2014: half-year review.

So….happy July. The year is half over. It’s time to take a quick assessment and make adjustments as needed. What’s good, not so good, lousy. Let’s go!

The good:

* I’m running regularly again, typically five days a week. I’m focusing on my goals (fall races, staying healthy, having fun) with a good mix of easy runs, hill work, tempo runs and long runs.

* I joined a weekend running group (Indiana Trail Running) and have run with them a half-dozen times, usually at Fort Ben. They have helped me enjoy the miles and get a little faster.

* I push myself on days I don’t feel like running. ┬áHaving challenging fall races on the calendar helps a lot.

* I’m losing weight (but not as quickly as a decade or two ago).

* I resumed strength training with push-ups and free weights. It’s a good start, and I need to expand it with core training.

* I had fun re-reading old running journals and starting a new one. All in all, I’m happy with how things are progressing.

* Running gives me joy. It’s as simple as that.

* In non-running news, I remodeled my kitchen, did some good things at work, won some awards, and choked back a tear as my older son graduated from high school. Our family also rescued two cats from the shelter.

The bad:

* The Winter That Would Never End threw a wrench into everything. The first three months of 2014 were a disaster.
* I scrapped plans to run two spring races I had registered for: the Fools 25K and the Glass City Half Marathon. That was the worst feeling.
* I had another birthday in May. I’m a year older. And I’m no closer to qualifying for Boston than I was 10 years ago.
The Ugly:
* Now that I’m in my mid-50s, it takes me longer to wake up and get going in the morning. I used to jump out of bed at 6 a.m. and go running. Now I get out of bed at 7 and drink coffee for an hour. Is that normal?
* I still need to lose 15 pounds. Why is it so hard at my age?
* My IT band occasionally grumbles. But so far, it hasn’t done anything worse, likeseize up or go lame.
Looking ahead:
* Keep doing the good stuff: daily running, stretching, journaling. Stay on course.
* After my trail relay in August, shift gears for the fall half-marathons. That means speed work at the track and more tempo runs.
* Have fun, stay healthy, keep feeling the joy. Otherwise, what’s the point?
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