I’m definitely one I those people who has a problem sticking to a fitness regimen unless I have something to work towards or people who would be let down if I didn’t follow through. My first sports love (and probably my one true love) is swimming. I swam competitively for nine years. Year-round for the most part. I quit when I dropped out of college that first time. I’ve gotten back in the water several times since then but I haven’t been able to stick with it (it was never a team atmosphere where we were working towards meets or anything like that). I’ve looked around here and there are a couple of teams but they are too far away/not in the current budget. I miss it. I dream about it. I know I need to keep myself active even if I’m unable to swim. Enter: running.

I started running because in my second time around in college, during my senior year, I had some credits to burn. So I took a distance running course. I don’t really know what possessed me to take it. I hated running. Loathed it. I was unable to to get into the zone when running. I could run alright but I was weak-minded and if the thought of taking a break and walking a little entered my head, I couldn’t not do it. With swimming, if I’m in the water, I’m instantly in my own little world and can just go. Running took a lot more concentration. The furthest I went in that class was 6.2 miles (a 10k). When I finished, I remember thinking, “Welp, never wanna do that again!” I continued to run for about the next six months or so, but never more than three miles at a time. Then I fell off the horse.

Fast forward a little more than two years: I’ve moved to Cincinnati. I am out of shape and I’ve put on a few pounds. I know I need to do something but a monthly gym membership is not in our budget. I tried that running group and decided it wasn’t really for me but it did inspire me to get off my ass. There were ladies there who were twice my age talking about running half marathons and marathons. There were ladies of all shapes and sizes running miles and miles. I had no excuse. So I decided I wanted to run a half marathon. I picked one about four months in the future, found a six weeks to 5k training program, followed by a ten week to half marathon program and signed up.

The day I paid for that registration, I felt sick. I had to do it now. The furthest I’d ever run was six miles and I hated it! What in the hell did I sign up for?! But I continued with my training and each week I surprised myself with more miles than I had ever run before. And I felt better and better the further I went. That was a year and a half ago. I’m currently training for my fifth half.

This time, I have a training buddy. My neighbor once told me she always wanted to run a half so I offered to train with her. This is her first one. So now I’m finding myself being the voice of reason. When she’s having a bad day and her runs aren’t feeling good, I reassure her that running doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes you have a week or two straight where it’s torture. But then you have that break-through run and it is SO WORTH IT. And it’s so fun to see her surprise herself every week by going further than she ever has before. This is going to be a fun race.

This is the first time that I’ve been actively trying to lose weight while training for a race. When I first started, I figured the weight would just fall off of me. That was before I knew that running long distances would turn me into a gluttonous, ravenous beast with a seemingly endless appetite. Sure, I toned up a little but I didn’t lose any weight. I write down everything I eat now. The plan I’m on allows for extra food on days of strenuous working out but it’s certainly not a free-for-all now. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough energy but that hasn’t been the case at all. Truthfully, I feel great!

So in order to up my game this year, here’s the plan:
1. Half marathon in Lexington on March 30.
2. 25k in Grand Rapids on May 11.
3. Full marathon in Detroit on October 20.

I also have a goal of losing around 50 pounds (I’m down 15 already so 35-ish to go) and I want to improve my overall body tone and strength. I started doing an ab workout three times a week after my runs and two weeks ago, I said I was going to start getting up at 5 AM to do strength training. I have yet to do that. JW is loving giving crap about it. It infuriates me. Which brings me back to the first statement of this post: I have a hard time sticking with things if I’m not being held accountable (for some reason, JW saying things to me does not light the fire under my ass that he intends for it to do). I know that you, dear reader, really have no way of knowing if I get up at 5 and workout or not. But for me, it helps me to feel a little more accountable.

I’ll let you know tomorrow how it goes.