Saturday, November 24, 2012

A New Challenge

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good exercise challenge, which is why I was so excited to hear about the Runner's World 2012 Holiday Running Streak.

Making time to exercise during the busy holiday season can be difficult. The 2012 Holiday Running Streak challenges runners to run every day between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Because everyone needs a rest day, people only have to run at least one mile to keep the streak going.

I started off the challenge on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, with a trip to the gym where my brother works. I had planned to do a five mile treadmill run. Unfortunately, I forgot my favorite running shoes back home in Massachusetts (and was in Connecticut for the holiday). All I had were my Nike Free Run 3.0s. I love these shoes for walking and wear them all the time, but, for some reason, they give me blisters when I run. I hadn't worn the shoes in a while for running though and was hoping I might have broken them in and made them better for my runs. Alas, this was not the case. I made it to just under four miles before my feet were bothering me too much to continue. I finished up my exercise by doing fifteen minutes on the elliptical.

I returned from the gym to enjoy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and some delicious home made cinnamon rolls my mom made.

For Thanksgiving afternoon, we headed over to my Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Geraldine's where was had an amazing Thankgiving feast!

Everything was beautifully done. I had a wonderful time celebrating with my family!

Friday, I woke up ready for day two of the Holiday Running Streak. Friday was supposed to be a rest day for me, and I still had a blister on my foot, although it wasn't bothering me too badly. I borrowed a pair of running shoes and did a quick mile and a half run around my hometown neighborhood. The weather was absolutely wonderful, and I had a great run.

Post run, I have a nice visit with my friends, Molly and Clela, and then traveled to Glastonbury to visit with my dad and step-mother, before finally heading home to Amherst.

Today, Saturday, I got up ready for run three in my streak. The weather looked sunny and nice. The iPhone's integrated weather app told me it was a moderate temperature -- in the upper 30s. I put on a warm running shirt and tights and headed out.

It was absolutely miserable! The weather was freezing. It was blustery and the wind cut right through my clothing. My ears were ice. I ran just under four miles, taking a challenging course with hills to ensure I got some good, albeit brief, exercise and headed home. What a terrible run!

So far, the running streak has been going a bit rough -- there was a the blister on day one and the terrible cold weather on day three. I'm still eager to keep up with the challenge. Since running is not the only exercise I do, I plan to do just quick one mile runs on days where I want to do resistance training or some other form of cardio (like aerobic class or kickboxing).

I definitely think the streak is a fun and interesting idea and look forward to getting a lot of running in before the new year, when I plan to change gears for a little bit. I'm getting the intense athletic training fitness program Insanity: The Asylum: Volume 2 for the holidays from Mom. (This is the sequal to the Insanity and Insanity: The Asylum programs I did in the past). Once the new fitness program comes, I'm going to be cutting back on my running to focus on more cross-training with increased strength training and plyo work. Until then, I hope to run daily from now until New Year's and meet the challenge set by Runner's World!

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