Competitor Staff Tackling 30-Day Fitness Challenge

Got snow? Photo: Allison Pattillo

Follow along as our editorial team aims to develop good habits and a consistent workout routine in 2014. 

A few members of Competitor‘s editorial team are putting our money where our mouths are this month and jumping into 2014 with a 30-day fitness challenge. The goal: at least 30 minutes of meaningful, purpose-driven activity every day for 30 days straight. We officially kicked things off on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and will be documenting our progress, triumphs and challenges here daily as a way to motivate our readers—and each other—to develop good habits and a consistent workout routine as we begin to go after our goals in 2014.

RELATED: Start 2014 With A 30-Day Fitness Challenge

Want to share in the journey and inspire others to do the same? Get started today! You can do more than 30 minutes a day, but the point is to be consistency and try not to miss a day. For the next 30 days, post your workouts in the comments section below or share them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #competitorchallenge.

Day 1: Tuesday, January 7

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: Got up early and started my day with 30 minutes EZ on the treadmill. Then I swam 2,000 yards at East Boulder Rec Center at lunch as I start to ramp up training for Ironman Boulder.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: On a tight schedule today but found 30 minutes in the morning for an easy run and another 30 minutes in the evening for a quick fartlek workout of 10 x 1:00 on/1:00 off, ala my colleague Caitlyn Pilkington. I met up with my wife following the PM run for some form drills and two quick sets of bodyweight strength-training exercises. Prepping for my first 50K in March and need to get my ass in gear!

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: Did intervals to and on the beach. It’s easy and convenient for me and one of my favorite ways to start the day. It’s helping my legs remember speed for my half marathon on Jan. 19. 10 x 1 min on/off with 10-minute warm-up/cooldown, but I’ve been running without a GPS watch for several months now, so it was by physical and mental feel only. Totally fun to just listen to your body instead of the digits on a watch!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: One hour on the bike trainer. The frigid temperatures here in Virginia kept me from going outside, so a bike trainer workout was in order. Building a base for this triathlon season, which will start with a half marathon in March.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: 60-minute skate ski, 100 crunches, 1:30 plank. Braved chilly temps for my skate ski of the season, definitely easier than the first! Training for Boston.

Day 2: Wednesday, January 8

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: On Wednesday I ran a total of 5 miles including a 2 mile fartlek run while watching part of the US cyclocross national championships in Boulder. At night I played an hour of hockey, which is like doing 15 two minutes surges on a fartlek run. Finished with 200 crunches. Good day!

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I got an early start to the work day, so I took a break around 11:30 and hit the bike trail across the street for a 65-minute run. My lower legs were feeling the drills and strength work from yesterday! I stayed on dirt and kept the effort level low.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: 38-ish minutes around Lake Miramar in San Diego. I love the trail because it’s usually empty and keeps my legs guessing.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: 40-minute swim. I was pressed for time after a long work day and a trip to the auto parts store for a new battery (thanks, polar vortex), so I worked on technique during this shortened swim workout. The fun part were some 25-yard sprints with fins!

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Easy 30-minute snowy run after dinner. Was the only time to make it happen, but well worth it for fresh tracks!

Day 3: Thursday, January 9

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief:  I had tired legs from my Wednesday workouts, so I took it easy and swam EZ for 30 minutes without counting laps or recording distance. I also added 100 crunches, which I’m planning to do every day in some variation during this 30-Day Challenge.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: Snuck out at lunch for a 35-minute run. Ran 17:30 out to a soccer field, did six quick 100-yard strides, then ran home. In the evening I went to the gym with my wife and we did about 45 minutes of circuit-style functional strength training. I am still sore from Tuesday’s strength work!

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: This morning I ran an easy 25 minutes with five minutes of mountain climbers and lunges while I waited for my smog test. I usually keep run gear in my car for that reason: to get a quick workout instead of sitting, twiddling my thumbs.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: 4 miles EZ, 30-minute strength session. Had some time in the middle of the day to test out my balky left knee, which is inflicted with IT Band syndrome. The verdict: The pain is still there. Followed up with a quick gym session in the evening.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Today was a crazy mixed up, but fun, day of exercise! I started with a two minute plank and 100 crunches when I got out of bed. After a snowy run last night, getting out on the mountain was a must and I logged three sweet ski runs at lunch. Between skiing and lugging gear, it was probably about 30 minutes of activity—no lift time doesn’t count! I also swam half a mile and stretched for 10 minutes (have to do that more often). In the midst of all of it, I even managed to get some work done (although will need to do some tonight to catch up), run errands and feed the kids.

Day 4: Friday, January 10

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief:  I had a busy day and only had time for about 40 minutes minutes of swimming, which came down to a short warm-up and 2 x 800 moderate/hard.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I got up early and hit the bike path outside our house for an easy 45-minute run with my wife. The soreness from earlier in the week has subsided! I had hoped to get out for an afternoon run but for a variety of reasons it didn’t happen.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. I don’t like working out indoors, and I’m not too well-versed on the different settings, so I cranked it up to a higher level and turned on the arm and butt kicker setting. It was a good sweat! I have a newfound respect for those in areas where you can’t run outside year round.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I planned to get in a swim after work, but the pool was closed for a high school swim meet! Couldn’t be mad about that. Settled for some core work and stretching. Better than nothing!

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Felt creaky today and a workout wouldn’t have happened if It wasn’t for the Challenge! Started with 100 crunches then went for a 35-minute run. My initial goal was tempo, but with six inches of fresh snow on the ground it was all about going slow and focusing on form.

Day 5: Saturday, January 11

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief:  After a full day of snowboarding fresh powder at Beaver Creek Resort, I slipped on a pair of Salomon Spikecross 3 shoes (a trail running shoe with carbide spikes) and went for a 50-minute run over frozen/snow-packed roads and trails at sunset. Perfect way to end a great day!

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I drove into San Francisco in the morning to lead the 5K fun run at the course launch party for the Transamerica Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco Half Marathon, which takes place in April. It was very foggy and raw, but a great morning for running. In the afternoon I got out for a quick 35-minute run from home to get in some additional mileage for the day.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I went to Santa Barbara for the weekend and ran my old route for the first time in five years. I remembered all the right turns and threw in some pick-me-up minutes in the middle. It was well worth it when I got my favorite smoothie after — still unmatched by any place in San Diego!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: Rain, rain, rain. The wet weather kept my bike tethered to the trainer for another day. I put in an hour doing this TOUGH workout. My legs are still feeling it a day and a half later.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: The fact that it was a bluebird powder day made hitting the slopes a must. After downhilling for the day, I went for a 30 minute skate ski with my kids. Trying to keep up with them turned it into a surprise sprint workout. Shoveling snow for an hour served as a core workout–it should count, right?!

Day 6: Sunday, January 12

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: After another full day of snowboarding fresh powder and a long drive back home to Boulder, I hopped on the spin bike and cranked out a 45-minute Tabata-style workout. I was definitely fatigued but it felt good going to bed at 11:30 p.m. knowing I hadn’t dropped the ball on the 30-day challenge!

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: After 12 days of calling the Bay Area home, I finally made the drive up to the Marin Headlands to run the trails I’ve heard everyone raving about since I got here. They did not disappoint! I parked at the trailhead on Tennessee Valley Road and just started running. Two hours later I returned on a bit of a high after incredible views of the bay, downtown San Francisco and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge (pictured above). It was one of the most beautiful runs I’ve ever been on. Great long run to end the week!

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I made the mistake of going for a 40-minute run on the roads before going on a rigorous hike with my old college roommate…who has done a 50K trail race and numerous other events. We walked up the mountain and ran back down — probably 5 crazy miles round trip. I’m feeling it!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: Had a good swim session with my coach Sunday night. We worked on technique for the first 45 minutes and then closed with a nice and easy 400 yards that put everything together. This week’s goal: Get back to running and test out my left knee.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: I finally took the time to do 30 minutes of core work and stretching, including kettle bells, crunches, a plank and leg lifts. Then I went for an hour long run that coincided with the sunset and moonrise.

Day 7: Monday, January 13

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: Had a busy day in the office, but managed to get away for a good swim session with various paces and intervals: 2 x 800, 3 x 75, 4 x 50, 4 x 100. Finished the night with 200 crunches of various sorts.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: Mondays are always a bit chaotic, so I like to keep my workout short and sweet to start the week. I went out at lunch and ran what’s becoming my go-to 5-mile loop in 33:30, which included 8 x 30 seconds hard/30 seconds easy on the way back. I had planned to do some strength training after my early evening flight to San Diego, but I was full after eating dinner and scratched that idea.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I ran 30 minutes from the office and around on the trail across the street. It’s take-it-easy week leading up to my first half marathon of the year on Sunday, so I did an easy first mile and race pace for the remainder of the run followed by 2×50 mountain climbers.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I decided to try something new: a workout video. My fiancee talked me into doing T25 with her, a 25-minute, high-intensity session. We did lots of core and leg work. I still like putting in my time at the gym when it comes to strength work, but it’s good to have this option if I’m unable (or un-willing) to leave the house.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Skate ski. 10 min warm up, two 5-min double-poling intervals, 40 min tempo. Crisp and clear evening made for firm snow and a great workout! Followed with crunches, plank, stretching and foam roller.

Day 8: Tuesday, January 14

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: Knowing my Tuesday was going to be a long day that started with a 9:15 a.m. flight, I had no choice to wake up early and get on the spin bike at 5 a.m. Getting up early to spin can be a drag, but I typically tune in to a morning news show and it goes by quickly. I cranked out a 50-minute hill workout and by the time I got on the plane a few hours later, I was happy to feel a little fatigue in my legs

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I’m back in San Diego this week (I moved to the Bay Area two weeks ago) to help handle production of our February issue and I was stoked to be able to join some of my fellow co-workers for our weekly Tuesday morning group run. We hit the trails behind UC-San Diego for 2 x 10:00 at tempo effort with a 2:00 float in between intervals. With warmup and cooldown we totaled 62 minutes of running, which was a great way to start the day!

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I did 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical and another 20 minutes of core work. I’m staying off of running until my half on Sunday but want to keep the cardio up.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: My fiancee and I hit the bike trainer for this workout, which simulated the bike leg of an Olympic-distance triathlon with some high-intensity climbing and sprints. It was a good hour-long ride, and at the end there was a puddle of sweat below my bike. A much-needed foam roll followed.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: 50 minute tempo run — usually a 55 min route, but ran with a friend who pushed the pace. Not too cold and felt great. Ran in Icebug CERTOs and had nary a slip on ice, snow or frozen pavement. Stretched, rolled, planked and did crunches.

Day 9: Wednesday, January 15

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: A couple of colleagues who are in training for a half marathon invited me to join them for a tempo run. We warmed up with about 15 minutes EZ on a mostly flat dirt trail, then rolled into a progression-style 20-minute tempo effort in which we started at 7:45 mile pace and gradually increased to about 6:50 mile pace. It was a good effort for sure.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: Wednesday is workout day for the Prado Racing Team, a group of women I coach here in San Diego. I warmed up and cooled down with them around the UCSD campus, totaling 5 miles of running on the day.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: Another 20 on the elliptical with hills and a round of arms for 20 minutes. A lot of stretching and foam rolling will be happening the next few days, and I’m excited to get back into the pool next week.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I put in a productive 40-minute swim that included some technique work. My coach has me doing a lot of sets with paddles to improve my catch and pull. I did mostly 100s, using a combination of paddles, fins and a pull buoy, with an easy 200 to finish the workout. Things are coming together with my swim stroke, albeit slowly.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Did a half day of alpine skiing and then went for an EZ 5K run to shake out my legs. Fun day, but super smoked.

Day 10: Thursday, January 16

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief:  Ah, the simple beauty of the 30-minute run. I had a busy day on Thursday, getting to the office at 7:15 a.m. and working on deadline into the evening hours. I finally laced up my kicks (New Balance Fresh Foam 980) and went out for an easy 30 minute jaunt. It was the perfect way to end a stressful work day and a great form of recovery for my legs.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I wanted to take advantage of the trails again this morning and lucky for me, colleagues Jessie Sebor (Women’s Running editor-in-chief) and Jene Shaw (Triathlete senior editor) were interested in tagging along. We ran out into the San Elijo Lagoon for 30 minutes before turning around and finishing at 60 minutes on the nose. Smoothies and coffee were our post-run reward.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I’m guilty of trading my morning routine for some extra Zzzzs. But I consider 60 minutes on the treadmill desk an accomplishment for this challenge because I’m getting over my fear of treadmills while exercising my brain during a brainstorming — heavy day. And I did work up a sweat doing it!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: Thursday is typically my second (of two) strength training day. The workout consisted of 3×10 lat pulldowns, 2×10 dumbbell bench press, 2×10 standing bench press, 3×10 standing shoulder press with dumbbells, 3×10 squats, 3×15 calf raises, 3×8 pull-ups, 3×10 dips, and some focused core work. I try to do this circuit in about 45 minutes, although I was fighting the January gym crowd last night so it was a bit longer. It’s a great full-body workout.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: I decided to take a break from cold air exercising and went to the gym. My hour on the bike was rather uninspired, I just spun at a high cadence/low resistance to work on leg turnover. Then it was time to reacquaint myself with the weight room–easily the first visit in four or five years! I did an upper body circuit of high reps and relatively light weight.

Day 11: Friday, January 17

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief:  I had a late afternoon flight so I knew I had to get my workout in early in the day. Hopped on the spin bike for a quick workout before heading into the office.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: Today was my last day in San Diego for a few weeks and I was psyched to meet up with my friend (and former neighbor) Kim McDonald, features editor for Inside Triathlon. We ran a 45-minute out-n-back route from the coast in Del Mar. It was my second day running in the Hoka Conquest and I am enjoying them a lot as a recovery day shoe!

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: 30 minutes on the elliptical. I am still taking it easy before my race. No running and no intervals or strength stuff today. Although I would be lying if I didn’t pick it up when the girl next to me upped her speed.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: After a long week of work, the last thing I wanted to do was leave the nice warm house and go to the gym Friday night. I opted to try some of these 6-Minute 6-Pack videos by Lesley Patterson. They were great — I especially liked the Plank Reach. A 10-minute foam rolling session followed.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: I started off with two early ski runs — believe it or not I was doing recon for a story! My energy lagged mid-afternoon, and once I realized the doughnut I scarfed down wasn’t helping, I did a quick pedestal workout. I capped off the day with a post-dinner swim. Despite being a bit sore from lifting weights yesterday, I swam 36 laps in 40 minutes. I broke it up into six sets of six laps — four freestyle, one breast stroke and one backstroke per set. Finished with ten minutes of stretching in the hot tub. Awesome day!

Day 11: Saturday, January 18

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: More spinning. I aggravated my adductor a couple weeks back so I’m sticking to the spin bike while it heals.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: My 50K is now just 7 weeks away so hitting the trails for a few hours every weekend is a high priority. This morning I finally made it up to San Francisco Running Company for their Saturday group run on the trails in the Marin Headlands. There were about 45 people in attendance! It was an awesome display of community. My plan was to run for about 2-1/2 hours. We set out on a flat road for about a mile before we started climbing and descending. There was a lot of up and down (which afforded us some incredible views) and it caught up with me about 75 minutes into the run. My quads were smashed! I fell off the group and ended up running solo for a bit. I was so exhausted and my form had deteriorated so much I fell flat on my face at about the 90-minute mark. That was a good wakeup call. Survival mode ensued and luckily I was able to reconnect with some others in the group and run with them back to the store. I stopped my watch at 2 hours and called it a day.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I just walked 30 minutes around my apartment and did a lot of foam rolling and stretching. Nothing fancy – Sunday is my first half marathon of the year!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: There was no sleeping in for me on Saturday. My fiancee and I were up early to join some friends for a 4-mile run on the local bike/run path (we’re the ones in blue in the middle). A few inches of snow fell the night before, but that didn’t stop us. We were also running in memory of Meg Menzies, who was hit and killed by a drunk driver last week while on a run. It was great to see the running community come together to honor her. We had a family party to attend in the afternoon, but were able to squeeze in a short, 25-minute swim after our post-run breakfast.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: I should have gotten up early to run, but I didn’t (cold, early runs are far from my favorite!). The day was all about my daughters’ Nordic races and by the time they were finished, I was inspired yet tired from a day spent cheering and running around the course. I rallied for a 35-min evening skate ski skate, and was happier for it.

Day 13: Sunday, January 19

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief:  Third straight day of spinning. I’d love to just head out for a run but I’m afraid the spin bike is going to have to be my best friend for a little while longer.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: After a late night of assembling a new set of bookshelves (starting such a project at 8 PM on a Saturday night is never a good idea) and an early morning of racing-related work, I snuck out just after 10 AM for a quick 5-miler from home. My legs were feeling a bit worked from all the climbing and descending yesterday, but I was able to keep a pretty solid pace without much undue effort.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I blasted to a new PR of 1:36:16 at the Carlsbad Half Marathon. This was my first time running watch-free (thanks, Mario!), so I ran solely by feel and the energy that the racing community brings. I was more surprised at how far my fitness has  come since I started erring on the side of “conservative” running (in relation to what I usually did—too much, too fast) than the actual time. Sub-1:40 used to elicit thoughts of vomit, passing out and complete exhaustion at the finish; I thought I was not in that kind of shape. Turns out I just want a 1:35 before the end of the year. Plus, my sister (pictured with me above) ran a 3:30.25 BQ in the full!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: A productive swim practice Sunday night with my coach closed out the weekend — and it made me feel better after seeing the Patriots lose to the Broncos in the AFC Championship game. We swam for an hour and it was the best I’ve ever felt technique-wise. Now that I’ve tightened up my stroke, it’s time to start adding some yardage as I get ready for the upcoming triathlon season.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: I ran for about 90 minutes on road, sidewalks and snow covered trails. It was a beautiful afternoon and also blissfully quiet — I think everyone else must have gone running before the playoff games! Finished up with some stretching and core work.

Day 14: Monday, January 20

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief:  After a busy day at the office I hopped on the spin bike for a 45-minute hill workout. It felt good to get my heart rate high after a long day in front of the computer.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: Ever-so-subtly, daylight is hanging around longer and longer with each passing day, meaning I can start a 60-minute run at 4:30 PM without worrying about getting caught in the dark. I ran down the bike path to a soccer field 2-1/2 miles from my house and did a little workout I like to call diagonals, which is simply a series of sprints from one corner of the soccer field diagonally across the center to the other corner. The recovery between sprints is a short jog across the end line to the opposite corner. It’s a good little session for changing gears and working on turnover. After 8 such sprints, I ran a steady pace back home. Real nice run to start the week.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: My legs were pretty shot from my half marathon on Sunday, so I spent a solid 40 minutes stretching, foam rolling and “tennis balling” my feet. I’m planning to get my focus back on swimming and ElliptiGOing for the next several days before lacing up and prepping for Women’s Half San Diego at the end of February! (For those of you who have never use a tennis ball on the arch of your foot, or for anything really, I highly recommend it.)

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: Monday was a busy day (aren’t all Mondays like that?) and it was my birthday, so there was a lot going on. Still, I was able to sneak out around midday for an easy 4-mile run. It was my second run in three days and the knee is starting to hurt less and less. I’m happy to be on the mend. Tuesday and Wednesday will be a challenge because I’m on a short business trip. Here’s hoping for a decent hotel gym.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: With a couple of deadlines, girls off from school and getting ready to go out of town, my workout was a simple swim. It felt good to stretch out in the pool and I logged a mile of straight out swimming, no drills.

Day 15: Tuesday, January 21

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief:  I am heading to the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City this week but was happy to get on the spin bike for 55 minutes before my morning flight.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: After a busy morning of work, I pulled the not-often-attempted afternoon double. I got out for a solo 45-minute run around 2:30 PM, and followed that up with another 45 minutes at around 7 PM with my wife after she got home from work. Kept the effort level easy on both runs.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I got creative with my ab exercises and decided to tweak them so I could simultaneously elevate my foot. I spent 30 minutes doing that, and some of them were actually better with that added challenge!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I’m on the road for a work trip and was stuck in my hotel Tuesday night. Luckily there was a decent gym (for a hotel) so I was able to get in a half hour strength session. I followed it with some foam rolling – who knew the hotel would have foam rollers?!

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Today was literally a day of fitting in movement on the run. I took the steps instead of elevators or escalators, looked for parking spots farther away from my destinations and walked when I could. I also did about 30 minutes of stretching, sun salutations and floor work (pedestal routine, crunches, plank, burpees) in my hotel room.

Day 16: Wednesday, January 22

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: I’m in Salt Lake City for a running industry trade show, but the irony is that there is a highly toxic cloud of smog hovering over the city due to a temperature inversion, so my exercise was limited to 4 miles running on a treadmill. (Two years ago with similar smog in SLC, I ran outdoors every day and wound up with some kind of nasty smog-related cough for the next 10 days.)

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: My attempt at finding a new place to run this morning failed miserably (long story), so my only option was to sneak in a quick 5-miler in the afternoon before picking up my wife from the train station. After picking her up, we went to the gym and warmed up with an easy 2-mile run outside, then did 45 minutes of circuit-style strength work, mostly utilizing dumbbells, medicine balls and our own bodyweight.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I did 30 minutes of hills on the elliptical, followed by a round of arms and core work. It felt good to sweat again after my race!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: Stuck in a hotel and snowed in due to the east coast snowstorm, I opted for a treadmill run in the morning. I ran for 30 minutes, which was my plan, but it felt like double that because the gym was HOT. Still, it was a nice way to start the day.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Traveling and bad air quality (I’m in Salt Lake City along with Mr. Metzler) made me thankful for a hotel fitness room. While waiting for a machine, I was willing with all my might that a bike or elliptical came available first, so, of course, I ended up on a treadmill. I’m usually not a fan, so I decided to really focus on quieter footfalls, keeping my pelvis level and ensuring my arms went forwards and back, not across my body. 45 minutes passed in a flash.

Day 17: Thursday, January 23

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: Thursday was a rare day for me, if only because I almost never run on a treadmill on back to back days. But with the horrible pollution still hovering over Salt Lake City, I jumped on the treadmill to grind out 45 minutes (5.25 miles). But I also wore a pedometer while walking around the Outdoor Retailer trade show to visit with running shoe brands and found that I walked another 5.3 miles during the day. Not my favorite way to cover 10 miles at all, but it all adds up.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I finally got out the door around 4:30 PM and went for an exploratory run from my house. There’s a bridge a few miles away that I’ve been meaning to check out (I have a thing for bridges), so I made it my mission today to run over it and see where I ended up (n.b. it spit me out in the city of Belmont, Calif.). A little over an hour later I was back home, happy to have gotten in some good mileage for the day.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I did 45 minutes on the elliptical and then another round of arms and abs. It’s disturbing how weak you feel when you haven’t lifted in months! I’m still staying off my foot for another week or so, so I avoided exercises that put pressure on it. For a person who normally goes crazy not running for more than a day, it’s actually kind of fun reintroducing myself to other workouts I haven’t done in a long time.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I braved the frigid cold and icy roads…to drive to the gym Thursday night for a swim. Aside from the bizarre occurrence when a random person in a snorkel jumped in the lane I was sharing with someone, which caused us to circle swim for a while, it was a good session. Warmup was 200 swim, 200 pull, 200 kick, 200 swim. Then I did 7 x 100 with paddles, 8 x 50, and closed with an easy 100.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Another day at the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show, another day of inverted air, another day in the hotel fitness room. Hit the elliptical trainer for 45 minutes before heading to the show.

Day 18: Friday, January 24

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: After three long but inspiring days at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in smog-fillled Salt Lake City, I opted to hop on the spin bike in my basement after getting home. It felt good to run the legs for 60 minutes. I didn’t really do a workout, but it was a relief to spin them out after three long days of walking on the hard surfaces of the trade show hall.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: Got out the door early this morning for a nice 55-minute run in the dark with my wife. The plan is to go long tomorrow so I wanted to keep today’s run pretty mellow.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I did some leg stretches that got some tightness out from a long week, followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical. It’s becoming a little bit repetitive for me, but it’s keeping me moving through the end of the month!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I worked late and had a dinner date with my fiancee, but I had time in between for a quick strength session at the gym. I started with some dumbbell bench press (3×10), then moved over to the pull-up bar to do pull-ups (3×8) and dips (3×10). Finished the night with a few quick ab exercises before stuffing my face with Cajun food.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Third day in row to hit the gym. I spun on the bike for 45 minutes and did a pedestal routine session. More interesting part of my workout was discovering that no, my shorts didn’t have an undiscovered back pocket, I was just wearing them backwards. Time head home to the hills!

Day 19: Saturday, January 25

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: It was 65 and sunny in Boulder, so it was the perfect day to get outside. I did a very short and very uneventful trail run (30 minutes), but the highlight of my day was a 2-hour road bike ride on the rolling roads north of town. It felt good to get out and feel the wind in my face.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: For the second straight Saturday I headed up to Mill Valley to run with the group from San Francisco Running Company. About 30 runners headed out to the trails and ran various distances and paced. I opted for the longest route and got back to the shop 14.5 miles later. Wanting to get in a few more miles for my upcoming ultra, I headed out for another 4 miles on my own, giving me 18.5 for the day.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I didn’t do any set workout, but I spent three hours at the Farmers Open, which is basically three hours of walking. I wore my running shoes so my foot could adjust back to normal movement after a long week off from running.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: With Virginia still covered in snow and freezing temperatures, I’m limited to the bike trainer. I spent 45 minutes spinning while watching a training video featuring former pro cyclist Robbie Ventura. The video was a first-person view of him riding in the masters race of a USA Cycling National Criterium Championship, which provided an interesting view of the race. It was fun.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Today was all about being outside, breathing fresh air, soaking up sunshine and having fun. I spent about four hours skiing a mix of groomed cruisers and icy bump runs all of which added up to pleasantly tired legs. Then we went to an outdoor concert and I spent about an hour and a half dancing like no one was watching — much to my children’s dismay. Not sure how any of it really correlates to training for a marathon, but the rejuvenation was huge!

Day 20: Sunday, January 26

Brian Metzler, Editor-in-Chief: My legs were a bit tired and I had some nagging pain in my hips, so I took it easy and swam a mile EZ and called it a day.

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: This morning I went down to Los Gatos to run with my new friend Mike. We headed to the trails at the St. Joseph’s Hill Open Space Preserve and ran a 9-mile loop, which featured a really steep climb about midway through. The view on the way (pictured above) was totally worth the extra effort.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: No cardio today. I was itching for some upper leg work with weights, so I did some exercises in the gym that I’m feeling today . Probably around 50 squats and a variety of others on the machines.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I tested out my knee with a 5-mile run outside late morning. It felt nice to get out again and my IT band felt pretty good. That was followed by swim practice with my coach at night, although it was cut short to just 725 yards (the warmup was 500!) because a kid a few lanes over threw up in the water. It was a real bummer.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: I went for a 10K run on a snow packed dirt road. Striding it out in the fresh air and the middle of nowhere felt great. I started with headphones but ditched them in favor of the silence. Followed up with a good stretch session.

Day 21: Monday, January 27

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I split up my runs today, heading out at lunch for a 45-minute fartlek session, consisting of 10 x 1:30 hard/1:30 easy. In the evening I joined my wife for an easy 35-minute run before dinner. I’ve gotten into a good groove with training over the last week or so, which excites me.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: Another workout on the elliptical for 30 minutes—nothing too exciting. The foot is moving better again, so workouts in the next week may get a breath of fresh air (literally).

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: Mondays are normally my first (of two) weight training days of the week, so I hit the gym after work and did my usual circuit. It being January, the place was packed with the New Year’s Resolution folks. One person even jumped onto the lat pulldown machine when I walked away for maybe 10 seconds! Fortunately I had already finished and was about to wipe it down.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: My workout time was limited today, but really wasn’t in the mood for a run. I decided to swim taking a cue from Brian Metzler’s January 9th workout and swam for a solid 30 minutes without counting laps and found it to be wonderfully liberating. I followed with 15 minutes of stretching (and soaking!) in the hot tub.

Day 22: Tuesday, January 28

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: Got an early start to the day and hit the bike trail across the street from our place for a 60-minute run with my wife. It was dark for almost the entire run, which has a way of adding a Rocky-like effect to any athletic endeavor. That was it for today. Hope to get some strength training in tomorrow night after work since I’ve been slacking in that department since early last week.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I did what I call an “aggression workout,” or something that happens after more than 7 days of not running (it used to be 3, but I’ve managed to control my symptoms of insanity over the last year). I went hard on the elliptical for 45 minutes and did bicycles until my abs were screaming, then I did one more set. Same with arms — I upped my weight on all fronts. Then I soaked in the “heated” pool and drank the last beer in my fridge.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: Tuesday has become my bike trainer night, so I searched and found this workout. The single leg drills were rough (a minute per leg is a long time) and the 10 x 20-second sprints were intense. My legs felt like noodles afterward.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: With my workout for today, the third time was the charm. I had a failed ski attempt at lunch, then went to the cross country center after work, but wimped out because It was cold and getting colder as the sun dropped behind the mountain. So, I went to the gym and happily spent an hour on the elliptical watching television. Mindless, but not bad at all.

Day 23: Wednesday, January 29

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: Woke up feeling a little stuffed up, but fine enough to run, so I joined a couple of my new friends at 6 AM for a little jaunt in the dark. We covered about 6 miles and called it good for the morning. In the evening I went to the gym with my wife and did a version of this strength training routine.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I can thank my roommate for getting me up this morning and on the machines for 30 minutes. As a reward, I made her do bicycles with me. Three more days until I’m running again!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: It was back to the weight room Wednesday night for me. I’ve got a bunch of deadlines approaching for work but I was able to sneak out and get in a one-hour strength workout. I’m starting to increase my weights a bit more as I get stronger.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Snow is in the forecast, so I took advantage of the clear weather and went for a 45-minute run. My legs felt a little heavy, but I had a blast.

Day 24: Thursday, January 30

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: Busy day, but finally got my butt out the door at 5:30 with just enough time for a 30-minute run before leaving to pick my wife up at the train station. Headed out with her for another 40 minutes after we got home. Quick turnaround for a double-run day, but got it done!

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: 30 minutes on the elliptical. Again.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I was forced to improvise Thursday night after I got slammed with work late in the day. So instead of a run or a swim at the gym, I did another T-25 video. I’m not a workout video type of guy, but I did get some pretty good core work in.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Snow, snow and more snow made this a great day for a classic ski around town and on the same paths I ran yesterday. No tracks were set, so it was definitely a dynamic effort. I also did a pedestal workout first thing in the morning.

Day 25: Friday, January 31

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: With a busy day ahead of me and a long run on tap for tomorrow, I snuck out around 9 AM for a quick 32-minute run from home, covering my standard 5-mile loop a couple minutes faster than usual. It’s funny how fast you’ll go when pressed for time!

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: 70 minutes on the walking desk today. I was kind of dizzy when I got off!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: Sitting there looking at my new running shoes all week was too much, so I headed out for a headlamp run after dark. The route included two ascents of a lung-busting hill that was brutal. Four and a half miles later, I was back at the house. Oh, and the shoes were great.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: We are in the midst of a huge snowstorm. Made it to the slopes for a few ski runs and went for an easy 5K run/shuffle around town.

Day 26: Saturday, February 1

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I headed back up to San Francisco Running Company for their weekly group run and bagged 22 miles on the trails. This was my longest run to date in preparation for next month’s Way Too Cool 50K. It was a beautiful morning and the time passed quickly as we cracked jokes and swapped stories in between climbing and descending the many hills of the Marin Headlands.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I didn’t do much other than a beach stroll in the early evening and some spontaneous arm exercises later.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: This morning, my fiancée and I met some people at our local triathlon shop for a run. The bike/run trail was still snow-covered so we turned off that and ran in a beautiful park on hard-packed gravel. It was a fantastic run. 4.99 miles – I should have run to the next building to make it five.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Today was a powder day beyond compare. I skied until my legs were like noodles and followed up with a good stretch session.

Day 27: Sunday, February 2

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: It rained in the Bay Area! We’ve lived here a month and haven’t seen so much as a drop of precipitation. I got out around 11 for an easy 46-minute recovery run on the bike path across the street from our place. There was hardly anyone out walking, running or riding their bikes today because of the wet weather, and I enjoyed falling into a quiet, meditative, uninterrupted rhythm.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I ran a very short, slow 4 miles to test the foot out. Inspired by my disappointing run (if that’s possible), I cleaned out all the workout clothes from my car and will be replenishing swim materials for the pool this week.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I traveled to Connecticut to work for NBC during the Olympics and got in around 8 PM. At 9:30, I realized I hadn’t done any exercise yet! It wasn’t 30 minutes, but I did some push-ups (standard, staggered), planks, side raises, and wall sits. It was better than nothing.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Ran in a 5K snowshoe race today! All of the new snow (40″ in Beaver Creek) made for some slow going, but it was a beautiful day and a great course. My daughter edged me out at the finish line, yet I still managed to place second in my age group!

Day 28: Monday, February 3

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: After wrapping up my morning round of work I headed out for a 38-minute run. I’m getting bored running the bike path across the street from my house so I did some exploring. Got rewarded with a nice view of the San Francisco Bay (see photo above) about 15 minutes into my run.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: I didn’t do anything yesterday (doctor’s orders). Just stretching a lot and some of the hip exercises I’ve shelved for the last few weeks. Should be up and running (pun intended) in the next few weeks.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: Now that I’m in Connecticut for three weeks, I hit the hit gym Monday night and had a solid strength session. Finished it with some core work … And later, a beer and a bowl of jambalaya at dinner with a friend.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: Today was one of those days where I really needed to listen to my body, and I didn’t. After a few days of high altitude, cold-weather exertion, I was sore from my ribs (they’ve been the crash pads for my bump skiing efforts) to my knees (hello running in off-camber, soft snow!) and tired. But I had yet to formulate my “recovery day” plan and said “yes” when invited to go skiing at lunch. The effort involves walking to and from the mountain (a mile round-trip—and no, it is not uphill in both directions!) carrying my ski gear. I knew during the walk it wasn’t what I needed, but managed a few injury-free runs before wisely (finally!) calling it a day. I did some rolling before dinner, ate too much chocolate after dinner and went to bed at a relatively early hour.

Day 29: Tuesday, February 4

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I had a pretty busy day and couldn’t get out the door to run until 5 PM. I got in a quick 45 minutes and finished before dark. After my wife got home from work I headed back out with her for another 45 minutes, making it a solid 90 for the day.

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: Today I finally got back in the pool and swam 2,000 meters thereabouts in 200-meter intervals. I’m not going to lie: I was a little dizzy getting out. And go figure my Team Challenge triathlon coach was in the lane next to me, recognizing me by my stroke. At least it was an extra nudge to really focus on my form!

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I joined a gym for the month while I’m here in Connecticut and hit the pool Tuesday night. I didn’t really swim for distance; I just did some laps for about 35 minutes using a mix of a pull buoy and paddles. I did throw in some 25-yard sprints because they’re always fun.

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: As part of what seems to be my ongoing quest to prove I’m not as smart as I look, after alternately sitting and standing at my desk for nine hours, fixing dinner and putting the girls to bed, I went for a fantastic run. I ran for about 30 minutes, made a snow angel in the middle of Main Street (because I could!) and finished with a pedestal workout and some stretching.

Day 30: Wednesday, February 5

Mario Fraioli, Senior Editor: I met up with a couple friends this morning for a headlamp run in the dark. We got in just under 50 minutes before the sun came up. Good start to the day and nice way to end the 30-day challenge!

Caitlyn Pilkington, Associate Editor: Spending my day in bed battling the flu was not how I wanted to end the 30-day challenge.

Jason Devaney, Associate Web Editor: I hit the weight room Wednesday afternoon and put in a good strength session. Things are getting awfully busy with the Olympics here at NBC, so I kept it to about a half hour in order to get some sleep. Now that this challenge is over, I’d still like to work out every day. It’s part of my routine now!

Allison Pattillo, Contributing Editor: I decided to finish the month the way I started it, with a skate ski! Chilly and challenging, but kept at it for about an hour. Hit the weight room for a few sets of upper body work once my hands thawed.

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