This is the time for resolutions

Yes, 2011 is finally upon us.
Another year of hopes, goals, experiences. For me, I think this is going to be a year of consolidation and venturing further into my new life with more self-confidence, after the life-changing decisions of 2010. Moving to Oxford to set up home with Colin was certainly one of the most challenging things I have ever done and I am so much happier and wiser for doing so!

So this is the right time to set new goals, after a maturing and more responsible 2010, and in many ways a transitional one, as my adjustment to Oxford life is still a work in progress!
This are some of the goals I would like to dedicate my energy to in the, well by now 364, days to come!
1. Staying healthy – fighting off colds and other mishaps and being pro active in doing so. This means regular doctor checkups and visits to the dentist etc., taking vitamin supplements and recovery drinks after exercise, and establishing a pattern of healthy eating. Yesterday in my First Day of the Year run I remembered a few years ago when an asthma outbreak held me from running for about three months. Now that that is under control, I still remember  how helpless any sort of health issue can make you feel, stopping you from enjoying the things that you love including running. I have no excuse to not do my proactive rather than reactive best in keeping me healthy and strong.
2. I was looking at myself in some photos recently and realised that I must have put on a few pounds since coming to England. Must be the change in diet (bacon and egg sandwiches anyone?) and ‘married’ life! Since I am in charge of the cooking in this household, and as it turns out cooking is actually something I enjoy, a healthier, lighter diet is up to me really. I wouldn’t mind shedding a few (not a lot, about six would do!) pounds by the end of the year. OK so how about today’s menu? I am thinking Spachettini with Checca Sauce. Yummy!
3. I am concerned about how as we get older we lose muscle mass. An average of 5 percent of our muscle mass every 10 years after the age of 35 if we don’t do anything about it (for more info about how this happens, see here: Key found to muscle loss as we age ). This is against my plans to become a lean and mean machine by the end of the year! I intend to start doing at least two (that’s a minimum of two!) fitness sessions a week, to complement my running. Running alone isn’t enough. I need to get fitter and stronger (ie gain in muscle mass over the next year instead of lose out on muscle mass). One of my trusted resources to achieve this goal will be the 2011 Kick Start Workout Guide by the American Council of Exercise, a 12-week fitness program designed to build total body strength, enhance cardiovascular endurance, gain muscular definition, lose weight, improve health and increase energy (for the link to the exercise set, see: 2011 Kick Start Guide).
4. The other day I realised that something good has come out of my recent marathon misfortunes. I have been now training continuously and without any sign of fatigue for the past ten months (I do still consider the Athens marathon a long run rather than a competitive race for me)! I want to stay injury-free to continue training uninterrupted and I am positive that this will help me very much in my next marathon. I can see the positive results every time I head out of the door to run as I can now easily do 70 minutes of running at a brisk pace as a regular, everyday thing. My aerobic base is good, and I need to continue doing this sort of runs for just a tiny bit longer, until I am ready to commit to a marathon schedule again. That will happen when I decide where to run my spring marathon – hopefully very shortly!
5. I plead to stay happy and appreciate every moment and every experience that comes along in my life! Happiness is a state of mind that most of us can train ourselves into. Control and even stop those negative thoughts and look at the positive things that we all have in our lives. Nothing is perfect but then nothing is meant to be perfect. I am not perfect. All I can do is fight with all the means that I have at my disposal for all the things I care for. As hard as I can. And knowing when to let go. But that is another story!
Have a happy 2011, everyone! I want to hear all about your New Year resolutions!
Me and Colin celebrating the arrival of 2011 at the Honey Pot in Oxford.


Partying was a Star Wars affair.

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4 thoughts on “This is the time for resolutions

  1. On the first day of 2011 I ran 15K on Lycabettus, whilst listening to waltzes, polkas und marscher auf Johan und Josef Stauss from my ipod, celebrating the day :))))

    I just read something on Runner's World (Jan 2011 US edition, "Way of the Renegades", p.86 – 91) abt the Hanson – Brooks Project and I wanted to share it with you. These guys (the Hanson Bros) train elite athletes (and common mortals as well) in a way that although they do 70K per week, they do not allow them to run more than 16K on a stretch. Aka no traditional 'long run' b4 a marathon, but shorter intense runs & strenghtening of the body. I kinda did the same b4 Athens Marathon, since I started training late in the season (hadn't known then abt the Hansons, I just trainned on instinct combining days of boxing trainning & running) and lowered my time by 20 min (although I did on 32K and a couple of 23-25K). The Hansons say it works and they have a bunch of athletes to prove this. Plus they claim that you do not get injured this way. I think it is interesting to give it a thought.

    Happy New Year! Ygeia & Dynami!

    Alex K-C

  2. Have a happy new year!
    Good luck with your ressolutions. I think you will struggle hard and fulfil most of them!
    In my case for 2011, I'd like to broaden my private circle and meet more people. Changing my job would be also fine. These are somewhat targets that don't depend entirely on my decision but at least I considered them!
    Finally, run a lot and keep writing!
    These last ones are the easiest!

  3. Thanks a lot you guys for your comments and a Happy New Year to all! I am already following my twice-a-week fitness plan and concentrating on my personal goals as well, hopefully soon I can have some tangible results that I can also share with you!
    Alex, I will read this article when it becomes available online (unfortunately I can't find the US edition of Runner's World here in Oxford).
    I do think their approach is radical. I would like to know how their runners are feeling at the 35th km when all they have done before is up to 16! I suspect they must slow down a lot! Saying that, though, I have to say I am not a very high mielage long-run person myself. I don't usually do more than 25km in one go anymore, I think it keeps me fresher and stronger (ie less injuries).
    But that 25km run is more like a long interval session than a long slow run (ie. with clear segments closer to or faster than marathon race pace).
    I enjoy doing these, can even do them in the track, and I think they work best for me!
    Keep running!

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