December 23rd: Like most of you I have taken the weeks since cross country ended a bit easier. I’m been running 3-4 days a week and putting in only 15-20 miles a week. Christmas Break provides the perfect opportunity to begin the process of becoming more serious about training again. My personal goal this break is to run a total of 400 minutes. This comes out to between 30 and 35 minutes per day. What better way to complete this goal than to post my daily progress for accountability. Today I just wanted to get a decent start on the goal. I went out nice and easy and never pushed at all but remained comfortable throughout. I hope each of you enjoy your break from school. Today: 44:20 5.4 miles.

December 24th: First thing that I was reminded of this morning was the one thing that I lost in my move to Pella a year and a half ago, my running gloves. Don’t know how I lost those, but I think I might have used them this morning. I did our normal Saturday run this morning. I was pleased to see that hunting season must be done, and the running path was open. As I ran this morning I was reminded of why I love to run. There are few things in life that make me feel as alive as running. Remember back to elementary school when it didn’t matter how fast or long you ran, you simply ran because it felt good. Very seldom do you see a small child running around without a smile on their face. Each of us need to remember that feeling when we run, it’s fun. Today: 61:20 8 miles; Total: 105:40 13.4 miles

December 25th: Merry Christmas!!! I wasn’t entirely sure if I would go running today, but then my wife said she wanted to go running, and she asked me to show her where we start our runs out at the dam normally. Since my children have completely taken over the GameCube this morning I figured why not. So, I went out easy for two miles (15:35), came back faster (13:55), and then jogged for two minutes as a cool-down. I hope that you each are having some great family time. Don’t be stubborn teenagers full-time, take a break, and for a few minutes tell your family how much they mean to you. Again, Merry Christmas!!! Today: 31:20 4.2 miles, Total: 137:00 17.6 miles

December 26th: I just didn’t feel like going for a run today. Ever feel that way? Each of us need something that helps us get out the door and run. For most of you I recommend a running partner who you have to meet. For me today, I thought of my wedding vows. On my wedding day I vowed before God, our family and friends that I would love my wife everyday until the day I die. Since that day nine years ago there have been days when I haven’t felt the same sense of love and devotion. My wife can upset me sometimes. There are days when I simply feel like being selfish. The thing that too many people forget or ignore is that love is not a feeling, it is an action. So, when I don’t feel like loving my wife, I act. I empty the dishwasher, or fold the laundry, or pick up a room. Love is an action, and doing these little things kick starts my feelings of love. Our bodies and minds were wonderfully made like that. Our actions push our feelings back into the proper place. Five minutes into my run I was glad I went. So, you don’t feel like running today? Don’t worry about it. Running isn’t a feeling, it’s an action. Go enjoy your run. Today: 45:10 5.4 miles, Total: 182:10 23 miles

December 27th: I could definately feel today that I haven’t run five days in a row since the season ended. My legs felt heavy and tired. I need to stretch a bit more this evening and make sure I’m well hydrated. With the cold weather it’s easy to forget to drink lots of water. Make sure you are getting your 64-80 ounzes of water daily. Today: 31:40 4.0 miles, Total: 213:50 27 miles

December 29th: Took yesterday off. With the race tomorrow I figured I’d give my legs one day of rest. Local road races are a great way to stay motivated between seasons. If you are in town I hope I’ll see you there tomorrow. Give someone else a call and bring them along. Oh, and I can’t believe it’s almost January and I ran in shorts today. Crazy. Today: 39:30 5 miles, Total: 253:20 32 miles

December 30: The race this morning was very low key. I ran most of the way up front talking with several other runners. One of which was an ultra-marathoner. He was 50 years old, and has more than 50,000 miles logged in a journal he keeps of his running. This past year he had done a 24-hour run in which he completed 114 miles. Wow. He also ran the Des Moines Marathon this past year in 3:21. That was the day after completing a 50 mile run up in Minnesota. He is running a 50K Monday down in Cameron, Missouri. He said he runs one marathon a year and then 7-8 ultra-marathons plus lots of smaller road races. It was fun to run with new people, and buy a cool new running shirt. I had planned to run to and from the race to log some extra milage, but my wife came to Worksystems after I ran so I took the ride home. Today: 66:10 8.4 miles, Total: 319:30 40.4 miles

December 31: Wow, were my calves and quads sore today. Lots of stetching for me rest of the day. As my goal begins to come into sight it feels good to have run as much as I have. I had been running close to 400 minutes every three weeks, so to run the same in under two weeks is a great step. The question I need to answer for myself after the next few days is what is the next goal? What should the goal be for each of you over the next six weeks prior to track starting. I’ll have some more thoughts on this in a day or two. Today: 35:10 4.4 miles, Total: 354:40 44.8 miles

January 2: Took my second day of break off yesterday. However, I confess it wasn’t entirely on purpose. I learned how to play Risk on New Year’s Eve and I am now addicted. Great game. Spent too much time yesterday playing. You’ll notice below that I didn’t allow myself to reach 400 minutes yet today. This will ensure that I go out for a run tomorrow. Hope everyone is rested and ready to start up school again. I know it has been a very refreshing break for me. Today: 36:30 4.6 miles, Total: 391:10 49.4 miles

January 3rd: Almost forgot to post my run from this morning. I think the #1 reason I was able to achieve my goal of 400 minutes running over break was my posting my progress here. As far as I know not a single person read any of this. With the season over, why would anyone check this site? However, the idea that one of you might read this each day kept me accountable. We each need people that keep help us keep track of our successes and failures. As a team we are all stronger than any individual. So while no one may see this, thanks for your help in my accomplishing this goal. See you tomorrow at school. Today: 40:10 5 miles, Total: 431:20 54.4 miles