My Resolution Run

 I don't think mine fits

  In mid December I knew that I wanted to get 2014 off on a good start, and I decided that setting an "official" PR in the 5k, my most hated of distances, would be a good start to the year. I settled on The Resolution Run, a Tar River Running event. The race itself was fun, flat, and well put together with happy volunteers and a smooth flowing awards ceremony. A large portion of the race ran beside a flowing river and finished over a large wooden bridge which made for great end of race pictures. They even gave out coffee mugs for the first day of the new year instead of race shirts, and provided all the age group winners with custom bottle openers. Or, so I heard.

   When I awoke on January 1st, 2014 I felt alright considering I had celebrated New Year's Eve a bit harder and longer than I had intended. Luckily the good folks behind the Resolution Run had people like me in mind when they designed this race, and it didn't start until 1:00 in the afternoon. I had a good chance to sleep in, recover with a cup of coffee, and even make a leisurely breakfast. With the race site only 45 minutes away I had plenty of time to take my dog for a short walk before I left. Throwing my race gear on, including a pair of light weight shorts and tech shirt both by Nike, we stepped outside and into the first sunshine of the new year where I was treated to the sight of my completely flat, rim on the ground, driver's-side front tire. Something along the lines of "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?" plus an expletive left my mouth as I stood there gaping at the pancake flat wheel sitting in the gravel. I hopped back inside to grab my phone while walking the dog, (multitasking is what 2014 is all about) hoping that I would be able to get someone to patch or replace the tire so that I could make it to the race on time.

Admittedly, this might have been a bit much just to avoid a 5k
   Frantic google searches and phone calls ensued, without a single person answering the line at any of the first five calls placed. And who could blame them? It was New Years Day. But then came that magical, desperate sixth call to my local Toyota dealership. I heard the phone pick up mid ring as I prayed to the gods of racing and foreign cars that they would be able to help me. I promised that I would never complain about having to watch The Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift again, if they could just get my car fixed and me off to the race. A hesitant voice came on the line, realizing that he had answered the phone on a holiday where he could have probably gotten away with doing nothing and never having to speak to or see a single customer. Before he could think better of his decision the words burst out of my mouth. "Hello? Hi! I was wondering if you guys sold tires and could put a new one on my existing car." He responded with a cautious reply in the positive, as if talking to a slow child. I buried what little offense I could have taken by his tone, excited that I might make it to the race after all. "Great! Ok, so  if I can somehow get my car to you guys RIGHT NOW how long would it take to get a new tire on?" A pregnant moment of silence passed, "Oh. OH. Yeah, we're not doing that today. Its New Years Day, we're closed." Another silent pause, this time on my account. "Oh. Ok. Ummmm, well, thanks."

Haha! I ALWAYS answer the phone when we're closed; silly customers!

    My chances of getting to the race shot, I called a friend who was traveling to the race from another city, filled him in on the details and asked him to pick up my mug for me. (I really, really wanted that mug.) I also asked him to explain to the race director what had happened, and send my apologies for being a no show. A short while later, I received a follow up text from my buddy, explaining the director's feelings given my excuse for not showing. In order to share the full impact of how much they both care, I am sharing the actual text with all of you:

Any more concern than this, and I would have
 suspected  body-snatching aliens. 

   The text made me laugh and convinced me that I needed to make the most out of my New Year's Day. So what did I do? Run? 5k time trial? Long run to enjoy the sunshine? No. I sat down and watched a Dr. Who marathon via the power of Hulu. (In all fairness to the nerdiness of that last statement, I've never actually seen the show, but have quite a few friends who have been trying to convince me to watch, and obviously had some time to kill.) But thats not what you came here to hear about, did you? If you did, well then congratulations, you beat the 1 : 4,967,532 odds of checking a running blog and reading about some guy watching television. I will instead present the watching of the first three episodes the same way I usually break down my miles for a 5k race review. Stay with me kids, theres a point to this.

Someone wake us up when he gets to the damn point

    Episode 1: Trying to make the most out of my time I knew I wanted to make the experience as comfortable as possible and that meant, just like a race, finding the right gear. I went upstairs to change from the mesh shorts and tech shirt into my most comfortable sweat pants and an old long sleeve race t-shirt. I sat down on the couch and hit play in anticipation that Hulu would take a moment to load the episode, but before I knew it it was already playing! I was in a mad scramble to get to the best lounging position and have my snacks and beer within comfortable reach. A few minutes into the first episode and I was already behind, this was not how I wanted to start my marathon. I soon recovered and found a good position to lay down on the couch where I could pace myself as to not run out of crackers or beer too soon, while simultaneously making sure to control my breathing.
Helping lazy people do speed work since 2007
   Episode 2: Having found a good rhythm and maintaing both hydration and fueling well, I fell upon every runners worst nightmare while the second episode rolled on. I found myself having bathroom issues which needed to be resolved, but to do so I was going to have to leave the cours- couch. Not only that but the dog had now curled up beside me, and I felt slightly guilty in disturbing him. Nevertheless, this was a problem I was going to have to deal with sooner rather than later, or face the dire consequences that it could ruin my marathon. Trying to time it right, I waited for a break in the commercials and then eased my way passed the dog, the kitchen table, and blew into the bathroom. I was making great time and might not even lose anything if I was fast enough. Alas, upon exiting the bathroom I had indeed lost some time as I learned that Hulu's commercials are incredibly short. Noting that for the future, I got lucky and fell back into my rhythm and completely terrible posture pretty quickly.

   Episode 3: I had planned to meet someone for a late lunch and knew he would arrive within the next hour and a half. So far, I was right on schedule to finish up this marathon and hit my goal time. Thats when it happened. I realized halfway through the episode I was out of beer, and as every good runner knows, the key to racing is hydration. Realizing that timing was going to be the key to
Paint me like one of your french girls
making sure I still had time to get a shower and be presentable lunch, hitting pause was out of the question. I waited until I saw the chance to really be able to move fast given Hulu's short commercial breaks, and there it was! Glancing at the timer on the television I saw it was already almost a quarter of the way through its commercial break by the time I had even managed to get moving. I opened my stride up sprinting from the couch to the kitchen and and grabbing the beer, trying to make the turn around as quickly as possible so as not to lose too much overall time. Bottle opened, heart in my throat from the effort I slammed myself down on the couch just as I watched the countdown clock indicate that I had just made it back on time. Finishing the marathon out, I felt at peace knowing I had done all I could to get the best time possible. Maybe, with future training and better preparation I could have shaved a few seconds off here or there. 

   After lunch, did I go running? Did I, on the first day of 2014, get things started off right and get even an easy, short run in? Again, no. I sat around, watched television, drank beer, had a great lunch and played with my dog. Do I feel guilty about it? Not even a little bit. And here's why. As hard as it may be to remember sometimes, running isn't our whole lives. There are definitely times where it can feel like it is; like its taking over our entire existence and all of our free time. But deep down, like many of the other elements that make up our daily lives, its something that is a part of them, not something that necessarily defines them. And we get to do it for fun! The point I'm trying to make is the same one that my coach, Blake Roberson,  (I know he's psyched to finally get a named reference in a write-up thats all about skipping a run and watching television.) has been trying to make to me for a while. Enjoy the run. Recognize that we are going to have good and bad running days, and probably a lot more of the latter. As long as we remember not to take it too seriously and just relax, we're probably going to get a lot more out of it. Hmmm...I think I might have just found a New Year's resolution somewhere in that. As for me, I am writing this on January 2nd, 2014 after getting my ten mile run in.

  Happy new Year's to each and every one of you crazy runners, and as always thanks for reading! If you're on Facebook head on over to the page at and on Twitter at to keep up with all the fun and pictures that don't make it here. 

Spending your New Years with burritos is always the right choice


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