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January 1, 2007

I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions–I don’t think people tend to keep them, I don’t think they provide real motivation, yadda yadda yadda. If you don’t really want to make a change in your life, a New Year’s resolution to implement that change just isn’t going to happen. So, notably, one of the only New Year’s resolutions I’ve ever kept was to get a new job–and luckily, I managed to accomplish that one within a month of the new year.

This year, though, I’m hoping to use a New Year’s resolution to supplement my own desire to implement a change in my life. I’ve been equipping myself properly and I’ve set reasonable goals, and I’m starting running again. My Nike+ add-on for my iPod should arrive in the next month, I’ve got a reliable running watch, and I have shoes that are comfortable on my feet. I have an energetic little dog to run with me, and the aforementioned iPod provides the music I need to keep going.

I started out, then, by taking a little jog this afternoon. And boy, am I out of shape. A year ago, this would have discouraged me–after all, what point is there in running if I can’t go more than 10 minutes without being horribly winded? This year, though, I am just taking it in stride. I am slow. I am out of shape. And I am OK with that. I’m running not so I can compete in a marathon, I’m running to take care of my body. If I can only go 10 minutes, so what? Maybe in a month I’ll be able to go 15 or 20. By the end of the year, maybe I can run a 5K. In other words, I have no ambitions. I just want to develop a good habit and integrate it into my life so thoroughly that if I don’t get my daily run in, I feel out of sorts.

So I’m phrasing this New Year’s resolution in terms of health and regularity, and not in terms of benchmarks and metrics. My New Year’s resolution is to be good to my body and to my health, for the present and, hopefully, for the longterm.

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Categories: just me
  1. January 1, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    I noticed when I started running that the worst part of it was at about the .5-.75 mile/10 minute mark, and if I could stick with it just a bit more I’d get into a groove and could go a 1-1.5 miles/15-20 minutes without having to be in particularly great shape.

    So your plan to not torture yourself with lofty goals sounds good, but I’d recommend trying to at least hold out for a mile/15 minutes or so. It was key for me to be able to stick with running regularly, as it allowed me to get to a point where I could start to find running enjoyable – as opposed to it completely sucking each and every time I went out, which I probably would have thought if I’d stopped at the 10 min. mark like I’d been tempted.

  2. January 1, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Cathy, I think you are right–that’s been my experience in the past, as well. (About eight years ago I was running upwards of 10 miles a week.) Right now, I’m just in such deplorable shape that it’s hard to push past that 10 minute mark. I’m hoping I can keep track of my time closely over the next couple of weeks and see where I tend to get stuck so I know to just push through it. And I’m hoping the Nike+ thing will help with that, too, since it can tell me when I’m reaching that mark.

  3. January 1, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    I liked using this Google hack to figure out the mileage:

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

  4. January 1, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    If you find it hard to run for more than 10 minutes, then stop running and start walking. Consider a walk-to-run program like this one from Cool Running. I think these are better plans because they set much more realistic goals. The success at the beginning is not in traveling so many miles or running for so long, but simply moving for 20-30 minutes at a time.

    Running is incredibly difficult and stressful exercise. Each step you take is 3x your body weight on your ankles, calves, knees, and back. It will take a long time to run far and deal with that stress, so remember to take a long term view of it.

  5. January 2, 2007 at 5:49 am

    Good luck, Kristine! I have been walking/running for the past couple of months and I’m now up to 20 minutes. 🙂

  6. k
    January 2, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for that link, Taco John. The reason I’m taking up running instead of walking, though, is that walking isn’t cutting it for me. I don’t have a car and probably walk about 5-8 miles a week between getting to and from home to school, walking the dog, and running errands. The walking is good for me but all it does is help me maintain the status quo, as it were. By running, I’m trying to kickstart my body by doing something that’s more strenuous than walking.

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