Dear January 1, 2015,
The year is off to a great start—I haven’t had more than a handful of hours to make any damaging decisions. By this time, I’ve completed my easy 10 miles, scampered through six strides with relative ease and probably eaten 1–2 lingering cookies from Christmas past. My first marathon is still planned for January 18, and I am going slightly insane (right on schedule!) with thoughts of I can’t do this, What if I can’t do this?, I can totally do this, Why would I ever want do this? and, the best part, How many hamburgers does a marathon equal? Hint: Around five.
But as any true human does, I have a list of things I vow to do more, do better, or just do in 2015. So, Jan. 1, please make sure that your 364 peers hold me accountable to the following:
- Cook more meals at home. As much as I hate to admit it, In-N-Out Burger is only really appropriate a handful of times a month. Or maybe one. Okay, two times. I have a stack of gluten-free and runner cookbooks at home that are collecting dust, and I promise to put them to work in the New Year.
- Foam roll every day. This includes: feet, hammies, quads, IT bands, back—hell, I’d foam roll my face if it was possible. It hurts so good and definitely makes a difference. My favorite gift from the holidays? This little guy.
- Continue to not be a hammerhead. In a previous email exchange with colleague Mario Fraioli, he started a sentence with this: “Take it from a former hammerhead…” This was in response to my whining insistence that I could sustain a fast half-marathon race pace through my entire marathon-training regimen. Wrong! What hammerhead running got me: injury, burn-outs, exhaustion, improper race preparation. What logical running got me: Proper fitness, healthy legs, appropriate recovery, running enjoyment.
- Participate in the #RUNCM30 fitness challenge. 30 days of movement—pre-marathon, this means running with some swimming. Post-marathon, this means crawling with some swimming. Either way, it will get done in January—and you should join me by using #RUNCM30 and tagging @runcompetitor on Instagram and Twitter!
- Train for and run a fast half in the spring/summer. Exact race TBD. After a quick half-marathon check-in last month, I was super pumped to see the results of consistent tempo runs paying off. Long gone are the running days of just, well, running, with no set plan to tailor the workouts around X race. Tempo runs are my new favorite thing to hate, and I plan to appropriately dial them into a larger plan with a set goal: 1:35 or bust.
- Eat more veggies. I’m the kid who crinkles her nose and shuffles her greens around with a fork so it looks like she ate something. Combined with a squirmy gut, my taste buds refuse to appreciate hot vegetables and their endless benefits. But as the saying goes, you can’t always get what you want. I will enjoy asparagus, stomach spinach, and tolerate peppers of all colors. Or I’ll combine this with No. 1 and fool myself.
- Read more books about running. Instead of floundering in debates among peers about what is right or wrong in our world of endless heel-striking, minimalism, stretching and other there’s-no-right-answer debates, I’ll read a damn book about it. I have plenty of them, and they are next to my cookbooks.
- Be more patient with other people’s journeys. In all fairness, this resolution started back in 2014. I found myself so wound up in my own struggles in and out of running that I forgot to appreciate that others can be two steps behind me—or in front of me—with their own journeys to self-discovery. Practicing patience opened my life to new friendships and opened myself up to SLOWING THE %$&# DOWN.
- Be alcohol free…for the most part. I try hard to want that finish-line beer, celebrate with a glass of champagne or just wind down with some vino. But really, none of it works for me, and I suffer the colitis consequences. Yes, my gut is that sensitive, and yes, I actually do prefer water at the bar now.
- Enjoy running. There’s really no secret formula for that.