January 13, 2014

My Running Journey Part 2 {Set a Challenging Goal And Be Consistent}

If you stopped by last Monday, then you know I'm devoting each Monday in January to a little series about my running journey.  Last week I shared my current running playlist.  Today, I'd like to share with you then one thing that has turned me into a consistent runner of four years now.

My Running Journey Part 2 {Set a Challenging Goal And Be Consistent} from Blissful Roots

I have my best friend, Katie (rock star runner who feels good after marathons) to thank for getting me going on my running habit.  A few years ago, she asked me to be a part of her and her sister's Ragnar team.  Up until that point I had been a very occasional runner, if I could even call myself that.


My Running Journey Part 2 {Set a Challenging Goal And Be Consistent} from Blissful Roots
Wasatch Back Ragnar 2011
She gave me a year's notice, and I'd been wanting to get rid of a few extra pregnancy pounds from my third little boy, so I was brave and said yes.  I have to say I didn't sleep much the night after she asked me.  I'm not sure why, (it was over a year away for crying out loud!) but my mind wouldn't stop.  I know people who jump onto a Ragnar team a few weeks before the race as a replacement, and don't even think twice about it.  Also, let me just say here that everyone and their dog seems to have done a Ragnar race.  It's not like I was embarking on some outlandish quest, but it was a stretch for sure!  And looking back, I realize that's what got me going.  I'd set a challenging goal for myself that required a lot of hard work, effort, and dedication.  That, and I'm not really competitive by nature, but in this case I couldn't help but have a bit of competitive spirit about the whole thing.  I didn't want to be passed by every runner along the way.  I also had some healthy motivation from my teammates.  All the girls in my van, except one, had done Ragnar and marathons before.  Me, I'd done our local 5K 24th of July race once.  I knew I had my work cut out for me, and I wanted to do my best.

So, the morning after Katie asked me to do the race, I got up and ran.  And I can honestly say I haven't missed more than two days in a row since then (except for our Disneyland trip when I counted our walking from sunup to sundown every day as being an adequate workout).  I was half terrified and half driven to not miss a day (when I say not miss a day, I mean running 5 days a week).  It wasn't easy, but I was consistent.  Oh, there is a tremendous amount of power in consistency!  Even if I didn't run far or long every day, I made sure I did at least something.  That way I didn't break my habit of getting up and doing it.

A few months before the race, we met as a team and choose legs.  I ended up with leg 12 (the finishing leg).  Once again, I was given a challenging goal.  My first (of three) leg was pretty much uphill the entire way.  Stress!  But, what did I do?  I began running hills.  I had always been quite proud for running at all, so I never challenged myself with a hill.  But, once again, consistency began to pay off.  I actually started not minding hills.  In fact, I can honestly say I LOVE to run hills now.  I wouldn't want to do it forever, but I enjoy the intensity they provide   I'm a bit of a get-it-done-quickly kind of girl, so running a shorter hill beats a long, slow flat run for me any day.


My Running Journey Part 2 {Set a Challenging Goal And Be Consistent} from Blissful Roots

All in all, the race was an awesome experience.  Like my friend said, when else do six moms get to rid around in a van for two days eating snacks and chattering away like teenagers?  That part was the best!  The actual running wasn't too bad either (minus my no-energy-left-in-any-ounce-of-my-body last leg that had 2 extra miles added to it just a week before the race!).

I haven't done a Ragnar since 2011, but it was the motivation I needed to get going.  I set a challenging goal, I was consistent in my training, and now it's simply become a habit.  And while I can't say I love every minute of my runs, I really do hate when I have to miss a day.  My body is used to it, and I actually crave it!

I feel like I've rambled on and on.  In summary, I just want to say if you need some motivation to get going on exercising, set a good, challenging goal, and be consistent.  I wish I could say I was self-motivated enough to begin my running habit on my own, but I wasn't.  I think most of us are like that.  We need a second party, an external factor, pushing us along in the beginning.  Then, like I said it becomes a habit and it's easier to stick with it.  

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you found a little something worth your time.

Linking up to these parties & Savvy Southern Style.

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