I’ll close with comparison photos of Squirt I recently put together. The old man was not cooperating with my photo shoot so I couldn’t get him in the exact same pose, but you can still see how much he’s aged over 10 years! He was 4 1/2 on the left, now he’s 14 1/2.
Well, it’s 2014. I spent the morning gorging on unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden, then ran 5 miles in the afternoon. It may have been my longest run since the 10K (6 miles) on Thanksgiving. It felt great though, thanks to all the lovely running-related Christmas gifts I received this year from friends and family — a GPS watch, a handy water bottle, running tops, wool moisture-wicking socks and my new iPhone. Everyone always makes reflective What Happened in 2013 posts and I was about to say not much happened for me, but that wouldn’t exactly be true. I had a lot of people come visit — three different friends and my parents. It also seemed like I didn’t travel much, mostly because it was the first year in a while I didn’t make it to China, but I did manage to visit Paris, Salzburg, Munich, Fussen, Brussels, Bruges, Athens, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Chicago and Milwaukee. That’s quite a few passport stamps. Most importantly, though, 2013 was the year I got into running. I started with a simple goal — finish the couch to 5K program — and then six months later I completed my first 10K. I started simply to “get fit” and because my pants were getting tighter after one too many beers and pretzels in Germany. I never expected to get the sense of accomplishment and mood elevation that now come with every run. I’m not going to say 2014 will be the year I conquer a half marathon — 13.1 miles still seems terrifying to me — but I definitely intend to keep moving in 2014 and pushing myself harder.