Start at the Finish - Have a Race Date
February has arrived… gone are the Christmas holidays, Christmas bills, New Year’s festivities, and the promise of a New Year. By now, everyone is back to the daily grind: work, eat, sleep, and repeat.
Wow, almost March, what happened? I just remembered ringing in the New Year with a lot of new resolutions. And with a new year comes a brand new slate! They say, "Out with the old, and in with the new…" The OLD being bad habits, and the NEW being good habits. Like many of us, myself included, we list “Getting Healthy” very high on our resolution list. But , what does that mean exactly? What does that include? How do we get fit? Do we join a gym? Do we go on a diet, stop smoking or start running? Whatever the means, the end is “Get Healthy." I, for one, year after year, was somewhat dumbfounded on how to do this.
Going to the gym got boring and mundane for me. I could not stay focused and stick a program. I felt that the gym was a big waste of time, as anytime I made any positive gains, I quickly got sidetracked when my social life got in the way. Then, I was told by some friends that they loved P90x, a home/video based program that can get you in shape within 12 weeks. I fell off after 3 weeks. Having someone talk to me through the TV was initially cool and motivating, but after 2 weeks of the same speech, I started to believe that he was NOT talking to me.
One day, a friend told me they had signed up for a 10K running program. It was a group event, where you would gradually build up your running stamina, and at the end of 12 weeks, run in a 10K race. I was intrigued! It sounded interesting, fun and had a specific goal at the end. So, I signed up for a similar program, practiced, and ultimately ran a race. It was amazing. The act and action of signing up for a race gave me something to look forward to. Something to work and train for. I had a date circled on my calendar that would get closer day-by-day. With a target race date, I had a goal, a mission… something to train for! I had no idea about the power of commitment… committing to a race date. Now, my weeks were focused on my training days, and my whole world revolved around my training days.
Last year, in April, I decided that I was going to train and complete my first marathon that fall. Signing up in April gave me approximately 5 months to physically and mentally train for the marathon. I signed up for a run group, stuck with my plan, and trained physical, and mentally - believe it or not, training for a marathon is just as much mental as physical, if not more.
So in 2012, I have signed up for a number of events up 'til August, and the races include 10KM races, half marathons, a fun obstacle course, and a try-a-tri (triathlon). Having planned my races for the first 8 months, I can focus on training - running days, strength training, and rest days. There are 10 months left of the year, what race will you be sign up for?
Here are some upcoming marathons:
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