My 2012 challenge: 52 Weeks, 52 Runs

I didn’t have a goal in mind when I started running. I didn’t even have running in mind when I started running. My first 5K was undertaken less out of a noble urge to test my physical limits and get fit than a desire to not be stuck in a Virginia hotel room while Hubby ran with cows.

But six months later and I am hooked. It still has less to do with getting fit than it probably should (my gym visitation of late is testament to that), and my motivation can often be summed up in two words: T-shirts and beer. But over the past few months, Hubby and I have pounded the pavement more weekends than not, which has made me happy. And sweaty. And sometimes grouchy. But mostly happy.

Brooks Spring Into Shape Series Parramatta Park

What my weekends will look like from now on (minus the eucalyptus trees). This is from the Spring Into Shape series in Australia in November.

Which brings us to 2012 …

I am not a resolutions person. But I realized I needed something to keep this running business interesting. I had already met my goal of running a 5K instead of run/walking it, and while I will work towards going faster – and farther – in 2012, those alone are not enough to keep me motivated. Given that this sport is 34 minutes of me feeling as though I am going to expire, I need something more.

Herewith, my 2012 challenge: 52 weeks, 52 runs.

When I say runs, I mean participating in organized races, not me huffing and puffing around my ‘hood. Why not just go it alone, you ask? Well, I give you the aforementioned motivating forces. Also, and slightly more nobly, the fact that these organized runs usually support a charity or a school or some other worthy beneficiary. So it’s not all about us.

The thing is, if you take away the events, with their festive atmosphere, and ridiculous hills that come out of nowhere, and people in scary compression socks, and hard-core runners who insist on wearing shorts in sub-zero temperatures, and interesting locations I never otherwise would have visited, and post-race munchies, and the fact that you never know what the weather is going to be like … well, running for me is just not that fun.

The exceptions to the rules that I’ll make up as I go along

Living in New England is going to be one major obstacle to me completing this challenge (I’m not getting frostbite for anyone). I’m sure some other roadblocks will present themselves as we proceed. But for now …

1. A run means an organized timed event.
2. If I do two runs in one weekend, and can’t manage one the next weekend, that’s OK. As long as it averages out to a run a week.
3. If no runs exist (in February, highly likely), I take to the treadmill, or do one of the virtual runs that abound on Twitter. (And yes, I know this is an exception already.) I will donate the equivalent of an entry fee to charity.
4. If I’m traveling and no runs exist, and I don’t have a gym to go to, I can as a last resort huff and puff on my own. But only as a last resort. Ditto on the charity.

Oh, and one more thing. At the same time as I try to run a 5K a week, Hubby is going to attempt to run a half-marathon every month. For both of us, it’s going to be quite the feat. If we can manage it.

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41 responses to “My 2012 challenge: 52 Weeks, 52 Runs

  1. Good On ya! That’s a hell of a goal. I sometimes consider myself a runner, and I’m having a bit of a challenge getting ramped up for the running season in Ottawa, ON where it’s about -20 degrees Celsius all winter long. Hopefully I can catch a little bit of your enthusiasm :)
    Thanks for posting!

    • Thanks, Sparrow! We’ll see if I can actually keep this up. It’s funny, as I already decided that one of my “runs” is going to be skating along the Rideau Canal when we make the trek up there in Feb. I spent eight years in Toronto and made many trips to Ottawa. Never been so cold in my life, but the Beaver Tails are totally worth it. :-) Thanks for reading and good luck with your running!

      • No way, really? What a small small world! I’ve been to Boston only once but it would be my dream to run the marathon there. Have you ever considered doing Ottawa Race Weekend? It’s actually a really fun race (or series of races because they have the 5 and 10 km plus the 1/2 and full marathons).
        And, umm hells ya! the Beaver Tails are TOTALLY worth it!! It’s insane really, the fact that we go out, voluntarily in that weather.. just to skate! And that people come from all over to join us! Have a great trip : )

  2. This is a fantastic goal! Can’t wait to see the runs start adding up! Good luck!

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  4. Hey Tracey,

    Thought you’d like to know that the Super Sunday 5 miler (Feb. 5) announced a 5K race option – you even get a ride on a party bus called The Bustonian back to the start line. The entry fee increases after this Monday. http://www.racemenu.com/events/9765-Super-Sunday

    Also, I plan to take part in group run on the Esplanade (borrowing the Miss Santa Holiday 5K course) on Jan. 17 as part of the Virtual 5K for Peace and Freedom for MLK Day. It looks like it may be an evening run, possibly 7PM. Will provide more details as I get them if you’d like.

    • Hey! I would love to do the Super Sunday run, but I have to hold off on registering. It’s Family Day at Hubby’s National Guard unit that day (who schedules Family Day on Super Bowl Sunday?!), but this exciting event has a tendency to be canceled, so I’m going to have to wait and see.

      As for the other run, I’d love it if you could provide more details. Sounds like fun, and I did love that course! :-) Thanks so much.

      • Looks like your schedule is jam-packed for January! :) I’m not sure what kind of interest we’ll have for tomorrow (MLK is obviously the 16th, not the 17th, my mistake) but I see you’ll already have had two days straight of 5Ks. Just FYI, though, assuming I get at least a couple of confirmations, I’m going to gather folks at 10 AM at the Fiedler Head statue. If that falls through, I’m going to the lululemon store at the Prudential at 5:45 PM for their weekly 5 mile run. Good luck with everything, looking forward to race reports!

    • Hey there James! Thanks so much for the details. I’d be up for a run tomorrow (I only ran today; decided to give it a miss yesterday but Hubby ran the indoor half-marathon at the Smuttynose Palooza). But sadly I’m booked out in both the morning and evening. We weren’t aware of the Lululemon run though and will definitely come along to that one in the future. Hope to see you there! Cheers and thanks again.

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