Staying Consistent

The other day I saw a quote online that said “There is no substitute for consistency.”  I would have to say that I completely agree with that! It may not be glamourous, it may not be exciting, but staying consistent with your overall health and fitness will lead to success in the long run.

In the last 15 months, I have not missed a day of running. I ran on Thanksgiving, I ran on Christmas, I ran a race on New Year’s Day, I ran in the wind, rain, cold, snow, mud, heat and humidity. I ran in the dark, I ran at 4 AM (when I had to), I ran at sunrise, I ran in the morning sun, I ran after work, but I ran at least 1 mile, usually more.  Every. Single. Day.  And you know what? I don’t regret one single run!  I am 51 years old and I feel better and stronger than ever, both physically and mentally.

No, it’s not always fun getting up in the dark or cold early in the morning to go run.  No, it’s not always easy to say “no” to certain foods, drink all my water, eat my veggies and take my vitamins. But making the effort consistently pays off.  I feel better, I look better and I perform better.

Currently, I’m training for my 4th Half Marathon, the Air Force Half Marathon. If you had asked me a few years ago if I could ever even run 10 miles, I would’ve said “no.” This summer, I made a commitment to myself starting in June to run 5 miles every day. Once in a while, I didn’t quite make it 5 miles, so I made it up by running longer another day.  In the month of June, I had run a total of 151.1 Miles in 30 days! July was 158.7 and August was my highest month ever with a total of 173.0 miles, as longer training runs were added on my day off.  Last Sunday, I had my longest single run ever, 14 miles.  I felt pretty good the whole way, not ever like I wasn’t going to make it or that I wanted to quit. I feel that running consistently 5 miles every day has helped me tremendously on my longer runs.

I am looking forward to running across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day, the 8 miles around Mackinac Island, and then finishing the Half Marathon by running under airplane wings and having my medal placed around my neck by an Air Force officer.  I know that when I finish that race I will be very glad that I trained consistently all summer and all year! And when I go for my yearly checkup, I imagine my doctor will be too.  And that’s really what it’s all about isn’t it? Being healthy and enjoying life with our friends and family for a long time to come is a great reward of being consistent.  Find an activity you love to do, and do it consistently. You’ll be glad you did!

Written by Susan Horn, 2016 Fitness Ambassador