Nice to meet you, 2010.

Nice to meet you, 2010.

New Year’s (day) ranks in my top 3 favorite holidays, which also includes Thanksgiving and Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead.  Part of the reason I like New Year’s so much is because I’m a total nerd and dig things like goal-setting… which, conveniently enough, is a very good thing for a runner to dig!

I finished off 2009 in the Dominican Republic with C – a very belated but lovely honeymoon – and I was determined to finish off 2009 by hitting 1,300 miles since I was so close (fewer than 20 miles away) to accomplishing it.  Being on vacation and all, where it was 90+ degrees each day in seemingly 110% humidity, this meant the nasty (cue evil nightmarish music here) ::treadmill:: , the likes of which I hadn’t run on in a year.  After getting used to the awful calibration (let’s just say that those were some FAST 9-minute+ miles!), it wasn’t so bad.  And, to boot, by the time 2010 came around, I had hit that coveted 1,300 miles… and had already signed up for a spring half marathon (the Hillstriders’ March Madness Race in Cary, IL).

I ran a bit less in 2009 than I did in 2008 (1,500+ miles), but I attribute it to being in Kenya for nearly three weeks, being ill a couple times in 2009, and struggling with bouts of near-overtraining in the summer.  It’s probably better that I ran less in 2009, going through what I did.  I’m telling myself that if the pros can take time off from running, that it was okay for me to, too, for the first time in 2ish years of marathon training and running.

Back to reality, in frigid Chicago, school will soon begin (the final throes of grad school – hooray!), and I went back to work yesterday.  To finish off a good day, I ran home – a nice ~3.4 mile stroll around 5pm on N. Michigan and Inner LSD.  The cold wasn’t so bad, thanks to the two pairs of tights + 3 tops + gloves + hat + jacket I was wearing, and man… it was damn near liberating to get off the “dreadmill”!

I plan to participate in Fleet Feet Chicago’s Boston-Bound 2010 program, and we have a kick-off meeting and run on Saturday morning.  I’m looking forward to it.  Until Saturday, my runs remain playful and nothing too serious — just a near-daily reminder of my own mortality. 🙂

What will 2010 bring?  Here are my running-related goals, written in vague-ish form so I can alter them later, as necessary:

  1. Maintain, if not improve, my health – make good choices regarding nutrition, hydration, sleep, stress and time management, and the like
  2. Better my marathon (3:37) and/or half marathon (1:40) PRs
  3. This is the one I’m really scared about – *perhaps* run my first ultra, a 50k!
  4. And, of course, to keep running fun and enjoyable and everything that I love it for … because the magic and beauty and challenge of this sport is its simplicity.

Here’s to a lovely 2010 for all of you, as well.

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