Since I am in the midst of a segment of my life where I am the least of an authority on how to succeed, I figured I should share the results of some research I have performed that may help you avoid being a failure. That's almost as good as succeeding - right? I am working on serving a purpose, no matter what!
Before I move on to sharing what not to do, let me paint you a picture of this period in my life. It was the first weekend in August, 2011. I had just started my new job 5 days earlier. It was a warm summer's eve...on a train bound for nowhere...I met up with the gambler....we were both too tired to sleep...wait! That's not it. So I had started a new job, after over a year of joblessness. I was trying to adjust to having actual duties during the day - things that I couldn't push off to a more convenient time. I was failing miserably in many areas - working out, eating well, prioritizing effectively.... During my month of "Move It 2 Lose It" success (June) I had gotten cocky, and signed up to do a 5K with my cousin-in-law while we were up at Family Fun weekend. Don't ever get cocky. No good can come of it. I don't know that I exercised since the day I signed up. I had also spent a fair amount of time eating like crap. It wasn't great. So now that I have somewhat set the stage, let's get this show on the road.
Pitfall to avoid #1... when planning to do a 5K (and by "do" a 5K in my world, I mean: walk slowly), and you have a lot of bod to haul along with you on the route, you may want to actually exercise consistently beforehand. Maybe workout a few days a week, for at least a month or so, leading up to the walk/run. It is a bad idea to completely stop working out for over one month prior to this walk, and assume everything will be fine.
Pitfall to avoid #2... completely ignore the fact that your body needs water the week before your "race". I'll admit it. When I started my new job, I struggled with how to drink as much water as I needed. When I was sitting at home, it was easy to keep the glass full - but as I was training in at my new gig, I would forget. Most days I only got a glass or two in when I got home. Considering you're supposed to divide your weight in 2, and drink that many ounces of water, I was failing miserably. Two glasses of water wasn't enough to support half the weight of my left foot, much less the entire mass of my bod.
Pitfall to avoid #3... it may not be the greatest idea to eat greasy/fatty food for an extended period of time, and then only eat one meal the day before your walk (or run if you're super-ambitious). And it is definitely not a good idea to make that one meal a plate full of cheesy, salty hotdishes (or casseroles, if you're fancy). Sure...you can try and tell yourself that you're "Carbo Loading" - but the truth of the matter is that any beneficial carbs you may be ingesting are far out-weighed by the amount of fat/butter/salt/cheese, that is not going to help you be successful.
I did not obey any of these pitfalls, and it lead to disaster. I was not feeling great from the start, but when I was almost to the half-way point, my side started to hurt. I couldn't catch my breath. Then the pain got worse. I didn't finish because I felt like I was being jabbed in the side with a knife, and couldn't breathe! Ridiculous and unacceptable. I mean, seriously. I've done 5K's before. This should not have been something beyond my capability range. I know it seems silly - but when you don't take care of yourself, your body will rebel. It was basically Remus' way of telling me that he was winning. His "screw you" to me, if you will. Mark that one for Remus, zero for Natalie.