I’m currently house-bound with an annoying dose of (wo)man flu. This is frustrating me more than anything, because on weekends at this time of year I should be out selling my craftwares at various Christmas markets; and sitting at home, feeling crappy, when I know I should be out working hard during one of my busiest times of the year is quite infuriating!
However, I am finding time to get to things that have been neglected recently, not least of which is this blog.
Today, keeping me smiling through this fat-headed, blocked sinus feeling, is the knowledge that on Thursday, before this cold virus descended onto my chest and effectively put the brakes on any exercise plans, I finally reached my magical 500 miles goal!
Not only did I reach the goal I set myself last January, I’ve done it with a full month to spare! This being week 48 on the calendar, makes a rough average of 10.4 miles a week. I’d love to say that I could pull off another 40 miles before the year’s end, but with my chest rattling like a bag of spanners, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back walking…fingers crossed its very soon though! Always happy to be corrected, especially if it means I can head out again; but I was recently advised that if my cold was a head cold then I was fine to exercise, but as soon as it hit my chest I should stop…and so I stopped.
Happily I can at least spend my downtime searching online for some new trainers to do my daily walk in. I think achieving my goal is a perfectly fitting milestone upon which to retire my current pair of trainers. If I may propose a respectful moment of silence for these absolute road warriors…
They were overdue for replacement a few months ago in fairness, but I never seemed to get around to it…maybe I was waiting for this day? I’ve tracked 847 miles on Runkeeper since January 2013, and I think it would be fair to say that these poor trainers have done at least 600-700 of those miles!
My beloved hiking boots do sterling work on the hills and trails at the weekends when we get the chance to head out for a decent hike; my hiking boots have even come into service whilst I’ve been trading at festivals during the summer when prolonged wet, muddy conditions have made my other footwear unwearable during the weekend. However, these mighty little trainers have pounded the local lanes with me 5 days a week, 50-52 weeks of the year. On icy roads, on muddy roads, on sticky hot roads, into brambles, into ditches (narrowly avoiding local
rally drivers neighbours speeding around the lanes, practising their Scandinavian Flick technique on the bends), through puddles, through cow sh*t (whichever way I turn at the end of our lane I go past a dairy farm!). They’ve had an awful lot of abuse and, for what were a relatively cheap pair of Skechers, I have been extremely impressed at how durable they were. I only hope that my next pair of trainers fully understand that they have a tough job to do, and a lot to live up to!
So now, I have a quandary. Obviously I will keep walking every day, religiously tracking and logging my miles on Runkeeper, up to the end of the year (and beyond, of course!). But I have really enjoyed this challenge: its been something to aim for throughout the year, and some months where real-life has got in the way, and I haven’t been able to get so many miles in, I’ve been crunching the numbers, working out my averages, and checking my events calendar to see if I could still pull it off. Daily walking is a great habit to have for numerous reasons, with the most obvious being the health benefits…and I always feel a million times better after I’ve come home from a walk, no matter how crappy I was feeling (either mentally or physically) before I set out, or how crappy the weather was…and this challenge has made it more fun, and made me more determined to get out walking as often as I could. This, however, is my quandary: 2015 – should I re-pledge for another 500 miles…or push myself even harder and go for a higher target?
If you’re familiar with the SMART acronym, you’ll know that a goal needs to be:
Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Realistic – Time-bound
I’d love to try for 600 miles, but realistically, I don’t think it would be attainable in the time. If I’ve learned nothing else this year I have learned that sometimes life gets in the way, and trying to hit an average of 50 miles a month would be a tough one to face, especially if halfway through the year, after a couple of months of not getting out hiking at weekends due to weather or work commitments, you can see that you’re way off mark, and have an almost impossible mileage to make up. This year we haven’t managed to get out hiking nearly as often as we’d hoped to, as has possibly been evident by fewer blog posts this year.
If I’m honest, 500 miles has been a decent challenge for me, and at the beginning of the year I did wonder more than a few times if making my pledge public was a wise thing to have done. Keeping it secret would have made it so much easier to give up. Fortunately as the months passed by, and the miles ticked off, it looked more and more achievable. But, I’ve shown myself that I can do 500 miles, with a consistent walking schedule, and some determination on those days when you just can’t find the motivation to put those trainers on in the morning.
I am leaning towards 550 – I may make the final decision at the end of December, when I see what my total for the whole year is. I know I am highly unlikely to make 550 miles this year, December is a very busy month for my business, but I may well convince myself that with a little extra effort and determination, I *could* do it next year…
Would welcome your thoughts on this 😉