What it is:
January 7, 2013 was the first day of the Spring semester. With it being a fresh, new year, I wanted to participate in something new that would challenge me. Between Thanksgiving of 2012 and January 1 of 2013, thousands of people on Instagram were participating in something called #mileaday. It’s pretty self-explanatory: you run a mile each day for a set amount of time. Seems pretty simple, right? I was inspired to try it out for a month and see how it went. I am one of those people that randomly decides (like every few months) to go out on a run ‘just because’. I knew that I would have to make a long term plan for myself to accomplish this #mileaday goal in order to break my pattern of random runs. I started on January 7th and ended on February 7th. I ended up running every day of the decided month, minus a few days during two weekends where I was out of town and didn’t have access to a treadmill.
How I did it:
With my 18 credit hour schedule, ten minutes a day of running and stretching seemed do-able. It ended up working the best for my schedule to get up and run first thing at 8 a.m. every morning. If I didn’t run at 8 a.m., it didn’t happen until 8 p.m. later that night. With this winter weather in Indiana, running outside (especially at 8 a.m.) was not always an option. Thankfully, my building on campus has a workout room in the basement that is usually empty at such an early hour. I made sure to stretch after every single run, and I was never sore – plus it was a nice stress reliever. The extra few minutes for stretching was definitely worth it.
How I managed to drag myself out of bed in the morning:
Each night, I laid out everything I would need the next morning – water bottle, energy bar, headphones, socks, running shoes – to help myself get up and moving without having to think too much. I slept in my workout clothes when I could so that all I had to do was practically roll out of bed and grab my things. I tried my hardest to go to bed by 11 p.m. each night because I like sleep. I knew if I went to bed too late, I would talk myself out of getting up the next morning.
What I used:
I discovered a really great (FREE!) iPhone app – the Nike Running App – which became my best friend as I ran. It tracks your day to day progress, syncs with your music, and talks to you/encourages you as you run. Cool, right?!
What I gained:
Energy. I am not a coffee addict, but I like to have it on those long days when I am dragging and need a boost. For the month that I ran, I noticed that I had so much more energy throughout each day. I never once felt like I ‘needed’ caffeine during the whole month that I ran!
A healthier diet. Eating healthy is already a habit I try to have, but I was motivated to make even better decisions because I felt better and I was too scared to backtrack on any progress that I was making.
An unknown love for treadmills. Guys, treadmills are awesome. I know they may not work for everyone, but I was thankful for the access to them. They helped me pace myself and be able to focus on my body and running form as I went.
Discipline. Consistency. Self Respect. I learned a lot about myself. For example, the fact that I was able to get up early on a regular basis and make my body do something that it doesn’t always want to do. I was able to push myself and I was really surprised at how I made running a regular thing. When I felt better, I thought better about myself. It boosted my confidence and helped me realize I was capable of accomplishing a (somewhat) long-term goal.
So there’s that, thanks for reading!