I find myself on New Years Eve doing one of the many things I love, writing.
I remarked on this mornings run that I had decided my plans for the night included blogging, wine and lots of reminiscing about a year that went nothing as planned.
I began my day by running my first 12 miler post baby [less than 8 weeks after giving birth] and my last long run of the year. I had company from two lovely ladies for the first 8 and then ran alone for the last 4. During the first mile of our run we talked about how much easier it is having friends or even just acquaintances to run with.
Having someone with you makes it that much easier to push yourself faster or farther. I don’t get that luxury often. I’m not complaining. What I remarked was that running alone so often has taught me many things. I know by stating this out loud I wanted to convince myself that it’s not essential to my success as a runner to have companionship on runs.
I’m proud of what running alone has taught me.
I have become really good at pacing myself. I know around how fast or slow I am running on most runs and continue to amaze myself when I look down and see splits that are the essentially the same. Here are the splits from this mornings run – notice the last 4 miles where I was alone. 8:51, 8:42, 8:28, 8:16, 8:30, 8:23, 8:23, 8:25, 9:19, 9:19, 9:16, 9:16
I can run any race alone and not have it negatively affect me. B & A Trail Marathon would be hard for allot of runners. There is essentially no crowd support and there were very few runners my pace. I ran the last 6.2 miles of that race, pretty much alone, and I didn’t mind it one bit.
The mind is a muscle, it also needs to be worked out. I think that every long run I go on by myself helps make my mind stronger. I always want to quit. I want to walk. But I don’t. I push my mind and body farther than I think possible.
While alone I usually am lost in my thoughts. I often wish I could blog as I run.
There is a man in my running club who has at the bottom of his emails the quote “we are what we repeatedly do” I’m not sure why, but I thought about this those last 4 miles of my run today. Since I only know him as a member of my running club, I have only ever thought about the quote as it relates to running. Today I thought of it how it relates to my life.
I repeatedly run, therefore I am a runner. I repeatedly complain, does this mean I am a complainer. I am often negative, does this make me a negative person. It made me analyze the things good and bad that I repeatedly do in my life. Do they define me? Do I want them to define me? I love being a runner but do I want to be thought of as a complainer? [the answer is a firm no]
All these thoughts led me to the tradition of New Years Resolutions. Last year I posted about resolutions vs. goals. I achieved my goal of going under 3:30 in the marathon – one of my main goals for 2010.
In 2010 I resolved to –
Watch tv less and read more [*Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body*]
Read fewer *trash* magazines and more books. [*The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think*]
Be a better friend to the friends I already have.[*The greatest sweetener of human life is Friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment, is a secret which but few discover.*]
Visualize myself throwing a stone at a person every time I judge them out loud or inside.[*We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path*]
To discuss more ideas and events rather than people [*Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.* – Eleanor Roosevelt]
In reading these I actually think I achieved all of them! Tonight I will be pondering what my goals and resolutions will be for twenty eleven. What are yours?
Here’s to hoping this year is even more amazing than 2010 was! Happy New Year!