Accountability is key

Last month I decided to re-evaluate my running goals. I also started an ab workout plan that is absolutely brutal. I mean, even for me, an athlete my whole life, this thing is torture.

A new Challenge:
To avoid the major flop that was the last challenge, I decided to print out a picture of the workouts, so I could literally cross them off as I went. I also did this to hold myself accountable. It’s important to me that this time, I stick with it. The first three days weren’t too bad, but I noticed that my abs, chest and back were killing me. So I did the only logical thing, I took a rest day. It seemed like the perfect thing to do and a good pattern to follow. Three days on, one day off.

That worked for one more cycle, but unfortunately as the numbers added up, I couldn’t maintain that three days on, one day off thing. So I tweaked it again. Lately I’ve been doing only one exercise for a few days, and then moving onto the next one, catching up, and moving to the third.

So far, this 30-day Ab Challenge has turned into more of a “OW, my abs really hurt and I can’t do another crunch” challenge. The planks still suck, and I still dread the final day when it looks like I’ll be holding it for eternity. And, it’s definitely not a 30-day challenge.

Learning to Track my Running:
Additionally, I’ve started tracking my runs in a spreadsheet, because you can’t analyze data if it doesn’t exist. I’m hoping to use my Milestone pod and get a deeper insight into my running, and improve my form.  Right now, my runficiency score is in the low 70s, and I would like to see that improve to the 80s by my first planned 5K in August.

Tracking my running workouts is the perfect way for me to stay accountable to myself, and to my goals. I encourage everyone to take a stab at tracking their data, even if it’s just a simple hand-written line in a notebook. And, as a numbers geek, looking for changes in a spreadsheet is not a chore for me, but a little soothing. I can see quickly if I’m improving, or if an event in my life has caused a decline in a certain area.

At the end of the day, tracking myself not only in my challenges, but also running workouts, is helping me stay accountable to myself. It’s pretty depressing to look at a chart and see a whole bunch of days empty from missing workouts. It’s motivation to get out there, not being forced to look at those empty blocks. When you don’t have a training partner to keep you accountable, you have to find another method. I found mine – Microsoft Excel.


About AlyL

A wandering spirit drawn to running, music, theater, and those that give life to others. Functioning in a life that's next to normal.
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