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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review of 2013 Goals

I hope everyone ran their happy place or places in 2013.  I know I got to.  I know I achieved some big goals this year though not all of mine. I want to recap my goals for 2013 and report how I did.  It is accountability time!!  After I atone; I will set some new goals for 2014.

Run my first 1/2 Marathon - Yes I did this in February and I completed my second shaving off 5 minutes in November.

Run 1500 miles for the year. - This was more of a motivator for me.  I did not think I would run this since last year I did not even hit 1,000 miles.  I have done 1,115 to date. 

Run everyday - I did the spring and holiday running streaks and ran 335 days this year.  Basically unless I was sick or injured I ran. 

Strength train twice a week - Okay so if you have been reading this blog you know I blew this resolution big time!  I see strength training making a resolution come back in 2014.

Eliminate most TV (all pointless reality TV) - We changed our TV subscription to basic (hubby and I both see the need for this one.) -Over time we found out that we both need some mindless downtime and this is an affordable way to do it.  Plus hubby likes sports.  

Write more - always a passion.  I only recently rediscovered it writing this blog. -Success!! This blog and my word on water blog have helped me keep this resolution.

Eat more variety especially new grains - Success.  We subscribed to an organic produce service and I spent most of the year cooking new, healthy recipes with new ingredients.

Do more together - we can save $ on TV and spend it on actual experiences together - We have definitely done this and I hope to do even more.  We did not really travel this year but that let us do more local experiences.

Listen more talk less - I am by no means mute, but I think I have done better at this.  Ask hubby to see if that is just a misperception on my part.

Read more.  I have read about 6o books on 100 Books to read before you die I hope to read all of them, maybe not all this year. - I definitely read more between 25-30 new books this year.  Some really good ones too.

Cook more at home - See above.  2013 was definitely the year of healthy cooking for me.

Donate to charities I care about: Water related charities, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and animal related charities. - Yes I did this and I found a way to combine this with my favorite hobby: running.  Spoiler alert!!  Upcoming blog topic!!

Spend more time with the cats - We traveled less and ate at home more and the cats were also grateful we did not completely give up TV.  They love a warm lap and the Real House Wives of Atlanta: those girls are catty!!

Work as hard as I can at work and then leave it there and be fully in the moment at home.- I definitely made progress here.  Not perfect, but work is definitely fading into a more appropriate place in my life and that is behind my family and other passions.

Say yes to work projects I know I will enjoy and that will advance my field, and no to the time sucking activities that only frustrate me.- I would say not fully successful here. Guilt still nags a little when saying no.

Tell people in my life what they mean to me - Does anyone ever reach complete on this? I believe that is a way we should strive to live not a goal we cross off the list.  Still working on it everyday!

All in all 2013 was a pretty good year for us.  Sure we got robbed and hubby had to end his streak due to a foot injury.  We did not achieve every goal, but we have each other, our health, happiness, a roof over our heads, organic produce in the fridge and 6 cats who love us at least three times a day right before their meal times. 

Wishing y'all a Happy, Healthy 2014.  I will have some new goals and hopefully some fun on my way toward progress!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Looking Back Before Looking Ahead

My Women's Running magazine came in the mail this weekend.  I love this magazine and as I was reading it today while baking dozens of Christmas cookies.  Yes, I get the irony!  I saw this article about setting resolutions.  It is resolution setting time.  That being said the article had this kind of crazy suggestion. The author suggested that before we set our goals we spend a little time coming up with100 things we are grateful for / accomplishments we are proud of from 2013.  I was like really 100, hey why not a 1,000 I have nothing but time.  Never one to turn from a challenge I thought I would give it a try.  I don't think I will put down all 100.  I mean how self indulgent and you don't really care. Also it promised to lead you to Nirvana and all that inner peace, self esteem, and gratitude.  So here goes nothing.

1) Married to my best friend - that is a gratitude for me.  Ask anyone who knows us and they will say accomplishment for him to be married to me.
2) Jazzy -everyone should love as openly as this cat
3) Mo - I want to be that cool someday
4) Frankie - He is so smart he amazes me still even after having him for 15 years
5) Pablo - He still thinks I am actually his mommy even though he is 5 now and it has been years since I bottle fed him as a scared kitten
6) Georgia - I want to be as bold and adventurous as Georgia is.  I already frustrate her father as much as she does.
7) Lena - She has taught me patience and that earning love and respect makes you appreciate it more. It was not easy to earn Lena's trust 
8) My bills are paid
9) A comfortable bed
10) I learned to cook Kale
11) My health
12) Qualifying for the C group in Peachtree with my 5K time - never thought I could do that.
13) Sharing a hobby I love with the most important person in my life
14) My friend Laura - she knows why
15) Running my first half marathon - seriously 3 years ago I could not run 1/4 of a mile
16) Our subscription to Nature's Garden - organic produce
17) My job
18) Clean water
19) Being recognized by my peers at work with two awards this year.
20) Read 20 really good books
21) Ran a second half marathon and got a PR - missed my goal by a minute.
22) Conquered my fear of the track - even placed third in my AG at the race
23) Ran a sub 8 minute mile
24) Got up at 4 AM at least 4 days a week most weeks and ran
25) Completed the Holiday running streak
26) Completed the spring running streak
27) Laughter
28) Having a treadmill - felt like it rained everyday this year!
29) Got a new PR at many races this year
30) Finished 3rd in my AG for the ATC Grand Prix Season
31) Cooked several times a week most weeks
32) Got a project that I have been working on at work for a year is going through
33) Helped my family when they lost their car and had medical issues
34) My cats health insurance since Frankie, Mo and Jazzy all had medical issues.
35) Silver Comet Trail
36) The Greenway
37) Atlanta's Beltline
38) Cochran Shoals Park
39) Running
40) Having health insurance
41) Paid vacation days
42) Sunny Days - really missed them this year!
43) Cold shower after a morning run!
44) My 15 year anniversary (together 21 years)
45) Working with other professionals
46) My friend Becky - she makes me take myself less seriously.
47) My sister for taking on the primary responsibility for my mother's health care
48) Cobb Police- they were amazing after we were robbed.
49) State Farm Insurance - same as above
50) Running shoes 
51) Learned all kinds of new recipes
52) Did better at finding balance.
53) Said no to some things that took me away from my husband and got in the way of running. - That is a huge accomplishment for me.

I think that is enough for this post!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday!  I will be following up on my goals for this year and setting some new ones.  I will be taking some time with my husband!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Is Nature Conspiring Against Runners?

I know I have been MIA lately but with holiday hub bub and work has been CRAZY just getting my actual runs in has been challenging enough.   I have not been getting to my blog.  Add doing better on that to next year's resolutions along with deciding on our race schedule and oh yeah strength training!

So I have been busy and I am really glad I decided to do the Runner's World Running Streak or seriously I would have blown off running, a bad idea at this time of the year.  Two work holiday parties this week and 2 holiday lunches with friends; I have to double my mileage this week.  What is it about committing to something like a running streak that assures the wrath of Mother Nature?  I mean really.  The running streak started on Thanksgiving.  For me a day before, but that is beside the point.  Immediately Atlanta had the coldest Thanksgiving in over 100 years.  Really?  The cold is not that big a deal.  I have learned how to dress for it and purchased the right clothes.  What I do not enjoy is that it started raining the Saturday after Thanksgiving and  I mean come on.  I don't mind the occasional run in rain and wet feet, but after a week I felt like a duck.  The last two weeks our treadmill fully recovered from the case of neglect it was suffering.  I was so grateful that today it wasn't raining I hardly noticed it was in the 3o's with a wind chill in the 20s.

I am happy to report I am still just running for fun no timing apps or watches.  I just run with hubby and visit or I play my music and enjoy myself.  It has been a nice break.  Just running to stay healthy and doing at least one mile a day.  So far so good.  Day 19 today with a 5 1/2  miler on Silver Comet.  The weather kept most folks off the trail so hubby and I had it pretty much to ourselves.  One more week of work than a two week vacation.  I can't wait.  I am almost there.  I am not scheduled to work late everyday this week, so I hope I will do better about blogging this week.  Almost time to wrap up the resolutions, pay the piper and set new goals!  Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

End of Race Season For Us

Today was the 1 mile prediction run and ATC season wrap up breakfast and awards presentation.  Let's just say we aren't that great at predicting our time. said 8:30 and finished in 8:09.  Oh well!  I kind of knew it. Hubby was pacing us after he pointed out that I ran too fast last year and messed up the  prediction.  As soon as the run started he took off like a jack rabbit...excuse me who is too fast and throwing off our pace? This also officially the end of our races for the year.  With the big changes to ATC we don't have as many set races next year so we will be taking some time to see which local races we might want to try.  We did decide since there is no Grand Prix series with ATC next year we are probably not going to run Resolution Run on News Years Day like we have been.  The course is not that attractive and we can just go out and run on our own. 

We did decide to renew our ATC membership.  I think they are in a time of transition and I hope they will find their way to continue their mission of encouraging health through running, and balance it with their desire to accommodate a growing membership.  At least right now we are willing to see if they can.  There are some races we love and we have friends there and we enjoy being a part of it.

Today was fun.  Hubby and I both received the Bunny Award for running every race of the Grand Prix season.  For hubby who had a major foot injury for the last three races (also the longest of the season) he really earned that award.  I still don't know how he did it.  Out of their more than 20,000 members there were 5 women and 10 men who did that.

I also got third place in my age group for the season.  So I am proud of that.  This was a really good season for me, where I saw my hard work really result in better running.  Not just more PRs and brand new race distances, but feeling better and finding running and racing fun.  I look forward to getting back at racing, but for now hubby and I are both doing the holiday running streak and I am happy to just focus on the run and the fun of having my best friend to run with me and push me to be better.  I would never have gotten the Bunny Award (or known what it was) or my 3rd place AG Award without my husband.  We have two weeks off coming up from before Christmas to New Years so we plan to run and relax and visit some of our favorite local places. I also promised hubby we would go ice skating something he has wanted to do every holiday.  I hope I don't break my leg.   I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.  I know running has really helped me handle holiday stress.  I hope it is the same for you.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

We Interrupt This Running Blog...

Today we interrupt this running blog to recognize the passing of the greatest leader I will probably ever see in my lifetime.  There are few if any people who will come to the end of their life having left the impact that Nelson Mandela left on his country and the world.  He was strong in the face of violence and oppression and forgiving, humble, and generous when power rested in his hands.

He held the ideal of a nation that became the ideal of the world.  He truly believed in walking in the compassion he sought fruitlessly in the early days of Apartheid.  When the tables were turned, instead of seeking vengeance he sought understanding and peace. 

The world is a sadder place without him, but an infinitely better place because of him.  I wish you peace as you transition and I hope you watch your country unite as you always hoped, and in their mutual grief may they find the humble strength to carry forward the legacy you beagn.