I've been seeing a lot of posts from Runner's World about their holiday running streak and people participating in this - some for the first time, some for several years in a row. I've been throwing it back and forth for the last few days about doing this and concurrently doing the Elf For Health holiday challenge concurrently.
I stumbled upon both holiday challenges via Instagram. Elf For Health (#elf4health) is a 4 week long challenge via social media outlets where you are paired with another "elf" for the first two weeks and another the last two weeks. I was paired with Julia from south Texas for my first few weeks and have had fun e-mailing with her. You are to be there for your elf for accountability, new ideas, and for the fun of meeting new people. The challenges range from going meat-less for a day to new circuit workouts, a day of 100 burpees (UGH) and days to unplug, de-clutter your inbox, and treating yourself. I think all of these things are awesome to focus outside of the craziness that the holidays can bring and of course the new workouts will be fun, today's unsubscribing blitz was like a weight off my shoulders, and I have my eye on a special little treat for myself for that specific day. I went meatless yesterday to kick off the challenge and it was a little difficult for me despite my almost year of vegetarianism back in high school. Then it meant eating whole cans of green beans and corn for meals and lots of bread. I did manage to go all day meat-free but I felt very hungry not having enough protein planned for the day. I did a lot of small meals through the day to get me through and was lucky I was home all day yesterday to eat when I felt like it.
I've been tossing around the Runner's World run-streak the last few days but was nervous about fitting in a run EVERY day for 35 days. Then I thought about how easy it is now to go a mile. One single mile even on the longest of days takes 10-12 minutes of my day and I feel like there is certainly time for that on a daily basis. Minutes of my day. Minutes. I have honestly only ran twice since my marathon and I chose a much more difficult training plan for this second time around than the first where I was only hoping to make it across the finish line. I know I have to train better to survive the hills and do pace, hill, and more distance/endurance training than before. The long runs start further from the get go and I need to get ready for this training. What better way than doing the streak with no real plan other than to just go at least a mile and see how I feel from there. My marathon training cycle starts the last week of December and I want to be ready.
Beyond all that, this is the first holiday season I've gone into worrying about. Everyone talks about holiday weight gain and quite honestly the way I'd eat during the holidays was no different than any other day in my previous life so I never worried about what I'd gain, doing extra workouts (ha!) or have any sort of plan to get through. This year is so different for so many reasons but I'm honestly a bit nervous. I'm lusting after some turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, and pie. I'll have all of these things - I will! BUT, I'm going in with a plan. A portion plan! One piece of one kind of pie. One plate of the things I want. No the plate will not be mounded high with 3 scoops of potatoes. Then, after all is said and done, I will run. I will stay moving and keep track of what I'm eating. You can do the same and walk away not feeling like a busted can of biscuits, happier with yourself, and still enjoy the day and season upon us. I for one am so excited to see my family, especially those who haven't seen me since the holidays last year and the progress I've made. I always dove straight into the rolls and we all have those family members that just ALWAYS have something to say about everything. I was no exception, and I can't count the number of times I heard those rolls were going straight on my hips and thighs. The sad part was that I was probably 9 or 10 when I first remember those comments being said out loud and it makes me sad that #1 I had a food problem even as a child and #2 my family decided rather than make supportive comments or healthier options available they chose to make negative comments to a young girl. I loved food more than I cared about what they said but it's no wonder people have so many body image issues.
Anywho, those are my plans to get me through the holidays and into the new year and new marathon training plan. What are your plans for surviving the holidays? What will you do each day to guarantee your success? 10 sit ups every day? Daily dog walks? Doing healthier versions of your favorite holiday foods? Let me know! Happy Thanksgiving!