If you live in the Western Hemisphere you're probably familiar with the tradition of setting New Year's Resolutions.
The most common New Year's Resolutions are:
1. Lose Weight
2. Exercise More
3. Get Organized
I agree with all three of these resolutions. I want to lose weight after the holiday feasting season. I want to exercise more to reach my goal of running a marathon. And, I want to get organized and reduce the rest of the clutter in my home.
The problem with resolutions is they're easy to ignore after a few days or weeks if they don't become HABITS. So, this year I'm resolving to create strong habits to improve my regular and running life.
How to Succeed at a New Habit
Author and Habit Journal creator, James Clear suggests the best way to build a new habit is to start with a teeny, tiny goal. This strategy is backed up by research done at Duke University.
Below is a quick recap of Clear's How to Build a Habit Guide. You can read his book, Atomic Habits for a deep dive.
1. Start with an Very Small Habit
Make your goal so small you can't fail. For wannabe runners: Start with a walk around the block, not running a mile.
2. Increase Your Habit in Small Ways
Habits, like building increased running mileage, should be gradual. If you increase your habit by 1% on a regular schedule, it will add up fast.
Adding one city block to your walk/run each day is easy. After a week, you'll be moving 7 more blocks! That's a great result for a small daily increase.
3. As You Build, Break Your Habit into Chunks
Okay, as you add little bits of mileage, you'll soon be walking/running far. Clear suggests you can stay engaged by breaking your habit into parts. For example, instead of walking for an hour break it into two 30-minute walks. Stroll in the morning and again in the evening.
For sweaty workouts like running and power walking it may work best to set a weekly goal. Then, break your mileage or time goal into smaller pieces you accomplish over 7 days.
4. When You Slip, Get Back on Track Fast
If you miss a day (or week) don't abandon your goal. Simply start again when and where you are. Life is too unpredictable to be harsh with yourself over missed workouts.
5. Be Patient. Keep a Pace You Can Sustain.
It's hard to be patient when you want to lose weight, run faster, or complete any goal. Real success comes with consistent efforts. The trick is to set a realistic starting point and goal.
No one gets up one day and runs a great marathon. It takes a long time to prepare. It starts with a running habit that grows to a long distance over time. Start where you are and build on it.
Training includes good days, bad days, hard days, and easy days — all those days get you to the finish line.
I'm Kicking Off My 2021 Habit
It makes me nervous to say this out loud, but my resolution, goal, habit, dream is to run a marathon sometime in the next year or so. It's a long-term goal I plan to achieve by improving my running habit.
I don't expect many in-person races until late in 2021 which makes it the perfect time to train for a marathon. My plan is to re-start at the beginning.
I'll follow a series of training plans. I'll begin with a 5K, then a 10K, then a half, and then a marathon. That will get me to the end of the 2021 in a slow-growing, methodical way.
Setting Goals Along the Way
My hope is that in-person races can resume by Fall. Based on that, I've scheduled the following events to keep me on track with my goal and habit.
Cheers to Your New 2021 Habits
That's my plan for 2021. Cheers to everyone out there who has their own goal for 2021. I wish you success all along the way. Happy New Year!
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Each January since 2015, I've run races at the St. Pete Beach Classic. It's one of my favorite local events because it has a race for everyone. I've raced the the Half, Classic Duo, and 10K.
If I ever run a marathon, it will be over 2 days at SPBC. This year, I ran the 10K on Saturday, then volunteered at the finish line on Sunday. It was an excellent way to ease back into running after my distracted holiday season.
2020 St Pete Beach Classic Weekend Schedule
The St. Pete Beach Classic offers a fun racecation on the Gulf of Mexico. You can come early, and stay late, since it's held on a holiday weekend. This year it was January 17-19.
Friday, Jan. 17, Noon to 6 PM
Race Expo, Registration, and Packet Pick Up. This pre-race day session was off-site this year. It usually takes place in the Sirata Resort Ballroom.
The expo included vendors along with opps to get deals on races, gear, and fuel. It was easy in and easy out for packet pickup. The views of the Innercoastal were good, too!
No worries if you can't go early — just pick up your race packet on site before each race.
Saturday, Jan. 18, 6 AM to 5 PM
Packet pickup and race day registration started at 6 AM at the Sirata Beach Resort.
Sunday, Jan. 19, 6 to 10:30 AM
6 to 6:30 AM: Race Day Registration and Packet Pickup
6:45 AM MADDIE ZOLFO HALF MARATHON
8:30 AM: Post Race Party Begins
10 AM: Half Marathon Awards Ceremony
I love the deep berry and bright blue colors for this year's race shirts. It's a lightweight tech material that I'll wear a lot. Because I volunteered, I scored a second shirt in a beautiful green color.
The goodie bags included 6 sample products. I'm a fan of Reef Safe, Shave Secret, and Fat Tire lip balm, so I was happy to see them in the backpack.
I'm eager to try the new products: Split Nutrition pack, Ekoa dried fruit bars, and Banana Bag drink. Love a race goodie bag that introduces me to new stuff!
If you're looking for a fun race on the beach in January, check out the St. Pete Beach Classic. Registration is open for next year's event on January 15-16-17, 2021
The event is perfect for a getaway weekend whether you're from Nebraska or Tampa!
Lots of Race Options at the SPB Classic
Here's the bling I brought home after running the 2019 St Pete Beach Classic Duo on Saturday, January 19th. The Duo includes a 10K race at 7 am followed by a 5K race at 9 am. There's time in between to chat and relax. Plus, there's a cute Kids Dash that's fun to watch before the 5K.
Other race options include a Saturday night 3.8 mile Beach Fun Run, and Sunday's half marathon. If you're up to the challenge, run every single race to earn the Marathon Challenge medal. That's 4 races in two days that total 26.2 miles.
Check out my complete SPB Classic review here. If you haven't tried this race, consider it. It's a fun getaway weekend whether you live near or far.
The races take place over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend each January. Next year's race dates are January 18 and 19, 2020.
Here are the St. Pete Beach Classic race medals runners can earn in a couple of weeks. This is one of my favorite race series. The races take place over MLKing Jr. weekend (January 19-20).
I ran the Waste Connections Duo Challenge last January. And, I'm happy to say I'm giving it another go this year. The challenge starts with the 10K, then the 5K. Run two races and go home with three medals.
I recommend the half marathon, too. It's a great street level view of this charming beach town. You see places you'd miss otherwise. The courses are flat and fast. The weather can be chilly, but it's been warm, too. The best part is finishing the race and walking a few steps to the beach.
You can still register to run or volunteer. Check stpetebeachclassic.com for all the details. There is more fun than just races. There's a beach bonfire and concert, too.
#RunStPete #RunStPeteBeach #SPBClassic #RunFlorida #StPeteBeachClassic
Okay guys, here's number 3 of 3 of the St. Pete Beach Classic giveaways! Head on over to This Old Runner on Instagram and enter to win your choice of the Beach Run, 5K or 10K race on January 19, 2019. You have 24 hours to enter. 6 pm Wed. 12/12 through 6 pm. Thurs. 12/13/18.
Doesn't running a race in St. Pete Beach in January sound wonderful?! I think so. I'm running the 5K + 10K Duo Challenge again this year. I can't wait! This is one of my favorite local races.
Free Training Runs
Join like-minded runners for training runs on the Wednesday, Dec. 12, and 19 and Jan 2 and 9. Meet at the St. Pete Beach Community Center.
There's a gift certificate available if you win and want to give the entry as a gift to someone else. If you want to upgrade another race, use the free entry and pay the difference in registration fees.
For example: you can upgrade to a Half Marathon, the 5K + 10K Challenge, or the Full Marathon Challenge. If you upgrade to the Half you can enter the #Burg2Beach2Bayshore Challenge.
You can upgrade at packet pickup. Present your certificate and pay the difference in cost between the races.
The #SPBeachClassic Half Marathon is the second leg of the Burg to Beach to Bay Challenge. Visit https://stpetebeachclassic.com/ for more information on the 3-half marathon challenge.
#RunSPBClassic #SPBClassic #RunSPB #RunStPete #RunTampa #RunSarasota #RunTampaBay #B2B2B #StPeteRunFest #GasparillaDistanceClassic #GasparillaRun #PGDC19 #RunLikeAPirate #HealthySP #SPRF #ThisOldRunner #BibChat #StPeteBeach #TampaBay #DTSP #StPete #FloridaHalf #FloridaRunner #MRTT #RaceDiscount #RaceGiveaway #GulfOfMexico #StPeteBeach #FloridaRaces
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