Sunday, January 5, 2014

Belated New Year's Resolutions

I'm not good at New Years Resolutions.  I didn't keep a single one of my 2013 Resolutions, and most of those carried over from 2012.  Injuries were partly to blame, but again, I don't want to use that as an excuse.  I didn't do what I needed to do and I have to own that.

In 2011, my single resolution was just "to kick ass."  That's stupid.  What does that even mean?  How do I measure success?  Do I have to kick everyone's ass or just one person's?  I made all my running goals for the year and it remains by far my best running, but in terms of my vaguely-defined goal to become more confident and assertive, it was a complete and utter failure.

In order to try to set resolutions that I can keep, I think I need to need to set better resolutions.  A lot of companies use the acronym "SMART" as criteria for business objectives.  Objectives should be:


"Kick Ass" is not any of these things.  I did a little better with last year's:
1. Run Shamrock Half Marathon in March 2013
2. Under 6:00 mile (carried over from last year)
3. Run one marathon this year.
4. 10 races total
5. Lose 20lbs.  (I freaked out earlier in the year when I was 150. I'm 160 now. I feel best when I'm under 140.)

I did ok with measurable and perhaps time-bound, though I wasn't specific enough.  1. was probably was not attainable given where I was at the end of 2012 and in the context of health, neither was 3.  By setting goals that were too high and partially (PARTIALLY!) out of my control, it makes it easy to throw in the towel on everything.

So, here goes:

1. Lose 30 pounds by July 1, 2014.   As of this morning, I weigh 166.8 pounds. We have a trip to Texas coming up in July for a friend's wedding.  It's really, really hot in Texas, and I need to be lighter if I'm going to take the heat.  I'm happy with my weight being in the 140s, but I want to be on the light side of that for that trip.  Let's make this even more specific:
a. Weigh 159 pounds or less by February 1, 2014
b. Weigh 149 pounds or less by April 1, 2014
c. Weigh 139 pounds or less by June 1, 2014
d. Weigh 137 pounds or less by July 1, 2014
e Weight 149 pounds or less at the end of each subsequent month.  Like I said, I'm ok if I'm in the 140s but that needs to be the line.  I'm not a tall person and I was under 150 until I was almost 36.  I can get back there.

2. Be able to run 6 miles by April 12, 2014.  I'm signed up for sole of the city 10K again.  I limped through this last year with the help of prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and it was the farthest I ran all year.  I can't run two miles now without talking walk breaks every half mile right now.  So let's break this one down, too.
a Be able to run two miles without walk breaks by the end of January.
b. Be able to run four miles by the end of February.
c. Be able to run five miles by the end of March.  This would probably leave me needing some walk breaks to get through Sole of the City and would still have it in my stretch zone, but I'll be better off than I was this year when I didn't really have any business trying to run six miles.

3. Run the AC Half Marathon in October 2014.  By the end of this month, I'll have sent in my deferral for Shamrock Marathon for the third straight year and I've now deferred the AC half twice.  I can't put these off anymore.  I need to get myself in at least position to run the Shamrock Half in 2015 to get it off the books, and to have a hope at the full, I feel like I need to be in half shape by the fall of this year.  By setting my sights on a fall rather than spring half, I think I'm setting a goal that's attainable.  I'll have a mileage plan to get from Sole of the City to Atlantic City, but I I'll set after the 10K. My half PR is just under 2 hours, but I know this isn't a PR race.  I hate running on the boardwalk and I know even if I'm in good shape, I'll need to do some walking on that portion of the race.

4. Get my 5K time back under 30 minutes by May 1, 2014 and under 35 minutes by Kelly St. Patricks in Baltimore in March.  I'm guessing my average time until mid 2012 was in the 26s, but on the right course in the right weather I could get into the 23s.  My PR days are probably behind me, but I still think I can get back some speed.  I say May 1 because that will have me ready for the bulk of 5K season.

Then there's three that I don't think I can put into SMART:

5. Don't care about being the one everyone likes.  There's one part of my social circle where one of my goals is "to be the person everyone likes".  And I think I am.  But, in doing so, though, I've let a status quo that I'm not happy with endure far too long rather than trying to change it.  I'll write more about this one on my other blog.  Not "Orioles Update".  The other one that you don't get to read.

6. Leave the world a better place in 2014 than I found it.  I'd like to contribute more positively to society.

7.  Find a new hobby.  Right now, my hobbies are eating and watching sports.  The first ties back to goal #1.  The second leaves me with my self-esteem tied to closely to a meaningless activity over which I have no control.  I felt like running freed me from that to some degree.  I still loved watching sports and I still lived and died with two of my teams, but I had something of my own to be proud of.  I don't feel like I can depend on running to save me anymore.  I have not always fought as hard as I could to come back, I know that and I will own that.  But I have to know that it's possible that I will give everything to get back and not meet my goals.  I did work really hard in early 2012 to come back, and the shins didn't cooperate.   My attitude wasn't as good after that, and I also know that even if running doesn't work out, I still need to lose the weight, but I want to have another hobby, which could be but doesn't need to be athletic, that fills that same mental role. 

"Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up."
                                                                             - Dean Karnazes

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