Love, change

For the first time in a few years, change abounds. New opportunities, new people, new ways of working. Change is a friend not a foe and often signals opportunity more often than not. Each change seemingly a positive bit of momentum towards something better.

Curve balls

I tweaked a glute muscle in January at the track. I had a minor slip on some water, but at the root of it was some weakness that I should have long ago tended to. So I’ve been off running largely, relegated to short under 5k runs when I can (the exception was a 10k trail race in North Vancouver that I did at the end of February).

As one of my t-shirts says “Not Running Sucks”. What I miss the most is the peace and thinking time it affords me. When running it’s just me and there are few times when I am alone.

I’m hoping to be back at things soon. The physiotherapist has me on the mend with a batch of exercises and some unreal stretches. I’m still pondering a May BMO half marathon after a decent 8k this past weekend and looking forward to being back on-track with my running goals.

The Number 13

I read this article the other day about the number 13. I also read recently that President Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t like the number 13. He hated to travel on Friday the 13th and having 13 people at dinner (he even avoided it at death as he died on Thursday, April 12, 1945, just before Friday the 13th).

What tweaked my interest was the fact that the number 13 has been a huge part of my life, and frankly a great number:

  • My wife’s wedding ring has 13 diamonds
  • My son was born on the 13th day of the month
  • I’ve been happily married for 13 years
  • Our address “616” when you add each of the numbers equals 13
  • If you take the birthdays of each of our family members (30, 24, 13) and add each of the individual numbers, it equals 13

Thirteen isn’t that bad. Besides, life’s too short to worry about numbers.

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.

New Year’s Resolutions – 2014

Here’s my 2014 resolutions:

A guideline: smile more

A smile makes a better introduction and keeps you positive. Can’t go wrong with this.

A lifestyle change: eat more vegetarian and in moderation

I love food, but food does not love me at times. With a carnivore wife and son, finding a balance can be hard, but I always feel better when I eat less and slanted heavily towards veg.

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

My son called me out on this while we were on holidays in Europe telling me I should “get back at it”. Friends too have been pushing, especially my good friend who saw me play last May in Portland at a bar.