“Do you have to dress like a baby?”
Yep. Those were the first words to come out of Erin’s mouth when I told her I was registering to do the Calhoun’s New Year’s Day 5k in Turkey Creek. Since my Thanksgiving 5k was a first for us both, there were little things we both seemed to latch on to visually. Her’s was mainly the number of people in costume. Folks dressed as turkeys, the guy dressed as Forrest Gump and the family dressed as Minions. When we pulled into the parking lot at Party City this morning we began scanning the area for any potential New Year’s Baby costumes. We saw a man wearing a fish hat, tail waving in the breeze behind him, several women wearing silky skirts over their leggings and a few real-life babies but unfortunately no 5k participants that were dressed the part (though Erin insisted there were several people who were acting the part).
And so at 9:00 am my bro Alli and I started our new year with a 5k on the streets of Turkey Creek along with hundreds of fellow runners who were braving the 20-something degree cold to start their years off right. I’d never imagined myself as someone who would be doing something like this on New Year’s Day, making the statement, “Here I am, 2015. This is what we’re doing this year.” 2014 had a way of really changing a person. Suddenly I’m all about boxing, running and hockey. Suddenly I’m doing 5ks often enough to be considered “regularly”. Suddenly I have a morning workout routine 6 days a week. Who. The. Hell. Am. I?
For what it’s worth, the 5k was a success, though I was unable to get an official time. I don’t mean to and don’t want to gripe because I’m certainly grateful for the people that put these events on, the sponsors that get to put their logos on the event shirts and the fact that I’m healthy enough to even participate…but the race was riddled with issues. I was eager to get an official time at the race because I had basically ran the exact same race back on Thanksgiving and was looking forward to beating my 35:06 time. As I crossed the starting line I hit the “start” button on my Runtastic iPhone app and about 6 or 7 seconds later Runtastic was moving right along with me. After about 10 minutes I received the “Distance: One Mile” notification from my app but I certainly hadn’t seen any mile markers on the road. It was at least another 60-120 seconds or even longer before I passed the race’s official 1 mile mark. Whatever, though – maybe Runtastic is off today?
Turns out Runtastic wasn’t off – the course was definitely measured out incorrectly. The standard 3.1 mile 5k distance was actually a 3.37 mile race this morning, leaving everyone from myself to seasoned runners questioning their odd times as they crossed the finish line. An extra quarter mile (ish) doesn’t sound like a lot but when you consider that I was trying to beat my original time, it’s a long way. After I crossed the finish line I grabbed a cup of Gatorade they had graciously set out for the runners and made my way over to pick up my official time. After three unsuccessful attempts to print my time off I was asked to walk back across the finish line. It was then decided that my chip wasn’t working and I would not be getting an official time. According to my Runtastic app, I ran 3.37 miles with a time of 36:55 with a average pace of just under 11 minutes / mile, which leads me to believe my (actual 5k) time was somewhere between 33 minutes and 34 minutes. I’ll take it!
So there’s that – a 5k on NYD. One can’t say I have a “get healthy” resolution for 2015. I guess “stay healthy” would be more accurate because the “get” part has already happened. I don’t remember what my resolutions for last year were aside from “get healthy” and “read more”, both of which I’ve done. Resolutions are just like any other life goal – they’ll probably change before long and that’s if you can even remember them in the first place. My resolutions are usually short, sweet and usually attainable so for 2015 I’m looking to:
Aforementioned. 2014 was a big year for me in this department, going from an obese 29 year old kid with diabetes to a merely overweight 30 year old that exercises 6 days a week, has lost 30+ pounds and has his glucose, blood pressure, liver enzymes and cholesterol all in check. The nice part about this is I’ve made my successful habits a regular part of my life – it’s no longer something I have to force myself into (though I do struggle to hit the trails on those freezing cold mornings). I look to keep running (I’ve already registered for another 5k somewhere in North Knox on Valentine’s Day), boxing (Erin’s gift of a membership to Title Boxing Club has been a wonderful thing – I’m ADDICTED to the workout they give you there) and of course, my weekly spin class that I’ve somehow not been to in a while due to holidays and other events such as today’s race (not being lazy!).
My eating habits are also under control, utilizing a mostly Paleo diet but still living like an average human with the occasional processed food and bread. I’m still cooking 5-6 nights a week and seem to be able to eat mostly whatever I want when I go out without it taking too much of a toll (if any) on me (largely due to my exercise routine, I’m sure). Also: my drinking habit has gone down considerably. Yes, I had quite a bit of bourbon, wine and beer in the weeks leading up to Christmas but I didn’t really “fall off” with my progress. In the new year, I’m hoping to limit myself to 1 but no more than 2 beers, cocktails or glasses of wine a week. Sounds lame? Yes, but not as lame as my liver getting cirrhosis.
Last year my goal was to read at least 10 books – easily attainable for most and laughable to many of my hardcore reader friends but it was a decent goal for me – and I met it by reading 13. While I intend to keep that up I also intend to get back into writing. I’m doing well already just by making this post but I do intend to blog more, maybe write a little more fiction, possibly work on a few essays and actually make some serious progress on this “book” of memoirs involving my Paps that I started several years ago and basically just quit doing. On a positive about that, I was able to write out three new essays for that in the last month so I think the right mindset is there.
I once got paid a nice amount to write journal entries for a piece that was to be used by Cosmopolitan magazine. That has by far been the coolest writing project I’ve ever gotten to work on AND I got paid to do it so Cosmo, if you’re reading this, I’d like to do that again. Thanks :-)
Erin has one more year of school left. This year was tough on us both but I think we were able to get in the groove and figure out how to make home life happen even while she’s doing school work. A lot of this was helped when I developed healthier habits and was spending a lot of my time and energy at home, rarely ever bored. But a thought struck me recently: I take Erin out fairly regularly and we’ve been doubling with another couple for brunch on Sundays; I cook for her most nights out of the week and we basically do everything together but the fact remains: our actual date nights are few and far between. And I intend to change that this year. Even if it’s something quick like coffee and a donut at KK after she finishes a paper for school I want to make it happen. She’s super special to me and I want to keep reminding her of that.
And I guess that’s it. Three things. Three sort-of open-ended things that could potentially go anywhere, yes, but they’re there and that’s how we’re starting this 2015. As always, thanks for reading and please don’t leave. I hope everyone has a safe, lovely and successful new year!