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Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
Make 2013 Your Best Year Yet!
MCM Events Can Inspire Commitment to Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
The New Year offers a fresh, new start and is an ideal time to commit to goals for the year ahead. With registration for the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Event Series and Marine Corps Historic Half approaching, many seasoned MCM vets and future first timers alike turn to MCM events to aid in their healthy New Year’s resolutions. A commitment to participating in an MCM running event can help novice and experienced runners with maintaining a daily training plan.
Unfortunately, at two weeks into the New Year, an estimated 25% of Americans who make resolutions will already miss the mark in sticking to their goals. In fact, only eight percent of those who make resolutions are ultimately successful in achieving their aim. The good news is, a resolution to stay fit and healthy- which is fifth in rank of most popular New Year’s resolutions and aligns with a commitment to run in 2013- offers plenty of flexibility for success.
In an article by the American Psychological Association (APA), psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD., writes, “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.” The APA offers the following tips on working on New Year’s resolutions:
- Start small. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Maybe you won’t be ready for the 38th MCM on Oct. 27, and that’s OK. Consider tackling a smaller distance, like the Semper Fred 5K or Marine Corps Historic 10K on May 19, the Crossroads 4-Miler on Sept. 7, the MCM10K on Oct. 27 or the Turkey Trot 10K on Nov. 23.
- Change one behavior at a time. Goals are easier to stick to if they aren’t overwhelming. Making just one positive change in your life will have a far-reaching impact. A new running regime can lead to other healthy choices down the road.
- Talk about it. Share your experiences with family, friends and even total strangers. In this social media-connected age, there are plenty of opportunities to tell the world about your new fitness goal. Visit the MCM Official Facebook Page or Tweet to @Marine_Marathon to share your story with other MCM enthusiasts.
- Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t expect perfection. There will be days when you hit snooze on the alarm one too many times and miss a training run and there will be races when you don’t achieve the finish time you were expecting. This is normal. Use these small hiccups as a chance to renew your commitment to your goal and get back on track.
- Seek support. Ask friends and family to cheer you on at events or look for running buddies to accompany you through training. If you are more comfortable running on your own, check out these great Training Plans to help you through.
A full schedule of running with the Marines in 2013, including new distances and challenges like the Quantico Triathlon on Aug. 17, affords ample opportunity for runners to remain committed to their fitness plans throughout the year.
At this time last year, Paul Lekan of Strongsville, OH made a promise to himself to stop feeling tired and dealing with the joint pain from being overweight. His promise introduced him to running, and, in turn, the MCM.
“On Jan. 5, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. I committed to making the 37th MCM the turning point in my life,” he says, vividly recalling the moment when he decided to go from zero to 26.2.
Lekan successfully finished the 2012 MCM in 4:46:03 and is proof positive that resolutions can be kept. He has lost 50 pounds throughout his training and continues to run, planning to participate in the Historic Half and return to the MCM in 2014 to break his long term goal of finishing sub-4:00:00 before he turns 45 years old.
“Having an eagle, globe and anchor (medal) on my wall is not something I had ever considered I would earn. Having a Marine put it over my head is not something I take lightly and still stirs up
the emotions,” says Lekan. “I truly hope my resolution, effort and ultimate success in this goal justified such an honor.”
Adam Thompson, of Centreville, VA, also has a specific finish time goal in 2013. “This year, I'm looking to finish the MCM in under 4:30:00,” he says. Thompson ran his first MCM in 2012 with an injury, finishing in 5:24:26. He knows his goal for 2013 is big step down in time, but he expects to be prepared by October. He feels that his philosophy on resolutions will help him stick to his plan.
“I think that self improvement is a continuous process, so instead of abstract resolutions like ‘I want to lose weight,’ I try to be concrete and realistic,” he says. “Doing so has really helped me better myself.”
MCM Staff members have recommitted to fitness in 2013, as well. Angela Huff, Deputy Director of the MCM, says, “Working at the MCM inspires me to get my fellow employees motivated to go out and run with me- sometimes I'm called ‘Coach.’ It keeps me on target with all kinds of running events and distances.” MCM race operations also propel Huff to setting new personal fitness goals. “The new Quantico Tri inspires me to go out and train for one so I can actually speak from experience when I organize this event,” she says.
MCM Events Coordinator Sandra Osborn-Peters can also count the MCM as inspiration for her healthy resolution in 2013. “I turned 35 years old on Jan. 5. I've been with the organization for six and a half years. In this short amount of time, I've gained 20 pounds. My resolution is to drop those 20,” she says. “I watch people of so many different shapes completing a marathon. They are incredible. They are committed to doing something difficult and they complete it.”
It’s not too late to commit to a healthy 2013 or to ensure a place among the eight percent who are successful in achieving their resolutions. Registration for the Historic Half, Historic 10K, Semper Fred 5K and the MCM Event Series opens on Jan. 23. For those ready for 26.2 miles, registration for the 38th MCM opens on March 27. The Healthy Kids Fun Run and MCM10K will open for registration on April 17. Registration for the Quantico Tri will open on May 15. All registrations open at noon EST.