January 1, 2014

From Gerald R. Lucas

New year’s resolutions don’t really do much for me. I’ve tried them before. To resolve to do something is a bit tenuous and vague, only slightly more useful than prayer. Instead, I set five clear, practical goals for myself.

Run 1100 miles

In 2013, I just made my goal to run 1000 miles, so I pushed the finish line a bit further this year. This will be a challenge, particularly if the summer weather is not as nice this year.

Part of this goal will be to complete Eric Orton’s training in The Cool Impossible. This is a five-month program designed to make me a better all-around runner. It’s very regimented and includes strength training specifically for runners. I’ve already done my initial two running tests, so I’ll be starting the actual training this Sunday. I already got my Altra Torins!

Run a marathon

This goal kind of goes with the first, though it’s really separate. My brother Tim and my friend Heather have both run a marathon, and both are reluctant to do it again. They have agreed to run the Savannah Rock ’n’ Roll half with me, but I think 2014 is the year I make the commitment to join the marathon club. This year, it’s scheduled for November 8, so the weather should be nice on the Georgia coast. Besides, Savannah is a cool place to hang out.

As part of this goal, I want to run an official half marathon by August 15. I have run 13.1 miles before, so this should be a very attainable goal for me. I just have to find a half marathon near the beginning of August — maybe even one right here in Macon.

Write for at least an hour every work day

Currently, I have a textbook project I’m working on that really needs to be finished by the end of this spring semester. An hour a day doesn’t seem like much, but I think it will help me with the most difficult part of writing: getting my butt in the chair to actually do it.

I used to try to write 750 words a day, but I don’t think that’s appropriate for this goal. I think at least an hour each day on the book should show me the results I need. I would really like to begin using at least a beta version of my etext to teach with in the fall. Therefore, I have to have a solid working version posted and accessible by August 15, 2014.

Complete the “Master” class

I have completed both the “Basic” and the “First Class” programs of Mark Lauren’s You Are Your Own Gym app. I’m not quite ready for the “Master” class, yet: I still can’t do the “five pull-ups with a two-second pause at the top and the bottom of the movement.” Ugh. So, currently I have been doing his quick workouts which are also challenging, and practicing my pull-ups. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start the Master class pretty soon.

Along the same lines, I will incorporate Orton’s strength training and probably pick up Lauren’s new EFX videos, too, though it’s hard to beat the YAYOG app for my daily workouts.

Avoid added sugar

My weekly diet works well for me still: low-carb for six days; anything I want on the seventh — my “cheat day.” This is essentially Tim Ferriss’ slow-carb diet from The 4-Hour Body. Still, I think I can do better. I’m going to try two specific things.

I will avoid all foods that have added sugar. Period. I do read labels, but Eric Orton’s book also has a twenty-day sugar detox. It’s a complete sugar ban except for what is naturally in food.

Try Ferriss’ “30/30 rule”: consume thirty grams of protein within thirty minutes of waking up. Some have had mixed results with this, but I thought I’d give it a shot. I ordered a month’s worth of BioTrust protein supplement. I have some little areas of fat that I want to get rid of. I know that eating right and exercise are the best things I can do, but I’m always willing to do a bit of experimenting.

That’s it: short, sweet, attainable, but challenging goals for 2014. Good luck on your own goals. Happy 2014.