Snaking around

I started my 3rd Janathon exactly the same way I did my 2nd–with my running club and our annual “resolution run” up Snake Hill to the Eagle Rock reservation (which is our fancy name for a county park that’s high up).

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See the squiggle that looks like a backwards 3 in the middle?  That’s the Snake Hill part. Let’s just say the return trip is vastly more fun.

I can proudly compare my results from today with those from Jan 1, 2014:

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The day was nearly identical in temps (19F vs. 21F, wow, it’s consistently cold here in January, eh?) and sunny and clear.  I have no idea why Garmin decided last year was hillier (note the elevation) or shorter (distance variance of .06 miles), but I am decidedly faster this year–nearly a minute/mile.

This is good. I do remember that I was coming off an injury last year, so that run was a stretch for me. But towards the end of this year, I’d been stepping out on running (with sewing and eating and good TV), so it was nice to have some proof that he’s patiently waiting around for me to come to my senses.

The fun part of this run is that once at the top (which gives you the most amazing view of NYC) we all share some resolutions with the group.  There were lots of “remain injury-free”s (I started that ball rolling), “lower my xx distance time”s, “attempt a tri, marathon, something big and scary”s, and “stretch more”s.  One young man inserted “refrain from texting and start calling folks” which seems so do-able and completely obvious as a better means of communication.

I stuck with the “injury-free” for a few reasons.  First, yesterday as I was going through my wordpress to clean out unused photos which had pushed me over the 3.0gb media limit, I realized I didn’t have any pics of me with swollen ankles, in the dreaded boot, or on crutches.  Man, that felt good.  Second, on that trip up Snake Hill I think I put my finger on how to shake the malaise that’s been holding onto me with the tightest of grips. I came up with the hokiest of resolutions/mantras, and it felt just the tiniest bit silly to share with my running club, so instead I’ll put it out here in the most public of places:

clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose.

Yes, I’ll admit to plagiarizing from Coach Taylor–the obvious result of binge-watching all five seasons in a few short weeks. But I love this.  Far beyond its football/sports applicability. Right now Chez Sato, we’re in a maelstrom of decision-making with lots of “what ifs” floating around.  And it dawned on me rounding each of those bends going up Snake Hill that we (meaning me) need to approach these decisions with clear eyes and a full heart. If we (again, meaning me) can stem the drama, the unknowns, the scariness, etc., and focus on and completely support the who and what that is important, we’ll (this time, the entire family) come out winners on the other side. Eventually.

So, on this first day of Janathon I learned that I’m a minute/mile faster going up Snake Hill, and that running without music is sometimes a good thing, because it makes you think of other stuff to keep yourself occupied, and that other stuff, even if derived from a sentimental TV drama, may spark a life lesson.


  1. Great running and very satisfying to see such an improvement in your time. I find myself often running without music, mostly because I get in a bit of a fankle * creating playlists , sorting out podcasts etc- so when not running with friends, often running just listening to the sounds around me is soothing.
    Have a Happy New Year – and I look forward to reading your posts – always interesting and often inspiring .

    * – fankle – Scottish word for tangle, complicate , twist etc

    • Ok, I think “fankle” is just about the best word I’ve heard in a long long time. I will adopt that one! And I know what you mean about creating those playlists. What a time-suck. I’m learning to enjoy the quiet.

    • Me, too. I find texts much less intrusive (I often text to see if the recipient is available for a call), but I have to admit, getting phone calls out of the blue are always welcome.

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