Millions of people will make New Year's Resolutions. If you are reading this, you are probably a runner. Your resolution - or one of them - will likely be to train more, to train better, to do your first 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon.
Maybe you will resolve to improve your training. Everybody can do that. That's my goal. I'll be more consistent, let fewer interruptions interfere, and do a better job of sticking to my training schedule.
However, I also resolve to keep my running in perspective, to prevent it from ever coming between me and my loved ones; rather, I will make sure that running provides me with the solace, the meditation time that I need to make me a better person. I will use that quiet, private running time to clear my mind, to de-stress, to improve my focus, and prepare me to make the most of all the other facets of my life.
Running can do that; it should do that.
I resolve to lose 10 pounds. Running is a great way to burn calories, and that will help me achieve all the other goals; so, in that sense, it's the most important one.
In 2010, I will run another marathon, and I will lower my time by ten minutes. I resolve to prepare for that marathon by building my base up to 60 miles per week.
I will also drop my 5k time 45 seconds. I will complete at least one Olympic distance triathlon, and I will spin more. Specifically, I will average one spinning class per week.
Notice that these goals are concrete and measurable. That's important because that way at the end of 2010 I will know whether I have achieved these goals.
If you have not considered what your 2010 will look like, it's time to start thinking. Here is an idea: Whatever your running accomplishments have been in the past, why not venture into another type of running? If you have been running on the road, why not plan to do an off road race? Why not try a longer distance race, a relay race, a triathlon, or an urban adventure race?
Why not resolve to join a running group? If you have not trained with a group in the past, you will be amazed at how it will improve your training, making it more consistent, but more importantly, making it a social experience that will enhance your life, perhaps even as much as the running does.
Why not resolve to mentor other, newer runners? How about resolving to volunteer at more races? There are plenty of ways to make your running life even more worthwhile. Start thinking. Make sure you set specific measurable goals. Rather than, "I will run more, determine how many miles you averaged in 2009, and set a goal for how many miles you will average in 2010. Then keep track. If you haven't kept a journal of your training in the past, that is a goal itself. Don't overdo it, but analyze your running life - well, your life - and consider what would be the most important changes and set goals regarding those changes.
Here is an idea: I will start a new page of this website where people can state their resolutions. Email them to me, and I will make it a new page for everyone to see the goal (s) you've set for yourself. Maybe that will help you stick to those goals. Have you ever noticed how when you set a new goal for yourself, it helps to say it aloud and tell your friends? That's a great idea; they will encourage you to keep your nose to the grindstone. That's what friends do :)
Whatever your resolution, whether you share it here or with friends, here's to your success. Pretend we're clicking champagne glasses - clink - and taking a drink. Cheers!