Oh, joy. The holidays are here again!
(Note the sarcasm)
Anyway. For me, this is the off-season. I’m a runner and triathlete by nature and when it starts getting all cold and nasty around these parts, I start to hibernate. And eat cookies and pizza and ice cream until I’m about the size of a bear. A large, cranky, grizzly bear with a stray piece of pepperoni matted into the hair on my chin. Nice visual, eh?
The time change really does a doozy on me… sometimes I feel like I’m a mole living underground who doesn’t ever see the light of day. It might surprise you, but Chicago isn’t known for it’s sunny, bright winter weather. There are too many days that go by with nary a peek at Mr. Sunshine, and I wilt like a flower who’s been shoved in a dark corner of the basement (which reminds me… water the flowers!). Add to that the fact that I’m just coming off running a fall marathon and have little motivation to move any more than what it takes to change channels and get more snacks from the kitchen. Not good, people, not good.
But this year I’m going to try something different — I’m really going to make the holidays my happy place. And where does this start for me? Sweating. Yes, that’s right — sweat makes me happy. Not in general, necessarily, but there’s nothing better than the cleansing feeling of cranking out a tough workout and then standing there, creating twin puddles as the sweat drops off your elbows. Who’s with me?
I decided I needed a challenge. And then I decided that misery loves company, so I guilted a few friends into joining me. It’s the 30 Runs in 30 Days challenge! Doesn’t that sound like FUN?! We started on Thanksgiving with our own little, informal 4-mile turkey trot (that’s at least 400 extra calories that I can consume at dinner…) and will go right through Christmas Eve. The rules? At least 15 minutes of running every day for the next 30 days. I can “bank” a run if need be — run twice today, for example, to be able to skip a run tomorrow. Easy enough, right?
The idea is that by forcing myself into at least 15 minutes of training a day, that’ll lead to more and more stress relief and better moods and less pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes on my hips. A girl can dream, right?
Seriously, though, this is a lesson I have to relearn constantly: I’m a much happier girl when I’m getting my sweat on regularly. It’s a combination of working out the bad feelings and simutaneously having that holier-than-though, look-at-me-and-how-hard-I-work kind of feeling. It’s an intoxicating mix, that much I’ll say.
So, I’m going for THAT kind of intoxication rather than the cake-flavored vodka kind (though the latter has its perks as well…) throughout this holiday season. Think it could work?