I no longer make New Year Resolutions. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't believe in them. I have made many, many New Year Resolutions. Over time, they have become ingrained habits. They have become a lifestyle for me. As I look back into my journals (I've been keeping a diary since I was 8) some of my resolutions have been to quit smoking, to quit drinking, to drink less than normal so that I no longer have black-outs, to lose weight, to get in the gym 3 x a week, to be kind to my sister, to make time for my extended friends and family, to run 15 miles a week, to enter a race a month (this was when I was running 5K-10K's), to eat veggies 3x a week...so it goes. I have tackled each and every one of these resolutions and they are now daily habits.
A few years ago I began to set goals instead of making the resolutions. I find that by first setting big goals, I can then break them up, creating smaller steps to reach those goals.
For 2008 I am setting a goal to run 5 100's. Shit, it seems so far fetched when I look back and see that my goal was to run 15 miles a week and a 10K race a month. I figured if I entered a 10K a month I would show up on race day, trained to run 6 miles, and that I would continue running, training for the next race. That is exactly what happened.
That is what goals can do for a person! Achieve them and create greater more grand goals.
2008 will bring McNaughton 100, FANS with 115 mile goal, Leadville 100, Superior 100 and Javelina Jundred 100. I try to add a new race each year. Last year was Vermont, this year will be Leadville and Javelina.
To complete this goal I will run Buck Hill once a week beginning as soon as the snowboard season is over. I will work on my speed as soon as the track is clear. Speed work on a track is better than on a treadmill. I'm asking many questions of those who have run Leadville. I've heard from more than one person that to run Leadville in 30 hours one should be able to run a sub 4 hour marathon. One woman I spoke with believes this is key to beating the cut offs.
To stay healthy I will make sure to take a day off each week. I'm not so good at this. I enjoy running every day. I've been very lucky that I have not suffered an injury. I'll try to remember that I need to recover.
Stretching..for 5 months last year I hired Lisa Smith to help me train for the 4 100's I ran last summer. Among other things, Lisa taught me the value of stretching. Every day, for 10 minutes, I began to stretch. I didn't like it at first. I set my watch and would stretch, mumbling to Lisa under my breath. Eventually it became a habit, I now enjoy stretching.
For 2008 I will maintain my weight loss. To do this I need to stay away from sugar and processed carbs. At times this is difficult, but necessary.
I look at 2008 and don't know what the hell it will hold for me. This past week I have felt like crawling into a bottle of Bailey's Irish Creme. Yum. I did not. I never would again, but I do feel like that now and again.
Yesterday I went to the Dr. for my 6 month pap and the first of many 6 month cancer screenings that I have become accustomed too. I had blood tests, scheduled pelvic/abdominal ultrasound, went back for a mammogram in the afternoon. Because my Mom's ovarian cancer resurfaced and there still isn't good testing for ovarian cancer, my Dr. is strongly suggesting a total hysterectomy. 6 weeks of recovery. As long as the ultrasound that I am scheduled for comes back negative it does not have to be done as soon as possible. I can schedule it out. I think I will have her refer me to Mayo as my Mom's surgeon believes she wouldn't have had the second occurrence nor the second surgery had she attended Mayo upon her first occurrence.
So, when to schedule? I told my Dr. I had um, 5 100 mile races to run. She rolled her eyes at me and said she wouldn't lecture me as long as the pelvic ultrasound came back negative. If it doesn't, then I'll have another plan.
She chuckled when she looked at my cholesterol level and blood pressure. She told me she recalled when she had to tell me that my cholesterol level was too high (230) and that now it is better than she ever imagined (145). She told me that she is no longer concerned about my blood pressure (100/60), but clicked on her screen and reminded me of what it once was (160/80). She let me know that my BMI is now 19, that I shouldn't lose more weight..she let me know that last year it was 21. She looked at me and exclaimed "You have really changed since I first examined you, 12 years ago. You have become who I picture when I describe a person of health, wellness and athleticism." I told her that when I first wanted to become a runner, it wasn't just that I wanted to run. I wanted to be a person who lived what I felt was a runners lifestyle. I didn't want to smoke cigarettes any more, I didn't want hangovers any more. I wanted to get up in the morning, to feel good, to run in shorts, to wear a running bra while running down the street because I could. I wanted to be happy with who I was. That is who I wanted to be.
I told her I am now that person. Tears were rolling down my cheeks and she put her arms around me. She told me she was proud of me.
I couldn't tell her about Steve, I didn't want to go there. I told her Thank You and Have a Happy New Year!
I went to work for a few hours and had to go back to the clinic for a mammogram. As I left the radiologist, I told her "I was just told I need to have a hysterectomy, so please don't tell me I have breast cancer after you read these ex rays" She said "well, bad news comes in threes". I wanted to ask : does a DWI, a totaled out truck, loss of wages, a huge financial expense count as 1? I didn't go into my life story. I just smiled and said Thank You and Have A Happy New Year!
It's interesting. At the end of the summer I wrote into my journal : "As I have to go back to work next week, I can't help but think that things won't be the same next summer. I had a wonderful summer with the boys. We hung out for 8 weeks and I never tired of them, we never got on one an other's nerves. We hung out at the pool, they had their friends over, we had a wonderful time. I ran many miles, ran many races, enjoyed each and every day of my summer vacation. I don't know why I feel that it won't be this way next year. It feels like something is going to change. It feels as though my life isn't going to be the same, as I know it now. It feels like this is the last summer as I know it."
I did know at that time that my Mom's cancer had come back, I thought maybe I felt something would happen to her, I thought maybe something would happen to Topaz, I felt a foreboding. I didn't know that the referendum would fail, that budget cuts would be put in place. That I could lose my job.
Who knows..2008 could bring a loss of employment, an ending to a 24 year marriage and surgery. Or, it could bring a new, more rewarding career, a stronger marriage and I suppose, surgery either way.
I'm not one to wallow in the negatives, some call me overly optimistic, living in a dream world.
I say 2008..Bring it On. Bigger and Better than Ever.