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.
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.