Sunday, November 20, 2011

Running and Resolutions

Yeah, I finally went for a run. I really can't believe it took me nearly three weeks to get back out there. I thought I'd take a week off, tops. So much for best laid plans, huh? And honestly, the longer it took me to go, the more nervous I got.  I was legitimately afraid to go. I have a Thanksgiving Day 5k turkey trot in a few days and even that has me scared.  What has gotten into me?  I wish I could put a finger on it. It doesn't make any sense at all. I don't know what I was so worried about. Would it be too hard? Painful? I'm not sure. I did 4 miles and I'm pleased that I got through it.  I didn't bother, as usual, to warm up or stretch in any capacity so everything was tight and sore for the duration of the run.  When I got home I was so relieved to have it over with.  I'm not sure when my next run will be, maybe after work tomorrow night at the gym. I'm still equally nervous and disinterested. Who sucked the fun out of the run?

On a somewhat happier note, I had a sports massage this morning and I'm hoping that will loosen up some of my problem areas.  For anyone in the VA area, I went to Pure Aesthetica in Del Ray.  I mention them specifically because they offer a one hour massage to first time clients for only $55.  Not a bad deal, right?  I had a gift certificate to go, and thanks to that deal I still have money left to spend on a future appointment.  If you need further motivation, it is only a block from the best frozen custard money can buy. It took all the will power I had to go straight home afterwards and not grab myself a treat.

I'm struggling with something else related to running, but I'm hesitant to talk about it here. I know some of you would certainly be able to understand what I'm talking about, having read some of your own words on the topic. But I'm not sure how personal I want to get on here. I don't want to worry any of my friends or family that read this but I'm sure you all might have some good advice for me as well. I guess I need to sleep on it a bit more and decide.

The end of the year is fast approaching, and I can't help but reflect on the past year's running and wonder what next year has in store. Once my last two races of 2011 are over I plan to sit down and sketch out some goals for 2012 along with a plan on how to achieve them. I would love to hear what your own goals are for next year and what you plan to do to reach them.  I'd also really welcome your input once I pull my list together. You all bring something special to running and I really value your opinions.

I'm not a big resolution fan at all, in fact I really dislike them. But setting goals feels different. Not just in running, but in general. Do you make resolutions for the new year? Are they remotely realistic?  Personally, I believe that you can change your life any day of the year if you want something badly enough. The new year is not only a crutch but it is added pressure to succeed on something that might not be that reasonable in the first place. Plus, it can really impinge on your holiday experience. Spending the "most wonderful time of the year" dreading January 1st and considering that time your last hurrah is no way to embrace the season.

I think goals are different than resolutions in that they are usually more specific, measurable, and achievable. They are something you can cross off a list as the year goes on and feel a sense of accomplishment. "I'm going to clean the house more, volunteer more, eat out less, lose ten pounds" etc etc just doesn't work for me.  Not that those aren't good ideas, trust me. I could stand to work on all of those. I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that you need to frame your goals (or resolutions, if you think I'm just splitting hairs) in a way that doesn't make it seem like there is something inherently wrong with you that needs to be fixed. 

The upside of eschewing the resolution business is that I don't feel that pressure to change something about me as a person, nor the sense of failure when, inevitably, the resolution falls by the wayside. My goals are something that I'm actually excited about and feel will empower me as a person. To me, that is a huge difference. I'm not focusing on any perceived flaws. There is no self-loathing involved. I am not subtracting things from my life or attempting to go without. I'm enhancing. Maybe it is just semantics, but something clicked for me when I switched from resolutions to goals. There was a lot less self-judgment, which is a big deal in my life. I'm usually not the kindest person when it comes to the self but I'm working on it. Letting resolutions fall by the wayside is small step towards correcting that.

Kudos to everyone out there who trained, raced, and otherwise worked their butt off this week. I hope you did something kind for yourself too. You deserve it.


  1. I'm sorry it took you so long to get back out there. I'm kinda in the same boat if it makes you feel any better!

  2. You have an amazing ability to work things out! Whatever is on your mind about running, I'm sure you'll figure it out in time and when you are ready to.

    2012 Races:
    Bridge Run (Of course!)
    Love the Run You're With (Looking forward to freezing my butt off again!)
    Cherry Blossom ?

    Love ya and can't wait to see you in a couple days!

  3. I like the idea of goals v. resolutions. It's like resolutions are made to be broken, right?

  4. I'm not a resolution fan either,
    Here's to an awesome 2012!

    I don't think we care about slow on our relay team, just fun! I'll get you more details if you're interested!