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Have you given up?

Cultural norms define that the start of year is the perfect time to start on new goals. It is the reason that gyms advertise and cut prices at the start of the year. It is why suddenly, you can’t seem to find a treadmill or a bench to work-out on. Now, that we are in the middle of January, the gyms have emptied and the trails are clear. Many have given up on their resolutions.

But why?

Maybe I can answer this question. I never made a formal list of resolutions but in my mind, I had a few that I wanted to accomplish and I already have broken in the first few weeks of the new year:

Less Sugar– I am a sugar addict, I can’t just eat one cookie or one piece of candy. Within a week of coming back from vacation to work, I had already broken down and had basically eaten all the sugar within sight.

Less Caffeine- I have reached the point where I need 2 cups of coffee in the morning to get going-one at home and one at work-typically before 9 a.m.  My plan was to cut down to one a day but again halfway through the work week-I needed the caffeine crutch.

Less Beer- My plan was to only drink at beer chasers (a drinking group with a running problem) but I drink socially ( a six pack of beer will sit in my fridge for a good 3 months without being touched) and thus when I have 3-4 social events in a week I got way off track.

Weight work 3x a week- Mostly, this one I just never started.

give up

Now, I could just give up completely on these goals or I can rally. The issue I have with New year’s resolutions is that they set the arbitrary date to start a new goal and if you haven’t made progress towards within the first month-well it feels like you failed. Earlier this week, I was listening to a podcast and they made a good point-you don’t have to wait until the new year to start a new goal. I’m taking it one step further, you can restart on your goals everyday. Just because you fail one day, doesn’t mean you need to give up.

So why do people give up so quickly? I would suggest it is cultural norms equating one misstep as failure.

I’m going to restart my goals and rally.






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MY first track race in maybe three years will be in ONE day. Let us state that better, I race Wednesday (kind of gave me the jitters right there). I envision I have come full circle as a runner AND person.
A genius friend of mine, well an awesome runner and yes friend of mine.. I asked for advice.. pointed me toward a 5k.
Stating simply,
“if you run a 24:00 5k on the track you’ll be okay with it. If you run a shitty mile or dread it, 800m, you won’t. “
I totally agreed of course.
At 26 I feel like it has been enough time away from the track. I would like to put my “balanced head” to the test, knowing that it doesn’t really matter not even slightly how I do. It really will not alter or even change the world in the slightest.
This leads me to my well thought out and very measurable goal of the season that is, to just have-fun-compete-not care. We could even make a fun little acronym HFCNC, hash tag it, and throw it on Twitter. WHAT?! It still doesn’t matter?! 
We live on this impossibly large earth and we think that we impact it so heavily  Not true, unless you mean pollution wise but that is a matter for a different day.. Truth is most of what we do is for us. So, why not take your next race down in style, get rid of the nerves they can’t help you. Just relax take a deep breath and compete.
Thank you.
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Na, na, na, na, everyday It’s like my ipods stuck on replay, replay

Sunset run in Cape Town
The beginning chords of my favorite song perks up an otherwise dull day and doesn’t everyone wish they had a soundtrack playing around them at all times? Music is definitely a powerful force, and my mood can be easily predicted based on what pandora station I choose to dance around the room with (this slot currently filled with Jessie J) as I get ready for the day. Weather I need a mental pick up while working, some soothing tones to yoga out to before bed, or jam an anthem to express how great I feel, music is always there. So it was a bit of a surprise that I only recently started letting music into my running world. I wasn’t one to run with music until my training partner for Boston procured a stress fracture in her SI joint about the time we started getting into longer weekend training runs.  I realized I probably couldn’t handle 20 miles without something to keep me going, so I found a shuffle on craigslist and gave it a spin. Now I believe I am somewhat hooked.

At the moment my running playlist mainstays are:

lady gaga (seriously, marry the night album, yes)
nicki minaj (that girl got some beats)
HANSON ( they are still a band and have released many new albums since mmmbop, even though that song is still one of my favs)
Basshunter (love that Swedish eurodance)

Although I completely love being able to jam during training runs, I am still pretty opposed to being plugged in on race day.  When competing I think its really essential to be completely aware of your surroundings and being able to continually read your body cues throughout the race that you might not tap into if your brain is being distracted.  Foot strikes, breathing, and hearing someone coming up on your tail are details that you may be unaware of if you are headbanging to favorite song.  Not to mention a lot of races are banning the use of music players because they cause unnecessary collisions with your fellow competitors.

So, keep rocking out to your favorite songs during your training tempos and your long runs (unless you are on busy roads, cars can sneak up on you too), but perhaps leave the ear buds at home on race day.  You can never underestimate the power of that certain rap song to get you out the door and on your way to a great workout.