The personal aside: So three days in... and I haven't seen the inside of a gym yet.
Life is getting in the way but that's just what it is going to be. I was walking around NYC, and walking around in heels. My legs are hurting and my dogs are barking. C'est la vie. I had a great time at Nancy's bachelorette party. my highlight was when my friend Emily grabbed my butt (yeah these things happened and there was alcohol involved) and was impressed with how solid I'm getting. Yeah I had guys hitting on me and such, but it means more to me that someone who knows my journey notices these things. I think I looked great (this is the dress I settled on), but more than that, I felt great.
Don't forget there is a #OctGTD Participant Chart that you can download (save as an Excel document) to help you track your miles.
As a second order of business, I wanted to repeat my disclaimer: Please talk to your doctor(s), trainer(s) before taking on any new exercise program or challenge to decide what is most appropriate for your ability and health.
Know Your Body
For many of you, this is the first type of exercise challenge you have participated in and I want to make sure that you are: (1) listening to what your body is telling you, (2) being responsive if your body is telling you that you are injured versus sore (and don't forget to STRETCH before and after a workout, and (3) setting reasonable and flexible goals that will push you but not ruin you.
Know Your Math
Know your basal metabolic rate.
Know your activity multiplier
And know how much you are burning (I highly suggest investing in the Body Media Fit device along with your regular heart rate monitor).
Know Your Fuel
Please also consider your diet and nutrition during this challenge. For many of you, your activity level is going up and the stress you place on your body is greater. Proper diet and nutrition will help you get through your workout as well as help you recover.
If you need help or direction, please consult a registered dietitian (especially one who is proficient in sports nutrition as well as weight management) as many doctors/trainers aren't up to speed on this.
Make sure you are eating quality fuel.
Make sure you are eating enough of this quality fuel.
DO NOT RUN ON EMPTY!
If you are food logging, keep on logging.
If you are keeping track of points, continue keeping track of your points.
If you are not doing either, consider one of the many free Web sites that will let you track your food intake -- like Livestrong/The Daily Plate or SparkPeople.
Know your life
Have a plan. I cannot stress this enough. Take your pledged mile total and divide it among 4 weeks. Figure out the structure of those weeks. Do you need to/want to work up to a longer mileage per session? Do you want consistent distances per workout. Have an idea of where you want to be at the end of each week.
Plan for rest days. I'll say that again. Plan for rest days.
My definition of a rest day: It is a day out of the gym. I might go for a long walk, but nothing where my heart rate is elevated for a long period of time with the intent of exercise. It is a day when I am mindful of my diet, but knowing that I am not going to be needing extra calories/fuel, I adjust my intake accordingly. It is a day where I am mindful of my body's needs and allow it to recover.
Likewise, along with the diet aspect, have a plan to deal with your diet. If your focus is honoring hunger, make sure you have high quality food/snacks available. If your focus is on nutritional balance, have an idea of where your nutritional elements are going to fall during the day. If your focus is on something else, know how it will interact with your activity level.
Be flexible, adjust when necessary.