I went for a New Year’s Eve 10-mile run last weekend. Beforehand, I felt excited and a tiny bit nervous, for two reasons. One, it was my first double-digit mileage run in, oh, a little over two months. Austin’s 3M Half-Marathon looms at the end of January; I figured it was time to get my rear in gear. Two, it was a New Year’s Eve run! I wanted to kick butt (little matter that it wasn’t a race and I didn’t wear a watch) and finish my running year confidently, with an antelope’s spring in my step and a “to-heck-with-2011” swing in my ponytail. The weather, with blue skies and the temperature perched at a jaunty 50 degrees, seemed full of cheer and optimism.
Well, you know what happens with those expectations. The run stunk! I felt like a slug on Nyquil for the first five miles. I told myself, “The second half will totally get better!” I reached the turnaround point and did an about-face…to be greeted promptly by a headwind. Which persisted for the rest of the run. It was one of those runs where you wave to everyone and hardly anyone waves back. Maybe they fear lethargic legs are contagious?
So running-wise, 2011 didn’t exactly go out with a bang, and the day didn’t pick up much after that. I meant to stay up till midnight, really I did. I had a plan: deep-dish pizza, champagne, and a Meg Ryan filmfest. I was going to power through. Well, the plan worked just great…till about 10 o’clock. I didn’t feel like watching another movie. I’d had my fill of champagne and pizza. I was tired. Long story short, when I later heard the pops of midnight fireworks, I rolled over and went back to sleep.
So much for New Year’s fanfare.
On the morning of January 1, I went to mass, and lo and behold two parents had brought their baby to be baptized. New Year’s Day, what a perfect day for that! As the priest said his blessings, and as the parents and godparents proudly paraded the little guy around the church, I felt some of the prior day’s grinch-iness begin to lift.
I said to myself, “Okay, today will be better. It’s a beautiful New Year’s Day outside and I will borrow the idea of one of my heroes, Kristin Armstrong, and go for a ‘reset run.’ Forget yesterday’s debacle. I just renewed my baptismal vows; now it’s time to renew my running.”
I got home from church and did precisely that. I ran one of my favorite Albuquerque routes. My legs no longer felt like lead. People returned my waves. As I ran past one group, a lady actually called out, “Happy New Year!”, which I returned with a goofy Jimmy Stewart/George Bailey delight. I stopped for a few extra beats to take in the arroyo graffiti that helps make that route one of my favorites:
… and felt fresh gratitude that, despite being almost four months old, that message hasn’t seemed to fade at all from rain or snow. Coincidence?? Maybe, maybe not. I ended the run with an antelope’s spring in my step and a “bring-on-2012” swing in my ponytail.
Here’s hoping everyone else had a successful New Year’s reset, however you did it.