December: run and photograph, every day

I love the first day of the month. I know it is arbitrary, but I always get excited when one month ends and another begins; somehow it feels like a fresh slate, a new chance to be what you dream you are. And something about the first day of the last month of the year feels really good, like it’s your last chance to make good on all the promises you made yourself back in January.

IMG_4228With marathon training over, it feels like a good opportunity to try new workouts and fit in everything I couldn’t do while the marathon was my focus. So I have been going to yoga classes more and using my Pocket Yoga app at home, as well as using my Nike Training Club app for strength workouts (lots of lunges, squats, arms, ab work). On Friday, I went to my first Bikram yoga class with a friend. I liked the heat (105 degrees and 40 percent humidity) and the instructor was friendly, and the class was challenging but not as terribly scary as I expected (I didn’t get dizzy or pass out). I liked it, but didn’t love it. I like the flow, energy and relative unpredictability of vinyasa classes better than the rigidity of the Bikram style (and I was freaked out to find out about Bikram’s scandals), but I’m still glad I tried it. I think the next time I want to get really sweaty and warmed up in the winter, I’ll go back to spin class instead.

IMG_4225And yet, running is still my true love. I decided on Thanksgiving to give the Runners World Run Streak a try this year. I’ll keep to my regular run schedule of four to five runs per week of three to ten miles at a time, but also run at least one mile per day on the off days. So far, I did the 5K on Thanksgiving, then did one mile before Bikram on Friday, then did my regularly scheduled 10 miles yesterday (with two miles fast at the end – loved this), and then today I just did a little over one mile in my neighborhood, followed by a 15-minute Nike Training Club workout. So far, so good. One mile is nothing, and it’s a fun way to get out and about in the cold and ensure I am getting a little exercise each day; this morning I kept it easy and brought along my phone so I could take some photos of the empty streets, which was fun.

IMG_4231  IMG_4236 IMG_4239

The only thing I’m worried about is fitting in a run every day even when I am traveling for work trips this week and next week. I’m tracking it all on Daily Mile here.

Another little challenge I am doing to keep on the ball in December is a photo-a-day challenge on Instagram, via Fat Mum Slim.

I’ve done this before and always enjoyed it at least at first; I hope I can keep motivated and find interesting things to take shots of all month long.

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Today’s prompt was “red” and I never noticed how many red things there are in my neighborhood until now.

Onto the new month!

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