30 Day Fitness Challenge | Running

Image by Seth Macey

This year I've decided to work on some goals every month. My first goal (organizing and decluttering) is at a stand still at step 5 currently. I'm not making it a priority which is a problem and I'm giving myself the first week of April to get everything done once and for all. It's no surprise I'm taking a long time with that goal because I find cleaning up in general to be one of my top weaknesses I need to work on. It's also a lot of work so next week is going to be me with Marie Kondo or any clean with me videos I can watch on YouTube.

Now you know how I said I wasn't going to start any new goals until I completed my first one? Well, my "let's start something new" gene kicked in so I can overwhelm myself like I like to do. I decided to start exercising again this past month and focus it all on running.

I absolutely love running. That would have been a weird statement coming out of my mouth at fifteen but now I can easily say it. At fifteen I had to run/walk in P.E. almost every time I went to class and I was terrible at it. For some reason years later (still in high school) I decided to take on the couch to 5k challenge at the time where you could print out the schedule and didn't have to pay for an app. I did up to around week 4 on the treadmill and fell in love. I loved challenging my body and feeling accomplished afterwards. Then, I stopped. A couple of years later I started the program again and got maybe a little farther or less (It was a long time ago). Then, I stopped again and got into strength training.

I have been compared to a newborn fawn in the gym. I'm very lanky and relatively tall. I've done a couple of months exercising with my father and brother, then my cousin, and then my father again throughout the years. I did see some change. I was stronger and it showed. It wasn't a crazy difference since I think the most I went to the gym at one time was maybe four or five months but it was still significant. After I stopped that I got into running again and did it for longer than I thought possible. I could not tell you how long but it was at least half a year. I ran/walked with my father regularly at a local park usually at night. My dad forced me to walk longer than I wanted because he set out a goal to be there longer than my training goal was at the time (I was doing some form of couch to 5k). With the help of the Harry Potter Running Club (now Potterhead Running Club) I became competitive with the amount of time and miles I accumulated. Through a two to three year span I ran three races. I was feeling great.

And then I started a full time teaching job and that all went downhill. I didn't enjoy that job so I left and started something new. But the last half of 2017 and all of 2018 I felt horrible about myself. I've never failed so hard because I'm not that type of person who takes risks. I hate failing and didn't know where life was going to lead me. I hardly read and I didn't exercise.

That brings me to the last quarter of 2018. I got a job, had a new direction in my life, and finally started trying harder to read more for pleasure. I had finally felt better about myself after letting myself lay it all out to myself, somewhat to my parents, and on my blog. I didn't want to be unhappy anymore. I still struggle with self confidence but that is the reason I started up this goals project - to tackle my weaknesses and wants in life. Now I did attempt to get into running off and on through the last couple of years. I was majorly successful in 2017 before everything changed. There were some races that I signed up for and didn't do in attempts to motivate myself to run which have bothered me but I rather focus on getting fit for life now and leave that pessimistic side behind.

So I set myself a goal to exercise ten out of thirty days starting from February 28th to March 28th. I started the running program None to Run which has added exercises for my off days. In total I exercised thirteen out of the thirty days beating my goal by three. What has that done for me?


I've been so inspired by fitness challenges, creating my own challenges, and running faster with the help of this change and some YouTube videos. I've been doing a mile and a half walk/runs which I've been so proud of. I've pushed myself and made plans and goals for the future. I've just got to keep myself going and don't waver like I have with organizing. I've also been trying to work on eating more which is difficult for me. I've succeeded for a good number of days but mostly I haven't been doing well. But, I've been trying to keep positive since life isn't a race. I want to be healthy for a long time and that means changing habits slowly.

Here are the exercises I worked on these past four weeks:

Running Part 1
5 minutes brisk walking. Alternating between 30 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking  for 20 minutes for three days.

Running Part 2
5 minutes brisk walking. Alternating between 1 minute of running and 2 minutes of walking for 20 minutes for three days.

Running Part 3
5 minutes brisk walking. Alternating between 1 minute of running and 2 minutes of walking for 25 minutes for one day.

Best mile this past month: 14 minutes and 49 seconds.

Past Results/Goal to Beat
PR mile: Around 12 minutes 34 seconds.
PR 5k: 41:33 minutes Pace: 13:23 minutes.

Strength Training

Consists of body movement exercises.

Leg raises: 20 reps x 2 for twelve days (had to do alternating leg raises later on)
Push-ups: 10 reps x 3 for six days (done leaning on counter, moved on to lower table - trying to slowly build up strength to do a full push-up)
Glute bridge with march: 1 minute x 2 for six days (no longer doing these since I believe they contributed to upper back pain I have had since last night!)
Side leg raises: 30 seconds each side x 2 for six days
Squats: 15 x 2 for six days

I have lots of plans for this coming month. 

I'm going to do another 30 Day Fitness Challenge. My goals are as follows:
  • My main focus is super top secret but will be an addition to my current strength training routine.
  • Completing week 3 through week 6 of the None to Run program.
  • I want to reach a certain goal amount for calories (I only reached it seven times this past month so my goal is ten times next month). I will change this habit with the help of meal planning.
  • I'm going to be adding stretching to my routine. My current back pain emphasizes to me more how I need to have a plan where I reduce and prevent any future pain.
My new 30 Day Fitness Challenge will begin April 1st so I have time to rest up my back. I'll post about my results after the thirty days are up.

I know I have a lot of plans. I'm slow going at all of them but if I'm at least slowly making progress each month then I'm happy. I want to have consistent habits that I can sustain for life. You can check on how I'm doing with fitness in the #FitReaders group on Facebook. I'll be posting how I'm doing running wise.

What do you do for exercise? What goals do you have for fitness and health?


  1. Great job! I always want to do more fitness stuff, but the most I get into is walks and hikes when the weather is nice.

  2. Hope the cleaning youtube videos help. :) I think organization is something I tackle bit by bit. I can't do it all at once (mostly because of having a job and being tired when I get home).

    Sounds like you are making a lot of progress with your fitness and running goals. Bravo. I have tried to use my treadmill every weekend of the winter and then on any extra days I have off from work. It's too hard for me to fit it in before or after work in the winter (with my schedule). Now that spring is here and the afternoons are lighter I am hoping to go on some walks right after work to fit in a little more exercise. Good luck to you!

    1. I don't really like to do anything when I get home after working ten hours. I rather relax then anything but on my days off there is no excuse.

      Thank you and good luck to you as well! I think I need to add some more walking in as well. My dogs are getting older and they could use the exercise just as much as me.

  3. I love setting goals too! It's the only way I achieve things! Good luck with your running!

    1. I love setting goals and creating lists. I do struggle with keeping them though!


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