Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Closing Out 2014

Hard to believe that 2014 is over already, but here's proof -- the final sunset of the year from our hotel room in Puerto Vallarta.

Our vacation has been the perfect end to the year. The weather has been awesome and it's been nice to get away from the cold weather and shorten winter by a week!

After getting a run in on Monday, yesterday I went parasailing for the first time, which was an absolute blast. It was a really cool thing, they strap you up on the beach, the boat starts pulling away and they have you run a few yards on the beach. Then you feel the chute catch the wind and next thing you know, you're up in the air! I probably rode around for about 10 minutes but it sure felt longer. We went out over the ocean and I must have been 100-150 feet above the water. It was so peaceful up there! Coming in for a landing was kind of cool too, although I came in a bit too hot and the guy running it had to corral me a little bit!

Here I am coming in for a landing. Notice the guy looks like he is trying to chase down a long fly ball. I'm glad that he eventually made a great catch!

I got my final run of the year in today. Not really sure how far I went, I ran south along the main drag here for about 20 minutes, then after a quick break in the shade, ran about the same amount of time coming back. I ran a bit further than Monday, this time going past the track stadium and a few blocks into downtown.

It was a good run, but "hace frio!". It's funny how our bodies adjust to different climates, because during the summer at home a run in 82 degrees and low humidity would've been quite comfortable. But since I'm in winter mode now, it was crazy hot, and I felt like I would running in a 100 degree heat index in July. Still, I took it slow (probably covering 3.5 miles), stopped when I needed to and took advantage of all the shade I could.

So that ends my running year. In the end, I'm pretty happy with it despite a few setbacks. I really didn't start running until March and didn't get totally into it until August or September. Still, I had a lot of fun and I'm starting 2015 about 20 pounds lighter than I did last year. So I'll take that!

I didn't race much, by my count I think I ran six 5Ks, but at least I have some momentum heading into next year after breaking 30 minutes just a few weeks ago. My goals for 2015 are pretty ambitious, and I'm looking forward to buckling down when I get home and start working towards them.

Although it was kind of a "shorter" year, I really enjoyed running more than I had in a while. I took a new approach to my races in that I wanted to try being more social and enjoying the experience, and that really helped make things a lot more fun.

On a personal note, it was a huge year. Matt graduated high school and went off to college, Kev started his 8th grade year and, of course, the biggie was that Darcy and I were married on July 26th! I also traveled to Las Vegas, South Carolina and New York during the year, and the Kane County Cougars, the minor league baseball team I cover during the summer, won the Midwest League championship, which made it a great summer to be at the ballpark.

And of course, back in September I resurrected this site and started my new Twitter account. It's been great getting to know new people and sharing our running (and personal) feats with each other. I'm thankful to everyone for really getting me motivated in 2015 and I'm looking forward to meeting some of you next year.

I'm not the best at keeping resolutions, so I typically don't make any. My goal for 2015 is do better. I want to be a better husband, father, friend and role model, I want to do better at reaching my fitness goals and I want to just be a better person and make a difference in people's lives. It should be fun!

So thanks for a great 2014 and I'd like to offer my best wishes to everyone on a happy and blessed 2015!

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