Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To Resolve or Not to Resolve...that is the question

(cross-posted at VR Training)

Resolutions. It's that time of year where many (like myself) are planning for 2009. Resolutions are floating around and will be more so after Christmas gets here. So what do you think about resolutions? Are you a member of the mainstream resolvers that want to "lose weight in 2009" or "stop smoking in 2009" or "get back to running in 2009" or "eat better in 2009"? Goals are a wonderful thing. Without them, it is a proven fact that things will not be achieved. Surely you've heard the saying that "It is impossible to achieve your goals unless you set them." Goals need to be real, tangible, and attainable. So are goals the same as resolutions? A resolution usually refers to making a major change in your life. Goals may not require such a drastic change but maybe a shift in direction or path traveled. Consider this: instead of making any new resolutions for 2009 (which generally do not work), consider making some small, subtle changes with clearly identified goals in place. Better yet, tell everyone what your goals are. If you really want to achieve your goals (no matter where they fall in your life), you greatly increase your chances of success if others know about them, thus bringing forth some accountability. Some ideas for you to throw around...some "changes," perhaps:

1. Start running regularly for the first time or get back to running. We do our best to plan weekend group runs within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There are runners of all abilities at these runs so finding someone to run with should be easy. These runs are always posted on the VR Discussion Board (not just VR group runs) and scheduled VR group runs are posted here. When you are new to a group, introduce yourself!

2. Run your first marathon. Luckily, you're have tons of resources here in NE Ohio and a couple of marathons where no travel is required. Reach out and ask for help and you'll get it. Shopping for a marathon? Here's a great resource.

3. PR in a race: have a favorite race distance? Use the McMillan calculator set some goals to set a new PR in a target race. Set the goal, establish a plan, and reach it.

4. Run your first ultra-marathon: NE Ohio is becoming very popular in the world of ultra-running. An ultra-marathon is anything past the 26.2 mile distance. The most common next "logical" step is the 50K (31.2 mile) distance and is normally on trails. In 2009, the Western Reserve Trail Running Series will offer lots of options such as the Winter Buckeye Trail 50K in January (sold out!), the Green Jewel 50K (on asphalt), the Fools 50K Trail Run (April 5th), the Summer Buckeye Trail 50K, YUT-C (Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic) 50K in Mill Creek Park, and the Forget the PR, Mohican 50K. Trail running is increasingly popular and there are countless resources right here to help you. Everyone at VR Training has done many of these events and can help. Take your first step and try out trail running.

5. Run further than ever before: some call us crazy, but there's something special about pushing your limits. Run 50K? Run 50 miles? Run 100 miles?!? The Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run will be run on August 1st/2nd for the third year. Registration is now open and goes up by $25 once the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve. It's on my Christmas it on yours? Of course, there are other 100 milers out there, like the Mohican 100 (MO100) held the 3rd weekend in June, about 2 hours south of here in the Loudonville area. Here's a 100 Miler event calendar. Here's an ultra-marathon calendar from 50K to 100 milers and beyond.

6. Volunteer:
each race is run by volunteers, including the race director. Volunteering can be very rewarding and is actually a requirement to run in next summer's Buckeye Trail 50K. If you want an incredibly rewarding volunteering experience, consider working at an aid station during Burning River. Contact Suzanne P., Volunteer Coordinator to find out how. You can also contact any race director to volunteer at a race. Their name can be found on the race application for each race or e-mail posted on the event website.

So the question stands: make a resolution or make some permanent changes with goals in place?

Merry Christmas to all of you and a Happy and Successful 2009!

See you on the trails!


Clara said...

you've been tagged!

Lloyd said...

Excellent post!

Merry Christmas, Nick. See you in '09.