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A Resolution in October.

20 October 2014

I am a goal-driven person. That’s how my ambition manifests. I often think, when imagining taking on some new project, that “I don’t want to die without having done it.” That’s how I felt about writing my symphony, a work still unfinished. I will work on it again one day. I think I’ll finish it. I will probably never publish it (I don’t have the slightest idea how one publishes music). But I’ll finish it. Probably.

Lately, my goals have been professional, and relational, and physical. Professionally, I am achieving the things I set out to achieve. I’m advancing at work. My papers are getting slowly-but-surely published in venues I’m pleased to have them in. I’ve been promoted and my work is well received in my institution. Soon I will have employees who report to me, and my influence will be even more pronounced here. Other people who are moving up the chain of management are invested in my efforts. I’m excited.

My relationship is blossoming. I feel less and less like this is an appropriate venue to discuss it. But I am feeling more closely and more intimately connected in a romantic partnership than I ever have. I feel grateful and fortunate to have someone understanding, supportive, exciting, ambitious, adventurous, and thoughtful to share my life with. It’s more than I deserve. It’s far, far better than I’ve earned.

My physical goals have become prominent for me. Mostly, these revolve around running. This weekend, BB and I ran a total of 12 miles, 5 Saturday and 7 Sunday. We took the pace easy and I was very pleased that both days felt like a nice jog in the park. Other people are no longer expected to be impressed with those sorts of things. I remain gobsmacked that I was an obese alcoholic pack-a-day smoker and now I can run 7 miles and it’s a nice easy jog in the park.

The last goal I set about running was that I would run a half-marathon without walking any of it. I did that. I’ve done that twice now. Lately, I’ve been running faster, and my slow runs have been feeling easier. I’m improving dramatically. Part of the reason is that I’m working harder at running faster, part of the reason is that I’m going to the gym and working with a personal trainer. I’m trying hard to avoid the fate of my father, who never managed his diabetes, and had a debilitating stroke.

So. I’m setting a new goal. I said I wasn’t going to run a marathon, and I still might not. But what I have found is that I really appreciate having organized races to prepare for, because they keep me from slacking off. So I’ve signed up to run the Philadelphia half-marathon just before Thanksgiving, and the Virginia Beach half-marathon in March. But those aren’t my goal. A goal must be bigger than repeating something I’ve already done.

So here’s my goal for 2015: I will run at least 4 competitive (i.e., organized races) half-marathons. If I do decide to run a full marathon, then that will count as two. While I’d love to run one under two hours, or something like that, I’m not going to set specific speed goals. Not here anyway (BB and I are working on running faster, but we haven’t set a specific pace we want to hit. The number “2:10” has been thrown around for Virginia Beach. If we hit that, I’ll be happy.).

That’s the goal. 52.4 competitive miles in 2015. Which means probably at least 10 times that number in preparation. Right now I’m running about 18-20 miles a week. That’s plenty to stay fit for half marathons, with a brief ramp-up for the weeks before race day. But if I’m going to run a full marathon, I’m going to need to push my weekly mileage out to at least 40 shortly before the race.

So here we go. Run like hell.

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