A look back at 2014

I rolled into 2014 while on vacation in Brussels, Belgium with my family. Post our New Year’s Eve dinner I made three resolutions, here’s how I fared:

A guideline: smile more

I honestly tried at this every day and made a point of the first thing when I woke up being a smile. It started my day on the right foot and kept me focussed on being a happier person. This will be a habit I stick with going forward. I also dived deeper into meditation which helped me appreciate the many great things in my life to be happy for.

A lifestyle change: eat more vegetarian and in moderation

Each time my wife travelled, I got in more vegetarian eating. I also took up calorie counting using MyFitnessPal in the later part of the year on the advise of a nutritionist. Surprisingly what I learned was that I wasn’t eating enough calories, and what I was eating was too slanted towards fat over protein. With some minor tweaks to my diet my weight finally fell and levelled off. I still have some way to go here to land at my desired body composition, but progress is good. I also cut out sugar for a month and will likely make a hard stop on this in 2015. Overall I felt better here.

An achievable milestone(s): 2-hour half marathon, get back playing with a band

I had a better year of running, but I ran only 764.4km – way less than I hoped, and my very minimal training miles from January to June were clearly to blame. The good news was that I remained injury-free and healthy and the minimalist running has been key. In June, Dave Cressman from Distance Runwear dismantled my form and helped me understand what I had been doing so wrong and where I needed to work on improving. I also joined the South Hill Striders run club in September (and will be sticking with it this year) to push my run speed and training.  Strava gave me 27 PRs over the year — most from July to September — which reflected my training.

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My main goal though was a 2-hour half marathon. I did 2:07:14 at BMO (in the pouring rain), then 2:06:58 at Scotiabank (which was hot and sunny), but finally met my goal in the Portland Half Marathon with a 1:53:22 — a new PR! It was great to have my family at the finish line. I also threw in a 00:50:00 10km at the Fall Classic to finish out the year though lost out on a PB due to a shoelace that came untied.

On the music side, while my son wanted me to “get back at it”, I wasn’t able to find a band or people I wanted to play with. I had some early bites over Craigslist, but everyone wants to tour and live out of a van — not conducive when you’re 45, married, and have family.