Friday, February 17, 2017

A 2016 fitness recap. This is relevant, I promise.

Next Friday I am going to start a new series on my blog called “Fitness Fridays”.  In order for the series to make sense, I need you to know about my 2016 fitness endeavors and my 2017 fitness plans. 

Let’s recap…

After my daughter was born in February 2015, I made loose plans to register for a race close to her one year birthday.  I was really excited to start running again and I thought it would be a great way to get back in shape after having a baby.

Surprisingly, my daughter loved stroller runs as a baby, so I was in better running shape at the start of 2016 than I had expected. My unanticipated fitness level made me do something foolish.  I decided to try to cross “break 1:40 in a half marathon” off of my bucket list just fourteen months after having a baby.

Spoiler alert:  It didn’t happen.

Here’s what happened instead: My training went perfectly and I thought I had a real chance of running as fast as lightning (which is scientifically proven to be about 7:35 pace for 13.1 miles).

Then the night before the race, things went buck wild.
  • The weather instantly dropped from 45 degrees to 19 degrees.
  • My daughter picked MY pre race night to be, thus far, the only night of HER life that she slept zero hours.
By morning, I was freezing and exhausted.  I quickly grabbed my pre packed post race bag and waited for my brother (also racing) to pick me up.  My brother had three jobs; be on time (job #1 failed) print directions (job #2 failed) and figure out where to park (job #3 failed).

Fortunately, we made it to the race on time, found a parking spot half a mile from the starting line, ran to the start line in our winter coats, discovered that they didn’t have a gear-check, and hid our coats, car keys, and cash under a table in a picnic pavilion.

I am not making this up.

Positive side note: My husband and daughter came to watch me race! They drove to four different mile markers and jumped out of the car wrapped in blankets and waved every time I ran past them. My daughter yelled “ZOOM!” when I went by.  It was the best.

The Race
I ran as fast as I could.
It snowed. My glasses got wet. 
The sun came out. My glasses fogged. 
I tried to run without glasses. 
Not wearing glasses made me dizzy. 
I stopped no less than ten times to wipe the water and fog off of my glasses. 
Around mile 10, I realized I was running on 1-2 hours of sleep.

I finished in 1:45:19

Post Race
I scarfed down two bagels, miraculously found my coat and cash where I left them, forgot my post race bag in my brother’s car, drove home with my daughter and husband, and spent the rest of the day walking around like a zombie (I don’t do naps).

Now you are caught up to May of 2016.

May-December 2016
May: I didn’t let the dream die.  I decided to run another race in July.  I knew I could break 1:40!

June: My daughter’s naptime changed, she discovered she liked parks better than the stroller, it got to hot too run outdoors with a one year old. I decided to play at the park more and run less.

July: I put my half marathon goal on the back burner. I started lifting weights 4 days per week.

August and September: I continued lifting weights.

October: I though about doing a few long runs, but then killer clowns became a thing.

November: I just had fun.

December: I realized that without any real plans, I had managed to stay in shape for all of 2016.

Turns out, I enjoy being healthy and active. Goals are nice, but maintaining my health and having fun while I do what I love is better.

January:  Instead of making a specific new year’s goal with a measurable outcome (like every resource recommends), I made a simple but broad new year’s resolution to “maintain my fitness in 2017”.

Here’s what I’ve done so far this year:

  • I did 15 minutes of yoga per day in January.
  • I started the year with an average of 10-15 miles of running per week.
  • I quit lifting weights. (Hey, at least I’ve maintained my weakness!)
  • I started a 40 day running challenge on February 1st that my husband put together for his cross country team and I am still going strong.
I am doing a variety of things, I am maintaining balance, and I am having fun. Maybe one day I will break 1:40 in a half marathon and maybe I won't! The important thing is that I enjoy the journey.

Boom! Now you are caught up!

Starting Friday, I am going to record my fitness adventures in a regular series that I am calling Fitness Fridays.  It’s going to be fun, and I hope you will join me! 

Questions: Do you make specific fitness goals? Do you think exercise is fun or a chore?

Enjoy Life!

Miss Nutralicious


  1. I can relate to the "doing what I love is better" mentality. :) Be proud of your 1:45, which is a great time, let alone a great postpartum time. Like you, a sub-1:40 half marathon eludes me. To this day my best half marathons are 1:41:27 (hilliest race I've ever run) and 1:41:36 (the first half of a 3:18 full marathon). I think part of my issue is that (1) I tend to use halfs as stepping stones to fulls, so I don't run them at my peak fitness/motivation, and (2) my body's built more for distance than speed. While I'd love to still break 1:40 someday, I'm with you that the journey matters more than the result. I so admire your 2017 fitness determination--I'm personally in a winter slump. Keep on keeping on--you're amazing. Cheers!

    1. Correction: 3:27:18 full marathon. Apparently the faster I type, the faster I run, haha.

    2. Wow! Running 1:41:36 at the beginning of a marathon is crazy! I like the explanation that your body is built more for distance than speed. I think I am the same way. Sometimes I feel like the coyote from the roadrunner cartoons--like I need to run in place for awhile before I actually get moving. Ha! The tricky thing is, I know breaking 1:40 for a half is a long shot for me, BUT I feel like if I train right and all conditions are perfect, I might have an actual chance. Maybe one day!

  2. And here I am, no kids, and dreaming of a sub-2 half marathon, which is NOT going to happen anytime soon. Ha. You're amazing.

  3. Ha! I hope you do decide to do a half this year! I like reading your race recaps and running posts. The hardest part for me is actually finding the time to run, I don't know how you can fit in training with a full school day and after school activities. I think you should train for an entire summer and then smash 2 hours the weekend before school starts. Ha!