It's that time of year when resolutions are made and motivation to adopt a healthier lifestyle can be at an all-time high. But then reality sets in, you return to the daily grind, and if you're like me, it's easier sometimes to forego that gym workout or outdoor frigid run in favor of a cozy night curled up on the couch (with a glass of wine - or two). And forget about a workout regimen if you have to factor in travel!

Austin Marathon

As someone who considers themselves an avid athlete in their spare time, even I have trouble maintaining focus in the winter months. To achieve athletic goals, make a commitment (and not just a verbal one to yourself). Bite the bullet. Sign up for a race or fun-run. Tell your friends or co-workers about it and encourage them to sign up with you. Join a team or local running group. Share your goals or race plans on your social media accounts. You'll be more likely to stick to a game plan when youve made the game date public knowledge.

While there are great events almost anywhere these days here are a few of my favorites right here in Austin to make the commitment painless (no promises however for pain-free training):

February
Austin Marathon & Half-Marathon
Downtown Austin
Live music from more than 40 local bands and a course that winds through Austin's most scenic neighborhoods make this race a must for runners and spectators.
www.youraustinmarathon.com

April
Capitol 10,000
Congress Avenue to Auditorium Shores
Texas largest 10K race and one of the nations top runs draws some 10,000 serious and not-so-serious runners.
www.cap10k.com

April
Austin 10/20
North Austin
Ten miles, 20 bands. The perfect race for the Live Music Capital of the World. The Austin 10/20 puts a stage every half mile along the route, promising more entertainment and music per mile than you've ever experienced.
www.austin1020.com

May
The Rookie Tri
Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park
For true rookie triathletes and veterans alike. The Rookie Triathlon course is a 300 meter swim, 11.2 mile bike and 2 mile run. And don't miss the finish line party complete with food and drink (including beer!) needed to re-fuel.
www.therookietri.com

May
Life Time Tri CapTex
Lady Bird Lake, Downtown Austin
Life Time Tri CapTex attracts all levels of athletes - from top ranked professionals to first-timers. Home to the USA Paratriathlon National Championship, the event includes sprint and international distances, First Tri distance and sprint and international distance relays. The event begins with a swim in Lady Bird Lake with the spectacular backdrop of the downtown Austin skyline and ends with a finish on Auditorium Shores and a rockin post-race festival.
www.captextri.com

Contributed by Jennifer Walker.