Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finish Line Part 2

Today I did 40 minutes of Aqua-Jogging versus braving the ice and risking a fall outside or the other alternative...the DREADMILL!  While Aqua-Jogging is not mentally stimulating in anyway it does give me time to think.  Of course when I begin to think, my legs tend to slow down and then it isn't great cardio.  In any case, time to think was welcomed this morning, even if my legs were moving very quickly.

On my mind is this idea of Finish Lines.  On Sunday I am going to cross the marathon finish line (God-willing).  But I will not be crossing a healthy living finish line.  No, healthy living isn't something we train up for and then get to quit after bounding through the ribbon at the end.  It carries on with us throughout our lives and we don't get to quit.  Sure we may take some much needed breaks, but this is a journey with no beginning and no end. 

I tend to have an all or nothing attitude.  And my fear is that after completing the marathon on Sunday I will fall into a state of nothing.  No work out, unhealthy habits, and laziness.  In the last 3 years I have maintained a pretty healthy lifestyle, but it is one that lasts from April to October and usually is put on hold through the winter.  I typically begin to train for some race in early to late spring, finish up training and races in October and then proceed to indulge in the holidays, relax through the winter and start back up in the Spring.  It is a cycle that I have stuck with for 3 years now, but I am not willing to repeat.

Training through November and December and even part of January was part of my big plan this year to not let that cycle repeat.  But now I face a greater challenge, that is staying motivated after I have crossed the finish line on Sunday.  What will I do for the remainder weeks of the winter to keep me energized, motivated, and in shape?

Many have told me I need to relax and let my body tell me when it is ready to go, but folks, you gotta know that my body rarely tells me when it needs physical activity once out of the habit.  I fully intend to enjoy at least a full week of rest and recovery, but how will I keep from letting that one week slide into two weeks and then into three and even into four?

I have a few ideas that are going to help but I am still structuring my plan in my head.  Here are my preliminary thoughts:

  • I am part of a fitness challenge group that helps hold me accountable for my work outs.  I will still need to stay focused and not give up on the challenge but the people holding me accountable will certainly help.
  • Create a work-out plan for each week so while I'm not training for something, I still have a plan.
  • Continue to work out in the mornings.  I find that I have less motivation to get to the gym in the evenings, and even less if I don't need to train for something
  • Also continue to schedule work-out dates with friends to ensure I show up when I say I'm going to.
  • Finally, I am looking for a spring race to sign up for.  Something smallish but that will still encourage me to keep moving.
Those are my ideas.  Do you have any to share?


  1. I've been a little worried I'll turn into a complete slug after the marathon too. I feel like I'm used to working out at least 4 days a week doing something now though, so hopefully it's ingrained enough that I'll keep it up!

  2. You're going to be AWESOME for the marathon!

    Best advice I have post-marathon: keep running. And if you really can't stand running, just make yourself do SOMETHING. Aqua jogging could be really good for you after the marathon. And listen to your body - don't take a week off if you feel good and ready to go again. People will tell you to stop now that you've finished, but you're strong, active, and ready to keep going! Don't stop!