Sunday, July 8, 2012

no turning back

Today begins Week 6/18—when this week is over I’ll be 1/3 of the way done with my training! It’s hard to believe that I’ve come from jogging 60-second intervals to 180-second intervals, and even harder to believe that next week I’ll be jogging up to 300 seconds at a time (don’t get ahead of yourself, Misty). A lot of factors have contributed to the fact that I’ve been able to stay motivated:

1. A strong desire for changeThe saying goes that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink; the same is true for any fitness goal. So many people admire healthful living and fitness in other people, but admiration and desire aren’t the same thing. If you truly, truly desire something, you will go after it, and you will get it. I’ve spent many years being wishy-washy about being healthier and living better, and the bottom line is, being fit enough to jog 3 miles at a time wasn’t enough of a priority for me. I have no other excuse. You can only succeed if you really, truly desire to! This is the most vital motivational factor.

2. Tangible results & a goalThis is something I’ve always been missing in my training, and I think this is a key reason I’ve been able to stay on track with this routine. By using the Couch to 5k training program, I can see my results week after week. I know that, so far, I’ve increased my jog intervals by 120 seconds since I started! And because I’ve been tracking it, I know I’ve improved my weight training routine time (same routine every week) by 06:14! Both of these things indicate that my body is improving in strength and endurance. Having a goal at the end, too, is vital here. I know I’m working toward jogging a full 5k, and I can push myself toward that goal when I feel tired or unmotivated.

3. Living healthfully in other areas of lifeI believe my training would be a lot harder if I didn’t have other healthy habits besides jogging/walking and weight training. It’s important that you eat a balanced diet. I wouldn’t call myself a health nut by any means. I have canned vegetables and boxed snacks in my pantry just like most Americans. But portion control is important; eating veggies with every meal is important; indulging only every once in a while (I limit myself to no more than one indulgence per day) is important; drinking lots of water is important; avoiding all kinds of substance abuse (smoking, alcoholism, drugs, caffeine) is important! I know a lot of people who change one area of their lives and don’t change others and they never feel results. Living healthfully takes effort in all areas of life.

4. AccountabilityThis is so, so, so, SO important! I’ve been telling everyone—family, friends, the entire Facebook community—that I’m on this program. A lot of times, being accountable only to yourself isn’t enough to keep you going. In my case, when I don’t want to get up in the morning and go for my jog, I remind myself that everyone is counting on me to succeed in the way I’ve been telling them I will! I’m not just doing it for myself anymore! And you don’t have to tell everyone—you can have one accountability partner, someone who’ll check up on you and who expects you to check up on them, too.

Those four factors have been keeping me going over the last 5+ weeks of training. Yesterday, I added a 5th factor:

5. A pair of real running shoes!Welldang. Now that I’ve spent a pretty penny on a pair of actual running shoes, I have no excuse! I’m going to get my money’s worth out of these!


I should get them in a few days (the store didn’t have my size in the right color so they had to order them). What a massive difference when I put those babies on my feet in the store yesterday! I can’t wait to switch out my current shoes (they’re actually walking shoes—yikes!) for these in a couple days.

If nothing else, an excuse to buy another pair of shoes should motivate you, right? ;)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

the nectar of the gods

Today’s “feels like” temperature high was 104 degrees Fahrenheitwatah; that’s pretty typical for Nashville lately. There’s one thing sustaining me during my workouts in this heat—water, water, water, the nectar of the gods.

Usually I do a fairly good job drinking enough water. I almost always get 64 ounces (that’s eight 8-ounce glasses of water for all my fellow mathdicapped people out there) in a day. But lately my goal has been 96 ounces since I’m spending more time outside and plenty of time sweating bullets.

I found a great iPhone app called Waterlogged to help me stay on track—of course the best part is that it’s free. It’s really simple to use; it has a no-frills, basic interface. You put in your goal amount of water you’d like to drink each day and input water as you drink it. It’s been a vital tool this past week as the temperatures have been brutal!

In other news, I’ve finished Week 4/18. I improved my weight training time by another 01:04 (for a total improvement so far of 01:29). And today I made it through the first jog of Week 5 which took me from my usual 1-1/2-minute intervals to 3-minute intervals! I struggled through the last interval but kept telling myself to go, go, go! I got through it!

It’s amazing to me that in four weeks I’ve gone from struggling to jog for 1 minute at a time to jogging 3 minutes at a time today! It may seem like a small accomplishment, but I daresay I’m proud of myself. :) I’ve got my eyes on the prize—the endurance to jog 3.1 miles without stopping!

That’s a prize worth sweating (and rehydrating) for!