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Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

I have never been big on New Year’s Resolutions.  I find them to be somewhat silly – seriously, if you want to do or change something, why not do it the moment you think of it? Why wait for the turning of the calendar?

That being said, I must admit, there is something about wiping the slate clean and starting anew.

While I was out for a run on Saturday, I spent my time contemplating 2011 in terms of running and fitness.  I started that year with a bang, averaging nearly 200 miles per month for the first 5 months.  But then something happened.  I interpreted it as losing my mojo, but if I’m going to be completely honest with myself, I think I just burned myself out.  Even with big races on the horizon (Around the Lake in July, the Vermont 50 in September and the New York City Marathon in November) I just couldn’t get myself motivated and back into a rhythm.

I kept telling myself, “next week…next week I’ll get back into it”, but it just never happened.  I ended the year probably averaging less than 50 miles per month over the last 3 or 4 months (that’s including the races!).

As I ran my quick 4-miler on Saturday, I looked back at 2011 with some regret and disappointment.  For a year that started off so promisingly in regards to running, competitively it ended in the dumps.

But now, it is 2012 – nothing has changed except the number at the end of the calendar.  Nothing has changed, yet maybe everything has changed.

I now have a clean slate.  2011 is gone.  2012 is here.

I don’t know if I have it in me to ever hit 3:15 in a marathon (what I need to get back to Boston as a qualifier).  After pouring so much energy into reaching Boston in 2011 as a qualifier, maybe that fire is gone.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t try come May at Sugarloaf.  My 18-week training plan starts next Monday.  My plan is to train hard, but not burn out – for that reason I am going to stick to the Pfitz 18/55 plan as opposed to the 18/70.

2011 ended in a mess – my running was haphazard and inconsistent at best.  2012 won’t start off with the explosion of miles that 2011 did, but hopefully, I will be able to find a steady, consistent pace…that IS what running a marathon or longer is all about, right?

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The Goose Egg

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It stares at me.   It taunts me.  Whether it is the beginning of the year, the month or the week, it dares me to wipes its grin off of its face.  It is the dreaded goose-egg.  Whatever the cycle, it has the ability to wipe away all of the hours, miles and sweat I have endured.   I hate the goose-egg and the power it holds over me.

Every Monday, it is waiting for me.  Every 1st of the month, it is waiting for me.  At the turn of every year, it is waiting for me.   This morning the goose-egg wiped away 148 miles for December and 1552 miles for 2010.  A new month, a new year.

But I am stronger than the goose-egg.  I have the strength to chase it away, if just for a week, a month, a year.

One step – that is all it takes.  One step, and the goose-egg is banished for another 7, 30, 365 days.

And one step leads to another and then another.   Steps turn into yards, yards turn into miles, miles turn into sweat, sweat turns into better health and mental well-being.

Last night at midnight, the goose-egg returned. At 5AM this morning, I zapped it away with 4 slow miles.  It is not the pace that matters.   It is that I took the first steps of 2011.

Happy New Year!

May your year be filled with health in your heart, happiness in your soul and miles on the road.

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Why do you run?

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-To My Non-Running Friends –

This is my New Year’s Resolution (please ignore the fact that I just wrote a post about not waiting until New Years to make resolutions):

I want you to start running*.

Here’s my pitch:

It’s gonna hurt.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it.  Even after running for over a year now, the first 1 – 3 miles can still suck whenever I go out for a run.  The likelihood is that over the first couple of months, you will rarely get past 3 miles, and you shouldn’t.  Most of the time it’s gonna stink.  Most of the time it’s gonna hurt.  You’re gonna ask yourself why?  Why are you running these stinking 2-3 mile runs 3 days a week.  Why did you listen to that stupid Luau and start this stupid thing?  Why are you not sleeping in/going to bed early/lounging on the couch/cuddling with your significant other?  Why Luau Why?

Wrong questions.

Look at the people who have crossed the threshold.  The looks on their faces when they are done with a run should be all the answer and motivation you need.  It feels good.  It makes them happy.  The first 1-3 miles become an entrance fee – an investment in the run, if you will.  If the payoff wasn’t worth it, they wouldn’t be doing it.

That’s it.

That’s my pitch.

Tell yourself whatever you need to get past the first few months; to get to the point where you can run 5-6 miles comfortably 3 or 4 times a week.  That’s when you really start to see the payoff physically.  Tell yourself that you need to get in shape.  Tell yourself that you want to be at your child’s graduation.  Tell yourself that you want to be able to walk your daughter down the aisle when she get married.  Tell yourself that you want to hold your special person’s hand when you are both in your 80’s.  Tell yourself whatever the hell is takes to get yourself to that 6 mile mark.

Once you’re there you won’t have to tell yourself anything.  Your body will tell you.  It will tell you it’s time to run, it’s time to let the horses out.  It won’t be a fight to get your butt off the couch.

BUT…

You’re going to need a plan.  You’re going to need support.  Sometimes the simplest of plans can work.

A simple log.

Keep track of every mile and all of the food you eat.  It’s not nearly as hard as you think.  If you have a smartphone there are plenty of apps that will record both for you.  Otherwise, a small pad and mini-pen will work just fine.  The simple act of keeping a log can steer you towards healthier habits.  That is what worked for me.  I dropped the food log about 2 months in when I realized that my eating habits overall were just fine except for the second full plate of dinner I was having every night.  As soon as I stopped going back for seconds and thirds every night, the pounds melted away.  I have kept a workout log since November 2008.  Two nights ago I proudly logged my 1,329th mile of running for 2009.

Start slowly.  1-3 miles per run, 3 times a week.  Try to follow the 10% percent rule, building your weekly mileage just a little at a time.  Set a goal for yourself for the year.  400 miles.  It may sound like a lot.  That’s because it is.  But if you break it down, it comes down to a little over 33 miles a month – that’s just a touch over a mile a day.  You can find an average of 15 minutes a day.

You will stumble.  You will have days, maybe even weeks where it all falls apart.  It’s inevitable and it’s okay.  But as long as you get back up, you will be fine.  Stay determined, stick with your plan and you will be rewarded.  When you hit the 5-6 miles per run average, you will see the changes in the mirror.

As for support, you can always find it here.  I am more than happy to help.  Even better, you can find it on websites like dailymile or even Twitter where you will find an instant group of friends who will support and cheer you on.  They will help you when you are down, and celebrate when you are up.

My goal this year is to get you to start running.

For my running friends:  My goal is to get you to get 10 of your non-running friends to start running regularly in 2010.  If 40 of you get 10 of your friends to start running and they do the same next year, and so on, we can have this whole nation running by 2016.  Healthcare reform?  We won’t need it!  It starts now.

*If you can’t run, then bike or swim or cardio-kickbox.  Whatever it is that will get you eventually exercising regularly 3-4 hours a week.

Email me here ( runluaurun )  if you would like to leave a non-public comment/question or leave a comment in the comment section:

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I don’t make resolutions.  If it’s something I need to do, I do it.  I don’t wait until the New Year.

– Alice White

What is it about the turning of the calendar that makes us want to make New Year’s Resolutions?  Why is it that we feel the need to make promises we are unwilling to start today?  Why wait until January 1st?

We should make Arbitrary Day Resolutions. Whatever and whenever it is you are thinking of changing (eating better, exercising more, quitting smoking), don’t wait for the artificial day on the calendar to make that move.

Obviously there are certain resolutions that require a calendar:  Michelle’s Quest for 1000, Pete’s Dashing Through December, my goal of qualifying for Boston.  But many of the resolutions that we make every January 1st are things that we wish we would do every day.  If your resolution is one of those, then why wait for January 1st.  Be it.  Live it.  Do it now!

What are you going to start to do today?

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