Pencils? Yes, I know, they seem like anachronisms. Maybe I should have said, "Grab your calculators."
It's time to do the year end tally. That's right. Get out your running journal. It's time to calculate the details of your running year and discover whether your running training lived up to your hopes.
How many miles did you run?
How many miles did you average per month? Per week? Per day?
How many races did you do of each distance?
Now comes the hard part. Look at your totals for 2010 and your running resolutions for 2011. Did you achieve your goals for the past year? Hopefully, you had clear, defined goals for total miles per, number of races, etc.
How did you do? If you achieved your running goals, fantastic. Pat yourself on the back. Revel in your accomplishments.
If you didn't? Don't beat yourself up. Lots of times things happen that are beyond our control.
Maybe you're saying, "I did not achieve my goals, and it's my fault, all my fault. I could have achieved my goals, but I was a slacker. I spent too much time on the couch when I should have been running."
If that's you, I still say don't beat yourself up about it. Why not? Because running should NEVER cause you stress. Brooding about having a less than stellar year will not change anything. No, just resolve to make this the year you really get serious with your running, the year you make it a priority, the year you head for the closet to get your running shoes before you head for the couch to grab the remote. Don't dwell on last year. Keep that running journal because you will need it at the end of 2012 to compare to 2011.
Use 2011 to motivate you to stick to your running resolutions in 2012. In fact, maybe you should print out your year end totals and put them on your mirror or fridge where you'll be reminded every day that you did not meet your goals for 2011. While it's important not to beat yourself up about it, it's also important not to forget it.
Remember the definition of wisdom? It's learning from the past, not repeating mistakes. So, if you're even a little wiser now than you were a year ago, the way to prove it is to stick to your resolutions for 2012.
Consider this: 2012 is a clean slate. It will be what you make it. Every day is an opportunity for change, for improvement, for accomplishment, whether that is more running miles, faster miles or more races.
Make your running life better in 2012, and the rest of your life will likely follow suit.