I know, I know, I haven't written anything here for two months. I guess I could come up with a good excuse like "I've been too busy living my life to stop and take the time to document it."
And that would be kind of true.
But now it's New Years Day, and it seems like a good day to write a new post.
Which sounds like a New Years resolution....
I haven't made any of those in a long time--not since I stopped being a binge eater who resolved every New Years Day to stop bingeing.
And now, I'm not sure I believe in resolutions any more.
Earlier this week, I read a great column by a young guy who owns a local gym. Instead of resolutions, he said, we should make commitments. Commitments are more positive, and they sound less like we're at war with the darker side of ourselves.
So this year, I'm committed to doing things outside my comfort zone.
I started today. It's cold here in Delaware, and it would have been pretty easy to just stay in and enjoy the warm house after my early-morning run was done. But today was "First Day, First Hike" at parks across the country, so I decided to brave the cold and take Jodie to a nearby park for a hike this afternoon.
We both had an awesome time. We hiked more than three miles across fields and through the woods, and she got to spend great doggie time off the leash. We even took a short break for a selfie:
Even though yesterday was still 2014, I actually stepped outside my comfort zone then too. For years, my friend Mark has been bugging me to join him and a bunch of other University people for a loosely organized run on New Years Eve morning. "Wring Out the Old, Ring in the New" has been going for 16 years now, with mostly men. Yesterday, I finally caved in and joined a group of 24, including 11 women, for the 4.67-mile VERY HILLY run. Will I do it again? I don't know, but at least now I've done it once. Doug joined us to take pictures, including this great group shot before we started (I'm in the middle in aqua and black):
And to be honest, my commitment to stepping outside my comfort zone actually got started in November. Late in October, I got an email from a member of the running club that I used to belong to, inviting me to participate in the USATF National Club Cross-Championship at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on December 13 (12-13-14). My first instinct was to say no. I haven't been running much, and the idea of a cross-country run less than 2 weeks before Christmas didn't hold much appeal. And the practical side of me thought about the entry fees and the time involved just to run a 6K (about 3.7 miles).
But then I thought about some more and realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete at the national level less than 100 miles from home. So I said yes and started training.
We encountered some logistical challenges when we found out that our friends Martin and Jenn would be holding their annual Christmas party that same night, but we worked them out. I took the club bus to Lehigh, and Martin and Doug came up to cheer me on and bring me home after the race so we could attend the party.
I had two goals--to finish in the top 10 of my age group and to break 30 minutes for the 6K. I finished 9th, with a time of 29:16 and came home with a good feeling and memories that I never would have had if I had just stayed home and run 3.7 miles here.
And Doug got some nice photos to commemorate the day.
Waiting to start:
Trying to keep warm while I'm waiting to start:
And we're off:
And how often do you have the opportunity to wear your age group on your back?
Happy New Year!