Happy New Year everyone!
I'm going to try to write more this year. I have a handful of topics on mind to write about as we kick off the new year.
First, what seems to be the common topic in a significant majority of my Facebook feed and a good portion of the news website these days are all devoted to fitness.
One of the reasons I haven't been writing as much is that I've spent a lot of my spare time over the past few years putting more time and effort into exercise. For the first 19 1/2 years of my career in the Navy, I was in the same cycle of running and fitness. I've never been a fast runner, and I've always had to work at it to get ready for the semiannual Physical Readiness Test (PRT) or Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA). Some people are on the 3-miles-per-year running plan. They show up for the fall PRT and run 1.5 miles, and they show up for the spring PRT and run 1.5 miles, and that's it for them.
I've always had to work at it.
I got into this cycle of oh-crud-the-PRT-is-2-months-away run, run, run, run, run, run, PRT, whew! I would always claim to have the intention of running year-round and breaking the cycle, but inevitably I would finish the PRT run, go get my celebratory carne asada burrito, and say to myself, "Self, you can take a break this week. Start running again next week." Four months later, I would come to the realization I was 2 months away from the PRT and start running again.
About two years ago now (wow, time flies!), I decided I needed a longer-term goal to shoot for in order to break the cycle, but I didn't think I could ever run anything like a marathon or even a half marathon. In the fall of 2013 shortly after I returned to the Pentagon, I heard about and saw Facebook posts of people running the Army Ten Miler. I thought, hey, 10 miles is farther than I've ever run (I once did a 10K), but that's an achievable goal to shoot for.
So I decided to register for the 2014 Army Ten Miler.
I'm thankful for the inspiration and example my dad has provided me. He had taken up running relatively recently and had been running insane numbers of miles and lost an incredible amount of weight. Just before spring break in 2014, he challenged me to try running 5 miles per day. I wasn't sure I could do it, but I figured I'd at least give it a try. If he can do it at his age, why shouldn't I be able to do it at my age? Much to my surprise, I WAS able to do it.
Eventually, I settled into a weekly running routine. When the spring PFA came around last April, it was a breeze. I was actually a little annoyed that the PFA interrupted my regular running schedule getting ready for the Army Ten Miler.
MapMyFitness website. He said he wants to do some sort of major run together every year, so this year we ran the Navy Air Force Half Marathon together in September 2015.
As my team was preparing for the Army Ten Miler, I sent out regular emails with information and encouragement, and I think a few of those emails could easily have been blog posts. This post is long enough as it is, so I'll save more to write later, but I plan to write some blog posts coming up about injury prevention, running fuel, gear, and my favorite running routes around DC.
In the meantime, I wish you all a Happy New Year!