It is that time of year again. Christmas is fast approaching and right behind that is the New Year. Oftentimes people use the turning of the New Year as a time to set goals for personal improvement. Here in the United States that many times includes goals of losing weight and/or getting more fit. I am included in that sea of people who have set weight loss goals at the New Year and most of the time I never achieved those goals. Life happened. Excuses were made. And, unfortunately, the weight just went on instead of off and my fitness level dropped farther and farther down.
Well, the truth is that I have gotten angry about my past performance. I am mad. I look in the mirror and wonder who looks back at me. I am putting my foot down and staking my claim on 2011. The year of 2011 will be the year of achieving long-time fitness goals. I will do what it takes to make it happen.
The advantage I have going into 2011 is that I already have six months of exercise and better eating under my belt. It was in April that I became angry and decided to make a change. I laced up some running shoes, stepped out the door, and started running down my street. I haven’t stopped yet. I have since run two 5K races and am scheduled to run a 10K on New Year’s Eve. I am the fittest I have ever been in my life. That definitely makes it easier for me to continue this change on into the New Year. However, 2011 will be the year that I take my fitness and endurance to a whole new level and achieve much bigger goals. Here is my plan:
I will run in a Half-Marathon taking place on Tybee Island, GA on February 5, 2011. I am already registered for this race. As of this writing, I have never run past 9 miles. I have just under two months to be able to complete 13.1 miles. I created a training schedule using a combination of plans from Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway. I run two three mile runs during the week and one long run on the weekends. I am doing well with this schedule and look forward to finishing this race. I have no time goal other than to finish within the allowed time of 3 hours 30 minutes.
Once I finish the Tybee Island Half-Marathon I will take a month off from heavy training. I will continue to run 3-4 times a week but at reduced mileage. I will need to allow my legs to rest and recover just in time to start a new training schedule for Goal #2.
I will run in and complete the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon in Savannah, GA on November 5, 2011. I have had the dream of completing a marathon for almost as long as I can remember. But, my own lack of confidence prevented me from even trying. Then when I gained weight and lost fitness that fueled my lack of motivation even more. When I started running again it was not long before I set my eyes on a marathon. What better race to be in than a Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in my own home town.
I will be using the Jeff Galloway Marathon Training Plan exclusively. Being that I started with almost no fitness and overweight, the run/walk method that Jeff Galloway is so famous for works very well for me. The walk breaks consistently get me to the end of my long runs feeling strong. This program gives me 30 weeks to get to the marathon. That puts me officially starting marathon training in mid-March. It is a long program but I know that I will need that to stay focused. Just like the Half-Marathon, I do not have a time goal. All I want is to finish and get my medal.
The truth is that there really isn’t a Goal #3. I just added that to address the issue of weight loss. I am not going to concern myself with weight loss. I know I could easily lose 30+ pounds. But, my focus this year is to achieve Goals 1 and 2. I am confident that weight loss will happen on its own and in its own time as I am training. I am already seeing the difference training is making in my body. I know that in the past when I focused on that number on the scale I would often get discouraged, burn out, and quit. Then I would go eat something. That never worked. Pursuing large fitness goals is working for me. My body is burning the fat as it works and it is craving healthier foods. I am consciously exercising and my body is doing the rest.
2011 is going to be a great year. It will be the year that I push myself to levels I never thought possible. I am confident that I will achieve those goals because I got angry and I am ready to make a change. Here’s to running after dreams!!