Running fast into 2020

Published 9:12 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep up with, but I really, really like checklists — so much so that I wrote out a number of different things I want to accomplish this year.

One of those is to run 10 different races in 2020. I got started last Saturday at Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach, with the Freezer Burn 5K early in the morning.

Training for this race was simple enough. One-and-a-quarter miles on the treadmill every morning but Sundays, plus three miles on Wednesday nights in downtown Suffolk with the Suffolk Run Group. My goal was just to cross the finish line in under 26 minutes and 30 seconds, and to keep a steady pace.

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The plan worked, thanks to a music playlist that kept me moving up-tempo, and oddly warm January weather on a Saturday morning that seems to only come in Hampton Roads. My legs cooperated on a diet of carb-heavy Italian food from the night before.

I crushed my target time and finished the race with just more than 24 minutes, according to my chip time. I felt rewarded after weeks of dieting and prep — and also justified in eating Buffalo Wild Wings at the finish line.

I did well because I kept to a steady, daily workout routine and counted all of my calories on a phone app. It was the first time I had done either since the holiday frenzy started for me, from vacationing in mid-October and through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and of course a pizza-filled New Year’s.

It’s hard to get back into these habits after more than 60 days of fun living, but it’s not as hard as you might think. If, like me, you fell behind on your workouts and gained too many pounds between October and December, then now is the time to get back into gear.

It feels trite to say you’ve got “New Year’s Resolutions” and that you’re going to be “your better self” starting in January. But sign me up, because I’ve got a whole lot that I want to get done this year, and I’m going to have to remind myself to put the work in each and every day.

Good luck to everyone with their 2020 goals. Get encouragement and stay consistent!