runningshoesI love the feeling of January 1st, with a crisp, shiny new year ahead of me. Time to make those resolutions and tick some items off the Bucket List. Just because I haven’t been that good about keeping resolutions doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try it again. Hope springs eternal and this time, this time, I really believe I’ll make it happen. I know you are supposed to make small incremental goals like “put on running shoes at least once a week” instead of “train for a Marathon”, but what’s the fun of that? I say dream big and resolution bigger. So, in the spirit of reaching for the stars, here are my resolutions for 2015:

1) Take more road trips.

This is easy and it’s one I know I’ll keep. Anyone who’s followed this blog for a while knows I love road trips, especially themed ones. There was the Mission Mission where I drove down the coast visiting the California Missions. Then there was The Road to Nowhere which included crossing Nevada on the Loneliest Road in America, formerly the old Lincoln Highway and, before that, the Pony Express route. This year I tackled the northernmost reaches of Route One, then cut out along the Columbia River Gorge before sweeping back down through Eastern Oregon. I called it The Lost Coast Then Just Lost Tour. Often I travel with a terrier. For at least one trip this year, I might not. Terrier travel precludes stops at most National Parks and a lot of attractions, and this year I want to hit Yellowstone, Glacier National Park and two of the only four states I don’t think I’ve ever visited, North and South Dakota. The other two are Hawaii, which I don’t think I’ll reach on a road trip, and Wisconsin which I really have no desire to visit. I would like to say one day that I’ve set foot in every state. Since I’ve visited Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa, I’m just going to fudge it and say I dipped into Wisconsin at some point. Anyway, stay tuned for the next big adventure. It’s going to be my most ambitious yet and it will be blogged.

Roadtrips are exciting for what you see that you didn't plan on seeing. Like the time I went up to Volcano Territory and the whole West was actually on fire.

Roadtrips are exciting for what you see that you didn’t plan on seeing. Like the time I went up to Volcano Territory and the whole West was actually on fire.

2) Become a runner again.

I was doing so well earlier last year, before three moves, two house sales and a trip to the emergency room for a raging intestinal infection threw me completely off track. On the 13 week Couch to 10K program, I’d managed to get myself through Week 10. Now I’ve reset back to Week 5 and I’m struggling to get through that. Amazing how fast fitness goes. On the hard road back to some semblance of fitness, I have discovered one thing. Moving three miles — whether at a run, a jog or just a slow walk — seems to make huge difference. So that’s my small incremental goal: to move three miles a day. And as a caveat, I’ve found that just having your daily steps count up to three miles isn’t the same as a sustained walk, run or jog of three miles. Apparently, at least for me, the benefit comes from covering three miles at a clip.

3) Get back to hiking.

Another wagon I feel off after making great progress, was my hiking program. I’d found a great Meetup.com group that did hikes of 7-10 miles twice a week. I was joining them for most of them and was learning to enjoy the San Jose area at padre pace. One of the surprising things about San Jose, despite its sprawl, is that it is surrounded on three sides with wonderful, undeveloped and protected mountain ranges that offer great hiking trails — most of which can be reached with a 20 minute drive. Before my big derailment, I’d even tackled the 10 mile hike up and down 2812 foot Black Mountain — and lived to walk the next day. That achievement had me thinking about my dream hike which would be a three-day hike/camp down the Grand Canyon and back. A trek to Havasupai Falls seems much further away than it was last year at this time, but it’s a goal to work toward.

Oh and I have so many more resolutions and potential resolutions, ranging from the vaguely achievable to the “what are you thinking?” variety. One of the latter is that I’d like to test myself and see if I can not have a drink between today and my birthday in April. When I got into serious hiking last year, I discovered that even one glass of wine the night before a hike seemed to have a significant effect on the ease with which I completed the hike. So I’m wondering if a period of total abstinence will help me accelerate a jump back into training. Who am I kidding? I’ll probably not make it past next Friday which is Andy’s company party. It’s nice to have goals, though.

What are your resolutions, whether doable or laughable?

Whatever your resolutions and your success in keeping them, remember to follow the Terrier Code and Stay Smooth, my friends.

Whatever your resolutions and your success in keeping them, remember to follow Stay Smooth, my friends.

Top strip photo is “Grand Canyon Panorama 2013” by Roger Bolsius – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. All other pix are the author’s own happy snaps.

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