Sunday, January 5, 2014

More Jolly, Less Jiggle Holiday Challenge

Just before Thanksgiving this year, a friend posted a link to a holiday running challenge on Facebook.  I checked it out right away because I've been worried about staying on track now that my marathon has come and gone and I have no desire whatsoever to ever ever run that far again.  I'm so glad I did it once but once is plenty for me.  The problem is, since I've never been fast I've learned to embrace not caring a lick about pace so the way I've pushed myself has been to go farther...and now?

Anyway, the idea of a challenge during the holiday season was perfect for me but once again this pesky grad school budget we're on kept me from signing up because there was a fee attached.  I don't pay for anything if I can help it so didn't sign up even though I really wanted to.  Then I realized I could just create my own challenge and invite a few friends to join me to keep me honest.  So, I posted the idea on the Facebook page of a running group I joined while training for my fall marathon, Boulder, CO Moms Run This Town and within a half hour had an overwhelming amount of fellow challengers, committing to run either 30+ (aka "Determined Mamas") or 60+ (aka "Hard Core Mamas") miles between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I can't tell you how grateful I felt for this group of women.  There were at least a few days, including one -15 degree morning, when I would have surely stayed in bed if I had been attempting this on my own.  The idea of logging my miles after my run was enough to peel me out of bed and bundle up and I was not sorry once...well, maybe that -15 degree day I was a little sorry, but I learned from the experience and was eventually able to see why even that day hadn't been a mistake.

I also had a great time thinking up ideas during my runs about how to celebrate our accomplishment.  We set a date for a get together and I decided to make it a mini closing ceremony complete with a trophy for the person who ran the most miles and t-shirts for the top three mileage loggers.  Everyone who completed the challenge also got a certificate and a couple of members even donated prizes for a raffle. We had our celebration today and a lot of people thanked me for all the hard work I put into it, but I have to say it didn't feel like work at all.  The prizes and certificates were super easy and cheap to make (the trophy was only $8 or so, ordered online) so it was nothin' but fun.

So, thanks to all of my fellow challengers for participating.  I'd better be reading about the repeat challenge next holiday season from wherever the hell we are living at that point.  Maybe I'll even start one in that new mystery place and we can cheer each other on again.

On treadmills, trails, sidewalks and roads in temperatures as low as -15 degrees...from Boulder to Erie to Westminster...from Broomfield to Thornton, Lafayette, Englewood, Arvada, Superior, Colorado Springs and Tarrytown, NY..together we ran 1,734.4 miles between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2013

Love to you all--keep on truckin'! 

Party goers

Now these are some badass mothers here.  If you ask me, the kids are pretty cute too.

Handing out certificates

Top 3!

Amazing ladies!!

Backs of the top 3 shirts..I  made these with iron-on transfer  paper.  Really easy and you can find the paper and shirts at a craft store like Jo-Ann's

Front of shirts

Front of the certificates.  I told the group I loved them without having met most of them because they don't think it's totally weird I presented a certificate to myself for a challenge I totally made up!

Back of the certificates.  On the spreadsheet where we logged our mileage, I asked everyone to say in 1-3 words why they were doing the challenge.  I made the responses into a word cloud at ABCya!  Yay us!

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