Traditionally, the end of the year is the time when people join a gym, pledge to eat healthier, start an exercise plan and vow to get in shape. My journey to getting fitter did not start with a New Year's Resolution, but with a late spring hospital stay, so I had a headstart on establishing better habits. Over time, running has come to mean more than merely a way of staying in shape and burning calories. It has become a form of meditation, of calming and controlling scattered emotions, of letting my body and mind get to know one another better. With all this in mind, here are my running resolutions for 2012:
1) To continue to take my running day by day, but to observe trends over weeks, months, and years.
2) To not care so much about speed. I am not naturally gifted with speed, and though I would love to run faster, I must realize not every run will be fast. Some runs should be slower than others. Some runs should be walks, or have walking in them.
3) To not be afraid of hard workouts--hill work and interval workouts especially.
4) To run a marathon's worth of miles each week, barring extremes of weather. I may never run an actual marathon, but 26 weekly miles is doable!
5) To get the right gear to run in cold weather, or rainy weather, or hot weather. This means I will not use the weather as an excuse, unless the weather is truly dangerous.
6) To hydrate more frequently, so I don't get the mid-run parched throat blues. In connection with this, to reduce my salt intake so that my running can work hand in hand with my HBP medication. One of the reasons I keep running is that it has reduced the amount of high blood pressure medication I'm taking to a single pill.
7) To have a good time at races, no matter how I finish. To enjoy the race, whether it is a small local one or a bigger shindig with lots of runners. To thank race directors and volunteers for all their hard work.
8) To learn to love 5Ks just a little more. If I could run a 24 minute 5K, that would be great. But if I do one in 28 instead, it's not the end of the world.
9) To run light--by that I mean to take running itself seriously, but not to take "being a runner" seriously. To have a fun attitude to go along with my ability to work hard.
10) To volunteer at a race and support other runners. Time to give back!