What I Discovered After Working Out 33 Days in a Row

I didn’t plan on beginning a workout streak… it just sort of happened, much like the ten pounds I gained over the past year after going back to school full time, a vacation to Alaska, and the holidays.
I did not have high expectations for myself this past year. I made studying for my paralegal certificate a priority. Training was squeezed in when I had the time and mental stamina, which let’s face it, wasn’t often.

I did somehow manage to complete my second, half Ironman distance triathlon in mid-November, but since then I had been dying to simply get active.  I was not necessarily motivated by the desire to get in shape, but to just DO something.

So, on New Years’ Eve, I found time to for just that. I renewed my pool membership, and I went for a thirty minute swim.  The next day, several friends and I went on a New Years group run (where I got ENGAGED!!!! Post to follow on that soon!)  I had the next day off for the holidays too, so I went for another run. The next day I rode my bike for the first time since November.  At some point, I realized that I had worked out for 5 days in a row. And at some point I just decided I wanted to keep going.

Let me interject that although the timing may imply it, I’m actually not a fan of New Years resolutions. If I want to make a change, I feel like I should do it right then and there. Waiting for a certain date has always just seemed like an excuse to me.

Now, I am certainly of the belief that too much of a good thing is bad. And in the case of high impact exercise-very bad.   I’ve certainly had enough overuse injuries to learn my lesson.  So before you write me off and assume that I’m setting myself up for major failure, let me explain my definition of a ‘workout’ as it applies to my streak.  

I’ve not been taking my workouts super seriously, and I’ve not been sticking to a schedule.  Knowing that on March 14th, I start training for my first Ironman, which will include workouts six days a week for THIRTY WEEKS….say it with me… train every weekend for THIRTY WEEKS… I am enjoying the freedom of flexibility and the fact that I am not training specifically for anything. My sole goal at the moment is to maintain my current fitness level. So my workouts include a long run and bike per week, but also as many short recovery swims as I desire, 30 minutes of deep stretching and yoga, or a slow jog on a gorgeous day. I’ve averaged about 7 hours a week “working out”.

Initially, I was worried about getting burned out before the real training even begins, but to my pleasant surprise, my little experiment has yielded THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

I look FORWARD to my workouts. I look forward to getting outside and moving. And the flexibility to decide whether I want to strength train, swim, do yoga, or go for a run is liberating!

So I present this challenge: No longer look at your “off season” as a time to be lazy, watch Netflix, and eat pizza. (Not that any of you do… but I certainly did!!!) I now see it as something different. An opportunity to be free. An opportunity to remind myself just why I love triathlon.  The opportunity to rediscover my first love- BEING ACTIVE!

Want to follow my workouts? Find me on Garmin Connect: trismashley


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