Yesterday I crossed the finish line of my January “Someday”: running and/or walking 1200 workout miles during the calendar year. I put in miles on the treadmill last winter and early spring and again late this fall when the weather turned bad. I put in miles in snow, rain, and heat. I put in miles in Central Oregon, Southern Oregon, Portland, Seattle, The Redwoods, Las Vegas, the Oregon and Washington Coasts, Los Angeles, New York, Rome, Cortona, and Venice. My monthly mileage has been right around 100 miles except for October when we were in Italy much of the month. I quietly finished yesterday with three miles on the treadmill before dawn and then a three mile walk on our snowy paths. There was no finisher’s metal, no finish line crowds; in fact, my husband is the only one who knows right now that I made it to my goal.
So where’s the woo-hoo? Surprisingly, I feel a little ambivalent about completing this year-long quest. I did it. I’m glad I did it, but I don’t think I’m taking away from the experience the excitement and enthusiasm I expected. The reality is, I did this as a physical challenge, but my physical condition is worse than when I started. I weigh more and my flexibility and strength have declined due to decreased stretching and weight lifting as I’ve dedicated more of my workout time to running and walking. I’m actually relieved to be done so I can go back to a more rounded workout routine. I’ll still be on the treadmill or the paths almost daily, but without the need to maintain a 4-mile per day average, six days a week and I’ll also be able to add in more varied workout activities. So, woo-hoo for me! I completed my goal. Maybe sometimes an achieved “Someday” isn’t all we expect it to be. Maybe it’s true you can’t do it all and a commitment to one thing means you can’t do something else. As time goes on, I think I will be more proud and more gratified of doing something healthful not many people have matched. For now I am going to take the best of this – the motivation to be healthy – and apply it to 2017 and the rest of my life!
My January “Someday” was the physical challenge of walking or running 1,200 miles this calendar year. This challenge is part of the Oregon Road Runners Club’s 1,200 Mile Challenge. This is the “Someday” at which I’ve been most successful and I’m excited to announce that last week, on the last day of October, I went over the 1,000-mile mark, right on schedule. I worked hard before October to put in extra miles knowing October’s travel would make it difficult to accumulate miles at my normal rate. Extra banked miles plus a few runs in Italy and I made my mini-goal of staying on target throughout a month with very low mileage.
I have 200 miles to go, but I’m feeling pretty good about putting this “Someday” to rest before December 31st. Then what? I’m thinking another “Someday” will be to learn to swim adequately enough to be able to complete a mini-triathlon. Right now, though, I need to go pick up my knitting needles and work on this month’s “Someday”.
I’m still plugging away on my January “Someday”: running and walking 1200 miles this calendar year. My routine has changed throughout the year with the changing seasons and circumstances. In the early months I did quite a few miles on the treadmill as I waited for dawn to arrive so I could finish my daily miles outside with my dogs. I live in a resort town, so during the summer months I’ve tried to be out the door no later than 6:00 in order to avoid the crowds of vacationers running, walking, and biking on our trails.
Whether I’m on the treadmill or outside, one of the pieces of my routine that doesn’t change is my running. I consider myself a runner, but I do enjoy walking, as well. However, when I run, I do not run continuously. As the well known running coach Jeff Galloway recommends, I run with walk breaks – a form of interval training. A problem has arisen for me, though, in how I refer to my workouts. I am an extremely honest person and I feel uncomfortable saying, “I went for a 3-mile run this morning,” when I actually took walk breaks in that run. Lately, I’ve been using the cumbersome term, “run-walk” as in, “I ran-walked 3-miles this morning.” As I was motoring along during my 3-mile run-walk this morning, I was pondering this issue when a lightening idea struck. From now on, I will combine the two words and I will RALK! When you say the word “ralk” it sounds like “rock”. I’m feeling pretty good saying this out loud: I ralked 3 miles this morning!”
When I began the 1200-mile challenge in January, my plan was to average 4 miles per day, 6 days per week with Sunday being a rest day. Throughout all of January and February and through almost half of March, I didn’t take that Sunday rest day. My reserve mileage increased and the extra Sunday miles allowed for lighter-mile days now and then.
Even though working out every day had not been part of my “someday” plans, I was beginning to think I might keep up the pace and do 366 exercise days in a row. Then, Tuesday happened. Tuesday was my travel day back home from spending two weeks with my daughter, son-in-law, and my newborn grandson. I had planned to hit the trail that morning, but then there were two hours of blissful baby-holding. I went to a late breakfast with my mother-in-law wearing my workout clothes, thinking I would head out the door as soon as I returned from breakfast, but then breakfast ran long as we chatted and caught up. I drove home (four hours) still wearing my workout clothes. I thought I’d head out for a walk as soon as I arrived home in the very late afternoon, but then my daughter and her boyfriend, who were spending part of their spring break at our house, were waiting and hoping for dinner out before they left the next morning. End result? I took a skip day! Do I regret it? Not a bit! I spent time with my two-week old grandson, I enjoyed conversation with my mother-in-law, and I had a lovely time with my daughter and her boyfriend. I would regret skipping time with family, but I can easily make up the four miles lost on my exercise skip day.
The calendar has flipped over to a new month which means it’s time to add a new “someday” to my journey. This month I’m going to begin learning Italian in earnest. I’ve piddled around with language in the past, but it’s not something that comes easily to my brain. I’ve tried for a week or so (much like dieting), but I’ve always given up. I love Italy. I love the pace and the beauty of Italy. I love traveling in Italy. I would love to speak Italian so I can communicate better when I am there and also to keep a piece of Italy with me.
Reviewing the last three months, writing, for my blogs and in my journal, is moving along smoothly; writing my book (November’s “someday”) is lagging. However, I have been giving the book’s content a lot of thought and my writing is usually done in my brain before I even begin to put words to screen. I am meditating regularly (December’s “someday”) and feel the practice has taken hold as part of my daily routine. I am walking and/or running daily and I am ahead of plan on the 1200-mile annual challenge I started last month (118.76 miles to date). Now, it’s time to add language lessons and practice.
To begin this month’s “someday”, I’ve downloaded an Italian language program to listen to in my car. I’m in my car a lot, so that seems the most reasonable way to get started. I also joined an online language program I’ll use to supplement the audio program.
I’ll keep you posted. For now, ciao!
As of yesterday morning, I have ten reserve miles built up for my 1200-mile challenge. Actually, it’s almost eleven miles, but that doesn’t sound as good for a title. My plan for reaching the 1200-miles this year is to walk or run four miles a day, six days a week. While I haven’t yet taken a skip day, there have been days when I’ve done a little less than four miles. However, because I have had a few days when I’ve gone longer and since I haven’t taken a skip day, my mileage has stayed on track and now I have a nice, ten-mile reserve.
It’s a little like dealing with finances. I now have a little money in the bank. Do I spend a little bit here and a little bit there, letting it whittle down to nothing or, perhaps even going into debt? Or do I save my money for a big expenditure – a vacation perhaps? I’m actually feeling a little miserly about it. If I don’t spend any of my saved miles and I continue to put in extra miles, I’ll continue to grow my reserve. I may become the running/walking version of Scrooge McDuck.
I’m not Facebook friends with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, but it was pointed out to me that a couple of days ago he posted his New Year’s physical challenge to run 365 miles this year. He’s calling it A Year of Running and states that it’s a mile a day. My first reaction was…Wimp! My second thought – he must be taking a rest day since there are 366 days in 2016.
Zuckerberg already has more than 87,000 people signed up to join him in tackling this goal. That’s great! Many of those folks are probably already runners, but I’m sure many of them are couch potatoes who are inspired by a goal that sounds doable. I hope that the true couch potatoes aren’t turned off by the running goal. I’d like it better if it was a running or walking goal. That’s not the point, though. It is a goal and, for many people, it will be a challenge. I do wonder how much of a challenge it really is for a guy like Zuckerberg, who is probably already a runner. I may be wrong on that, but he looks like a runner. Maybe he just has good genes and this goal really is a challenge for him.
Actually, I think I need to take off my Snide Hat and acknowledge that it’s good anytime a person takes on a physical challenge whether it’s training for a marathon or getting out of bed to use the bathroom after a medical event. I applaud Mark Zuckerberg for putting his goal out there and, because he reaches millions of people, for encouraging others to join him in setting a physical goal.
Now I’m out the door to do my mile (x4).
Today is four days into my 1200-mile challenge and I’ve walked/run over sixteen miles, staying on pace with my plan of four miles/day, six days/week. The temperature where I live has been very cold, dipping down into the negatives early in the mornings. There is a lot of snow on my walking trail along with some icy spots, so this is not exactly power walking, but it is definitely a workout – my legs feel the effort!
I have to admit I would probably have bagged the idea of walking four miles on January 1st and 2nd if it hadn’t been for the formality of signing up for this challenge with Oregon Road Runners Club. It would have been easy to simply sit inside looking out at the beautiful white winter wonderland and put off a workout until “someday” when the conditions were better. However, knowing I’ve signed up for this challenge and my mileage will be posted on the ORRC website and with the companionship and support of my husband and two visiting friends, I got out there and walked…and walked…and walked.
My husband put together an Excel spreadsheet for me to track my mileage. Seeing the numbers for the first three days along with the miles left to go and the projected mileage at my current pace was encouraging. Yesterday, it was much easier to get out the door. Today, it wasn’t even a question. I’m on my way!
Out with the old; in with the new. Except the old, in terms of my 366 Somedays journey, is writing and meditation, neither of which is going “out”. I’m ready for the new “new”, though! Today begins my 1200 Challenge: running/walking 1200 miles this year. That averages out to four miles per day, six days per week. Having been sick last month – yes, December is now considered “last month” – I slacked off on my regular exercise schedule. I normally run and/or walk daily, but the outings for the last month have been infrequent at best and for a couple of weeks were not at all.
I’ve wanted to take on a physical challenge “someday”. Someday is now and I’m ready for the new challenge and excited to get started.
Whether we want them or not, the new year will bring new challenges.
Whether we seize them or not, the new year will bring new opportunities.
Post-script: I wrote this early this morning, but didn’t get it posted. Since then I did a 4.8 mile walk. Day 1 done.
I did it! My January “someday” is to conquer a physical challenge. No, I haven’t conquered the challenge yet, but I have taken the first step. I’ve done many races, mostly 5ks and 10ks and I’ve also completed a handful of half-marathons. In 2001 I completed my biggest challenge to date – I walked a marathon. It was not a pleasant event. My feet were covered in blisters and I almost stopped at mile 22, but I continued on when a friend mistakenly called my phone number instead of my husband’s and admitted they’d conspired to all meet me at the finish line. Obviously, I had to finish. As I limped along with my blistered feet, an aide worker at mile 25 suggested I stop walking and check-in to the medical tent. I kept going. It was pretty ugly, but I finished and I’m glad I did. It was an accomplishment I’m not sure I’ll repeat, though if I did, now I’d do it as a runner/walker.
There’s another type of running/walking challenge I’ve toyed with the last few years, but always managed to talk myself out of doing. Not this year! Someday is now, after all. The challenge is the Oregon Road Runners Club’s “1200 Club” and I signed up today for the 2016 event! It’s not really an event; it’s a year-long program to run or walk 1200 miles from January 1st to December 31st. That averages out to 4 miles per day, 6 days per week.
I’ll admit I’ve been practicing to see what that kind of mileage is like and I feel confident I can do the daily mileage. The challenge will be in doing it day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month, through snow and ice, sun and heat, vacations, and sickness. Yes, it will be a challenge.
So, stay tuned. I begin the challenge January 1st and will be focusing on getting a good sound start that month. I’ll report on how it goes, how I feel, the challenges, and the victories.
Challenge your body before your body challenges you.