Ramping Up for the New Year

I love New Year’s Day. In my mind, it’s a universally sanctioned day of grace. New Year’s is for putting your past behind you, forgiving yourself & others for things that turned out ugly… and for being grateful for what went better than you could have ever imagined. New Year’s Day is for looking ahead at a beautifully blank & generous canvas of another 365 days. A giant “do-over” with which we can all start fresh at anything. Or we can simply pause in self-reflection to revise or affirm our plans before pressing onward. We’re encouraged to celebrate, reflect, inhale or exhale, with or without football & the Mummers Parade.

Sure, I know I can do these things any day of the year… but on New Year’s Day, I can expect to have company at it en masse. A great stirring of humankind, as we shake out the rugs of our lives in unison, ready to begin anew. New Year’s Day prepares me for anything. It rallies my soul. Happy New Year!

To prepare my feet for a new year of running, I installed some IceSpikes on a trial pair of old sneaks. I’ve been investigating options to reduce my risk of falling, since that fear curtails my outdoor runs in winter. Our dirt road is pretty icy from now until April. Tho plowed well by the town, snow doesn’t melt away like on paved roads & my best bet for running at all relies on the ease of leaving spontaneously right from my house, so my route is usually icy. If I have to get in the car & drive somewhere for clear roads, forget it. Too involved. Our treadmill was my fallback position, but it’s been making a funny “motor-about-to-blow” smell. Now my fallback position is Craig’s List for used treadmills, grrr.

For $24.99 at EMS, I got my IceSpike package containing a handful of short-shanked but aggressively-headed carbide screws & a kind of socket wrench. I decided to go this route over strap-on cleats, foot chains, or YakTrax Pros (which I already own, yet still find risky when running on combination surfaces). I did the install per instructions on the package & their online video. It went well, except it didn’t take “about 10 minutes.” More like 10 minutes per shoe, using a pushpin, the tool they gave me & some serious elbow grease. I can see why they tell you a variable speed drill “is helpful.” No kidding!

I took my carbide cleats on a 4 mi. interval-run as a test outing. New Year’s Day, sunny & high-40s — who can resist that? My IceSpikes rating = double thumbs up! Tho I held back a bit on the downhills while testing their bite (still too scary), I did push the uphills to my best ability & tested variable surfaces of frozen snowpack, frozen gravel, even glare ice. I had been anticipating the possiblity of feeling the screws thru the footbed (Princess & the Pea), or that I might lose some screws along the way. Didn’t happen. They gripped impressively with no apparent baggage. Now my biggest issue will be remembering to take my shoes off immediately post-run. Wood floors. My husband will kill me.

Another fun thing I did for New Year’s, on a last-minute lark: commit to a 30-day magazine diet with a friend. At her house on Dec. 30, I saw the latest issue cover of Shape. It read: “Lose 10 pounds by Feb 1.”

Me: “C’mon, let’s! It’s only 30 days. What’d ya say?”
Her: “You don’t even know what we’ll have to do yet…”
Me: “So what? It’s only 30 days. It’ll be fun…ny.”
Her: “You’re on.”

So we opened the mag, read the rules & both went grocery shopping. My sister got wind & jumped on the bandwagon. If you’re curious, the Cinch diet plan is right here. Day 2 & I’m still amused. I’ll be even moreso if it works! I’m not the fad-diet type, but let me just say I highly recommend impromptu silliness with friends or sisters. 30 days of it is even better. Fresh ground ginger in non-fat cottage cheese? Just tried some & ew, I don’t recommend that. Luckily, a mandatory 50 to 100 cals/day of dark chocolate wipes any bad flavor-combo right outta my mouth, yes it does!

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5 Responses to “Ramping Up for the New Year”

  1. Mary Stebbins Taitt Says:

    LOL!!! I completely agree about New Year’s, but since we’ve been traveling, I’m postponing mine a few days.

    Then I am starting a new diet and exercise program. I’m not sure what other changes I’ll make yet, I haven’t had time to think about it yet!! I may report back.

    Meanwhile, HAPPY NEW YEAR and good luck with your goals.

    One OLD thing I want to keep is YOU as my friend!!!

    • henniemavis Says:

      Good luck with your plans, once you make them… but meanwhile, re: keeping me as your friend, consider it done :-) Another year as friends, woo hoo for me too!

  2. Mary Stebbins Taitt Says:

    YAY!!!! :-D I love being friends with you!!! :-D

    I hope to start my diet and other changes TOMORROW!

  3. mike Says:

    I love your first 2 paragraphs. I’m glad you have happily leapt into the New Year and running in the snow?! Those Ice Spikes look pretty cool. Hope you’ve kept the momentum, I believe we’re sending some more snow your way soon.
    How’s that 30 day diet going? A cinch, I bet!

    • henniemavis Says:

      I’m OK on the outdoor running, surprisingly! After a 3 week respite in Dec., I was easing back in w/walk-runs intervals for a week (injury cautious), but just this afternoon I went 3 mi. no walking. Yeah baby, back in the groove! Throat a little raw (20 degrees), but after some steamy shower coughing, not bad. The diet on the other hand is not going well. I’m following it closely, but not losing weight! I’m also not hungry all the time. I think those 2 things are related. Grrrr.

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