January is not my favorite month at all.
It may be the start of a new year, but does the start have to be so challenging? Who knew taking three classes (two of which have 3-hour long labs) would be just as stressful and time-consuming as taking four classes, and that the cold weather can be so unhelpful when it comes to harnessing the motivation needed to get out there and just workout?
Well, at least I didn’t have 31 straight OFF days…
Week 1 I was coming off my first 30-mile week and I had the motivation to run, despite the start of school. I was able to knock-out a 6 mile run at 6am before my first long day of the winter quarter, and rewarded myself with Friday night and Saturday morning ZUMBA. Even though I only reached 18 miles, I was proud of myself for even being motivated enough to run, since the first week of school is always a stressor for me!
Week 2 seemed to be better for my running earlier in the week…and stayed there. Week 2 is the worst when it comes to schoolwork, and I was adjusting to the fact that Tuesday and Thursday night had to be late-night study nights since I get home around 8:30pm on both days (if I’m lucky…). I planned on a Friday run in the afternoon/evening since I usually get home earlier on Fridays, but the Week 2 stress drove me to powernap for ~1 hour and I didn’t want to leave the couch after that. I no longer had the motivation for a Saturday run since I was FAR from my 20-25 mi/week goal, so I went to the gym for a quick weights workout, and called it quits. While it was a disappointing week, I have to remember this is going to happen when you’re a bio student -.- …
Week 3 gave me motivation to run and reach my weekly running goal since there was a 3-day weekend. I gave myself the challenge to run a total of 10 miles total on Sunday and 10 miles total on Monday. On Sunday, I broked it down to 3 miles on the treadmill, 4 mile run home from the gym (long way home !), and a 3 mile evening run. On Monday, motivation was waning, but I managed to make it a long run of 8 miles (my first 8 miler since December). I then “celebrated” with ZUMBA (Monday nights are the best ZUMBA nights at my gym cause of the awesome instructor and his taste in music) and did an easy 2 mi jog on the treadmill to get up to 10 miles. Knocking out 20 miles earlier in the week helped me get closer to my weekly running goals and the three days off were desperately needed since the DOMS in my legs were outrageous. By Friday, the soreness was gone but I finished of the week with some easy miles on the treadmill.
Week 4 was ZUMBA-filled, but the cold weather and lack of motivation really affected my running workouts. Seriously, this was the week I had the least amount of motivation to run. ZUMBA was also getting on my nerves since the usual Monday instructor didn’t show up and we had a sub who was hard to follow since the room was PACKED.
EDIT: My workout on the 31st was actually my workout on the 30th. I haven’t worked out on a Thursday for the entire month, haha !
Here’s how January’s goals ended up:
1) Continue running consistently 20-25 miles a week, 30-35 if possible.
Okay, so not quite able to achieve this goal, but I can accept that. The cold weather, student-life stress, and lack of motivation can be hard to overcome, but you’ve just got to keep going. Going longer than 3 miles on the treadmill is especially tough for me since I find pounding miles indoors incredibly boring, so getting in my miles at the gym isn’t the solution. (Hopefully) warmer weather in February will be !
2) Make it to at least ONE weekday ZUMBA class, and both weekend classes.
I pretty much had my fill of ZUMBA every weekend, even if I didn’t go on both Saturday and Sunday. I’ve figured out which classes have the least crowds (Sunday mornings yo!) and which instructors I prefer. I even managed to have my friend join me for many of the ZUMBA classes I attended later in the month. Doing ZUMBA with a friend makes things less awkward and even more fun for sure
3) Give myself a break/OFF day if I am finding a particular work-out boring (in other words, don’t feel compelled to do a workout if body and/or mind just isn’t feelin’ it).
This so happened. I don’t mind OFF days, but sometimes I wish my mind pushed my body through the motivation-lacking times, bringing in more “successful” weeks. But in the end, perhaps every OFF day I took this month (even if my body wasn’t sore) was needed for some reason (like my sanity)??
4)Try a new class (U-JAM, Yoga, Pilates).
So the closest I got to trying out a “new” class was a combo U-JAM/ZUMBA class. U-JAM is basically like a hip-hop/cardio workout and it is relatively new. Only reason I attended was because it was a combo class with ZUMBA, but I don’t think I would have chose to go to it on my own. (Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable “getting low”, haha )??
I ran my first race of the year on Sunday (recap coming soon)! So my workouts for February are off to a good start, I suppose. Hopefully I am more successful with my running goals this month…
My monthly fitness goals for February are to:
- Have a my new long goal of 10 miles (need to get to that 13.1 mile mark soon!!).
- Find ways to motivate myself to run. Same goal of 20-25 mi/week, 30-35 mi/week if really motivated.
- Run a completely different route than usual.
- Hydrate more!
As for upcoming races, I’m registered for a 7 mile run in March (St. Patty’s Day weekend!) and plan to look and register for some others as I find them.
What are your fitness goals for February?
How do you stay motivated when times are stressful?