even walking) much. In the middle, I was putting in consistent miles. And the times were mostly in a 31-32 range (8 were between 31:00 and 32:59).
The other bit of stability was my weight. I stuck around 190 pretty much the whole year. I had some dips down toward 185 and some hops to 195, but I generally fell back to 190 no matter what. Until the past few weeks. I’ve actually had some pretty sustained weight loss, but that’s only getting me to consistently around 185. I really want to be around 175 for health reasons. My body hates me and rebels a lot more at 190 than it did at 175.
Some Lessons Learned
One thing I figured out is that I don’t really like running with music. It’s really more of a distraction than anything else. I had a few runs where I didn’t have my phone because I forgot my case or it was raining. And it was nice. It helped clear my mind much better than running with music.
But there’s a problem: I feel compelled to keep running with my phone because I paid for an app. I may keep the Zombies, Run! app going but turn off the music. Of course, that means I’ll be running with headphones and no music. Or maybe I’ll just unplug every once in a while. Who knows. Something will be done though. I may just quit the app.
I’m learning that I need to eat better. This doesn’t just affect running, but running amplifies things if you feel lunch sloshing around in a run. There’s a reason the Super Awesome Year of Me is going to feature a lot of food-based goals.
I don’t have a healthy relationship with food, but I’m trying. I’m still not doing perfectly, but I am being more conscious to eat more vegetables and fresh fruit. I’m also doing a better job of not over-eating at dinner, which is helping me sleep better.
I’m also learning I have to just do what works for me. Other people’s experiences are awesome and all (and I follow a handful of other running blogs on wordpress), but ultimately everyone’s experiences are different and what works for someone else might not work for me. I can’t make the same choices others are making because they’re not me. They don’t have the same tendencies, injuries, build, etc.
And lastly (and possibly was completely ignored in creating next year’s goals), I can’t bite off more than I can chew. I did this at the beginning of the year and again when I was trying to work out 6 times a week while maintaining a stressful job (that I honestly enjoy and won’t cut back much on). It’s a recipe for disaster, and it’s not worth it. Slow and steady like that stupid tortoise.
Ok, so that was last, this is last (and since this is typed, realize that I’m actually leaving lastly in the previous sentence even though there is not even a remote need to do so). Use social support. I might run alone (even when I run with a group of friends), but I wasn’t really alone in this process. I had encouragement, and I had people asking about the process the whole year. And it was mostly good stuff (haters gonna hate, and there will always be at least some). Asking how the process was going might not sound like much, but it helped. Of course, I quite Facebook, which is the primary way most folks knew what I was up to, but that’s alright. I’ll just have to become a super famous fitness (sort of) blogger.
Wouldn’t that be great to have a fitness (sort of) blog? It would be the perfect genre. You could tell your friends about that awesome blog you were reading.
“Oh, so it’s a fitness blog?”
“Umm, sort of.”
That’s the niche I’m aiming for with this bad boy. Let’s make a new paradigm. The fitness (sort of) blog. Where we talk about our run while we say we hate running. We talk about a salad recipe (do salads count as having recipes?) even though we’re probably going to eat that pizza in the fridge. Or we could talk about yoga even if we’re just a big green rage monster on the inside.
Oh well, that’s 2015 for you (unless I get ambitious in the next two days). Seacrest out.