Christmas is over. The last of the lights and decorations are packed away and the nativity set is back in its place in the shed. I am a little late this year in packing it up. Maybe I was lazy. Maybe I was busy with other projects. Both are true, but maybe I was holding on to the season a little longer.
We kept Christmas simple this year. We are in the midst of a kitchen remodel and decided that instead of an abundance of gifts, we would create family experiences. A word to the wise, experiences cost as much as gifts so we didn’t save any money with this plan, especially since we ended up buying gifts anyway. However, the time we spent with our kids this year was more valuable than anything we could have purchased.
I’m not one for resolutions, but I do think that once a year is a good time to reflect, reassess, refocus, and recommit. The fact that my birthday is close to the New Year is a happy coincidence. This past year was one of recovery and repair (Ok, enough of the alliteration). It seems that my running injuries are completely healed. Alessandra and I have spent a lot of time running together on the trials and in the neighborhood. Nothing hurts. I completed my 3rd California International Marathon last month and I’m feeling ready to start some serious training for the upcoming season, in spite of the fact that coaching soccer is currently occupying a huge percentage of my time.
Here a few of my goal races for this year.
Resolution Run is done. Just over 2 hours for the tough 10-mile course. Alessandra did the 5k and is coming along in her running and is also spending more time on the trails with me. Running together has become a mainstay of our relationship and a really important part of our quality time.
Way Too Cool 50k – I’m a repeat offender of this race. I’m looking for a PR this year. A solid finish just 3 weeks after the tough Fourmidable goes a long way to indicate my progress.
April is either the Folsom Trail Run with some of my students or the Mokelumne Festival, 50k or 50 miles. This depends on if my wife wants to camp or I have a camping buddy for the Mokelumne Festival. I’ve run the 50k here before and it’s a beautiful course I don’t see very often. I have not been back since Single Track Racing has taken over the event.
LOCO 100k. Last year this was my first 100k attempt. This year I finish no matter what. This is my A race!
I’m open after that but there are a couple of long race possibilities for 2018. I’d like to make another attempt at the FLUT 110k and I’m considering the possibility of trying 100 miles one time. I’ll wait until June to set those in stone for the second half of the year. That’s a lot of running and I hope to do it while also spending time with my family and including the kids on more adventures.
We decided to start our year with a Daniel Fast. The diet that we are using is basically a vegan diet. No dairy, no meat, no alcohol, no coffee, no sugar, etc. We are getting creative with the use of beans and beets already. Healthwise, I expect to lower my blood sugar further, reduce my cholesterol, and lose another 10 pounds. I started last week at 181 pounds and my morning blood sugar was at 143. After 1 week I have lost 2 pounds, but the morning blood sugar remains the same.
In addition to the health benefits, the fast is one of sacrifice with an increased focus on God and His desire for my life. The fast is accompanied by a daily devotional and prayer time that we all are participating in (we allowed the kids to modify their fast to a much less strict version). It fits into our desire to include the entire family in our adventures. More than that, it gives us an opportunity to help our kids learn that we are able to better see how God has blessed us when we sacrifice some of those things we take for granted.
Truth be told, I’m excited about what 2018 holds in store. I’m letting go of my own plans while setting some bodacious goals and putting God in charge. I’m building up to run my greatest distance ever while making sure I don’t sacrifice time with my family. I plan on being healthier, running further, traveling more and building stronger relationships with my family and closest friends. I hope you do the same. I also plan on writing more. I hope you read more.