In 2020 “challenges” were what kept me going. I was part of a challenge group on Facebook that focused on running, but also offered other monthly challenges to support running. For example, there were challenges to complete other forms of movement, to eat fruits and vegetables, to hydrate adequately, to sleep better, etc. Mixed in with these challenges were virtual races with different themes. It really helped to add variety and excitement when that was lacking due to canceled races and stay at home orders.
I decided not to continue my membership in the challenge group for 2021 – the format/goals changed and didn’t vibe with what I had in mind for this year. I did decide, however, to draw inspiration from that group and create my own monthly challenges for 2021 that I will be sharing with my followers! These monthly challenges will most likely be nutrition, mental health and cross training focused. I hope to also provide some extra information and education on these topics! Here are some of the ideas that I have so far:
- Plant-based eating
- Pescatarian eating
- Mental health awareness
- Strength Training
- Other Cross Training
I have decided that the first challenge I’ll be undertaking for 2021 will be focused on hydration. My next blog post on Monday 1/4/2021 will explain this a bit more!
Another set of “challenges” that kept me motivated were Garmin badges. I don’t know when they started doing them, but I didn’t notice them until summer. It started with badges for running a certain distance on a weekend, then I noticed ones for a certain distance per month, and it grew from there. I usually sign up for all except the cycling ones, and some months I achieve them all, some months I only get one. It does give me something to shoot for, though. On NYE, Garmin released quite a few new ones. Those lovely Garmin badges have set me up for my running/walking goals for the year:
- Run 2021k (1255.8 miles) in 2021 – this means an average of 105 miles per month, or about 24 miles per week
- Walk 365 miles in 2021 – yep, an average of 1 mile per day
- If I don’t achieve the Garmin goals, my personal plan B would be to run AND walk a combined 2021k in 2021.
It seems a little daunting right now since it has been a long time since I achieved century mileage (I checked – I haven’t run over 100 miles in a month since September 2019) but I also have some big goals for 2021. I plan to run a marathon or do a “Dopey Challenge” or run a 50k in the first half of the year (or possibly all three!) and I plan to run a marathon in the fall. Of course if 2020 taught me anything, it is that you never know what will happen.
I’ll be a realist… I won’t be a pessimist. I am going to keep setting goals but I have learned in the last couple of years to not let meeting those goals be the most important part. It is how I get to those goals (or maybe not) that matters. I will listen to my body and do what is best for me. If I get a cool Garmin badge in the process, I won’t complain. And if I inspire others along the way, I will consider my mission accomplished!