Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year to any readers out there! It's time to hang up our new calendars, try to remember to write "2011" on our checks (which will take me about six months), and make our New Years resolutions.

I'm not good at New Years resolutions. When I remember to make them, which is seldom, I end up finding excuses to weasel out of them or forget them. So, with that in mind, I'm making only one New Years Resolution this year: to Kick Ass.

Not literally, of course. Anyone who's ever seen me knows there aren't many fights I would win even if I were a violent person -- and I'm not! Nor does it mean I'm resolving to kick ass at any one specific thing. It's a wide-scale change that I want to make to my worldview: to be more positive, more assertive, and more confident than I was in 2010. At the end of almost every work week, I wake up Friday morning and say to myself "It's Friday. Time to kick ass." And then Friday usually ends up being a big crisis, but that's besides the point. (I think it's just Murphy's Law that causes things to be challenging on Fridays, not an effect of my Friday attitude.)

I think I've become too negative and pessimistic over the years. Why? I'm not sure, and that's a topic for my amateur psychology blog, which I'll launch in approximately never. But it doesn't matter; it's time for change. I want to take my Friday ass-kicking confidence to the rest of the week.

So, to return to the topic of this blog, where does running fit into this? Easy. Over the last several years, running has become an important component of my self-confidence levels. It's certainly something I want to continue to push myself at in 2011. So, with that said, I'm setting four running goals for 2011:

1. Run five 5Ks. This should be easy. I ran six in 2010, but there's one of those that I probably won't be able to do this year because of a schedule conflict.

2. Sub 23-minute 5K. This goal was going to be a sub 24-minute 5K, but I hit that at Jingle Bell Run. This year's Jingle Bell Run, likely my last 5K of the year, will probably be my best chance to meet this goal.

3. Run an under 6-minute mile. I'm not sure about this one, honestly. I ran a 6:44 at the Harrisburg Mile, by far the fastest mile I've run in my life. I'll have to do a little more research to see if this is something I should shoot for, or if I'm just asking to blow my knees out. I also would have to decide if I have to do this during a race (making the Harrisburg Mile my only chance) or if I can do this on my own with the Garmin. I think it's attainable if I take a systematic approach to it. I ran my 6:44 without doing much speed training -- I just ran faster because I knew it was a much shorter course.

4. Finish a marathon. I never thought I wanted to do a marathon. I'm still pretty sure that I don't, in fact. But, I remember my elation after my first 5K, after my first 10K, and after my first half marathon. I'm addicted to that -- I felt like it it was the next level up that I had to take on. I'm signed up for the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon on March 20 in Virginia Beach. It should be cool weather, the course should be flat, and there's free beer at the end, which is the mark of a great race.

After wavering on this one for about three months, I signed up for a marathon training program in mid-December and for the race today. There's no turning back now. On the plus side, if I run 26 miles I get to eat 26 donuts. Yes, that's the way it works.

I did kick off Running Year 2011 today with the inaugural Manchester Half Marathon, which I finished in 2:14. This is another half marathon that I made up, which makes me the winner.

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