I rang in the new year at Les Zygomates, the restaurant I work at. As the clock struck midnight, I was frantically speed-walking across the restaurant with three champagne flutes. Somewhere, there were at least three people without champagne. I wasn’t going to get to them on time, but I was still trying. After making my way through at least six couples who were kissing as the band played “Auld Lang Syne,” I got to another server who was also trying to get those three people champagne. The bartender poured the glasses as fast as one can pour glasses of champagne and the server disappeared to the still-kissing couples. I abandoned my flutes and reached for two port glasses, and dumped splashes of bubbles into them and handed one to the bartender. We hugged and said happy new year to each other and swallowed the champagne like it was a shot. Two other servers came over to us with more champagne and we all toasted again. Then I made my way to the kitchen where one of my managers handed me a glass of champagne and wished me a happy new year. This was the carb-loading phase of my night.
I had trained for a triathlon with a group based in Salem during the summer of 2011 and had run or cycled through much of the city. As I ran by Dead Horse Beach, I was reminded of my first bicycle workout with the group and how uncertain I’d been about being able to keep up with the others on the bike. Just beyond Dead Horse Beach was the hill we would run to on Wednesday nights for run workouts. One of our coaches, Steve, would make us run circles up and down the hill doing all kinds of strength building repeats on the uphill like skipping or shuffling. We ran the circles in sets of three, after which we had to do push-ups and burpees before we could rest for two minutes. Then it was repeat. Once, on the way back to the Salem Common, where we met for track workouts, we had to run indian drills. Steve divided us into two groups, those who ran 9 to 10-minute miles and those who ran 7 to 8-minute miles. I lined up with the 9-10 group, only to have Steve tell me to get in the other group. We were to run the mile back to the Salem Common in a single file line. The person in the back of the line had to run to the front. Once, he or she got there, the new last person in the line had to do the same.
When I first signed up for tri training, I skipped the run workout on Wednesday nights. I was already a runner. I didn’t need to go to the run workouts, I told myself. I could run in Somerville and save myself the commuting time. When I realized that the run workouts weren’t just running, I felt guilty for missing them and starting going. By the end of the 12-weeks of training, I was in the best shape of my life so far. I not only completed the triathlon I had signed up for (Gloucester Fisherman’s Triathlon), but that fall, I went on to run my fastest marathon to date.
Running the Frosty Four brought back all those memories of tri training. It also made me a bit disappointed in myself. I have been in the best shape of my life. That’s something I have to say in the past tense (or, past perfect in this case). Not that I can’t get back to that point, but it’s still a moment in my past, which brings me to my resolutions. I’d like to become more athletic this year than I was last year. To take that one step further, I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon before I turn 35. I’ve dreamed of running Boston since I started running marathons (just over three years ago, but still). Boston used to be my goal, but I think it’s become more of a resolution. It isn’t something to only strive for; it’s something to do. This year, maybe, hopefully, but I want to qualify for it in the next five years, before I move up to the next age bracket.
Now, dear reader, I want to hear from you. What are your resolutions?