The Connection Runners + workout

April Miles Bring May Smiles Part Four: Momentum

::I preemptively interrupt the following post to announce a few changes/updates to OTRA in case you missed them - OTRA can now be found at No more blogspot domain! Secondly, you can now follow me on Twitter! Yeah, I converted. See widget on right, or follow me @roadagainmegan. Tweet, tweet!::

It's the last week of April, and that means two things:

1) This is the last of four posts in the April Miles Bring May Smiles series! Missed out on the last three? Read 'em here:
April Miles #3 - Rest Days
April Miles #2 - Who Inspires You?
April Miles #1 - Setting a Goal

2) There're only 13 days until I run the Kalamazoo Marathon! The goal that I set in the first April Miles post is complete Kalamazoo in 4:15 or faster. Kevin and I are finally headed to TaperTown after our last big long run of 18 miles where I learned some important lessons, and I'm feeling calm as we head into these two weeks (although that'll probably change as we get closer to the big day!)

And so, as April draws to a close this week, I hope you're able to look back at the progress you've made on a goal that you set in the last month. Take some time to reflect on what you've accomplished - celebrate your successes!

While I know that these posts were just some words on a very famous little-read blog out in the Blogosphere, I hope that you were able to find something helpful in them each week as you worked toward completing a health/fitness goal.

With that being said, the rest of today's post will feature some tips and tricks I've learned over the years as a blazing fast, very elite an average athlete that kept me on the Fitness Wagon even when I wanted to desperately jump off.

Today's Focus: Keeping the Momentum

1) When you meet a goal, celebrate (wildly), rest up, and then set another one. Last June, when Kevin and I survived our first triathlon, we popped champagne on a boat like rappers in a Notorious B.I.G. video...

Limited edition Big Fish Tri champagne, courtesy of Cook's champagne and my computer printer.

... and then we got ready for our next challenge: to PR at the Detroit Half Marathon in October. Having a new goal kept me focused on my training and gave me another chance to further test my abilities.

2) Change up your routine. Although I'm pretty Type-A and routine-driven, when it comes to running, I crave change. So, once the weather's nice, mixing up running with long neighborhood walks, a day out on the bike or a few laps in the pool helps to cure my boredom while still getting my fitness on.

Thank you, Trek 1.5, for mixing things up. BTW, does this name drop merit a sponsorship for an average rider?

3) Find some friends to be your workout buddies. I talked about friends as inspiration in the April Miles #2 - Who Inspires You? post, but they can also function as coaches and mentors for you, and vice versa. Sign up for races together, plan fitness "dates", or send each other check-in emails once a week to motivate and keep one another on track.

I wouldn't train half as hard as I do without having these awesome friends to keep up with. Post Detroit Half/Full Marathon, October 2010.

Pre Zoo-de-Mack ride, May 2010.

4) Don't be discouraged if you have to take a few rest days, binge on a completely unhealthy meal once in a while, or aren't getting to the level you want quickly or easily enough. Having a couple of "off days" here and there won't kill you or your progress. Find your training plan, call your workout buddy, change up the routine if needed, and you'll be back in no time. Learning to work through difficult days makes us human, and it makes the end result so much more worthwhile!

Being able to smile and celebrate at the end of the Detroit Marathon Race Day in 2009 negated every. single. bad. day I'd had in the previous 16 weeks.

Speaking of fitness dates, I have one tomorrow with a brand new running partner - Megan from Watch MeGo Run! Hooray for running friends :)

Lastly, I've found some motivation out in the Blog World. I've linked up my April Miles posts over at the amazing The Heir to Blair for McFatty Mondays and kept tabs on fellow bloggers running Boston and signing up for new races.

Your Turn! What have you been working on in April? How do you keep the momentum going even after a big race is over or a goal has been achieved?

April Miles Bring May Smiles, cool folks, fitness, goals, health, HOPE, inspiration, Kalamazoo Marathon, mental races, motivation, OTRA tips, pretty, race, road, RUN, running, training, and more:

April Miles Bring May Smiles Part Four: Momentum + workout