I've mentioned before that I am a regular listener to the Marathon Talk podcast, and the running-based chatter it consists of really helped me get through the training for my marathon (way back in May '10).
This month they have established a challenge for listeners called Jantastic. (In fact they did it last year too, but of course I wasn't running then). At the start of January, listeners were asked to state how many runs they would complete each week. This should be a challenging but achievable target, and I entered myself for 4 runs. Most of last year I ran about 3 times a week, and it's a bit of a struggle to regularly fit 4 runs in my busy week as well as the odd bit of cross-training. I wouldn't be able to fit in 5 runs, and I'd be worried about getting injured again.
Anyway, the great thing about Jantastic is that there are no prizes and there's no proof of what you've done - you simply log each run online when you've done it. The whole thing relies on participants being honest, and its purpose is to motivate us and push us out the door when we feel a bit 'can't-be-bothered-y'. It works too - I found myself getting up early before a busy day last Sunday to squeeze in run number 4 for the week, and I wouldn't have done if it weren't for wanting to keep my 100% stats on Jantastic.
Next week sees the start of 'Febulous', in which you add the distance of your longest run each week and try to stick to that. I'm going to have to plan that very carefully as February includes a week of school holidays, as well as 1 extra no-school Monday (which is when I usually do my long run), and we are busy every weekend.
Of course the other great motivator is this blog, and reading about other bloggers' accomplishments makes me get off the sofa and move so I've got plenty to write about here. One of my favourite Christmas presents was this excellent book I got from Pete:
The simple but courageous tale of an ordinary Mother who decided to cast aside years of lazy inactivity and train for a marathon. Every post to the end of 2010 (and all the pictures), is included, and it's great to be able to look back over all my posts in book form. I know that sounds incredibly narcissistic, but hey, that's me! Pete did it on some website and it was a big secret, so it was a huge surprise when I saw it. I've always wanted to be a published writer - no doubt this is the only way it could ever happen!