12 Days of Christmas Challenge: The Results

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?


One thought on “12 Days of Christmas Challenge: The Results

  1. katie says:

    oooh, I love this challenge, I’m sorry I missed it!

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