Sunday, 2 January 2011

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.