December Run Challenge Recap

3 Jan

So as you  may (or may not) know, I participated in the Dirty Feet December Run Challenge where I was required to run at least 1 mile per day, every day, for the month of December.

No, I could not “bank” miles for days off.

Initially, I was both skeptical and excited for this challenge. Due to the circumstances of my job (read: travel commitments) I’m not normally able to participate in 30-day challenges as they usually require you to participate at your gym or your yoga studio. This was not the case with this challenge though, as they based participation on the honour system and really, you can run anywhere.

Like I said, despite my excitement I was also skeptical of whether or not I could actually do this, since I have the tendency to get bored doing the same activity over and over again.  I’ll be honest and admit that by December 17th I had hit a wall and was losing motivation to run the same loops at work or at home.  I don’t mean to make it sound like I gave up, I’m just saying it took quite a bit more motivation than normal to get up and run.  This was not a good feeling.

So what did I do? Well, I actually started visiting one of my least favorite places in the world- the gym.  I’m fortunate enough to have a gym on site at work, and a bunch of co-workers that actually use it.  Having the opportunity to socialize made the experience a bit less horrible and it’s also given me an excuse to start doing some more weight training.

What is happening to me?

Anyway, this kept me going up until the holidays when I when was up at my parents cottage.  Changing scenery and getting back outside once again motivated me to keep on running,  not to mention trying to work off the copious amounts of Nanaimo bars, wine and cheese.

Between Christmas and New Years, I was back at home where things were quiet so it was never hard to find the time to head out for a quick run.  For my final run of 2011, I had gotten little to no sleep the night before but I was so wired and excited for that night that I somehow hammered out a strong 5k run in about 20 minutes.  The things we do on adrenaline.

All in all, there were 3 days total where I did not run, so while I did not run for 31 days straight, I feel like I still rose up to the challenge and did the best I could.  There were days when it would have been easier to “forget my gear at home” or get a few more minutes sleep, but in the end, I was never disappointed that I had gone for a run instead.

This challenge has been an awesome de-stresser during the stressful holidays and a mood-lifter when the days got shorter (and colder).  Not to mention, I’m now right on track to shift from running for fun, to training mode.  My first half marathon for 2012 will be on May 6th in Toronto for the Goodlife Toronto Marathon.  Maybe I’ll see you out there!

A big thanks to Phil and Grace from Dirty Feet for putting this challenge on! You guys rock 🙂

-Jess

Have you ever done a 30 day challenge? Were you successful?

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