living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

2nd annual "Make a Pledge to Myself Week"

A year ago in the final 5 days of October I made some pledges to get healthier. It involved making one simple change that I would try to incorporate that day and have it last for at least several months. 

The thing is, I never followed up on any of those things. I'm not sure why -- many things on that list went well for a long time. This coming week I'm going to make the same kind of posts with plans of following up over the next couple of months. If I do that, more things will stick. I believe I said the exact same thing last year and simply failed miserably. 

Here is a look at last year's list:
1. Giving up soft drinks
This has worked nearly perfectly. Aside from ginger ale when I got sick, I've had no soft drinks.

2. No chips
The chips ban went perfectly until the summer. I'm wondering if I should add it to the list again.

3. Shutting down at 10 p.m.
Um... yeah. Big no on that one. Shutting off my phone and computer at that time didn't work so well. I do NEED to do this, but I don't think it's going to make it to this year's list based on what I have in mind. 

4. No cookies
I made it through the holidays without having a cookie, and again a while later. I'm not sure when the no cookie streak ended, but it did. And I'm not going to try a cookie ban again. 

5. No wrapped candy
This, too, worked well until sometime in the spring. The important thing with this was to STOP grabbing a piece of candy every time I saw one. This helps me now and even this week on Halloween to keep things under control.

The overall theme from last year involved "giving up" something. That's always been my approach, but now I realize that doesn't really work. Last year was about setting myself up to run the Shamrock Marathon and so many things just fell apart, including the half after I made the switch back. 

This week I'm going to do something similar each day during the week as I focus on Shamrock again and going for a PR in the half. I don't have a good name for this except for making a pledge to myself to do something different or challenging and try to make it stick. "Make a Pledge to Myself Week" sounds so strangely uncreative, yet appropriate. 

I'm also not going to branch outside of anything that's not normal for me. I'm not trying too many new things right now as that would only distract me from this mission I've set for myself. My overall theme will focus on improving my runs -- something I haven't really focused on improving in a really long time. 

For today's first "Make a Pledge to Myself" post, I am committing to running trails at least one day a week for at least 2 miles. I started running trails again this summer and realized I missed everything about it: the different surface, the nature, the challenge of roots and rocks, and so much more. 

After spending time with Altra Running at the Runner's World Festival this month, I realized how important these different surfaces are and that I need to continue running on them. In addition to helping my soul, they're brutally important for learning to balance and strengthening the core. 

I've crossed this off the list already this week and already can't wait to get back ...