Well, we made it to another year – tomorrow starts a new one and many of us are all full of piss and vinegar to get started on things that we want to accomplish during this new year. That is if we don’t freeze our arses off first with this cold snap that has enveloped us for the past couple of weeks and appears that will be with us for a couple more.
I am thinking about the many choices I will have to make daily to accomplish or do some of the things that are important to me throughout 2018 and beyond.
As I have gotten older and hopefully a bit wiser, I have figured out that life is all about our choices and how we chose to react to choices made by others, especially when “they” attempt to impose their will upon us.
Life is a journey and it is more often the “so-called little” choices that we make or do on a daily basis that make the biggest differences in our lives.
That being said, what are ten choices that I would like to make for myself in 2018.
Since this is supposedly a running blog, I will pretty much stick to the healthy stuff here:
1. Run better. Notice what I didn’t say — faster at some distance or for my age, stay injury-free or give an annual mileage goal – all those things will happen if I run better. Which means that I have to make the choice to: warm-up before most runs, focus on my running when I am running and do the work after my runs at least 3-4 times a week that help me remain stronger and maybe a bit more limber or is that less like lumber.
2. Simplify my Running shoe choices. Newton Running shoes are working quite well for me. What I need to focus on is running in what works for me and how I run now. Not worry about the latest or greatest running shoes that are out there. The choice that I need to make here is not buying more running shoes until I actually need them, versus continuing to to get sucked into the next great deal or great magical shoe that I don’t really need. This will be a hard one, but I can do it. I might have to turn in my Running Shoe Geek card if I accomplish this choice.
3. No running with Bennie. Since I made the choice to stop running with Bennie, my body has healed most of the niggles, aches or pains that I had accepted to simply be a part of my running. Which means for me to run better going forward, I cannot run with him.
4. Get rid of “stuff”. I have too much old running “stuff” that I put in storage as keepsakes from my running career or old gear that I hang onto, because I really don’t know what else to do with it. I am choosing to go through and get rid of all the old running tech, gear, running shoes that I no longer use. All those old race t-shirts that have so many memories that are stored away – I am choosing to get rid of the raggedy old ones and will start wearing the others. Also I am getting rid of a lot non-running “stuff” around the house that I do not need or want. I see a big yard sale coming at some point this summer. Who knows maybe I will chose to continue down the path of minimalism a bit more.
5. Race more often. I will choose to challenge myself by racing more and would like to do 10-12 races, in addition to the Quarry Road and Bond Brook trail race series this year. I have a feeling that most of my racing will be 5K, because that is really the distance I enjoy. However, I do want to add in a 10K, Half and maybe some odd distances as the year goes on and I am running better. If we travel out of state, find some local races along the way.
6. Get back to running trails. I have pretty much stuck to the roads the past few years, it was easier running with Bennie to do so. However, since I will not be running with him, choosing to running more trails brings me closer to my cross country roots and that in my mind is a good thing. As long as I pick up my feet and don’t use those other roots to kiss the ground — too often.
7. Weigh under 150 pounds. Yes, I will lose 12-15 pounds in 2018. Going back to work introduced many bad habits back into my diet and along with all the traveling to New Hampshire in 2017, I put on about 20 pounds. Time to get rid of that excess baggage, now that we will have less stress and I will make more time to take care of myself. I got to look good for all those race photos – right. Well at least not break the cameras.
8. Eat less processed foods. I will be making the choice to eat foods that are less processed or more homemade, so that I know what ingredients have been put in them. I have a feeling that chips and ice cream will always be a part of my diet, it doesn’t mean that I have to eat a whole bag or a half gallon at a time. Portion control will also be a choice that I make more often going forward. ;-).
9. Meet some of the people I have met through Social Media. I have been on social media for over 10 years now and have “met” many people. I think in 2018 I would like to meet some of you in real life for a cup of coffee or lunch and talk face-to-face. Mike, Andy, Stefan you guys come to mind pretty quickly. At some point this summer I know that I will have to make a trip to Southern Maine, so Sam please expect a message to see if you are available for a run and lunch after. As Mary and I travel around this summer, if any of you who I haven’t mentioned are interested in something like this let me know, I got time and would like to hear from you.
10. Be more willing to take the road less traveled. I tend to get into ruts, routines, follow along with the crowd (even though I don’t like crowds for the most part) and went out of my way to fit in with others. Which often left me feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I want to get back to being a bit more off-center. I like old weird Harold and know that I no longer have do things or even train like everyone else…I see him coming out a bit more often in 2018.
The rest of the choices I see me making in 2018 are more personal and not things that I really want to share with the world. Although I do want to travel a bit with Mary and see some of the Country at a slower pace than the frantic one that I seem to have been living since I left high school so many years ago.
Also I have simplified and cleaned up my spreadsheet running log and think that it will track what is actually important for me this year. Gone are the average pace/miles, intensity and any other extraneous field that I really don’t need to track how I am doing.
I still have some formulas to clean-up/repair, but otherwise I think it is ready to go.
The choices I make going forward in 2018, will be the result of attempting to live a full life and damn well enjoying it as much as I can.
That having fun thing.
Follow my adventures and probably a few misadventures along the way if you want, the choice is yours. Either way I believe that 2018 is going to be a very good year when it is all said and done. If you keep reading I have a sneaking suspicion that you might even have a good chuckle or two at my expense.
After all I get to laugh at myself and then write about it.