I am not going to do a big post rehashing all my personal goals from 2011, because they can all be summed up by this statement : I made progress.
But the running goal actually made a big difference in my life. I wanted to run 365 miles in 2011 and I ended up running 435. (For more info on why I obsessively track all this stuff, read the end of this post.) I started 2011 as a "runner" that pounded a treadmill. I was heavy on my feet. I was prone to injury. I was scared of running outside where I couldn't control the environment. I would frequently make Paul next to me stop running and say, "Babe, you are so loud."
Then, in February, I got on board with forefoot running. I bought fancy minimalist shoes. I read a book about running. I started running outdoors. I signed up for a half marathon. I finished a half marathon. I fell off the running wagon. I bought new minimus shoes that didn't give me blisters and neon laces that made me smile. I signed up for a second half marathon. I cried in panic that I couldn't run another half. But I did and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Then, once again, I fell off the wagon. Until I read an article online about setting a challenge to run a mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Years. That's it, just a mile. Of course you could run more. But you couldn't run less.
I got on board with that plan.
And with one exception (December 2nd, when my movers dropped off all my boxes) I ran every single day. I ran around my parents' block in Sacramento. I ran twice on the treadmill before I moved out of San Diego. I ran on the beach. I ran around my new neighborhood. I took a picture of my running shoes in all different locations and shared them on instagram.
I ran happy. I ran sad. I ran when I was exhausted. I ran when I was hungover (oof-ta). I ran angry. I ran so fast I couldn't breath and so slow I could hardly tell I was moving. I ran and ran and ran. No matter what, I felt better when I was done.
I usually ran for about 1-1.4 miles. The most I ever ran was about 1.7. That was it. Just a short 10-16 minute burst. Usually a chance to get some fresh air, listen to Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen or the FNL soundtrack. It was enough to get my heart rate up, but not enough that I had to eat something and shower the exact second I got home.
Some days it was a struggle to slog through. Other days I literally bounded the entire mile. But by the end, I looked forward to my quick runs.
It was a killer way to finish off the year. And much like when I vowed to stop my addictive blog statistic checking behavior, a habit was born. They say 30 days is all it takes. And I agree. I didn't finish my 40 loaves (yet), use all my washi tape or learn to do the splits, but I broke a bad habit and set a good one (plus got a rad photo collage) in 2011.
That's good stuff.