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Happy New Year’s Eve! Can you believe that 2017 is ending already? And with such bitterly challenging cold weather here, record low temperatures expected tonight. The snow that I expected to melt quickly is lingering. And the cold is keeping us indoors a little more than usual. Is it cold where you live?

Overall, it’s been a good year. Let’s summarize and review the highlights briefly and I have a few announcements.

In reviewing any year, I examine if I was able to meet my fitness and health goals for the year. Fortunately I was able to meet many of these goals but missed on a couple too. Pursuing a goal of running 2,017 miles was one goal. Yes, the total is 2285.41 for run-walk running mileage for the year so we met that one. Also, I was successful in extending my runstreak past the 4 year point earlier last month. We’re on runstreak day 1504 today, thanks in part to many family and friends who have supported me, including many who are also runstreakers, fitness enthusiasts, and run-walk aficionados. On the Amerithon Challenge sponsored by Run the Year (covering 3521 miles), I’m still a little short of the finish line (less than 200 miles left) but I covered a lot of ground this year towards the challenge, dividing it between running, walking, and swimming (no biking miles yet but I will add some early next year to help reach the finish).

THANK YOU to all of you who have supported me on my fitness, health, and running journey! I appreciate you so much!

My racing has gone well this year: I was unable to break my half-marathon PR but ran a respectable 1:44 in Lincoln and also ran the Galloway virtual half in September on a new trail course that I created. I broke my PR for the 10k this year in a race. I don’t think I was able to PR in the 5k distance this year.

Unfortunately, I was unable to run a full marathon this year. Hope to add one or two next year if possible.

Health-wise, I’ve been very fortunate. No injuries all year. My asthma has been under control. Fatigue has been a little bit of an issue but I find that tapering a little, the gentle fade at the end of the year helps. It works better to fade late in December than to overexert and have no energy for fitness at the beginning of January.

Lately the cold weather has forced me to run more indoors and I’ve adjusted well to that, except for a little struggling with downhill running (when it’s -6% grade or so) so I’m working on that. My uphill running is pretty strong. I like being able to vary where I run on the treadmill using GPS maps that others have drawn, as few as a few that I create. Variety helps us do better with fitness.
I’ve also tried to make sure I’m designating a few days per week that are easy effort as I know otherwise I tend to overexert and overtrain if I’m not carefully mindful of balance in my workout schedule, allowing time for rest and recovery (yes that includes sleep too).

With more darkness in winter, I’m using my headlamp a little more so I remind myself to charge it. It’s helpful to have a headlamp and phone light when I run or walk, especially in slippery conditions, particularly if the dog is with me.

And more darkness means it’s more difficult for pedestrians and drivers to see us if we aren’t wearing enough bright, light, and reflective clothing. One way to help with this is to add Brilliant Reflective safety strips to your clothing, gear, shoes, dog leash, water bottle, etc. Some have even added the strips to their bicycles to enhance the safety and reflectors already there. I’m replacing some of my safety strips this time of the year. I try to check at least once a month to make sure all the safety strips are still intact, attached, and still reflecting at a safe level. What do these look like? I’ll show you a picture.

See? Even Abe Lincoln supports Brilliant Reflective. I think Abe might be reflecting about it right now in our Christmas ornament.

If you’re interested in trying Brilliant Reflective or have any questions about it, please let me know. I’m a Brilliant ambassador and I’d be happy to help you. Otherwise, here is the Brilliant Reflective website so you can learn more about it:

Hopefully you have had a good year. Remember some years are better than others and each year is a new opportunity to start over in improving our health and fitness. Some years feel more like rebuilding years, especially when we are dealing with injuries and illness. But if we are smart about our health and fitness and take care of ourselves, we can place ourselves in position to reach peak performance. Then we can climb to new heights.

One more announcement: I’m excited to announce that I’ve been selected as a Medi-Dyne ambassador for 2018. (I tested Medi-Dyne’s FootShield last year and reviewed it for BibRave as a BibRavePro.) As a Medi-Dyne ambassador, I have a special 20% off exclusive code to share with you so you can order Medi-Dyne products with a discount. Here’s the code: AJM20. And Medi-Dyne’s website if you need it is: I’ll be testing some products and reviewing them next year for Medi-Dyne and I’ll tell you more about that soon.

Yes, I’m returning as a BibRave ambassador in 2018 as well and I will write that up in a special blogpost next year.

When is my next race? January 20, 2018, the Empyrean Trail 10k, a new distance on a somewhat familiar course.

Have you set running, health, and fitness goals yet for next year? If so, what are they? So far I haven’t set many other than running 2018 miles or more both solo (and with a team for the first time) with Run the Year (via Run the Edge) and also the Galloway 2018 mile challenge (new run-walk community challenge).

Wishing you a Happy New Year! May it be healthy, safe and prosperous and may you reach your fitness goals and dreams.

With a snowy twinkle in my eye, it’s time to say goodbye!