Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome obstacles that will invariably come your way.

Les Brown

Here’s an update on my 2019 commitment to my health & fitness: I’ve been focused on follow-through, doing what I commit to doing. And it’s been great- not easy, but great. I’ve been on an endorphin high and hope it continues. Here’s what I did to kick-start my year in January…

I Committed.

I ran several half-marathons in California, some with no training, which was a terrible idea. When I moved to Washington there were a million excuses to keep me from running. The weather, not having anyone to watch the boys, not wanting to run on a treadmill, being exhausted from work, etc. I knew there was more of a chance that I’d start running again if I forked up the money for a race. So, at the end of 2018 I signed up for two half-marathons, the Deception Pass Half in April and the Bridge of the Gods run my birthday weekend in August. I even convinced Ryan to commit to my birthday run (having a partner in crime is half the battle sometimes).

Once I knew I had an impending race I knew I’d need a better training plan than I’d had before. I’ve heard good things about the Hal Hidgon’s plans, so I looked up the Novice 2 half-marathon plan (because, c’mon I hadn’t really trained right before) and committed to following it. Here’s what it looks like:

I really didn’t want to do it, but I had to find a way to run on a treadmill for more than 5 minutes. I love running outside, the change in scenery really keeps me mentally engaged and allows me to run farther without talking myself out of it. But, in Seattle the days are short and finding time to run outside during the daylight hours is hard for a full-time working mom. In order to meet my weekly milage commitments, I had to make myself finally start using my gym membership. I made a Treadmill mix on my Spotify and started carving out time to run, and guess what- it’s working out just fine.

I was also super lucky and found a cool group of ladies who run the trails at Cougar Mountain every Saturday, with options for 4, 6, 8, 10 or more miles. This has been so helpful since I run the rest of my miles on the treadmill. It’s a beautiful setting to run in and the group sticks together so no one gets left behind, regardless of pace.

I joined a cult.

Okay, no, I didn’t actually join a cult, but I did try out an Orange Theory Fitness class and ended signing up for a membership. It’s perfect for me – I show up and they tell me what to do, and it’s fun. Yup, I said it, fun. I get my cross-training in, but I don’t have to stress about what muscle groups to work out or what exercises to even do for how long. The coaches make sure my form is good and I just stay focused on my #goals. I plan to do a whole results post in a couple months once I’ve been going regularly, but for now I’m just excited it’s keeping me engaged.

I’m staying focused on progress

I’d love to say that since starting this routine in January that I’ve reached all my fitness goals, because I should be seeing awesome results after 30 days of sweating, right? Nope. I’m still a slow runner and struggle to go the distance at my goal race pace. I haven’t made some life-changing physical transformation.

But I’m running farther for longer, I was able to increase the dumbbell weights during my cross-training, and feel better overall. I think staying focused on what’s changing & improving, rather than on a stretch fitness goal or certain weight or clothing size is helping me stay motivated to keep going.

I tell people about my goals.

There’s power in simply stating a goal, out loud, to those who care about you. It leads to accountability, even if they never ask about them again. It’s so much easier to let yourself off the hook if no one knows what you’ve committed to, because who’s gonna know? Just you, and if you’re giving in already will it really matter?

Well, just like my friends & family know I live a low-carb lifestyle and give me a pep talk if I’m sitting there with a plate full of tater tots (yes, this has TOTALLY happened), now they might also ask me how my running’s going and I don’t want to have to hang my head in shame and say something like “I haven’t been running in a while”.

I make plans around my routine.

I’m traveling this week for work and you’d better believe I made sure the hotel had a gym, brought my running gear, and set my alarm early enough to hit the gym before I had to start getting ready. I made my flight back early enough so I wouldn’t miss my Saturday trail run and am signed up to go to an Orange Theory class on Sunday. I know if I leave things to chance it’s just not gonna happen, so I planned accordingly. Make your goals important enough to plan around.

I’m in this for the long haul.

I’ll keep you updated on my fitness journey, because this isn’t a finite routine for the next half marathon or a specific weight goal. My strategies or routines may change as I make progress and I realize what works now at the beginning will evolve over time.

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