On December 15, I kicked off my totally arbitrary 12 Days of Christmas fitness challenge. The idea: complete a bunch of mini-goals loosely tied to that ubiquitous song — 12 something-somethings, 11 something-elses, etc. — between that day and December 31.
How’d I do? Surprisingly well, save for for one big fail … but I’ll get to that in a second.
Silly as it might have been, I’m glad I did this challenge. It kept me active when it would have been easier to sit on the couch, bore enough resemblance to training that I could still decide to run a half-marathon in February without feeling like I’m starting from scratch, and gave me a satisfying list to check off. For the most part, this was just about the right amount of activity to feel encouraging, not burdensome.
Here’s the rundown:
12 total workouts/workout days
Check! I actually ended up with 14 days, relatively consistent with my usual routine.
11 one-minute planks
I’m at 10 right now, but I’ll do the 11th today. I stalled on this for a long time, then started knocking them off in sets of two. Verdict: elbow planks are much harder for me than straight-arm planks.
10 minutes of core work per day
Partial credit. I did this far more days than I didn’t, but I also skipped it entirely twice and did some double-counting of certain yoga classes.
9 new exercises
This was the most fun part of the whole challenge! I tried four new OnDemand/online workouts (Just Abs, Pilates Power, YogaWorks Core Flow, and Yoga for Athletes), two weights routines (The Core from Health on the Run and this Carrots N Weights upper-body routine), running in my Brooks PureCadences (love, so far, though they’ve only got a treadmill mile on them), swimming a mile straight, and an Ashtanga Mix yoga class in Pete’s hometown. I’m now slightly obsessed with The Core, even though I had to lower the weights the second time I did it so I could walk the day after.
8(0) minutes of strength training
Partial credit. I ended up with 65 minutes over three dedicated sessions, plus another 60 minutes of doing physical therapy exercises.
7 climbing routes/problems finished
Yes! The first goal I checked off this list. I was actually planning to revise this to seven attempted; I wanted to keep pushing myself rather than climbing easy stuff because I knew I could finish it. But then I had the night where I walked around the gym taking down new problems like a boss, and no revision was necessary.
6 days of running
Check — including one virtual 10K and a couple of runs in the snow. I’ll technically finish up with seven days, but one of those was a one-mile test of new shoes.
5 morning workouts
As long as we’re counting “morning” as “before everyone in the house has had breakfast,” then yes. I had one spectacular fail of waking up at 6:30 a.m. the day after Christmas, sneaking around the basement trying to gather up my swimming stuff without waking anyone, and easing my way out the garage door only to discover I was parked in. (Did I then go for a run or something? Hell no, I got back into bed.) But I managed to wake up for a yoga class later in the week to hit my #5.
4 yoga or pilates “classes”
Yes, and one of them was even a proper class at a studio. I learned that a lot of old ExerciseTV stuff is now available on Hulu Plus; I also learned that it has ads, which is really frustrating when you’ve just gotten into some kind of fairly elaborate twist.
3 workouts with friends
This ended up being tougher than I thought; I’m not the best at coordinating schedules. I ran the virtual 10K with family and went to the yoga class with Pete, so that’s the first two. And at least Pete and I will be running again today, so sure, that counts.
2 miles swimming
Yes — hooray! I even got to practice swimming a mile in one shot at Pete’s hometown pool, which didn’t have the 30-minute lane limit of my San Francisco gym. Thanks to that outing, I beat this by a handful of 100s.
1 long ride on Penelope
Aaaaand the fail. Granted, it was logistically the toughest one to fit into the schedule, and it fell prey to (among other things) darkness, rain, buying a car, rain again, and Christmas shopping. I had one last shot to squeeze it in yesterday, but it was drizzly and dark, and I didn’t want to set myself up for a miserable experience. Penelope will still be there in 2012, though.
Did you get any last fitness goals checked off your list before the end of 2011?