Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I generally don’t get into the whole “new year’s resolutions” craze. I mean, what’s the point? Who really sticks with their half-baked resolutions anyhow? And what’s the big deal about a new year anyhow…we don’t celebrate each day, each week, each month (maybe we should). However, this morning I decided that maybe I should approach 2010 with a more positive attitude and perhaps even resolve to do a few things differently this year. (Or at least start out the year with that mindset and see if the resolutions become habit.)

Resolution #1: Exercise
I bet this is the most popular new year’s resolution out there. I probably shouldn’t count it as a resolution, since I’m already living it, so I guess I can go ahead and check it off of my list right away. Speaking of exercise, it’s been a good week, here’s a little update on my 5K training:

On Tuesday of this past week, I had my normal 3.1 mile interval run on my calendar. I decided to let go of my standard interval structure and see how long I could just run before I felt the need for a walking break. Up until this point, my longest running intervals were at 8 or 9 minutes, so I was quite proud of myself for making it 15 minutes at 6.5 mph before I took a walking break. As I neared the 15-minute mark, I pondered that I could probably run longer if I had thoughts in my head other than how much running sucks! Thanks to the long running interval, I achieved a new personal best pace of 9 minutes and 42 seconds per mile!! I finally broke through the 10-minute mile barrier!

Yesterday, I was scheduled to run 4 miles, which is the furthest distance I’ve done yet. Again, I opted to let go of my typical interval structure and see what I could do. My longest running interval was 17 minutes. I did back down the speed a bit, varying it between 5.7-6.5 mph; I found the reduction in speed was quite helpful in making the longer distance. I finished the 4 miles in 42:40, which is a pace of 10 minutes and 40 seconds per mile, which is not too shabby for a fat girl! Next week I’ll do a 4.5 mile run…we’ll see how it goes. (On a side note, I can’t believe that four months ago running a 1-minute running interval slowly was hell, and now I just ran 17 consecutive minutes at a decent pace??! Amazing!)

I’m still doing my strength and cardio workouts on my non-run days, and find those days to be quite enjoyable. Thanks to the addition of the strength/cardio days to my schedule, I’ve noticed that I’m actually losing weight now. Weight-loss was never my primary goal, but it’s a pleasant side effect!

After today’s workout, I decided I should start the year off with a little reward, so I stopped at Target and bought a new outfit.

This is quite a vivid contrast to my usual gym attire of a Purdue or 4-H t-shirt and a pair of black or grey shorts! I think these happy colors will really help me power through my distance run each week, so that’s probably when I’ll be wearing this lovely ensemble. (Maybe it’s too bright…it will be hard for me to fade into the background in the gym wearing this!)

Resolution #2: Fiddle
I really enjoy playing my fiddle, and I really need to make more time for it. Especially since I’ve increased my gym visits to every day, I’ve not been making time to practice my fiddle. The only time I’ve played lately is at my weekly lessons. If I would even play my fiddle a teeny fraction of the time I spend at the gym, I’d probably be pretty decent!

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a video of me performing “Cindy” with the Jug Band at the 2009 Porter County Fair:

Resolution #3: Calendar Management
My job as a county 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator consumes my life; there are lots of evening meetings and plenty of weekend events in addition to the 8:30-4:30 office hours. If I’m going to stick with my fitness regimen, practice my fiddle, and otherwise do things for me, I need to make a conscientious effort to plan my life first, and then fill in work around it! If they paid a salary commensurate with the expectations and the required Masters degree (which I’ll be paying for until I’m retired) I’d be more apt to continue letting work come first. But until then, I think I’m going to start putting me first. (I’m sure any of my work friends who read this are thinking “right on!”)

Well, there you have it, a few things I’ll try to do differently this year. Maybe I’ll blog a monthly update on these resolutions to remind myself to stick with it!


  1. Joan, I wish I was as committed as you! I love the are awesome. Good luck with calendar management :)

  2. Joan, I will 2nd that..."right on"! Couldn't have said it any better and have it be more true!