This past year running took a backseat to work and life in general. Some days I was focused and motivated to exercise, but other days I found a million excuses not to workout. Luckily, my jobs involved a lot of physical labour and my weight remained constant in spite of not following a regular exercise program. I completely ignored this blog and rarely tracked my running distance or progress. I didn’t sign up for any events which also contributed to my limited interest in running.
This year I am taking a new approach to training and exercise. I would like to enjoy running while incorporating some specific goals for 2017. My first goal is to run a distance of 5 miles (8km) without walking breaks. Now, I am able to run 5K. However, after a year of limited training I am extremely slow. I am like a snail, so time goals at this point would lead me down the path to complete failure. This must be avoided! Thus, I am going to concentrate on building up endurance and when I can cover 5 miles I might consider incorporating some speed-training.
My second goal is to enter two 10K races this year. At this point, I have no idea when or where – to be decided in the near future.
My third goal is to actively track my progress via this blog. My intention is to post my running data and thoughts at least twice a month. I did my last run of 2016 this morning – a slow, comfortable 3 miles in 36:31 – this will be my starting point for 2017.
These three simple running goals are intended to help me stay motivated and focused on running. In order to achieve these goals I have to be extremely dedicated, unwavering and prepared to make running play an important part of my life by setting aside enough time for consistent and quality training in 2017.
My first and most important resolution will be to eliminate chocolate from my diet. So this year, rather than reduce my chocolate consumption I am giving it up on January 1st. I no longer eat potato chips or drink soda and I was successful by quitting “cold turkey” the same way that many people give up smoking. I will try this same approach for chocolate. When my husband goes to Switzerland I am not going to request any more Swiss chocolate. I will do my best to avoid chocolate and when tempted I will reach for fruits or nuts. Actually, I feel stressed just thinking about life without chocolate. This will be difficult!
Second, I will spend less money on gadgets – Although I am fairly frugal in most things I spend some of my hard-earned cash on running events and running gear. There is always some new gadget that promises a better performance and I am all too willing to fork over money for the latest fad in running. The newest high-tech t-shirts, compression socks, and shorts cost a small fortune. Spending more than $150 on a pair of sneakers does not make me faster than a cheaper pair. Yes, they may be slightly more comfortable and durable but I really cannot tell the difference. They will not propel me across the finish line any faster than a cheaper pair. No matter what the marketers claim fancy sneakers and expensive running clothes do not result in speed in my case. So, this year I am not going to squander money for unnecessary running accessories. I already have enough gear.
Third, I will read at least one book per month – When I am home in Canada I have access to a public library which means that I can always find something to read without it costing a small fortune. It is easy to find reading material online but I tend to tire quickly when reading on a computer screen. Consequently, I will have to make an effort to find and buy books. I can use the money I save on gadgets for books. I will share my books with colleagues and hopefully some of them will have books that interest me.
A small poster to help me remember my resolutions.
Looking back over my 2013 resolutions I have to admit that my success rate was less than 50%. Of my five resolutions I was only successful in two. I did not eat potato chips or use a single package of paper towels last year. Here is what happened to the other three resolutions.
Improve my French – My plan was to set aside one hour, three times a week, to brush up on my French. Unfortunately, every time I opened my French book or computer to study I lost interest within thirty minutes. Way too boring to actually sit down and study. Instead I decided to listen to French radio and watch more French TV instead of always watching German or English TV. Also, I used every opportunity available to practice with French speakers. In the end, my ability in French has improved without sitting down with a book.
Learn a new skill every month – I had great intentions but I missed the boat on this one. I started out on the right foot with skiing lessons in January but within a couple of months I seemed to have forgotten this resolution.
Reduce chocolate consumption – I failed miserably with this resolution for the second year in a row. In the last two years I have managed to give up potato chips and soda pop. This year, I tried desperately to reduce my chocolate consumption. At times I was successful but on way too many occasions I grabbed a chocolate bar to munch on when I felt hungry or stressed.
As this year draws to a close it is time to think about my 2014 resolutions.