I’m really proud that I completed my goal of walking or running 40 miles in July! When I was inspired to try this challenge last month, I wondered if I’d have the commitment. If I’d make up excuses as to why I couldn’t get it done. But thankfully, though I did procrastinate a bit in the beginning, I saw it through!
I kept track of my miles using my Nike+ app, which made it simple to know how far I walked/ran each day and how fast I did so. Now that, unfortunately, was humbling. When I first started running a few years ago, I was faster than I am now. I also weighed a bit less so … probably goes hand-in-hand. But even though my times are a mix of walking and running, I’m still not happy with 16-ish-minute miles. I’d like to work on getting faster, that’s for sure!
Here’s what I learned during my month of 40 miles:
1. Having a friend helps. Now I promise I won’t inundate my Instagram feed with each and every mile ran/walked again, but I will say that putting that out there, and getting the encouragement from friends/family in return, was really great! And so was meeting friends to walk or run together. Whether it was being accountable or simply having the support, it definitely helped.
2. Consistency feels good. Not only did I learn that I didn’t mind getting up at 5:30 a.m. to cover my miles, but I also don’t mind walking or running every day. I covered the 40 miles in 16 days, which means I worked out a little more than 50% of the 31 days of July. That’s a lot more consistent than my workouts have been as of late, but it never felt like a huge burden.
3. It was (is!) OK to walk. I have had this voice in my head ever since I started running that says, “You have to run. Walking isn’t good enough.” And after this month, I think I finally told that voice to shut up. Here’s the thing, I was still running probably three days a week. So if I chose to walk another one or two days that week, it’s OK. Walking is good exercise. There’s no need to feel bad about doing it!
4. I didn’t lose any weight … and that’s OK. At first I was a little disappointed in this. However, I felt so good, so healthy, from the walking and running, that I just started not to care about what the scale said and started to trust more in how I felt. I do know, that for me at least, my diet is probably 95% of the factor in me losing weight or not. But, as I’ve said before, the physical activity leads me to make better eating choices most of the time. Only once or twice this month did I say, “I just ran three miles, so I’m going to have a huge bowl of ice cream!” I can handle once or twice. And I can handle feeling healthier overall, even if the scale doesn’t move downward.
5. I love “me time.” I’m an extrovert, and I love being around people. But having this little bit of time, on a regular basis, to check in with myself has been wonderful. I can listen to whatever music I’m in the mood for (lately it’s been the Pitbull station on Pandora!), I can go over to-do lists or think through blog posts I want to write. Or, I can try to just empty my mind altogether and enjoy the scenery and (thankfully!) the cooler weather we’ve had lately. I think everyone needs to find time to walk/run/yoga/meditate/whatever just to have a little “me time,” even if it’s just 5 minutes!
What’s up next? Well, I’ll write a little more about this in another post but as a jump-start, I have enjoyed this past month so much that I want to continue challenging myself. So get ready for #50milesinaugust! Yay!