The 30 Day Winter Warrior Challenge

In December 2016, I completed my first half-marathon and loved every minute of it. I have found through training for this that having a goal makes fitness much more fun, similar to my working life. Having an achievable goal like Run or Walk 1 mile everyday in the month of January is much easier to attain than a general goal like lose weight or get fit.

I have logged all of my miles in Runkeeper and Gyroscope and have attached images of the results in this blog post below. Also, Gyroscope provides a nice overview of the month as seen in the below two images.

The first 2 weeks of the month started off really well, I was consistently breaking my 1 mile goal, then around January 18th, my left foot (it’s very flat with very little arch) started to hurt. I started getting burning pain in my lower calf and ankle pain, so I had to continue the challenge as a walker. I pushed through where I could, but sadly I didn’t complete the challenge to the full 30 days.

About 2 weeks before the challenge was over I went to my podiatrist to have my ankle checked out and she prescribed stretching, an ankle brace and physical therapy. This has helped me greatly and I believe I will be back to running, I asked her if I should stop and she said no, but you do need to stretch. Thats a good lesson for anyone who exercises, just take care of your body.

Overall, I’m happy with my results, my wife who also did the challenge was able to complete the full 30 days with no injuries. I proved to myself that you can do anything if you put your mind to it, mind over matter!

January 1, 2017 Sunday 12:59 pm — New Years Day! Ash and I started slow by running 1.1 miles, I felt I could go farther, but figured I could do that tomorrow. It was a nice and easy run to kick things off, not too cold either.

January 2, 2017 Monday 11:45 am — New Years Day Reserved, we had the day off work and it’s always easier to go running when you don’t have a million things on your mind. We hit 2 miles, my favorite distance is about 2–3 miles as you get into a nice groove. The rest of the week will be the real challenge, back to the daily grind and either getting up at the crack of dawn or running in the dark!

January 3, 2017 Tuesday 6:54 am — first work-day run. Very hard to get out of bed, but wasn’t too cold. Was able to get a mile in, tomorrow I need to get up earlier. The headlamp worked well, but need more reflectors, have some on the way from amazon. 3-day streak!

January 4, 2017 Wednesday 6:47 pm — first run in the dark! We purchased headlamps and reflective gear just to be safe. Made a huge difference. No music to be able to gear cars, etc. It was very peaceful!

January 5, 2017 Thursday 6:39am — first colder run, it’s the coldest run I have done to date. All bundled up, was finally warmed up by mile 1. Nervous about the days ahead, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow and Saturday. Keeping up with the challenge feels good.

January 6, 2017 Friday 7:21 am— A snowy morning forced me into a slippery crawl. The slowest pace to date in this challenge. At least I was able to get the distance.

January 7, 2017 Saturday 10:13 am — Very hungover, had to drag my butt up before the snowstorm. Very cold run. Multiple layers! Need a neck warmer! Longest run of 2017.

January 8, 2017 Sunday 10:19 am — Very cold, brrrr but lots of layers and a scarf helped! Snow was tough, no sidewalks. The roads were slippery, but not many cars which helped. Sinuses slowed me down, need to kick this cold!

January 9, 2017 Monday 6:42 pm— Cold and dark, but at least it’s quiet. After work runs in the dark and cold are tough with all the gear you have to put on.

January 10, 2017 Tuesday 6:47 pm

January 11, 2017 Wednesday 7:06 pm

January 12, 2017 Thursday 7:16pm

January 13, 2017 Friday 6:45 am — My wife motivated me to get out of bed on Friday morning and it was worth it.

January 14, 2017 Saturday 11:34 am — The longest run of January thus far, it felt good but towards the end my ankle/calf was bothering me a bit.

January 15, 2017 Sunday 3:45 pm — I think I overdid it the day before and had to walk this one.

January 16, 2017 Monday 3:00 pm — I had to go into NYC for a meeting, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to walk to where I had to go instead of taking the subway. A bit chilly, but I quickly warmed up. I also wanted to give my left foot/ankle a break from running.

January 17, 2017 Tuesday 7:31pm - Back to running, its hard running the dark because of all the gear you have to put on.

January 18, 2017 Wednesday — Two walks to reach 1 mile outside.

January 19, 2017 Thursday — Encountered a bit of a tracking issue with this one. I had paused the activity on my apple watch and after about 5 minutes the app just deleted my activity on my watch. I learned my lesson that it’s better to stop and save, the pause just doesn’t work that well. Its best to be used for pausing for under 1 minute.

January 20, 2017 Friday 6:33 pm — Back to running on a Friday night! Just a quick one, but felt good to get back out there.

January 21, 2017 Saturday 4:13 pm — A quick Saturday morning run.

January 22, 2017 — January 24, 2017 — Completed 1 mile walks daily until I gave up because of my foot pain. I was happy with my results, I pushed hard through the beginning, running in the dark, the snow, the rain, getting up early, getting myself out of bed, motivating my wife and friends. Other friends dropped out along the way, but I kept pushing until the injury.

My wife and I were preparing for a 2 week trip to Paris, England and Scotland which would involve lots of walking and hiking, so I wanted to rest up my foot/ankle for the trip. The last week of the challenge I focused on the stretching and physical therapy for my foot, which has really helped!

As you can see from the image below, we walked a lot on our trip and if I can keep up the daily exercise, then will be able to surpass last month’s step count of 268k and increase the daily average to 10k!

Keep moving forward…