Today is a dieter's double whammy - not only is it a Monday, which is when we (the royal) traditionally begin our diets, but it's also the start of a new year, which again, is when we (the royal) attempt to change our lives for the healthier. But you know me - I march to the beat of my own drum, which is why I started my last diet on a random Wednesday in May. So if you're feeling excited and energized and ready to make some changes now, great - go for it! But if you're not fully committed, then by all means hold off - don't jump into this just because it's the new year. Your new year can begin anytime; I am living proof of that.
That said, I do have a couple of plans for the new year. I know! But hear me out - this is mostly about running, and the timing is such that our training season is winding down right now (my goal race is in 13 days, eek!). I made it through another year of running without a major injury, woohoo! Yes, I am still dealing with a bit of a hamstring tug, especially if I run hills, and my plantar fasciitis seems to never go away, but two things have helped with both of these issues - using my BFF Buffer on a daily basis, and running really easy intervals. For most of the year, I've done 1:30/1 intervals (run for 1 minute 30 seconds, walk for 1 minute, lather, rinse, repeat), and they have served me well. I can't begin to tell you how nice it was to finish a long run and feel good for a change. I didn't need a nap most of the time after my long runs, when in previous seasons, I'd be passed out cold for a couple hours on Saturday afternoons! So it was great to not kill myself by running too hard.
And yet...I have to admit, I could be pushing it just a little bit more on some of my runs, especially the shorter ones. I realized this last month, when I randomly decided to try and run for half a mile without stopping. I did it. And then I ran another half mile without stopping. So I guess you could say I've been coasting a little with doing easy intervals all the time. Hey, there's a reason I call myself Lazy Shelley, and this is just another example. Why yes, you can be a runner and still be lazy!
Now, I'm not going to give up my intervals altogether, especially on my long runs, because they have helped me enjoy the distance much more than I used to, and that is a feeling that I want to keep! Also, some of my weekday runs are therapy sessions disguised as exercise, and I need to be able to talk and listen to my friends; running is just something that happens while we vent.
But I can do more, and I will. I'm thinking that I could push myself on one of my weekday runs; it's a short run, and I will survive 30 minutes of being uncomfortable. I know from experience that even if I'm out of breath when I finish, it doesn't take me long to recover, and I might just become a stronger runner and get in better shape as a result. Win-win, right?
The other thing I'm considering is joining the 1,000 mile challenge for 2016. NO, I won't be running 1,000 miles - I generally run just over 500 miles on a normal year, and almost doubling that would guarantee me another dumb injury. But you can do that challenge with both running and walking, so that might work. Getting some extra miles via walking should be OK for me in terms of not hurting myself, and it would be additional exercise which could offset my Lazy Shelley sit-and-knit times. I'll give it a go and as long as I don't get any more aches and pains than I already have, I'll keep up with the walking.
So that's Part I of my plan. Come back next Monday for Part II, when I reveal all of my magical dieting secrets (hahahaha - sneak peek: there are none).