On the heels of a fun but exhausting Christmas--how exhausting? I fell asleep last night at 8 p.m., after reading the riveting Hanna Andersson sale catalog, which is all of about 12 pages--I'm ready to move on to 2008. Ready to get back on track, get my body back to expecting and needing exercise. I've hit two spin classes in the past two days, trying to compensate for my lack of any exercise over the past 5 days and my overindulgence in anything that contains the letters "choc" or "cookie". The sweat felt sooooo good, but my body felt rusty.
As I grease the wheels over the next couple days, I'm also thinking resolutions. As I learned this year, having a goal and a plan creates non-negotiable me-time and gives structure to my otherwise overflowing days: both unexpected, but now absolutely necessary, benefits. But I also learned, again and again, that my 35-year-old body isn't getting younger, and my aches and injuries--everything from a stress fracture to an inflamed IT band, the latest malady--require thought and TLC, not a plow-through it attitude. As such, I don't think another marathon is a great idea.
So here are the resolutions darting in and out of my brain these days:
1. To compete in sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. I've done a couple triathlons, and the mixed disciplines suit my body the best: I love to swim; biking doesn't hurt my body that much (o.k., getting used to the minuscule seat again can be pretty painful); and the running portion is just survival. Plus, if I limit it to Olympic distance, the longest I'll run is 10k, which feels like the right distance for now.
2. To go beyond simple survival in a triathlon, which has always been my M.O. I'm interested to see if I can actually go fast, not just put it into cruise control.
3. To do a race that involves a group of friends, whether that means the Lotoja, a 206-mile bike in Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming (my friend Marit and I would be a team, splitting the distance); creating a team for the Wild West Relay, Colorado's version of the Hood to Coast; or getting a team together for a triathlon. Nothing beats crossing the finish line with a friend next to you.
4. Continue to keep my core strong. I tried a Pilates mat class last week, and was surprised at how much I liked it. Much better than grunting out the plank on my own.
5. With all that said--triathlons!, go faster!, organize a team!, build a six-pack!-- I have to remember to back off as necessary: realize five workouts a week is plenty; realize that my kids aren't always going to want to sit on my lap and make up goofy songs about lizards; realize that my best, whatever it may be on that particular day, is good enough.
6. One final, unrelated resolution, which will probably be the hardest to achieve, which is why I'm putting it out for public consumption: make just one meal for dinner and eat it, ideally, as a family. The kids' menu is variations of the same things--chicken nuggets, cheese pizza, corn and peas, carrots, apples, pears...the basic kid staples--and it's time to expand their repertoire (and, consequently, expand my husband's and mine, since I'm usually too wiped to make our dinner after I make theirs. I think we single-handedly keep Honey Nut Cheerios on the shelves, we eat it so often for dinner). So with 2008 comes the addition of chicken (in a non-nugget form) tacos, hamburgers, rice and beans and other kid-friendly but still adult-appropriate dinners. Amelia has probably already warmed up her gag reflexes, but I'm armed to take her on: I just bought Jessica Seinfeld's controversial Deceptively Delicious. If Amelia and Ben can stomach homemade mac and cheese--yes, they won't even eat that!--they'll be rewarded with brownies, laced with spinach, for dessert.
What are your resolutions, running or otherwise?