Today is November 4. Over the last couple of years, my running (and all fitness related activities really) have taken some significant time off throughout the fall (namely, September, October, November, and December). That’s because the last 2 years I spent 6 days a week from January through August preparing for Ironman races. As you have noticed, I didn’t do that this year. I did run the 50K at the end of September, so that helped keep me on track. But if I’m being completely honest, my fitness is no where near the level it was at when I was in Ironman training.
So, what’s the point? Well, a few weeks back I had a revelation that I was a real runner. I was so excited to have motivation to run just because I loved it so much! Finally, I didn’t need a race to train for, or a goal to reach. I was running solely because I love the way it makes me feel and the energy it gives me.
And then, about two weeks ago my schedule got tight and I didn’t find the time to run once. Not one single time in a whole week. I didn’t have a training schedule to follow. I was busy with the day to day things that all moms with kids in school and full time jobs have to manage, and I just didn’t plan running into my days.
Obviously, this isn’t how I want things to go. I’m happier when I’m sticking to a running schedule. But it’s not easy. October has passed, and the wonderfully stress-filled holiday season is upon us. And I have been having an inner battle for the last 4 days. On November 1, I had an idea that I should do a running challenge for the month of November and call it the November 99. It sounded kind of catchy and I was pretty sure that it would keep me motivated to run. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that I just didn’t have time in November to fit in that much running. My son’s birthday is this month, there are parent teacher conferences, and of course, Thanksgiving and all of the family gatherings that go with it.
So, I decided that I would change my challenge to the November 90. That sounded just as catchy, and somewhat more manageable. The problem? I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to do it. (You read my list of excuses above, right?!?) And I definitely wasn’t ready to commit to it out loud. I tried to recruit my sweat sisters, and didn’t have much luck. But I did get a response of “tempting” and a reassurance that 90 miles is only 3 miles a day, which is doable.
HHHmmmm…what to do? I could continue with my little inner battle and just decide as the month progressed whether or not I was really doing it. (Yes, I know that wouldn’t end with me reaching 90 miles…) Or, I could put it out there, and tell people that I was working towards that goal.
Well, today our family schedule worked out just right for me to fit in a 6 mile run after work. And I had run 6 miles on Sunday. That’s 12 miles done on November 4. Are you doing the math? Yup, that’s an average of 3 miles a day. After my run I was pretty sure I was ready to make the commitment to my November 90 Challenge.
And then, the craziest thing happened. I got an email from a guy in my triathlon club saying that he decided to start a November 90 Challenge to keep his running going through the month of November as the days grow shorter, darker, and colder. Are you kidding me?!? How awesome is that?! And he even shared a Google doc where I could input the miles that I’ve already run. Wahoo! It’s officially out there. I’m officially committed. November 90, here I come!
Man, I am thankful to have people to push me in the right direction. And at the same time, I have to admit that I am a bit frustrated with myself about my unwillingness to commit to a goal that I know will be good for me.