Four ways to make the best of the treadmill

Four ways to make the best of the treadmill

This has been a tough week. It’s cold AF in Chicago.

I started a part-time job a week ago at the running retailer Fleet Feet Chicago. Since then we had some sort of snow every day. Plows and salt are barely making a dent. Nothing is melting. The temperature hasn’t risen above freezing in well over a week. This morning it was minus 21. Yes, that’s Fahrenheit. And yes, that’s the actual temperature. The wind chill was said to be about -53.

And yet we run. Read more

More on Goal Setting for the New Year

More on Goal Setting for the New Year

My goal has always been to publish this blog sometime mid-week. Everything I’ve read about blogging and social media tells me that is the best time to assure the most readership. My analytics would support that. And yet, here I am posting this over a weekend – on a Saturday night, no less. And I haven’t made my goal once this year!

My daughter has been home for 3 of the last 5 weeks on winter break. There were holiday commitments and celebrations. One of those week’s I was in New Jersey. Yesterday she had her wisdom teeth removed. Today it snowed. Lots of excuses, I know.

I read a couple of articles this week that friends shared on social media. They were spot on about goal setting for the new year. I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions per se. These articles outlined better approaches to new year goal setting. This one discusses the idea of giving yourself “permission to pause.”  The author argues that immediately following the stress of holidays might not be the right time to see success with the intentions we set for ourselves.

“Most of us go through life jumping from one thing into the next. This is just the way life is, and it’s the way society is. We believe it’s acceptable to be busy all the time and spread thin across all of our daily activities. We work hard, and forget to play. We take care of others, and forget to take care of ourselves. For some, they experience chronic stress that is dulled by stimulants, like caffeine or pick-me-ups, like sugar and alcohol. For others, they simply burn out and have a hard time getting through the day.”

Agnew, K. (2018, February). *8 Warning Signs You’re Mentally and Emotionally Exhausted” Retrieved from www.theheartysoul.com

Another article suggested that New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t go into effect until March.

“The end of the year is a great time to reflect on where you are in your life. Thinking about what you haven’t yet accomplished, and what aspects of yourself you’d like to improve, are natural to do when one year ends and another begins.

The trick is to separate the decision to make a change from the day that you are actually putting yourself on the path to change. So take that resolution you made and give yourself the next eight weeks to figure out how you are going to achieve your goal.”

Markman, A. (2019, January). “Why you should start your New Year’s Resolutions on March 4” Retrieved from www.fastcompany.com

I think this idea of pausing after the stress of the holidays is important. Plus taking into account the time it requires to plan how we are going to achieve our goals is paramount for success as well. We need more time for decompression, self-care and reflection before we’re ready to commit. I decided that January is a month of reflection and re-grouping and once I’ve set some intentions, February is a practice round to get a feel for what I need to do and to tweak things so I can be more successful. As a runner and coach, this works really well since it becomes a lot easier to commit to running come March than it is now.

Another thing that filled my social media feeds this past week was the 10-year challenge. One of my friends posted, “Let’s try something different than what you looked like 10 years ago… What were you working on/trying to accomplish? How’d it work out?” It just so happened that it was 10 year to the day of my first interview for a job that I got which took my career to the next level salary-wise. I had accomplished a goal that set me on a new path.  How did it turn out? Admittedly, it wound up being a rough 10 years, but, as I responded to her, I am drawing on the memory of who I was then – at my best – to become an even better version of myself this year.

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How to close out the holiday season and start the New Year

How to close out the holiday season and start the New Year

The close of this year also marks for me six months in Chicago. Our first holiday season in the new city involved trying on new traditions, moving out of our comfort zones, and reviewing what I’ve achieved with this move and setting an agenda for the next six months. Read more

To run or not to run for charity

To run or not to run for charity

Yesterday was the day – the lottery drawing for the 2019 Chicago Marathon. Runners like me without a (recent) qualifying time or legacy, either get in through the lottery or run for charity. When I wrote in my journal yesterday morning what I was looking forward to, this was it. “No matter what the outcome,” I told myself. Read more

3 Reasons to Run a Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving

3 Reasons to Run a Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving

Running a “Turkey Trot” – that is road race on Thanksgiving morning – has become a tradition that started for me 10 years ago. While there were a couple years in there where injury or family plans prevented me from doing so, I’ve really come to feel that it’s not Thanksgiving if I don’t start the day running. Read more