Like so many others, I recognized I needed a goal to fuel my new year resolution. I sent my $50 to the Bentonville half marathon, scheduled for the last day of March 2012. For the past 2 weeks or so, I have been following Hal Higdon’s half marathon training schedule as well as moderating my diet.
Today, I completed a nice 5.3 mile run around 194-acre Lake Fayetteville on a wonderful trail that has both paved and rugged dirt sections. Weather was in the 50s and sunny so it was a perfect day to get out play locally.
While running has always been my preferred means of fitness, I must admit, life’s commitments and work have been good excuses to foster bad habits. I’m thrilled with the results I’m seeing in less than a month of training. A five-mile run was barely in my vocabulary a month ago.
I have a track and cross country background as well as some marathons and triathlons in my history, but my recent level of personal fitness positions me squarely with most folks who have neither the time nor motivation to run a half marathon.
My weekend warrior adventures in the backcountry certainly qualify as exercise, but training hasn’t been my motivation for hiking, backpacking and paddle sports. Any fitness benefit garnered has been secondary to my enjoyment of the trails and rivers in NW Arkansas.
I feel an exhilaration as I look forward to a 2012 that combines a higher level of personal fitness with my love for the outdoors. Smart training and backcountry time on Arkansas waters and trails should add up to some enjoyable Saturday Adventures.
I encourage everyone to make some time for yourself in the gym, on the trails, track or roads. Get on a bike, do some walking around your neighborhood or swim some laps.
Who knows? The next time you slip on that 25 pound backpack, you might not even notice it’s there. And those 5 mile hikes might turn into 10 mile hikes. Choose an exercise you like doing. Take the first step, pedal or swim stroke and you’ll be on your way. Here’s to losing some weight and gaining some fun. Have a great year outdoors.