Time for me to join the ranks in wishing everyone a very happy New Year, recapping the weekends festivities and publicly announcing my resolutions…and in that order, because that’s the order of ease.
So first and foremost! Happy, happy new year!!! As it turns out, 2011 was a pretty big year for me. I moved to New York City after spending 15 years saying I would, and in conjunction with that move, finally ended up in the same city (nay, the same apartment) as the JD after about four years of doing the “long distance” thing.
2011 was also a great year running-wise, starting off with quite a bang with Ragnar Florida Keys. I never in my life thought that being crammed into two vans with ten strangers for 24 hours, in and around running 16 miles could have been such an awesome adventure. I think I was still riding an epic runners high from that experience when I moved to New York a little over a month later, because the running just didn’t stop. I joined NYRR and started knocking races off my to-do list like crazy, and learned so many new routes across the island.In addition to knocking out miles all over Manhattan, I ran in Fort Smith, Chicago (granted, it was on a treadmill, but I traversed the city plenty on walks as well), Madison, Punta Cana, Richmond and plenty of other places I’m sure I’m forgetting.
And thanks to living in such a running-friendly city, I found training for my first ever marathon not only easy (as far as finding the time and places to run), but enjoyable. And on November 12th, I finished my first marathon in under 4 hours–something I never, ever in a million years thought was possible. To add some icing on that cake, thanks to the NYRR 9+1 program, I will attempt a similar feat on the great streets of NYC on Nov. 4, 2012. To anyone who wants to join me….the applications for the ING NYC Marathon go live today. Check it out
The last weekend of 2011 turned out to be an awesome one. On Friday night I met the JD and some of his coworkers for happy hour, then the two of us grabbed a bite to eat in the village on our way back up town. Once home, we popped in Love Actually (one of my all-time favorite holiday movies that I had not managed to watch in the weeks leading up to Christmas) and got to work on baking goodies for NYE.
On Saturday morning I woke up and set out for my final run of 2011. My previous couple of runs around Central Park had been in the wee hours of the morning and in and around everyones busy holiday travels, so they were eeriely quiet. But that was not the case on Saturday. Everyone was out for one last sweat session, and they likely succeeded in the sweating department, because the temps were HIGH here in NYC. I ran in shorts and a long-sleeve tee and was completely overdressed for the unusually warm weather.
Afterwards I very haphazardly packed some bags, showered and headed to Penn Station to meet up with the JD and my cousin and her fiance, visiting from Chicago for the holidays. We caught a train out to Long Island to ring in the New Year with many more family members and friends.
There was an unnecessary amount of delicious food and delcious drinks, including our signature sip of the evening–Poinsettias. These lovely concoctions (made of champagne, triple sec and cranberry juice) were served at my friends bridal luncheon back in October, and seemed like the perfect New Years Eve cocktail given the holiday-flair and the champagne base! I stuck to red wine (shocker), but made some cute cookies to go along with the drinks.
My favorite creation of the evening though, was these little guys:
I had randomly come across this recipe on Friday afternoon, and just haddddddd to make these! My aunt, cousin and I set up an assembly line to get them together and they were the hit of the party. I will likely make them for every single event I attend from now through March.
After chatting it up with family and friends all night, counting down to midnight, blowing noisemakers in the front lawn and finishing up every last morsel of brownie in the house, we hit the hay and said goodnight to 2011. Yesterday was dedicated to football (for everyone BUT me, seeing as I have ZERO interest), eating leftovers and lounging around.
I desperately wanted to go for a run because the weather was once again amazing, but my foot was STILL hurting me, and I decided it was best to take a day off.
Unfortunately, I had to come to that same conclusion this morning when my alarm went off for a morning run. Yes, it was easier to turn down because I was still sleeping off the weekends festivities, but my foot was still in pain, and I really, really don’t want to run into (pun intended) any major injuries that would prevent me from my half marathon in March.
The good news is, even with my bumpy start last week, I still managed to accomplish everything laid out in Hal’s intermediate half training plan, and then some. So I finished last week still feeling okay about March 17th. Technically, today is a “rest” day in Hal’s plan, so I can get by well enough, but if this foot doesn’t start to get its act together soon, I maaaay freak out.
It works out though, because NOT being too hard on myself/taking better care of myself is a top contenter in my very short list of New Year’s resolutions.
Yes, we’ve come to that part of the post.
I wasn’t sure if I’d even MAKE any resolutions. Like many people, I go back and forth touting their benefits vs. sneering at their stupidity. If people want to better themselves or set specific goals for themselves, they should just do it, and not wait for some big culminating event to motivate them. This grinchy perspective on the idea of resolutions likely stems from the fact that I get annoyed by the swarms of people that take over every inch of free space in every gym across America and the world in the first week of January, and onward for a few weeks. On the other hand, I do think it’s nice for people to take time to really reflect on what they have or haven’t accomplished over the course of a year and see what they’ve like to improve on. That being said, this is the first year I’m every actually taking the time to do that myself, and going a step further, publicly posting some “resolutions” for the world to see/judge. Bahaha.
And so here they are.
1. Take better care of myself. This obviously can cover a very wide range of daily habits and longterm behavior, but in my marathonwining world, it basically encompasses these key things:
-Take rest days if my body is telling me they are necessary (i.e., if my foot screams out in pain every step I take, a rest day is necessary. I really should NOT push through a run just to get a few more miles on the books).
- Not overindulge (specifically, on sweets and vino. Yes, I posted a rebellious post on the joys over overindulgence and why they are okay, but I shouldn’t need to try THAT HARD to cut alcohol out of my system in the weeks leading up to a big race. It shouldn’t be such a vital part of my diet to begin with).
- Fix my stupid horrible posture. Sitting up straight, how hard can that be? Oh, you’d be surprised.
- Learn NOT to suck at anything core-related. I want to be able to bang out 500 sit-ups and hold a plank for more than 5 seconds without cringing in pain.
2. Race once a month/run somewhere new once a month. This one gets the “/” because I’m hoping these goals can be combined in the direction of “race once a month somewhere new,” but I know my schedule/bank account may not always allow that to happen. Already, I was scouring the running websites for a decent race I could sign up for in January, preferably one that is not somewhere I’ve already been to and/or run in. I looked in Megabus, Boltbus, Amtrak and Metro North-friendly cities and could not really find much. So I’m doing the NYRR 10k this Saturday, just in case. If anyone knows of any other runs on the horizon in a reasonably nearby place [read: reachable from NYC by cheap/quick public transportation], please let me know. This also goes for Feb, March, and so on and so on.
3. Set a new PR. I’m not going into many specifics on this, because I don’t want to set myself up for a big fat fail. But I’d be happy in PR-ing any distance this year–5k, 10k, half marathon and (gulp, dare I say it?) the marathon. I’m pretty sure the latter won’t be happening as I shocked the hell out of myself with my first marathon time, and this years will be a much harder course, but pigs can fly, right?
4. Do the flying pig half marathon (or full?) or at least DECIDE on which of my next “dream” half marathons/marathons will be up next in the queue. I’m dying to do the Flying Pig, ANY race in Disney World, ANY race in Hawaii, and newly added to the list, the Olathe Kansas Marathon, thanks solely to its awesome website: http://www.olathe.org/sports/marathon/. I’d also like to combine this goal, with my goal of traveling more to new places. Again, money is always a debilitating factor, but if I could make goals 2 and 3 work in conjunction with my age-old dream to visit places like Oregon, Montana, Hawaii and Australia, then its worth the money, right?
5. Figure out what the hell I want to do with my career/life. This could be about 9348042 posts on its own, so I won’t go into the details right now. But the bottom line is I’ve been a sissy for the last five years, specifically the last 5 months, and I need to just bite the bullet and make some major decisions.
Holy crap this is a long post and my hands hurt from typing now. And I went off on a tangeant a few too many times and I’m not even sure that the goals I just typed out are tangeable. But I’ll figure that out later.
For now though, enjoy the first Monday of the new year. Chances are, very much UNlike myself, you have today off, so make it a good one kids
-How’d you see off 2011?
- Any major resolutions you want to share?