Lamb: Stick to your guns with New Year’s Resolutions (Summit Daily staff column)
Gyms across the nation have probably already started to see a slow decrease in attendance from the New Year’s Resolution crew.
Health and lifestyle resolutions are consistently a top choice come Jan. 1, whether it’s to eat better, lose weight or just generally to exercise more. Every year I tell myself I’m going to do something to improve my health, usually to find a running plan and to stick with it. Inevitably, I’ll get sick, busy or, most likely, just lazy, and my lofty goal to “run more” gets tossed aside.
This year I decided to do something a little bit different. I was inspired by a friend of mine who set a goal for herself last year to run one race a month in 2016. After a mix of 5Ks, 10Ks and even a few half marathons, my friend is still running and pushing to make her new goal: to run the Walt Disney World Marathon before she turns 30.
I realized that the goal to “run more” is not very specific, and as a result, I don’t feel bad when I “forget” to do a 3-mile run in the morning.
My friend Katy asked me to do the Disney Marathon with her in 2018, so at first it was my resolution to train for that.
The longest run I have done was the Run Into the Wild 10K, a race benefitting the wild animal sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado. The run goes through the sanctuary, a small maze of dirt paths. That year it happened to be very, very rainy, and despite the summer sunshine in the beginning of June, I was covered in mud at the end of my 6-mile trek. But I made it.
While running a full marathon is still my eventual goal, I decided that if I wanted to be successful in actually achieving my New Year’s Resolution, I should start small(er). On Tuesday, I registered for the Colfax Half Marathon in Denver. Since it’s my first time running a half, I also invested in a training plan, which breaks down my daily mile goals. The program is split into 10 weeks of increasing mileage. By a streak of dumb luck on my part, I’m starting it just in time to make the 13.1 mile goal by race day.
Achieving a New Year’s Resolution, or any health goal, takes more than just planning. Studies say that if you wake up feeling like you “have” to run or that you “should” run, you’re not going to stick to your guns. Instead, running should be viewed as something you want to do. Running has become a time to just let my mind relax.
Once I hit longer distances I began listening to audio books. Lewis Caroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is a particular favorite of mine. Alice’s nonsensical adventures facing the Queen of Hearts are an ideal distraction from the miles ahead.
The best tip I can give to those trying to better their lifestyle, is to create a support network. I joined the Hogwarts Running Club in 2015, an organization that puts out virtual runs for charity, based off the Harry Potter series (obviously). I never knew that support from total strangers, but fellow Hufflepuffs, could mean so much.
People can help push you on the road to making your goals. Half of running is respecting your body, knowing that you got outside and did something. But it’s also knowing when to take a break. My friend Katy and I run together every chance we get. This past weekend we did the Runnin’ of the Green 7K. We push each other to keep going, not allowing each other to walk, unless we’re dead tired. It’s also nice to have someone on your side who also thinks “it’s ‘only’ 3 miles, that’s nothing.”
Kailyn Lamb covers Breckenridge, Silverthorne and business for the Summit Daily.
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