Two End-of-Year Challenges

I love reading about all the end-of-year challenges, but I don't love the social media component that most of them have. I give lots of credit to everyone who's active on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, blogging, and everything else. I can manage only one, and that's this blog, maybe with a post on IG every now and then. Plus, I guess I just don't get why I have to tweet every time I do a plank. When I did the Runner's World Run Streak last year, I had no problem running every day, but I lasted about three days tweeting about it. So instead of joining a challenge, I'm doing my own and started at the beginning of this week.

Challenge 1: Track Points in Weight Watchers Every Day
Remember when I was training and running a lot and eating everything in sight and not gaining weight? Ah, those were the good old days. When I continued eating whatever I wanted, not tracking, and not weighing myself during my lower mileage taper weeks and my rest week, well, obviously I was going to gain back weight. And when I finally weighed myself...ouch. I am nearly nine pounds over my goal weight. UGH.

January 2016 will be my fifth anniversary of losing about 35 pounds, and I've been successful at maintaining it within about a five-pound range. But nine pounds is a lot, and it doesn't feel good. I know how to lose weight so I know I can lose it. My problem is that the motivation just isn't there for me right now. The solution is to track my food in Weight Watchers. I know that when I track, I lose and/or maintain, and when I don't track, I gain. Plus, tracking my points every day until the end of the year will help me deal with the food and celebration fest that is the holiday season. My goal is to to get at or very close to my goal weight by the end of the year.

Challenge 2: Plank Every Day
I'm focusing on strength training for the rest of the year to build a strong foundation for when my training starts in January. Core strength is so important for runners, and doing at least one plank a day will not only help me get strong but also serve as a daily reminder to keep strength work a priority.

I'll be doing all different planks for my challenge--regular, side, on hands, forearms,
chatarunga style, on the Bosu ball, and on the stability ball.
I have, unfortunately, already broken this challenge though because I hurt my back! I guess it started last Thursday, when I was doing lower body strength and must have lifted a heavy weight wrong. My lower back was a bit sore after that, but I didn't think much of it. I did lower body again this past Tuesday, and my back hurt more. When I did a plank that night, it was extremely painful. I ran the next morning and felt no pain running. But about an hour afterwards, I was in excruciating pain! I could barely walk and, even though I never take medicine, resorted to taking two Aleve. Even with the Aleve I was in pain all day at work and was hobbling around, so I skipped the plank that night because I knew it would be very painful.

Today was a rest day, and it feels a little better but is still sore. I've been icing it and taking more Aleve. I did my planks and felt okay. This Runner's World article says you can run with back pain if running doesn't make it worse, so I'm going to try running tomorrow morning. I hate the idea of taking time off from running because I'm really eager to start ramping up again. But I don't want to make things worse, so I'll see how tomorrow's run goes.

Anyway, each of my two challenges should only take a few minutes a day, so I have no excuse not to do them on even the busiest of days.

Are you doing any end-of-year challenges?

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