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why things are (actually!) different this time

Monday, January 02, 2012

Yesterday, January 1st 2012, I went for the first official run in my half-marathon training. I haven't run consistently for years, although I've "started" several times between then and now.

But this time, something is different. I'm not sure exactly why it is, but yesterday's run felt different. It was the start of something amazing.

Inspired by Chris Guillebeau's Annual Review,
, I spent several hours last month looking over 2011. I realized that it was largely a waste of life. Many things went wrong, and no real good came from it. I had no goals, no drive, no passion. So I made a detailed plan for 2012 - while flexible, it has attainable goals (such as finishing my first half-marathon, saving a specific amount of money, finishing certain things I've started and starting certain things I've dreamed about.) Most of all, it's realistic and completely possible.

Health-wise, I've taken several ideas from Lyle McDonald's "Guide to Flexible Dieting"
and realized that reaching my goals will not happen with my typical all-or-nothing mentality. In the past I've always fallen off the fit and healthy wagon in a moment of weakness, felt like a failure, and gone way off the deep end into a bag or box of whatever crap I could get my hands on. For days. So this time I know that I am going to be easy on myself, if I have a treat now and then, no big deal! I'm going to allow myself one free meal each week, and as my training gets more intense I will be having some heavier carbohydrate days on the days of my long runs (once a week). Every four weeks I will reassess my progress and goals, and if I reach a plateau in my weight loss will be taking a full two week break from my diet.. To reset my body and my mind.

As for my training, I am following Jeff Galloway's training program.
And so excited about it! I've always taken walk breaks while running, but always felt like I shouldn't be. The concept behind his method has me so unbelievably motivated because I KNOW that I can do it! (And I think anybody can!) On my 20th birthday, I sat down and wrote a few goals I wanted to achieve by the time I was 25. One, my top one, was to complete a marathon. Then I let life's chaos get between me and my health, and I lost sight. 23 now, I will be running a half marathon just before my 24th bday and a marathon is planned for a few months before I turn 25. I can do anything! What's more, I have my runs scheduled for the next 6 or so months. 3 times a week, flexibility is of course important, so if it turns out that Monday in 4 months is not a good day to run 18k, I can push it to Tuesday. No big deal!

What's more, my motivation feels different this time. About three weeks ago my grandmother lost both her legs to diabetes. How can I justify sitting on my couch all day long, taking for granted my legs, my ability to run? I just couldn't. So I run.

So maybe it's a culmination of the above, of motivation and planning and flexibility, but this time it is different. I'm not just going to be healthy until I am defeated by one oreo, I am going to be healthy. End of story! I am strong, I am capable of anything, I will teach my children how to live long and healthy lives. Bring it on 2012! - my year of transformation.
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