31st December 2014
So it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m kind of sad to see the back of 2014. 2014 has been a blast.
It was the year I bought a paddle board and learnt to use it. Me! Out on the water in board shorts and a rash vest. I ran the Clare Valley half marathon, then the Barossa and then the Pichi Richi. And in Adelaide, I went all out and ran the whole 9 yards. (Not forgetting the other 26 miles and 356 of them).
Lots of things that had been on my resolution lists of years gone by. Never achieved. Until this year.
But last year I didn’t make any plans. Nix. I went to bed some time well before midnight (I’d probably missed my nanna nap earlier) and woke up the next day to find it felt – well – pretty much like any other day. And so I just couldn’t be bothered.
But things happened and shit got done in 2014!
The Clare Valley half marathon was entered on a whim. I’d trained for a half marathon with none to run, so wanted to have a go for real. Turns out the route is stunning, so it was just fantastic to spend a couple of hours on a crisp autumn morning trotting along, enjoying the mellow sunshine dappling the vineyards lining the flat cycle path. And South Aussies are so friendly. All in all, I became instantly addicted to participation events!
Hence my entry form went in directly for the Barossa running festival. More vineyards, more friendly South Aussies and more flat roads. Woohoo! But that’s when I made my mistake. Seduced by scenic events, I decided to head north and entered the Pichi Richi half marathon. And Pichi Richi is scenic. And the people are incredibly friendly. But OMG – it’s a bit hilly. If it hadn’t been so bitterly cold that day, I think I’d have pulled out. It’s just that running was the only alternative to hypothermia and as I had left the car in Quorn, it would have been tricky logistics had I been carted off in an ambulance.
Besides, I’d already hooked up with Operation Move and was in the midst of training for the Adelaide Marathon by then, so I would have had to confess my shame to Coach Zoey. When it comes to running, Zoey is pretty badass, and is queen of consistency in her own training. She has taught me so much since June, but one of the biggest things is that a dream without deadlines is simply a dream. But dreaming doesn’t get shit done.
And it struck me, that this year coming, I want to get things done. Big things. A whole 89km long thing, for starters. So maybe I do need a resolution?
So what I really need is goals; small, achievable goals to take me along the way. And I need commitment.
Commitment is a tricky word. Not just remembering if it’s 2 ms and 1 t. But staying accountable. I am a child of the instant gratification era. I like events because I get chats and interaction and endorphins all in one place, all at one time. The whole grind of falling out of bed at 5.30 am on a consistent basis to go pound some pavements is not where it’s at for me. Although I am learning to love it a little bit. Each training run is like a gift. You never know what you’re going to get until you get out there: some you expect to be shite, and end up being awesome. Others, you think are going to be a breeze and are a slog from start to finish. It’s a all a bit random, and 2 runs are never quite the same and I like that element of surprise. But that’s not always enough motivation when the duvet is so snugly and warm in the morning.
And this is where something really amazing comes in. I found out about this social enterprise that gives you the opportunity to commit to your goals. It’s called Promise or Pay and the concept is super simple. You make a commitment to do something with a timeframe and you back yourself to do it. So, you wager actual real hard cash (your own) that you will keep that promise. And you get your mates or family or colleagues to bet against you. So, if you don’t keep your promise, you pay money to a nominated charity. Otherwise, whoever bet against you pays up. AND the best bit – you are way more likely to finally get that something done that’s important to you, because let’s face it, cash is a real commitment, and you help someone out that needs a hand via a charitable donation. Neat, huh!
So on that note, I’m going to find someone to counter-write my promise. I see this as an opportunity to make regular commitments to shorter term goals that will help me achieve the grand ambition. Like sticking to my no sugar challenge for the full 20 days. Like committing to all 4 runs each week. Like achieving the planned mileage for the month.
So, until next year, take care and have a great night tonight!!!
* This post was brought to you with the assistance (or distraction) of Oscar. The kitten. Who is truly wild.
** This post was not sponsored. The opinions expressed in it are entirely my own.