- Achieve some race variety. I would like 2008's race calendar to reflect a variety of distances and races. I haven't finished planning the race year (and much of it will probably be planned as the year progresses), but I would like to not only complete the races I have planned through April, but I'd like to do a 10K (a race I've never done before -- it's hard to find them, they're a disappearing species), a 10 miler, and maybe another 15K or something.
- Set a new 5K PR, dangit.
- Focus on what Runner26 referred to as the 3 S's: speed, strength, and stretching. I often neglect both the strength training and the stretching, and this neglect is what lead, I believe, directly to the IT pain I suffered in both legs throughout 2007. Plus, I'd like to see some improvement on my speed. That means I have to actually consciously focus on it, instead of just wishing for it.
- Enjoy the running. I have to remind myself of this from time to time. I run to relieve stress and to feel good, strong, and healthy -- and sometimes I lose sight of everything that running provides for me, so I'd like to keep that in mind in the forthcoming year. I may give a lot to running, but it more than returns the favor.
But, I also have some resolutions that are not running related, but are, I think, related to my general health. Running helps keep me in pretty good shape, but it's not the only thing I can do to take good care of myself. Thus, a few resolutions to help me keep my overall health care in mind:
- I'm giving up soda. Yes, you heard me right. I, Jess, am giving up my precious Diet Pepsi. I have one can left in the fridge (I purposely bought enough to bring me right up to New Year's Eve), which is for today, and then no more. I've decided that while it is delicious, the aspartame, the phosphoric acid, the carbonation, and the artificial flavors and additives just can't be good for me. So, I'm going to eliminate it. This is gonna be hard...
- I'm going to resume taking a multi-vitamin every day. Vitamins and I have tumultuous relationship -- I like to take them as a sort of "insurance" for my nutritional benefit, but I hate swallowing the dang thing ever single day, so off and on for years I have see-sawed back and forth with taking them and not taking them. I figure in 2008, vitamins and I are back on.
- I'm going to floss every day. Seems simple, right? But, I hate flossing and therefore do it about 6 times a year. No matter how many times the dental hygienist scolds me for not doing it, I just hate it. But I know it is vital for my dental health. So, bring on the floss!
- I need to make a few doctor appointments. I haven't had a general check-up in almost 2 years, and I haven't been to the eye doctor in 5 years (but, I do go regularly to the dentist -- every 6 months -- I'm good about that one). Oopsie. Time to do both.
- Eat better. Because I run, I often figure I can eat whatever and however much I want, but it's just not true. I need to eat more of what's good for me -- whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean protein -- and less of what's not -- extra fats, sweets, and refined carbs. Two months ago, I decided to cut fast food altogether (and by "fast food" I mean McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Burger King, etc, but I do still eat at places like Panera and Chiptole, which my husband labels as "fast food" but I think they are in a different category), and I want to keep that up. That food is just toxic and I want to avoid it to the best of my ability.
So, that's it, health-wise, for 2008. Like all resolutions, I think of them as "guidelines" -- terms that are flexible and forgivable but that are intended to motivate me to being a better person and taking better care of myself. I think they're all achievable, so I'm looking forward to a healthier me in 2008!
I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's Eve!