So I started researching. Experts say that you should be putting in 20 miles a week for 6 months before you even start training. I can run 3 miles in like 25-26 minutes, which isn't TOO bad (though I'd like to improve), but lately anything beyond 4 miles no matter how slow I go my body just shuts down and I have to persuade myself to take every. single. step. Even running 3 miles every single day is only running 18 miles a week, and let's be real, I run no more than 4 times a week. So I need to put in a lot more miles per week. I also need to strengthen my muscles and joints because running 26 miles (and all the training leading up to it), will certainly not be easy on these knees of mine. AND I need to lose weight. I CANNOT carry my weight for 26 miles.
So I thought it all out, and realized, I need at least 2 years to train for this. That might seem like a really long time but I need to work my way up to running 20 miles a week, then actually run 20 miles a week for 6 months, then start training. And I don't want to give myself a deadline I can't meet.
And then I started thinking about goals. And how I feel a little bit loser-ish as all my friends graduated and are getting into amazing grad programs or getting really good jobs and I. am. not. And after starting my grad school applications, the idea of not getting in and all my dreams, goals, and plans falling through left me searching for a back up plan. And I came up with my 26 Before 26. Three years to complete 26 things, including running 26 miles, before I turn 26. And all this will coincide with Matt getting out of the Marine Corps. Sure, my goals aren't life-changing but it's something to work toward and if I complete my list, I will feel successful. Maybe not by other people's standards but by my own. And that's what's important.
So without further ado, here are my 26 before 26:
1. Run a Marathon
2. Lose 25 pounds (training for the marathon should help with that)
a. At a soup kitchen
b. At an animal shelter
c. With the elderly
d. At a hospital
4. Quilt a blanket
5. Pay off all debt (We have no credit card debt but we have two car loans and small student loans. Being debt free for our transition to civilian life will be suuuuper helpful.)
6. Read 150 books (roughly 1 book per week!)
7. Read (and study!) the Bible
8. Bake a multi-layer cake with fondant
9. Bake perfect sugar cookies with icing
10. Bake macarons (yes, baking is a major theme here)
11. Do something romantic for Matt once a month (and expect nothing in return!)
12. Organize all our pictures
13. Sew myself a dress
14. Reupholster something
15. Clean out my closet. For real.
16. Travel outside the country (location TBD)
17. Travel inside the country (location also TBD, but Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Redwoods, and Wine Country are some of the many places I’d like to go)
19. Take a dance lesson with Matt
20. Take a surfing lesson (nope, never did it in Hawaii!!)
21. Actually learn to snowboard (and do it WELL and not give up and resort to skiing)
22. Teach Jack to sit, shake, and roll over. (No, sadly, he can’t do these things)
23. Grow an herb garden
24. Bet on a horse
25. See Tom Petty live