Monday, December 29, 2014

Measuring a Year, Part 2: Intentions for 2014

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions; rather, I set intentions for the year. They seem more doable than resolutions.

This year, I set four:
  1. Continue my forward progress with running. Run a race every month, work towards that sub-thirty 5K, bee more consistent in finding time to run on weekdays.
  2. Work on my professional development as a choir teacher. Attend conferences and read more on vocal development.
  3. Improve some lapsed eating habits.
  4. Go on more adventures. Make an effort to go on more day trips, and try new activities.
So, how'd I do? Let's take a look.


I almost ran a race every month. I missed January due to lack of good races in the area, but ran two in February and one in March. I ran my first 10K in April, threw up on the track of the Large Suburban High School in May, and ran in June (5K) and July (a 5K and a 10K), as well.

I missed my scheduled August race because I was sick that weekend, and I didn't race in September because I was, by then, up to my eyeballs in training...for a half marathon.

When I set my racing intention way back in January, I had no idea I would run a 10K, let alone a half marathon. A half! The 10K seemed a huge accomplishment in itself, but when I decided to go for 13.1, my running life took a huge turn. At first, it seemed a vague, "I'll run it in 2015" kind of goal, but then I recalled October's Urban Cow. I wanted that cowbell, so I signed up, and I started spending my Sundays running. I bought a hydration belt and a lot of Gu Chomps. 

And in October, I got my cowbell.

I did not race in November or this month. Life got a little crazy so my running has taken a bit of a back burner. However, I did register for my next half--the Shamrock'n in March. I'll start really training in January. Running still feels pretty good, and I'm excited to get back to it in earnest.

The verdict: I totally met this one. I may not have run 12 races, but I very definitely continued my forward progress. The longest I've run without walking is 8 miles, which I could not do a year ago. I ran most of a 13.1-mile race. While sometimes I miss some weekday runs because of my crazy job (which I love), I've kept up the weekend running and I have started running treadmill sprints a couple times a week again recently.

Professional Development

I did attend one conference, but it was more for making connections and running into old friends than anything else. There weren't a lot of great offerings for choir teachers, and I ended up leaving a day early.

I've done a little bit of reading here and there, and I joined American Choral Directors Association. A goal I had for my observations this year was to learn more about the male voice change, and I've read some great articles on that and bought a book that should prove to be really helpful in the coming semester.

The best thing I've done, though, is go observe a couple of local high school choir directors, to get ideas and insight. It was great to make some local connections and see what they do that is different (or similar) to what I do--and to take those ideas back to my own classroom. Even my boss noted that I'm taking what I've seen and observed and using it too good effect. As she's not one to throw out the "good jobs" very often, I was so pleased that she noticed!

The verdict: Met this one. There's always more I can do, and I hope to attend a really great ACDA workshop in July this year. Experience is also a great teacher. It's amazing what I come up with on the fly sometimes that just works.

Eating Habits

Meh. I have my ups and downs. Right now I'm writing this in the middle of the holiday season, so I don't really want to talk about how I'm eating. But for the most part, I've done okay this year. Periods of extreme busyness tend to present a challenge if I don't plan ahead.

The verdict: Met, mostly. Once I stop eating all the chocolate people have gifted me (not to mention the Starbucks cards), and start training for the Shamrock'n, I'll be on the right track.


You know what? It's really hard to make a lot of day trips. Weekends are for resting, laundry, and running anymore. But I did manage some adventures, and trying new things, this year.

For starters, I finally saw San Diego. I grew up in this state, have spent the vast majority of my life here, and didn't manage to make it to San Diego until I was 35. It was worth the long drive. It's a lovely city, with a lot to do.

There were a few trips to San Francisco and Santa Cruz, and, of course, one mad whirlwind of a weekend in Anaheim with my choir. Three days in Fresno for the music ed conference. A weekend in Chico for the Alumni Band Concert.

I tried new things--distance running, for a start, but also kick-boxing, which I loved. I wish I had more time for that, but for now, my workout routine works for me, and the focus really needs to be on my running and strength.

The verdict: Met. I mean, when you teach all week and Saturday is the only time you have to clean your bathroom and wash the mountain of laundry...and then Sunday is Run Day, well, you just don't have a lot of time to go places.

So...I did pretty well. As for my intentions for 2015, those are coming.

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