Sunday, November 17, 2013

Holiday season fitness goals

It's hard for me to believe that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. With that in mind, I wanted to set forth a few holiday-season fitness goals for myself:

1. The Runners World Holiday Running Streak
I first heard about this from Lauren. The challenge is to run at least one mile each day between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

I do love the idea of this challenge, as well as the personal incentive that it will create to keep the streak and the momentum going. However, this streak is intended for runners who are not injury prone, for which I consider myself borderline.

In any event, I am going to give this streak my best shot. I'll even up the ante by starting the challenge yesterday!!! (I ran 5 miles yesterday, so might as well take all the credit for it, right?)

Too bad the Chicagoland area is under a tornado warning/severe thunderstorm warning today. (To put things in perspective, there is a Bears game at Soldier Field today and all morning the newscasters have been flushed with rampant discussion about potentially delaying the game due to the weather. You know it's bad outside when THAT becomes a consideration, LOL!)

Check out this shot from my TV:

Given this, it's probably not the best day to run outdoors. I guess I'll be completing Day 2 of the challenge by hitting up the treadmill.

Here we go!!!

2. Plank-a-Day
Out of all of the exercises in my physical therapy routine, the planks are the ones that get skipped the most because I dislike them so much. This is not a good thing for me. I really need to get back on track with strengthening my core muscles since they are so key towards overall improvement. Therefore, I am making it the goal to nail my planks every day between now and New Year's.

At one point, I was able to complete a 2:15 forward plank with relative ease. However, after weeks and weeks of plank inactivity, yesterday I struggled to hold a forward plank for 60 seconds. My goal now will be to do a total of at least 2 minutes worth of forward planks every day, whether they are completed in a single set or multiple sets. Similarly, I will also strive to do at least a combined total of 2 minutes in side planks, either in a single set or multiple sets.

Get ready for lots of this:

3. Squatting
Behind my planks, my squats are second-in-line for physical therapy exercises that I tend to skip a lot.

I know that I could do a lot to strengthen my hips and glutes. I will never forget going to a physical therapist for an initial assessment a few years ago. She told me that she could tell right away that I had hip weaknesses since I "don't have much of a butt."

Yeah, I need to work on that. My goal will be to do at least 30 squats of some form every day. E.g., this can be done with or without hand weights, on a bosu ball, while using an exercise ball against the wall, whatever.

In the meantime, check out these fashion fixes for people like me with, uh, visible hip weaknesses:

Gotta love how clothing designs can help, eh?

In summary, my three holiday-season goals are to streak on, plank on, and squat on! =D

That's all from me today. I hope everyone has a good Sunday - and to those of you in the Chicagoland area, stay safe amidst the inclement weather!


  1. Today's weather has been CRAZY! Scary but at least the Bears pulled out a win despite the delay of game. So not much of a butt betrays weakness in that area? I never knew! Live and learn. Good luck with the streak. I am way too injury prone to even entertain that one. Ha!

    1. There was a period of about 15 minutes by where it literally looked like the sky was falling down. It was insane! Very sad seeing the devastation down state, too. =(

      We'll see how long I can stick with this streak. But, I figure that the criteria for running a mile can be eased up quite a bit as needed. If I run/walk the mile in, say, 15 minutes, I say it still counts. =D

  2. Love it! Good luck! (And hope that tornado didn't scare you yoo bad..)

    1. Thanks much! I may take some creative license in how I maintain this streak, we'll see. =D How was the weather up in MN? Did you get hit with massive tornado-like storms, as well?

    2. No - it was pretty calm aside from high winds.

    3. Glad to hear that. There's been some horrific tornado damage in central and southern Illinois. The pictures are very sad. I am glad you were spared from Mother Nature's fury!

  3. Great goals! I like that you picked things that are (for the most part) not time consuming. That makes them easier to manage.

    I did a Runner's World running streak from Memorial Day to July 4th a year and a half ago. I really enjoyed it. It kept me moving and it was totally attainable. I mostly stuck to really short distances most days just running a mile.

    1. Thanks, Amy! It is SO IMPORTANT that the goals are relatively quick to accomplish on any given day. If they take too long, there is very little chance that I will get past Day 2 or Day 3.

      So glad to hear that your Memorial Day to July 4th running streak was so attainable! I think it would be a lot easier to stick to the goal during the warmer months, too, when it's nice outside. Since it's so cold out here in Chicago, I will definitely be doing lots of my runstreak days at just a mile on the treadmill. =D

  4. I've been doing a squat and plank challenge this month - those are really hard!

    I'm going to give the RW streak a try too, but there's a few days in there where I know that fitting a run in is going to be really hard (between work and social commitments), but I guess that's the point, isn't it? :)

    1. Anne, I was thinking about you with your various fitness challenges, especially your push-up challenge. Maybe after the new year I might attempt a push-up challenge, too. I could do a lot to improve my upper body strength.

      Yay for the RW streak! I've already had a couple of days where I didn't feel like keeping the streak going (way to get started off on the right foot, eh?) but thankfully I've found that a single mile is pretty attainable. Let me know how it goes for you once you get underway!