New Year's Resolution No. 1

Christmas is over, with some indulgences regretted, but I have already decided on my first New Year's resolution for 2016.  I would like to markedly improve on my half-marathon time from 2015 by at least 10-15 minutes.  It's going to be a lot of hard work and, to be honest, I am not looking forward to the additional strength training, hill repeats, and speed work but it's all about outlining my short and long term goals, finding and sticking to an appropriate training schedule, and improving and maintaining a healthy nutrition plan. 

Maybe in 2017, I will then shoot for my first marathon.  Running a marathon is definitely a future goal of mine and I have even entertained doing an ultra distance one day but it's one goal at a time.  It's all down to reading Christopher McDougall's Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen and Scott Jurek's Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, which are a couple of must-read books for any runner.

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

Another fun thing I enjoy at the start of another running year is the thought of buying new running shoes.  It's a great time to buy with all of the end of year sales so I will be making a trip to town shortly to drop by one of the running stores and start laying the groundwork for my next half-marathon in 2016.

Good luck to you all in achieving your running goals for 2016!

Best Book I Have Read in 2015

If you want a book that is inspiring and about beating the odds, read Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.  Anyone that has grown up without privilege or social advantage will recognise and appreciate how adversity can shape a person's character, the development of coping skills, and their drive to succeed and overcome commonly perceived disadvantages.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants

Recalling my family's immigrant past, after reading this book, I have learned to appreciate my parents even more and how far my family has come since making a new life in a different country and culture.

I look back now and wish this book had been around when I was 16 years old and questioning my place in the world and where I fit in.

Hats off to Malcolm Gladwell for this great and very profound book.  I hope my children will read it one day also and will learn to appreciate that the best stories may sometimes be sad at the beginning but can end well if we believe enough and put in the work to achieve success.