So … how about those resolutions?

2012 in Review

This might be the first time anyone’s asked you this question in December, but did your New Year’s resolution hold up?

I’m happy to report that mine did. I wanted to become a better, more consistent runner, so I set a goal for myself to make that happen. The best resolutions are the ones you can start slowly (while everyone else is going full-speed on theirs in January, hogging all the good machines at the gym for a few weeks) but can ramp up as the year progresses.

When spring arrived and the temperatures rose in Atlanta, I found more time to run comfortably. One thing you must know about me, before I go any further, is that I have a supreme hatred for running. Not exercise in general, just running. It has always bored me, and I couldn’t go for more than a mile because I’d get impatient, pick up my speed and exhaust myself quickly. I wasn’t one for pace, and even music didn’t help.

However, I was determined to do better in 2012.

I bought a yearly pass to the Chattahoochee River trails and started running down by the river. This was a great start because the paths are flat and covered by tall, shady trees. Even on the hottest summer days, I could find a chunk of time to run, and at first, it wasn’t all that bad. But after a couple of weeks, the shin splints that have kept me from becoming a passionate runner over the last half-decade returned.

(MORE: My favorite gift of 2012)

So I bought a pair of real running shoes for the first time in my life, and since then, I’ve been working toward longer and longer distances, without pain. I’ve done a couple of 5-kilometer runs on the treadmill — hey, I never claimed to be preparing for a marathon any time soon, but it’s further than I’ve ever run before.

I’m proud to say that I’m down 13 pounds in 2012, but I have bigger goals in 2013. If you’re a resolution-setter, my best suggestion is to set a goal that you can increase as the months progress. You’re more likely to keep it going if you do. Running is perfect for a New Year’s resolution because the distance can increase as you get more comfortable.

So get to it! And when you’re done, be sure to check out the 40 tricks you must know for 2013. Some of them seem a little sketchy, but I guarantee you’ll see a few that you’ll want to try.

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