Have you heard? It’s no longer 2011. We have officially entered 2012 territory, and so far I’d say the new year is off to a kickin’ start, wouldn’t you agree?
Brian and I expertly executed our “get the heck out of New York City and let’s not tell anyone where we’re going plan,” and rang in the year sufficiently fueled on wine and sugar.
We spent the last few days in The Hamptons, doing things like wine tasting (six vineyards total yesterday — I remember the first four clearly, and the last two are a little fuzzy in my brain, though I do remember coming in contact with a cat that I really liked), outlet shopping and running.
Yesterday we ran four lovely miles together in the rain. Brian is on the (hopefully speedy) road to recovery with his knee/IT band issues, which is good since the lucky guy snagged a spot in the New York City Half Marathon coming up in March. I’m already working on my cheerleading and spectating skills.
Today, we each kicked off 2012 with a bunch of miles on the treadmill. I’m pretty sure it was the fifth time in my entire life that I ran on a treadmill, and I hated it. I left that weird machine good and sweaty.
Why the treadmill run? Well, because I’m afraid of running outside right now. Yesterday we were running through a nice little neighborhood when bam! A giant German Shepherd beastly dog came running out of nowhere, blazed right past Brian and took a big chomp into my right butt cheek. It was scary and my butt hurt. Now there are teeth marks on my butt, which is attractive, I know, and I’m afraid to hit the open roads again, at least until I can return to my beloved Central Park.
This weekend has been the perfect wrap-up to the year, and now I’m ready for one of my favorite tasks: New Year’s Resolution time!
I prefer to think of my resolutions as annual To Do lists, rather than a list of major life changes I’d like to make. That’s a little daunting, don’t you think? Instead, I think of things I’d like to accomplish throughout the year, and then I go ahead and dominate the list.
I started crafting my 2012 resolutions about two months ago, and now I am ready to share them with you.
I now present to you, Ali’s 2012 New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Get a new doctor. My mom would kill me if this didn’t happen to be the first resolution on my list. My doctor is, to be polite, a word that rhymes with brick that isn’t stick, hick or click. Be creative. It seems unlikely that my Crohn’s disease is going to cure itself, which means I need a solid doctor on my side who understands and respects me. I have tons of great recommendations from people, and now I just need to start making some phone calls and being proactive about my search. I need match.com for doctors or something. Seeking: smart GI doctor, well-spoken, excellent bedside manner, understands that running isn’t making my disease worse, gives lollipops after each appointment. Inquire within.
2. Do a handstand. I came kind of close once…OK not really.
I can’t even do a headstand, so going for the full, unassisted handstand goal seems a little lofty. But hey, go big or go home. Translation: go handstand or fall down. This goal may kill me, but I’m still going to go for it. Now who wants to come be my spotter?
3. Take a trampoline class. Like the trapeze, only different. And bouncier.
4. Take better care of my skin. I have never had a skincare regimen, and it shows.
My skin sucks. I get these little face bumps and I don’t invest in good makeup because I prefer to spend my money on more important things like all-you-can-eat buffets. But this year I’d like to grow up a little and find some products that may actually do me some favors. Any suggestions? Or anyone want to make a donation to the “Ali Doesn’t Want To Keep Getting Zits” foundation?
5. Run on a track. Maybe I’ll do some of those Yasso 800s you people talk about. I would just like to make my way to a real track to do a real track workout. I’d like to test my speed somewhere other than on a race course or the Central Park Reservoir. I think it would be fun.
6. Take a dance class. Any class will do. Last year I took a tap class, so that’s taken care of. Maybe this year I’ll do a hip-hop class or I’ll make my way back into a ballet class (doubtful, my turnout sucks — thank you, running). My flexibility is totally shot since I started running higher mileage over the years, but I’d still like to learn some choreography and put on a personal recital for my parents. Mom, Dad, you in? I won’t charge admission, and we can drink during intermission, just like Dad used to do at my real dance recitals!
7. Try out Yoga to the People. This resolution is carried over from 2011 since I never quite got to it. Oops. Maybe this year, even though I’m scared.
8. Go for a totally naked run. Not without clothes and stuff, but without a watch and without music or my phone or any electronic device I can use to play music, track my speed or distance or check Twitter during bathroom stops. Just kidding. I don’t do that…So yeah, I’d like to make a habit of running without anything strapped to me. If I get sad about not having songs to listen to, I give myself permission to engage in Run Karaoke. You are welcome, fellow Central Park runners.
9. Hold a 5-minute plank. I don’t know why I care to do this, but I think it could be an interesting challenge. Right now I can hold a plank on my elbows for two minutes and I’ve never tried to hold one for longer. I just always stop there. By December 2012, I’d like to be able to chill out in a plank for a full five minutes.
10. Run over the Queensboro Bridge. I’ll do this during the New York City Marathon — have I mentioned I’m in for 2012?
But I’d like to run the bridge for fun another time before that, so I can really take in the sights. I live on the Upper East Side, so this should be easy enough to tackle. I’m just nervous I’m going to get onto the bridge incorrectly and find myself running rapidly into oncoming traffic. That would suck.
11. Be a kickass aunt. My sister-in-law is due to pop out a little niece or nephew for me on May 22. Today I bought presents for that baby.
All I want to do in life is spoil that kid, and I don’t even know if it’s a boy or a girl. But I want that kid to grow up being like, “My parents are cool, and my grandparents are nice, but Auntie Ali is the coolest and she spoils me the most!” Note: This is my first time becoming an aunt, so I’m painfully excited. I can’t wait to meet that little person.
12. Cook one legitimate meal per month. Most of you probably think I’m aiming pretty low here, don’t you? But I really cook very rarely, and I’m not going to set myself up for failure. So, just one time each month, I want to find a recipe that looks nice and I want to cook a meal. Ideally it will be a dinner, because lunch is stupid. It can’t just be pasta or baking fish, because I already know how to do that. The meal doesn’t need to be wildly fancy or complicated.
It just needs to be something I’ve never cooked before, and it needs to not kill me. I mentioned this resolution to Brian and he did not seem ultra-confident about being my taste tester. He may not have much faith in me, but I’ll show him!
13. Don’t let people make me feel badly about my life decisions. I say I don’t care what other people think, but there are certain people in my life that I swear I will never please. It sucks, but that’s the reality. When I was training for my marathon, I thought I did a good job of balancing training, work, travel and my social life. I made an effort to see people I truly wanted to see and I did my best to try and do it all. Of course, my best efforts weren’t always up to par as seen by others, and that’s too bad…for them. In 2012, I will make my own decisions as I see fit. If others don’t approve, bummer. I think I have a good head on my shoulders and even though sometimes my brain gets cloudy because of the wine, at the end of the day I want to make everyone happy, no matter what. So if, knowing that, everyone still isn’t happy, let’s all just move on. Rant over.
14. And now, the resolution I don’t actually want to put in writing because it scares me: Run a sub-4 hour marathon. I don’t know when or where it will be (Spring marathon? Spring marathon? Spring marathon?) but I really want it to happen. To run a marathon in less than four hours means shaving 13 minutes off my Hamptons Marathon time.
With a little (a lot) of training and the “can do” attitude that takes over my life every day, I think it can happen.
So those are my personal resolutions for the year. Brian and I were discussing resolutions at lunch today, and he decided that he gets to make three resolutions for me as well. I now present to you, Brian’s New Year’s Resolutions For Ali:
Time out: I just told Brian to show me the three resolutions he came up with, and he shoved a list of six things in my computer. What an overachiever.
1. Run a sub-4 hour marathon. OK, Brian, fine. I already covered that one on my own list. HA!
2. Bike a 40-mile ride. That seems a little much, Brian, don’t you think? But I assume with this resolution comes the offer to buy me a bike, so thank you. I’m psyched. Really though, the longest ride I’ve ever done was the Rock N Rollercoaster at Universal Studios in Orlando. I tried to make a joke there, you see? On a bike, however, I rode 21 miles (uh, two days after a 20-mile run…) this summer and thought it was challenging, and I had to walk spread-eagle for two days afterward.
But sure. I’ll give this one I try as long as I don’t have to wear those scary clip-in shoes.
3. Cook saffron risotto. You must be joking.
4. Take a knife skills class. I’m sensing a trend here…Though, Brian, while I’m at my knife skillz class, you may want to enroll yourself in a First Aid class, for when I inevitably slice off my sausage fingers and I’m left with bloody stumps.
5. Replace the words “stressed” and “overwhelmed” with “excitingly busy.” That’s interesting. Why did I agree to let Brian come up with resolutions again? Just kidding. I’m excitingly busy about making this list. I’m excitingly busy about conquering my knifing class. I’m excitingly busy about running a quick marathon.
6. Ski out west. So Brian, you’re buying me a bike and taking me on a wild west ski adventure? You’re the best.
I now have a list of 19 resolutions to conquer in this new year. I’m excitingly busy about it.
SHARE IMMEDIATELY: Are you a resolution maker? What are you resolving to do in 2012? Do you want to take a knife class with me? Or accompany me to Yoga to the People? Or perhaps you want to pace me in that marathon I spoke of… Do tell!