My 2016: Medal Monday

Looking back on 2016, I’m still in shock at how far I’ve come. It shouldn’t surprise me, because I worked my butt off, but sometimes, just looking back at my progress, I can’t believe it. I skipped out on a lot of drinking nights. I sacrificed lazy nights in lieu of meal planning. Instead of getting brunch with friends, I made healthy breakfasts at home and met up with them for coffee. I skipped out on some work parties so I could get home at a decent hour because I knew I had to get up early to run. “Sorry I can’t; I’m running in the morning” was a text I think my friends got use to hearing. And you want to know the best thing about all of that?

It was worth it.

Every single decision. Every gathering I CHOSE to miss. Every glass of wine I decided not to pour and drink water instead. Every Sunday I would meal plan or plan out my running schedule instead of doing nothing. Every time I turned down going out to lunch at work and getting major crap for it… “you never come out with us!” Sorry guys. Plus, Chicago is expensive. All of it. Worth it.

I feel great.
I have more energy.
My skin looks more youthful.
I’ve lost weight.
I gained some absolutely amazing friendships.
My self-confidence boosted.
I am more positive.
I fight less.
I forgive more.
I listen more and talk less.

In 2016, I ran 21 races. TWENTY-ONE. Of those 21 races, three of them were half-marathons. I ran my first ever in June 2016 and loved it so much that I did two more. 2015, I could barely run 4 miles…. and I completed THREE half-marathons. I am so proud of that!

2016races

I also participated in the #HolidayMile which was a challenge to run or walk one mile every single day from Thanksgiving to New Years. And that was a challenge, let me tell you. I missed a few days, but I ran more than I would have without this challenge.

Total2016.png

I ended my year with 547.34 miles. My original plan was to do 1,000 solo miles, but due to some poor planning in the beginning of the months and lack of discipline, I did not hit that goal. But my running buddy Ally and I decided to do a team effort and we hit 1,000 miles together. (More on that here.)

With the 21 races and 2 challenges I participated in, I gained 17 new shiny medals to proudly display:

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I have a plan of attack for 2017. I’m going to hit 1,000 solo miles. But I’m giving myself a different kind of challenge than I did in 2016.  I split the months up into sections of three. So, for example, Jan, Feb March is one set, then April, May, June is the next, and so on so so forth.  I picked one month out of the set of three to be my 100 miles in one month (one set I chose two) and I made sure I didn’t have any back to back months of 100 miles. I was strategic with what I decided to pick.

Here’s the breakdown:
JAN-Because it’s the first month of the year and I should start off strong.
APRIL-It’s my birthday month
JUN-I’m training for a half-marathon anyway. Plus, it will get me outside.
AUG-Josh and I usually go on vacation in Sept, so I can’t pick that month, and I needed at least a month in-between the last 100 mile month.
NOV-Because Nov 2016 was my first 100 mile a month ever.

So there’s half of my 1,000 miles in a year right there: five 100-mile months. Which will then leave me with six months to do an average of 84 miles each (which can consist of running, walking and biking). The month directly following my 100 mile month will most likely have a higher biking mileage since I’ll want to give my knee a rest.

But my challenge to myself is a two-parter. In my 100 mile months, I’m only counting actual RUNNING miles as a part of that. Here’s a visual to make more sense:

janfebmar

aprmayjun

My plan for 2017 is to also incorporate some biking, which I will count towards my grand total of 1,000 miles in the year, but during my 100 mile months, I’m keeping a separate note for just running.  So, for example, today I ran 3 miles and did a half mile cool-down. I logged my 3 miles in for running and the half mile down for walking.  So, my grand total for the year (including my New Years Day walk), is 4.75 miles, but only 3 miles of that I’m counting towards my 100 miles for January.

The reason I’m doing this is because I wanted a little more of a challenge. I really learned a lot in 2016 about the importance of planning week by week. When I hit 100 miles in Nov, I counted both my running and walking. I accomplished that, so now I just want a bit more of a challenge for myself. I also found that I would make excuses to not run. “Oh I can just walk 2 miles and run 3 miles for a total of 5 miles for the day,” when really my body is perfectly capable of doing a 4.5 mile run with a half mile cool down. I want to get faster and break my PRs and that will not happen when I’m walking.  Again, I’ll still count my walks towards my 1,000 miles for the year. Walking is still very important. I am by no means putting down walking, but this is the goal I picked for myself.

Some of my other 2017 goals:
Plan my week every Sunday night
Blog more
Run a half-marathon in a different state that is far enough to have to spend the night. (road trip!)
Read 10 books
Cross-train (I literally did none of that last year. Oops)
Explore healthier foods and blog about it
Be more positive

I’d love to hear some goals my readers have made! Comment below with yours!

Best wishes to all.

I Write Therefore I Am

I joined “Writing 101” in hopes to stay on my blogging game.  I’ve struggled with keeping up with my blog since I started it five years ago. I talk about that often in a lot of my posts. These posts usually start off apologizing for how long it’s been since I last blogged. I have a lot to say, but I always wonder why people would even be interested in anything I said. So I would go months and months without updating anything. I’ve slowly learned over the years to stop worrying about what other people think. After all, I will be 30 next year – my amount of “things I worry about” have greatly diminished.

I’ve recently gotten back into running. Back in 2011/2012, I was running seven miles 2-3 times a week. I know I can do it, but I’ve gotten a little older and gained some weight, so it will be a challenge. My goal is to run a half marathon next spring. There will be an influx of posts about exercise now.

I enjoy cooking. LOVE it. I love experimenting with new foods. I watch just about every show on Food Network. I’m always in awe of how these chefs can think of their feet. I learn a lot through these cooking shows. One of the bests feelings is watching someone smile and tell you how good their meal is.  I don’t do it for recognition. I wouldn’t care if people didn’t know who made their meals. I just like making people full and happy.

I’ve recently been diagnosed as an insomniac – but let’s be real, all insomniacs sort of already know that’s what they have but wait a really long time to just “deal with it.” I’ve had sleeping issues since I was in high-school. So I’ll be blogging about my journey through these sleep study logs.

I love writing. I need to jot down my thoughts or the thoughts just rumble around inside my head and I cannot concentrate on the task at hand. One of these days I will start working on that book I’m going to publish…

Feel free to poke around my blog and sign my guestbook!

XOXO
Megs

Blogging 201: Set Three Goals

Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog. Write down three concrete goals you want to achieve. 

When I took the Blogging 101 class, I connected with so many new bloggers and learned a lot of tricks with WordPress. I was very impressed with the course so I decided to follow the Blogging 201 course. I wasn’t able to get into the registration to see the private thread for them, but I can still do the assignments! 🙂

Here are my goals:

  • Publish three times each week
  • Establish a new weekly feature on my blog by the end of Feb (I’m thinking of doing Wordless Wednesdays or maybe Sunday Morning Poetry…?) to start posting the first week in March.
  • Gain 200 new WordPress followers for my blog by my birthday: April 4th (Current count 744).

Posting three times a will will probably be a huge challenge for me! So hopefully I can find enough to babble about! 🙂

xoxo
Megs