Saturday, January 03, 2009

Welcoming 2009 with Open Arms

So long 2008, you jerkface. I can not begin to tell you how happy I am to see you gone.


While I was driving back to Philadelphia and J and I ran out of things to say to each other (about 5 minutes after we got in the car), I was left with plenty of time to think about 2009.

I was going to do a brief synopsis of the past year on here, but ultimately decided against it. A lot of you already know about how shi%ty 2008 has been for me and it's time I stopped dredging it up all the time. It's a new year. Time to look forward, not backward. While I know that Dick Clark and the stroke of midnight will not magically change the direction of your life, it sure is a good time to refocus and move ahead.

While I don't normally do "resolutions" I have been thinking a lot about things I need to work on. So here it is, my personal inventory for 2009.


So here it is, the big announcement. Last week J and I signed up to run the (drumroll) Suntrust National Marathon in Washington DC on March 21st. It got great reviews, is in a city I have never been in but is very close and is soon enough where we can sort of piggyback off of our Philly training.

J and I have been running pretty regularly since Philly, are feeling healthy and still have a good base. J wants to redeem himself from the "sickness" he endured in Philly and figures while we are still in pretty good shape, we should try it sooner than later. I have to admit, while I had a great time running Philly, there is a little piece of me that is disappointed I didn't run it to my full potential. Now that we are back from vacation, we are going straight into marathon training mode again. It's almost hard for me to imagine.

There is one catch. I am still suffering from a bit of Posterior Tibial Tendinitis. I have had it for about 5 months now and while it didn't bother me too much, it hasn't gone away. And I can feel it flare up a bit, especially after a long run. So while I am signed up for the full, at any point I feel like the tendinitis is getting any worse, I am going to cut back to the half and let J run the full by himself for a PR. I plan to run the full, but if I have to cut back now to keep myself healthy for the future, then I am OK with it.

Then there is the Broad Street Run. It's a race that runs 10 miles down Broad Street and is supposed to be a blast. When we were here last year looking for a place to live, we were staying in a hotel on Broad on the day of the race and watched them all run by. We promised ourselves that day we would run it next year if we moved here.

Finally, Back on My Feet puts on the 20 in 24 Relay in July.

This is Philadelphia’s only 24-hour relay race that takes place around the Schuylkill River Running Loop. The event is created for teams of five that can choose a participation category ranging from 8.4 miles to 33.4 miles per member.

It sounds like a lot of fun. If we can get some local runners to be part of a relay, we may do it. If not we can always participate in the "Glow in the Dark" 8.4 mile loop at midnight or the "Pajama Loop" at 5:30am.

Other than that, I'm not really planning anything yet. If something good comes my way, I'll do it, if not, I'll just run for fun. Hopefully when it warms up a bit, I'll be biking more anyway.


As far as running in general, the only thing I really want to work on is getting in more hill workouts. I live in such a hilly neighborhood that I should really take advantage of it while I'm here. The hills that I have done since moving here have really helped me become a stronger runner so I need to step it up.


I definitely need to focus on lifting more this year. While running has gotten me into pretty good shape, my upper-body is a mess, totally out of proportion with my lower body's fitness. I am not worried about losing any more weight (although I wouldn't mind) but I have been this weight before while being about 2-3 sizes smaller from all the weightlifting I was doing. I need to get back to that. I also want to start doing more push-ups. I need to figure out my own "Push-Up Challenge".


J and I eat pretty well for the most part. We don't keep junk food in the house and never eat fast food. We drink tons of water and eat lots of fruits, veggies, etc. But I really need to focus on eating smaller portions. It does no good if you are eating two huge portions of something healthy - you are still just being a pig. This is a major reason I still have problems losing any additional weight and toning up. I also need to stop eating so much of my "danger foods". I ate enough cheese over Christmas to become and honorary citizen of Wisconsin. Also, beer, sweets, candy, hummus ( I can polish off a tub with crackers/chips in two days, easy) all need to be reined in.


I really need to try and get to bed a little earlier. I am a total night owl and usually stay up till 1am. Which makes for a very tired girl when I get up for work in the morning. I unnecessarily get only 5-6 hours a night. That's stupid, especially since I LOVE to sleep. (P.S. I'm typing this at 12:40am before an extremely busy first day back at work. Sigh.)


J and I have decided to really focus on spending less. We don't spend extravagantly now, but we could definitely find ways to cut back, mostly with going out. We know we will not be able to buy a house this year like we had planned but if we work hard, we can get our savings back to where they were a year ago.


I am going to really try to be more confident at work. I know down inside I am talented at what I do, but for some reason I always second-guess myself. I guess it's just hard for me to sometimes process that I am an adult with a career. Sometimes I think people are going to figure out that I shouldn't be there or something. I'm not sure why I am like this, especially when I always get great feedback and recommendations from my employers. This is the year I start actually believing what people tell me about myself. Maybe that should also carry over into other aspects of my life.


If I learned anything from the past year, it's that no plans are ever set in stone. In the immortal words of John Lennon,

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."

This phrase sums up the last 365 days of my life so well that I think it may be my new motto.

No matter what lists I make and races I decide to do, anything can happen and I need to be OK with that. I got so worked up with everything that I thought was going to happen last year because of "plans" I made at the start of the year, that my whole world was shaken when they didn't happen. Sometimes rightfully so, but other times I just made it worse than it needed to be. I guess everything really does happen for a reason. and 2008 was definitely a life-lesson for me.

Hopefully I learned enough to just sit back and enjoy 2009.


Lucinda said...

So right about the sleep, i'm a night owl too, and its so hard when your life starts also turning you into a morning person. I too need to resolve to get to bed earlier.

Kristin said...

Hey Laurel! Welcome back to Philly! and the cold! Congrats on a great 2008! Hopefully I'll be doing the broad street too! (but its my assigned weekend to work, so we'll see). Great goals!! And sorry about the tendonitis! Glad you're being careful. I am super interested in the BOMF 20in24! I am going to one of their volunteer meetings on the 21st. Anyways let me know if you'd be interested, I'm good for some loops!

Marcy said...

Sounds like an awesome plan chica! I totally hear you on the upper body workout. Mine could use a little something LOL. I can't even do 1 stinking push up :-X :-X


Laural great plans!!!! I know that you two cand do them, I love the one about attitude I need to add that one:)

Denise said...

You're going to have a great year! I was toying with the NJ marathon but that's the same day as Broad street and I really want to do that again this year. I love that race.

My running club ran 20 in 24 last year. You don't have to be a member of the club to run on the team so if you're looking to do it, let me know!

BeachRunner said...

Great plans! And you know how I feel about my old stomping grounds in Washington. Woo HOOO to D.C.!!

Aron said...

awesome goals and plans girlie!! cant wait to see you knock them out in 2009 :)

joyRuN said...

Great post, Laurel. Happy 2009!

Wow, your next marathon is soon...

Unknown said...

Happy New Year to you and J !!! I had thought about the marathon in DC. I think that is the newest marathon. I was probably thinking of Marine Corp Marathon which is in October if my memory serves. That is so awesome! Looks like you have about 10 weeks of good training.

I like all of your objectives - very positive !!!

May 2009 brings much happiness to your health as well as to J.

Marlene said...

Looks like a solid plan for the new year. I hope it is kind to you!

N.D. said...

Awesome goals!! Broad street is my favorite. It was my first race in 2004 ever and I've done it since! Yay for the national marathon and count me in for the relay, that sounds like tons of fun!
Happy 2009 and happy training!

Anonymous said...

I hope 2009 is a great year for you.

My Life said...

I love, love, love your first line. It puts to words what I keep unwittingly thinking! :)

2009 will be an amazing year for you. You've got the plan all mapped out, you know what to do and how to do it... good things WILL happen for you.

X-Country2 said...

Such a great post! Good luck with all your goals for 2009. Sounds like it will be a great year.

Sonia said...

Great plans, be smart about your injury. Nothing is more depressing than stopping running completely (trust me). As far as 2008 goes, a lot of us are happy that it is gone. Hope you have great plans for 2009. Have fun training for the marathon!

Neese said...

you had me at "jerkface". 08 was a littler f'er to me too, the a-hole.

09 is looking bright for you, you go! and that extra sleep will help no doubt!

Anonymous said...

You've got some great plans! Here's hoping 2009 will treat you right.

I'm contemplating running the half at the Suntrust marathon (it's local for me). It's supposed to be a really good race. And I'm totally a night owl (it's 10:30 and I'm still planning a post on my blog and I need to write an article and...)

Jolene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great post. That quote is so true. I think sometimes we really do look ahead too much and don't live in the now. You guys are going to have a wonderful year, I just know it.

I too, need to work on eating. We eat pretty well for the most part, but I need to learn portion control.

Bert said...

Laurel, if I were an employer I'd hire you on the spot based just on this entry: optimistic and forward-looking but realistic and level-headed. Keep it like that and even greater success & happiness will come your way.

So here's to a wonderful 2009 with many PR's and other equally great achievements!

P.O.M. said...

2009 will be much better! The jerkface is gone. Oh wait, no I'm still dating him. HA! I kid, I kid.

FLYERS26 said...

I was planning on the National Marathon, but when I got the Posterior Tibial... I deceided against it.(what are you doing for it? Does yours feel like a burning sensation?)
I have heard about the 24hr realy.. that might be something I would consider.
Best of luck in 2009 !!

SuperDave said...

Yes Laurel I'm 10 days behind! haha
I'm cathin up okay..
Good plans! At least you have some

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