So yesterday began the last 30 days of this countdown and I got to thinking of new challenges I can take on after the race. THEN I got to thinking, why wait?

For the past 30 days, I’ve worked hard on cleaning up my act. Not just running but strength training and doing my little yoga videos.

I’ve also added nutrition and lifestyle changes that I built a routine on. Every single day I have gotten up and taken vitamin supplements and drank 1000 ml of water 3 times a day every single day. I put moisturizer on my face in the morning and night cream at night. Every. Single. Day.

Less structured changes include cutting out fried foods and drinking. I even cleaned my house, embracing the Marie Kondo method.

And I have posted a blog post without fail, every single day.

But aside from the supplements and the morning and night routines most of these changes have been unstructured. Running “more” but without a specific mileage, hitting the gym “a lot more” but without any kind of schedule. I’ve seen great results and I plan to keep going in this unstructured way, but there is something to be said for consistency.

So for the last 30 days, I want to add something small and physical to my routine that is a little more structured. I started looking for ideas for 30-day challenges that would be realistic to take on that would give me results but also that would not tax too much more of my already thin willpower reserves (willpower is a finite resource and you WILL run out of it if you try to be perfect.).

In my search, I found a lot of challenges that were absurdly ambitious. Then I came across one on the Runners World facebook page about planking. Not going bananas with planking all day like some crazy people, this lady just did it twice a day in her office. I do not have an office with a door. I will not be doing this at work like some kind of weirdo. I do have a perfectly good apartment that I finally cleaned.

So, while I keep up all my other less structured improvements that I’ve been writing about, for the final 30 days I am going to add one 60 second plank at the end of each day followed by 5 push-ups. That might sound tiny but planks are HARD. I did my first 60-second plank in this streak last night and by 37 seconds I was struggling. My form was terrible and I was shaking. In a way, it’s sort of good that I’m so dreadful at planking, because I feel I am almost guaranteed improvement from just a minute a day. Fingers crossed that isn’t too optimistic.

Naturally, If I can go longer I will, but 60 seconds is the minimum and 5 pushups is the minimum.

Last night was Day 1 of 30 for the new streak.

This morning I got up and ran. I didn’t feel like it; I spent the whole time getting dressed coming up with all the perfectly valid reasons I had to skip it today. But once my shoes were on there was no going back. I have never regretted getting out for a run. After my run, I took an icy cold shower. It’s a pretty great way to start a day.


When I text my Mom after my run she let me know that she and Dad were out for a run as well. Today my Dad is 65, and he is starting this year with a run.

As always, here is some information about St. Jude’s and the impact your donations make. Your donations are appreciated! Please donate to this wonderful cause here!



Donations make a difference

Every dollar donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital counts! Take a look at some of the possibilities that your effort could provide to the kids and families of St. Jude.

Infant Care Supplies for 10 Babies: $50

These supplies help parents and nurses care for babies in treatment and include items like diapers, baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, footies and heel warmers.

Wagon: $70

Wagons can make traveling through the halls of St. Jude easier for parents and more fun for a young child.

Parties to celebrate birthdays, holidays and “coming off chemo”: $75

St. Jude provides parties, decorations, cakes and more to keep spirits high during the holidays and to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and a child’s completion of chemotherapy treatment.

Creative Toys: $100

Play is an essential part of every child’s life, and it’s important for the children to have fun as often as possible. At St. Jude, colorful, toy-filled play areas are just as plentiful as exam rooms.

Delicious Meals: $210

St. Jude provides meal cards so that patients and families can enjoy the comfort and convenience of good, nutritious meals in the Kay Kafe, our cafeteria.

One Day of Oxygen: $447

Oxygen is key to keeping the immune system strong. A gift of oxygen can help a young body thrive and help fight cancer at the cellular level.

Child-sized Wheelchairs: $700

These special wheelchairs help children move easily through St. Jude.

Airfare for a parent and child: $1,000 Average

For a patient referred to St. Jude, the hospital covers the cost of airfare for a child and one parent or guardian.


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