Friday, January 09, 2009

Shake Up

It's more than a week into the new year and I, for one, couldn't be happier. I've never been a real fan of Christmas. I wouldn't classify myself as a Scrooge by any means; I can tolerate the buying of gifts, the singing of carols and the sipping of egg nog. It's all those parties and all that extra food I feel compelled to consume that brings fear and dread every holiday season. If it's not chips slathered in cheesy artichoke dip at the neighbor's one night, it's brownie bites smothered in chocolate fondue at a work party the next. It's an endless stream of fat-ladened calories somehow finding their way into my system day after day. While I managed to keep things somewhat in check this year by maintaining a diligent workout schedule, I didn't come away from Christmas '08 totally unscathed. Below my belly button and around my hips lies that slight tell-tale sign of a couple dozen too many caramel-covered pretzels. But glory be, the holidays are over, and so is the incessant temptation to eat until I'm ill. Finally, I'm back to grazing all day on practically nothing until I get so hungry I have to satiate my appetite at dinner with enough food to keep a linebacker happy. Ahhh, how I love routine.

I've come to the conclusion, however, that despite still being in the best physical shape of my life, I have some real improvements I can make. There are certain (ahem) "body parts" that really don't need to be as (ahem) "prominent" as they are. And I've come to the conclusion I've fallen into the mistaken mindset that because I'm a runner, I can eat whatever I want. The cold, hard truth is, everything I eat ends up showing somewhere on my body just like everyone else, but because I'm a runner I get to pack it around for an extra 20-30 miles a week. Somethin's gotta change.

2008 was an extremely productive year for me as far as running goes. I covered nearly 1,200 miles on foot, which, if my calculations are correct would get me somewhere close to Duluth, Ohio. I ran one full marathon in 2008, four half-marathons and one 5K (which produced my only PR for the year). I ran and I ran and I ran, then I ran some more. And by the end of the year, I was all ranned out. After my last half-marathon in November (which I didn't blog about because the Suck Factor was so high), I was left with an injured shin and a body and mind that were plumb exhausted.

2008 was the Year of Quantity. For 2009, I've decided it's time to make my running count.

I don't know how many races I'm going to run this year. For now, I've committed to doing only one, a relay race in June splitting 178 miles between twelve people. I don't know if I'll run another marathon in 2009; I don't know if I'll run another 5K. What I do know is that I'll keep running. A lot. I'll be getting up before the roosters to hit the gym for cross-training... a lot. My goal for 2009 is to work on making those improvements I need without wearing myself down to the nub doing it. It's to end the year with the satisfaction of prioritizing and performing my best at the races I deemed most important to run. Quite simply, it's to fall in love with running again.

2009 is the Year of Quality and it's off to a roaring start.

10 comments:

Laurel said...

I feel like I could have written this post myself.

I run so I eat. I feel like I can eat whatever because I have a 14 mile run on Sunday. But I feel it jiggling the whole way. Sigh.

My goal is to keep up the running, but tone up. Not necessarily lose weight, but definitely tone.

Glad your head is back in the game. It's good to take a break sometime to recharge.

Stacey said...

Sounds like you have a GREAT plan for 2009. Have fun falling in love with running again!

Alisa said...

I hear those sentiments. I love to eat...a little too much I've found out =).

Quality running is great...welcome to a year of quality runs and cross training.

robison52 said...

Keep on pluggin' away! I've recently had a knee injury and discovered how much I loved running afterwards. I took running for granted. You already love running...your body knows it, your mind hasn't caught up to the idea yet. Good luck with your Year of Quality!! I'm looking forward to reading your progress.

Velma said...

Great post - we share the same goals for 2009. It looks like a great year.

Lili said...

Yay!! for quality! Good Luck!!! and a BIG cheer from the Wanderer!

queenieweenie said...

I'll choose quality over quantity anyday!

I love the new year too...a chance to start fresh is always good!

Jen said...

I'm so with you! Wish I could copy and paste your whole post because I ran myself into the ground as well and paid for it. I'm so excited to run the relay with you! I need to build up a good base again. It will be fun!

The Hoyt's said...

Here here!! Great post.. I'm so with ya sista.. Here is to 2009.. May we be injury free....

beccahsdad said...

Hey there!!! I have been MIA, bu tnow I am back!!

Keep on keepin on!!!