Crazy Days

File:Januar by the fireside - Glass painting from Norwich.jpgToday at work everyone pretty much agreed that this week has felt infinitely long.  It doesn’t help, of course, that there was a huge snow storm predicted for New York City on Tuesday night so we all thought yesterday we’d be relaxing at home, safely snowed in to our cozy apartments.  I’ve also felt particularly tired, in part because I’ve been working overtime (on my own time, I mean, not at work) trying to reply to emails and comments about the Special K Challenge (a task I still haven’t even come close to finishing), transitioning from one position to another at my job, and trying to establish some sort of routine in the whirlwind that is 2011.

About a week ago, I posted about my mileage goals for the month(s) and the year.  I guess at the time I posted I was feeling a bit more optimistic about when that cold I had would draw to a close.  I’m feeling much better now, but I only managed to get out for a run last Saturday.  My minimum mileage goal for January was 90 miles, which would have meant 20+ miles a week if I’d started at the beginning of the month.  Since I missed out on a good week of January, I don’t think a goal of 90 miles this month is necessarily realistic and I don’t want to beat myself up over the fact that I couldn’t meet a difficult goal.  Especially when the whole point is for me to build up a mileage base slowly and in a way that’s healthy and good for me.  Clearly it’s time to reevaluate a little bit.

This evening I’m going to work on writing up a running schedule, which I’ve been saying I’m going to do for a while now (whoops).  In a way it’s sort of good that I didn’t do it sooner though, since getting sick would have forced me to re-do everything anyway.  Just so that there’s some accountability involved, I’m going to promise to post this schedule tomorrow!  That should force me to get my butt moving, both figuratively and literally 🙂  Honestly, though, I think a schedule will really do me some good, since lately I’ve been really missing having a routine.

Seeing as how January is a time for goals and resolutions, I think it’s normal that one’s normal routine would get a little disrupted; people are trying to change and shake things up a little, so the tendency is to try not to fall back into your old habits.  Add to that the fact that we’re coming off the holiday season, when vacations and days off from work or school are common, and January becomes very unfriendly where routine is involved.  In a way this is a good thing.  After all, it’s nice to spice things up a little bit and get a little variety into day-to-day life.  But at the same time, it can make things difficult.  Our routines aren’t necessarily bad, and I know that in my case, routines can be really helpful in that they make it easier for me to stay consistent with running and yoga, they help me to eat in a way that is more healthy, and they allow me to feel comfortable and familiar with what’s going on.  As someone who experiences a lot of anxiety, that’s pretty important to me.

Considering all that’s been going on, though, I guess it’s time to adjust the routine I had back in November and December a little bit, and bring it in to the new year–a routine fit for 2011.  Core components?  Healthy, regular meals and snacks, consistent running, and a regular yoga practice.  With these things in place, I think everything else will start to fall in line.

How do you feel about routines?  Do you rely on them or do they make you feel constrained?  Is your routine in need of a make-over, like mine is?

Special K Challenge Update:  On Tuesday I mentioned that I would be speaking to someone from Special K on the phone.  Yesterday I spoke to the director of nutrition marketing, and I think we had a pretty productive conversation.  We shared our thoughts on the importance of including a rich variety of fruits and vegetables in any balanced diet, educational resources about fitness and nutrition, and how essential it is to not equate calorie restriction with weight loss.  So many women are so focused on losing weight that they fixate on the idea that fewer calories will lead to greater weight loss, when that’s not only not necessarily true, but also potentially very dangerous.  I really hope that Special K will make some updates and changes to the Challenge website in order to make it a little more clear that their message is not that weight loss is an essential component of being a beautiful, successful woman, but that women should feel empowered to educate themselves about how eating well and exercising can contribute to a happy, healthy lifestyle.



  1. I like routines, despite sometimes feeling constrained by them. I mean, it’s okay and inevitable that you will feel somewhat constrained within your routine at times. But it’s good to have that structure there in place. The routine is what defines your day for you, mostly. It keeps everything in order for you. But it’s also natural to feel like, hey, why should I bother going through this since I do it every day and I don’t feel like doing it today! You just have to remember that it’s okay to feel that way occasionally and not let that become your new routine!

  2. Its definitely good having a schedule. I love having my training plan pinned to the fridge – it’s the first thing I see in the morning, spurring me on for the day like my mission to complete before the day is through.

    Although I have struggled with getting down with myself if I don’t manage to complete a task on the schedule, but trying to learn that we are all human and these things are adaptable as well.

    Great news about the Special K Challenge, fingers crossed that they will do something with the points you have raised.

    1. I agree with you completely, and I think expecting Special K (or Slim Fast, or any other food brand with a similar marketing technique) to completely overhaul the Challenge as well as their food products is unrealistic. The likelihood of those things every being changed is slim to none. But maybe they can make baby steps toward at least improving the quality of their message or the resources they provide. I think having a trusted brand like Kellogg’s display information about the importance of eating a healthy amount of calories on their webpage has the potential to make a huge impact! Will it be done? I don’t know, but that’s why we have to keep sending messages of body positivity as much as we can.

  3. glad to hear you and SK are playing nicely 🙂

    bummer about your jan mileage, but you can’t plan a cold! let it roll for the month and set a new goal for jan, it’s definitely doable for other months as long as you can stay healthy!

    my week seemed long too… and i didn’t work monday. tuesday i worked like 4 hrs. wednesday maybe 7. and thursday 9. i think it’s just ’cause it’s work.

  4. I just read your update at the bottom of this post. Congratulations Emilie – you actually reached Special K! I can’t tell you how awesome that is and how proud I am of you!

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