Hit the ground Running in 2015

imageWow… to think that a new year is here. Last year seems to have run away and along with it all our hopes and dreams of winning the lotto, shaking off the weight, visiting Rome, going on a safari, running an ultra (shh..some of my dreams) and all the other very ambitious goals we had set in what seems like yesterday of Jan 1, 2014. Have no fear though, this is a new year with an opportunity to do it all over again; not the same things obviously but to continue where we left off, to start what we never begun and to try again where we have failed.

We welcome 2015: we welcome the chance to live, to love, to run , to grow, to become the very best versions of ourselves. Each year we try and oftentimes we don’t succeed completely but I’m big on putting one’s best foot forward and if that was you last year, then kudos to you. If for some reason you fubbed up, then this is especially your year – your opportunity to make right by you. No pressure except what you outline for yourself. We’ve spoken before, rewind to last year, about SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound) and I feel that if we really stick to that model, we will accomplish more and so be happy with the results. Being overly ambitious can be seen as setting ourselves up for failure where we end up feeling dejected, stressed and unfulfilled; no good to ourselves or others.

A simple, objective and honest approach is to consider our health, happiness and that of those we care about, to try to enhance each of these in a pragmatic and focused manner. As per always, I encourage you to:

. List your SMART goals, place them where you can see them daily
. Seek God’s direction and guidance in setting and carrying them out
. Share your goals with a friend who can hold you accountable and viz a viz
. Do a journal so you can track your progress
. Be thankful, appreciative and conscious of cultivating the right attitude and perspective every day. I believe this counts for at least 75% of goal attainment

While it may sound clich̩, above all, remind yourself of the gift you have been given of another year and do not take it lightly. Many did not make it and many others are in a sad place, you are loved and have been given the gift of life Рmake it count.

imageHAPPY NEW YEAR!

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This Thankful Running Heart

Photo Credit: Jim McWilliams / The Philadelphia Marathon

To think that it’s Thanksgiving already, that we’re already so close to the year’s end..sometimes I feel as though we’re in this race against time, only we’re getting left despite our best efforts to up the ante and increase our speed. In spite of this, and time’s steady progression, it is important that we take a moment to reflect on what we have been able to achieve thus far and in so doing be better able to continue in our pursuit of excellence and fulfillment.

Thanksgiving provides us the perfect opportunity to look both within and around us to account for our blessings and/or areas in our lives that we are thankful for. For my part, I’m particularly full of running thankfulness, thankful that:

– thus far this year I’ve had very minor running injuries
– I’ve been able to run four marathons within a 12-month period with a faster time each time
– I feel healthy and strong
– I qualified for Boston again
– my knowledge of running grows more and more each day
– I have a running group to train with
– I live and run in beautiful New York
– I’m able to share my running thoughts and dreams with you here on this blog
– I can now appreciate that there are no limits to what I can achieve if I want it badly enough
– through running I have met the most inspirational and dedicated people
– I know and love my body

Of course I’m thankful for a lot more than running; like family, friends, the gym, my job, my faith and yes, completing Philly in 3:34:33! I. Did. It. Last Sunday, I ran the Gore-Tex Philadelphia marathon. Here’s a short recap; downtown Philadelphia is a beautiful and historic city with pretty architecture and happening restaurants. The scenic route of the marathon was pretty cool and saw approximately 30,000 runners take off from center city around 7am. Save for the seemingly endless miles around a reservoir on the course, what can I say – I enjoy variety – this became the most challenging aspect of what was basically a flat and fast course, it would have been a phenomenal sub 3:30 run. Reflecting on my performance, I feel I need to particularly work on my pace in the latter half of a marathon if I’m to really maximize the negative-split concept, which is basically running the second half of the race faster than the first. Around mile 19 the forefront/ underside of my feet began complaining, I am convinced there is an issue there either with my shoes or feet, and I found myself struggling to increase and even keep pace. This led to some challenging moments from which I eventually emerged on top. Still, it was touch and go for a while there and though I’m always up for a challenge, a masochist I am not, so given this is my second time dealing with the same issue, I think this warrants looking into. All in all though, it was a great experience and my fastest marathon thus far, which makes me feel pretty confident moving forward; for this, I am extremely thankful.

Setting goals are great as it provides initiative, momentum and accountability. Realizing your goals are greater still for providing satisfaction, self-confidence, inspiration and a sense of achievement. There’s just over a month left in the year and more than enough time to express our thanks for life’s many blessings while yet keeping our eyes on the goal.

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