One of my 2015 goals is to move more. A lot more. I’ve gained some weight over the last few months–probably a good 12-15 pounds (I didn’t weigh myself for a long time). Given the fact that my clothes aren’t fitting particularly well and that although I’ve been “losing weight” for years, I still haven’t reached my goal weight (due to plateaus and putting in less effort, not because I have an unachievable goal weight in mind), I’ve decided to move more, eat less and eat better.
To help me with that, I signed up for Marathon Sports’ Winter Warrior Challenge, which is a do-it-yourself challenge to run/walk outside every day during January. When it’s cold and windy (like today), this sucks. When it’s cold and wet (like yesterday), it sucks more. I can’t wait until we get a big snowstorm and I have to go outside and log some mileage.
You might say at this point, well, Jill, you don’t *have* to do that; you can just go to the gym and run on the treadmill, but the treadmill is not very warrior-like, and five days in, I’m starting to perfect my warrior-like grunting, which means I’m actually enjoying this.
The challenge has three levels:
Gold: Run/walk 5.0 miles/day
Silver: Run/walk 3.0 miles/day
Bronze: Run/walk 1.0 mile/day
You can always move down a level, but you can’t accumulate a bunch of miles and move up. You have to get out and do your mileage level. Every. Day.
I know there are days that are going to stink. January in New England does not promise to ever be kind. But for now, I’m digging the challenge. A lot. Right now, I have the same feeling I had when I joined a weight-loss program and forced myself to get all of my steps every day, even if that meant late-night walks and circling the block a few times. I have a little more energy and am a little more excited. Seeing my mileage logged and on a leaderboard makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something.
This time, instead of a regular pedometer, I’ve started using MapMyRun to track the mileage, although I’m considering getting some sort of fitness watch to track heart rate and perhaps not have to drag my phone around with me all the time (suggestions welcome!). Even though it’s cold out, it’s nice to be forced to go outside and get some fresh air. And when I see other runners on the street now, I wonder if they’re in the challenge too. I haven’t gotten to the point where I grunt, “WARRIOR!” when I see another runner, but check back around January 25 and we’ll see if I’ve gone over that edge.
There’s 1500+ of Winter Warrior Wannabes out there, although a handful never started the challenge. The log includes a leaderboard, which, since I’ve signed up for the Silver level, I’ll never get near the top of, and I’m completely fine with that. When you realize we’re getting near the height of long Boston Marathon training runs, there’s no way that my little 5K legs are going to safely amass enough mileage to get to the top of the heap. Seriously, five days in, the current leader has 66.0 miles logged. I, on the other hand, have 16.71 miles in, and that’s a combination of running and walking–there’s no way I’m running every day because that would also be too much for my body to handle at this point, but I can definitely walk a lot.
Since I’m tracking a little above what my intended goal is, I’m shooting for achieving a Silver+ level. Granted, this is my own made-up level–and it sounds like a vitamin–but I see the people running around me in the 400’s on the leaderboard. I can do well in the 3-3.5 mile/day group. I can be a mid-level warrior!
Besides, I’ve already ordered the t-shirt that says I did it, so now I actually have to.