Monday, December 29, 2014

Lessons learned on the run.

This is part of an old post I wrote over a year ago.  However there are many things from this that I am still learning today that this is a great reminder of.  The 50 miles that God helped me complete help teach me lesson to make it through hard days.

Some important things I learned on the run.........

God answered my prayers but wish he would answer other prayers for sick people and hard situations.

God put this hill in my way
     -to grow me stronger
     -to rely on him
     -to let His strength carry me
     -to glorify Him.

I love my wife and kids.  She does so much for every person in this family.  And she truly loves me as she submits to the Lord. 

Lastly somewhere along the course I spotted a feather.  I picked it up and put in my backpack.  In a hard spot I would think about the Bible and the verse that mentions soaring on wings like eagles.  I decided to find two more, one for each of my girls.  Little did I know how important they would be!  When I got home I looked up the full verse and cried. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Big Reveal. Part 1

If you look through past posts you will find that I was reluctant to announce my running plans for 2015.  I was worried I wouldn't register.  I was worried that I would be injured.
I have had a great build phase and a decent first 2 weeks of training.  So I battled through server issues for a few hours and registered today for part one of my next adventure.

This May I will be attempting the Ice Age Trail 50 miler.  

I have always wanted to run this event and have volunteered twice in the past.  I enjoyed my time at the road crossing on Bluff Road West helping other finish their adventure.  The event was always well put together.  In the late summer of 2013 I ran some of the Ice Age trail for my first 50 miler.  That part of the trail was further north than this event.  I have done a fair share of training and hiking on the Ice Age trail and I am excited to make it the location for another 50 mile attempt.  

Join me and follow along as I train for part one of this amazing journey. 
Stay tuned for a news announcement about part two of this journey.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


What do you wear for winter running?  Shorts, sweat pants, or tights?  Tights, for men?  No way, maybe the ladies can wear tights but men don't wear tights.  I know what your thinking, men in tights....blech!  There is nothing wrong with men in tights.  Okay only if you are an elf or in a medieval movie.

Or if in Ballet, I forgot that is an acceptable use. 

I have been wearing tights during the winter for 3 years now.  I love them.  No I don't dace or sign songs in them, but they keep me warm.  You know what else keeps me warm in the winter, sitting on the couch.  But if I am out running I don the tights, no shorts.  I think that shorts over tights is dorky.  Who am I to speak I am wearing tights.  I didn't know how socially unacceptable men in tights were until I was forced to go out in public in them.  I was getting ready for a run when the wife notified me of a clog in the toilet.  We had no plunger so I went to the hardware store all dressed for my run.  I picked out the perfect plunger and went to the check out line.  The cashier offered help to check me out, and then looked and my tights, then me, and back to the tights again.  She flashed me the not impressed face and silently did her job, that was a long awkward silence. Hey to my credit I did go out and run 13.1 miles.  I felt like I should have told everyone that gave me a weird look I was going to run a half marathon later.  

My favorite pair of tights, my only pair of tights has a hole in the crotch.  Too much chub rub I guess.  I need a new pair to train for the winter.  As funds are low my wife offered me her pair to use.  That got me thinking, what really is the difference between men's and women's tights.  To me they look the same.  Today I borrow my wife's tights to see if there is any difference.  I am able to report, I think there is.  I don' t like them there is a difference.  My butt kept hanging out the back end and the calf was too loose at the ankle, and too long.  I need a pair of MAN tights.  
Do you wear tights when you run? 

When I run in tights I like to think that I look like this. 

But I probably look more like this.....

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Build Week #7 (Final Week)

This was my final week of the build phase.  I started the week with a mile walk and later that day a 1.8 mile run.  The next day was 2 miles on the bike and some weight work.  2 days off and then a nice 5k.  A day off and then my long run of 13.1.

I ended my build phase with 13.1.  I felt good about the time.  Only 17 seconds slower than when I started my training phase in 2013.  So with all that has happened I feel good about that.  Especially being injury free and ready to move to the next phase.  Monday begins my 23 week training schedule.
December 1st the start of a new journey.


     I know it sounds corny and cliche but I am thankful for running.  I have been given life and breath from the creator.  With this life I move my body in thankfulness.  The gift of running has helped me connect to other people and has helped me connect to myself and helped me connect to God.  God created our bodies to move, when my body moves as a run I am praising my God for what he created.
Acts 17:25 He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things (running)

    There was a time this year that I was not able to run and my personal life suffered.  My psyche was trashed and I was not in a good place.  I needed to rely on my God and his patience to get over my injury.  This Thanksgiving I am truly happy to run.
Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.  

     When I'm out running I usually pray.  I pray for others, or my family.  I pray to get through the current run sometimes.  It is my time to talk to God.  While my body is praising God through movement my mind is in communication with God.  I am excited to continue my journey in life and running.  2015 has some big things on the horizon.  I desire to grow closer to God in 2015.  However I need to rely on Him for the gift of running.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Build Week #6

This week personally was stressful.  I was glad for the times when I could run.
The week started Sunday with 6.2 on the trails after a fresh snow.  It was just me at the snow.

Monday was 3.1 on the treadmill at the gym.  Wednesday my man friend joined me at the gym for 3.54 miles it was nice to catch up since its been a while.
I ended the week with 8.1 miles on the Interurban trail with my cousin, another person that I have not seen for a while.  8.1 miles feels easy and goes by fast when you have a lot of catching up to do.

21.1 miles total.  Good week, feeling good in my legs.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Build Week #5

Wow.  I can't believe that 5 weeks have pasted already.  This week started a mile walk to church.   Monday I was able to run my 5k route.  Tuesday was a mile warm up on the bike then weights.  Wednesday I rested and Thursday did 4 miles on the treadmill at the gym.  Friday was movie night with family.  Saturday I had all hopes to run 10 miles.  By Wednesday I felt like 8 would be okay, I checked the weather and thought 6 indoors would be great, by Saturday it is going to be football and beer.  Friday night I was eating cookies while planning my route for Saturday's long run.  I had set out to run 7.25.  When I woke up Saturday my phone said 8 degrees. No. Thank. You.  So I went to the gym and figured 6.2 was good enough.  Once I got on the treadmill I thought blah and ended at 2 miles.  I'll go out tomorrow at noon when its 32 degrees.  I just didn't have it today.  I went and lifted for 25 minutes and even that was not satisfying.  Overall I am feeling good.  11.2 miles this week and 66.2 total for the 5 weeks.

 There is an event coming soon that I would like to sign up for.  Last year was the inaugural event and I missed it.  The cost is 20$ plus a toy.  If I were to sign up for this I would not have enough funds to sign up for my spring race that I have my eye on.  The race is a 20k or 10k indoor on a .285 mile track.  My spring race that I have my eye on is 80$ and sells out in less than 8 hours.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Build Week #4

This week was a good week.  Running was good to me.
2 days off then a 3.1 outside run with a really decent pace.  The next day I ran 2 on the treadmill then 15 minutes of weight work.  48 hours later I ran my long run.  I moved it up to Friday evening.   I love doing this to spend more time with the family on the weekend.  10 miles on the trail with just my thoughts.  It was wonderful to see stalks of gain so heavy they bow to earth.  Dried Queen Anne's lace frozen in various forms of blossom.  Sprigs of lavender so tall they tower over my head.  Goldenrod turned brown, ready for winter.  I ran at my all day pace, and felt like I could run all day.  My leg got tight at mile 8.7, but then my nipple hurt and I forgot about my leg.  Tomorrow I will swim for a bit as recovery.  15.1 Total miles for the week.

One month till registration opens and I feel like everything is going well.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Day Light Savings

Gone are the days of 70 degree weather.  Gone are swimsuits and short sleeves.  Along with that running during the middle of the week after work.  This weekend we rolled our clocks back an hour.  The kids woke up at their normal time, today that happened to be an hour earlier at 5:30am.

This time of year the sun sets at about 5pm.  And it is only going to get earlier everyday.  It is impossible to run after work in sunlight now.  Here is to long runs outside on the weekend, it gives me something to look forward to.  I foresee a lot of treadmill miles in the dark.  Sounds like an 80's song.  "Miles in the dark"

 Maybe for my next adventure learning to run in the night would be a good idea.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Build week #3

Tuesday  1.2 elliptical miles, 2 miles on treadmill, and 15 minutes lifting.
Wednesday 1.4 mile walk
Thursday 3.1 miles on the treadmill
Saturday 7 miles

14.7 miles total

The week was busy at work so I got in what I could when I could.  This weeks long run was pretty hard.  My pace went from 9:00 to 11:04.  I couldn't keep an even pace at all.  I took frequent walk breaks.  My mind was playing tricks on me, by that I mean the pain in my leg.  Maybe I freaked out over it and caused the pain.  My stamina was gone.  Was it the stressful 55+ hour week? The increase in miles? Bad nutrition? Who knows!  However I did complete the distance.  Not much lingering trouble.  Sunday will be a rest day and Monday yoga, back to the miles on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Elliptical

Today was supposed to be two mile Tuesday.  I was feeling some lingering soreness in my right leg.  I went for a two mile hike in old flat zero drop shoes on Saturday and felt soreness all weekend.  Nothing major just enough to play mind games all weekend.  But with how much I have been through with this past injury I worry.  Monday I worked 13 hours and didn't have time for anything, so a double rest day on Sunday and Monday.  I was going to cross train Tuesday and then run 2 Wednesday and 3 Thursday.  When I got to the gym I hopped on an elliptical.  I felt my leg getting tight.  so after 18 minutes and 1.2 miles I jumped off.  By the way what is 1.2 elliptical miles really equate to after all?  As I though about the mechanics of my legs as I used the elliptical I didn't like what conclusion came to me.  My legs forced to stay in the same position caused me to over extend my reach.  This was creating more flexion in my ankle and thus using more of my peroneal muscle.  This extra use was not welcomed and I felt some tightness.  Also on the elliptical I noticed my hamstrings were too tight.  Maybe I also had a muscle imbalance.  The elliptical is great because there is no impact on the joints, but I think it is not for me at this point.  The voices in my head were not good.  How could I complete xyz miles if I can't even do this? I made the choice to try running on the treadmill.  I was defeated and devastated mentally, but I couldn't give up.  I took the pace slower than normal (12:00) and started with a 4 and 1 run/walk.  When I was running I was able to shorten my stride putting less strain on my peroneal, thus less tightness.  At the end of the run I started taking up the pace (8:03).  So I was able to complete two miles on the treadmill and across a range of paces from walk to 8 minuet miles.  I like the treadmill for being able to keep my pace down.  When I run on the road it is hard to pull back sometimes.  As I sit here tonight the muscle feels sore and used but not too bad.  With all that is going on I think some yoga is needed tomorrow.  I will also stay off of the elliptical for now.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Build Week #2

This week was a good week for running and a bad week for work stress.
Sunday was a great 1.8 mile run outside.
Tuesday a mile hike at work, a mile on the elliptical, and 20 minutes of serious upper body lifting.
Wednesday a 3.2 mile run outside. A total stress relief.  Great mid week miles.  
Thursday 7  miles on a bike at the gym and 15 minutes of weights, arms again.
Friday I did my long run after work.  5 Miles outside no pain!!! The weather was warm for late October.
Saturday I took a 2 mile hike with the family.

End of build week #2
10 running miles
7 bike miles
3 hiking miles
1 elliptical mile
35 minutes lifting.
21 total miles.  On to week #3.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Build Week 1

     This week was good.  Of course its the first week.  1.5 mile treadmill run and 10 minutes of weight lifting.  Long run on Friday night goal was 3 miles, I hit 4 miles.  Some running and walking to complete the distance but I did it.  After the run I swam 250 yds.  Saturday I finished the week with a 2.5 mile hike.  We went hiking where my two target races start and finish.  What a great way to start build week 1.  8.16 miles in all.

Friday, October 17, 2014

It's been a while, I'm Back!

     I have made up my mind to attempt another journey.  So why not open up the blog once again.  It will be a place to run with me and travel the journey together.
     This week was week one of build phase.  This build phase is 8 weeks long.  The long run for week one is 3 miles.  Each week I will add about 2 miles to each long run.  If I feel strong and healthy after the 8 weeks I will register for my spring races.
      This summer I got injured running a half marathon.  I transitioned slowly to zero drop Altra shoes.  I was up to 15 miles on the roads.  So I figured it would be okay to run 13.1 in the very flexible Altra shoe on a very hard trail run.  Boy was I wrong.  By the end of the run I was worn.  I had no control over the placement of my feet and sounded like I was scuba Steve running down hill.
     Some doctors said it was a stress reaction causing compartmental syndrome.  A very wise PT said it was a peroneal strain.  What ever it was sidelined me from July to September.
     So lately I joined a gym and started cross training, if you can call it that.  I was doing everything but running.  I lifted and used the elliptical.
     I think I am back from the injury.  Follow along this journey with me.  I will be announcing my plans here soon.

Monday, June 16, 2014

It's been awhile

I have still been running, in fact I have also been biking a lot too.  May I had the most miles in a month ever 338!  With the start of a new job I have had little time to blog.  I don't have an amazing long journey line up for the fall.  However I do have some great half marathons on the schedule.  I just finished pacing the Rock n Sole half in Milwaukee.  WOW, that is one of the greatest feelings to lead other people to reach their goals.  I added another pair of Altra running shoes to the mix.  The Torin is a great shoe with added cushioning.  I tried on the Olympus at a local running store and did not like the over cushioned feeling.  Going to take time in the next month to prepare for a trail half at Dances with Dirt.  It should be a great course and a great time with friends and family.  In the mean time keep running, stay strong....till next run....

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Do Biking Miles Count?

I have been active, but I have not been running.  I love my bike.  It is nothing fancy.  Its an old Trek mountain bike, but it gets me from here to there and back again.  I have also been able to use it for some cross training.  I am a proponent of pedal power.  I am been attempting to ride my bike to work since it is close to my house.  It actually takes longer to drive and park than it does to ride my bike.  25 minutes vs 15 minutes.  
When I log on to may map I have 115 miles this month.  I feel good about that number.  The scale says 182-185.  I don't like those numbers.  My Quads have really been starting to get some tone and definition, bonus there.  When I look at how many miles I ran that number goes down.  36 miles ran this month, and 13.1 of that was at once.  I look at time spent in activity and it is slightly down from last month a 90 miles month.  All this causes me to believe that biking miles don't count.  I know they are better than no miles.  If I focus on the time spent in activity, that may be a better indicator of fitness.  
Today I had the chance to run a 5k.  It was at a small park in a near by community.  My wife and kids all got to come cheer me and the other runners on.  Not only that but being there helped support the cause.  It was a two loop course around a river.  My wife said it was easy to spot me.  She could tell by my running form.  So I asked her hoping I would hear, "You have great Running form, that is how I knew it was you."  Instead she said, "You were the runner in neon green at the back of the second lead pack who was holding his boobs."  Supposedly I run with my hands near my "CHEST" All things considered this was a great event and my family made it better.  Even if I hold my boobs when I run.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

I promised....and lied.

This year I promised my wife and running buddy that I would not run a race longer than 13.1 miles.  After attempting to fit into my nice clothes at Easter I realized, I lied.  I need to train for ultra marathons to fit into the clothes I own.  I need to train for ultra marathons so I can eat the food I like.
     Today I saw the wheelchair division finish the Boston Marathon.  I wanted to leave my desk and go run 26.2 this evening.  Then I saw the women's finish.  And then I wanted to sign up for a marathon, but I promised my wife and running buddy I wouldn't.  Next, Meb K. Won the Boston Marathon.  I realized I lied.  I really want to run long distances again.  I never said that I wouldn't run 13.1 and then 13.1 again, right away.  

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

South Shore Half Marathon

This past weekend I ran the south shore half marathon.  This race was my first half marathon ever.  That and my first 12.64 mile run.  Let me explain.  When I first started running I heard about this thing called a half marathon.  I looked on the computer for the closest event to my house and South Shore Half returned in the search.  Two months later I set my mind on running 13.1 alone, by myself, no aid stations.  What's an aid station?  I started out on the course and turned around about where I thought was right.  3:30 later I returned to where I started, but I was not the same person that left down that trail nearly 4 hours previous.  I could barely walk and hurt in many, many places.  When I looked it up I only ran 12.64 miles, not a true half marathon.  however there was no taking away what happened inside, that day I ran out and back on the South Shore Trail.
    I did not return to this corner of the earth until 2012.  I ran the half marathon and finished in 2:02.  The next year I finished in 2:00.  This winter was difficult and I feel like I did not trail like I wanted to or should have.  I put on some extra weight and never really shed any.
   The day of the race I ran into my cousin who is a rock star runner. (Boston, Big Sur) She asked me if I knew my pace.  I said I have no idea yet.  This was just minutes before the gun was to go off.  I said 9's I figure and she move up ahead to the rock star pace area.  Not only did I feel my training was lacking but also this was my first marathon in zero drop shoes.
    Knowing the ins and outs of the course was great, it made it feel like home.  This course has always kicked my butt.  More hills and more weaving than expected.  Mentally I felt prepared.  I felt like that night before a test you know you don't need to study for.
   This year I finished in 1:57.  A record for this course.  Spring races all ways kick my butt.  However I am happy with this result.  I got a cramp in my right leg about mile 11.  After then turn around I started calculating my minimum pace to break 2 hours.  Not too bad for my 10th Half Marathon.  I have come a long way.
    My Altra instincts 1.5 were great.  I would recommend them to anyone.
   With a result this good I am excited to see what kind of PR I can set in August.  Till next run!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Almost There

 I just finished my long run for the upcoming half marathon.  This year I made a pact with my running buddy that we will not run a race over 13.1.  We wanted to make a commitment to our families and not eat up so much time away from home.
   10+ miles in my Altra Instincts 1.5 and my legs feel okay.

 Nothing out of the ordinary.  I continue to stretch my legs around the house during the day.  I should be good to go in two weeks for 13.1.  My goal for that race is just to complete the distance wearing zero drop shoes.
    Looking at my twitter information (DR_Foucault click here to visit) my information says ultra-runner this weekend.  Well that is a lie.  Since I am not running anything over 13.1 can I call myself an ultrarunner?  Okay maybe former ultrarunner.  After this half marathon I feel like I can call myself a zero drop runner.  Until then I am just going to well, run.  Because running is what I do.  I am a runner.
   Speaking of running.  I got a new to me bike.

So glad I have something to ride to work, when if it gets warmer.  Also plan on using this for some cross training.  I took it out for an almost 5 mile spin.  Wow, that is some different kind of leg workout. 
  For now I will continue to work towards 13.1 in my zero drops.  Add some biking in there when the weather lets me.  After April 5th, the half marathon, I will start working on more trails and hills, hills and hills.  

Sunday, March 02, 2014


So what is new with you?  We hear that phrase frequently in our society.  The calendar has changed but the season remains the same.  It is still cold and snowy and windy and miserable.  I have made good friends with the indoor running track.  The zero drop transition has gone well so far.  I've made it up to 4.7 miles in one run.  I experienced a minor set back this weekend in a leg cramp at night, but I got those when I ran in other shoes too.  This years first race/event will be the South Shore Half Marathon on April 5th.  I don't know how much I will race, and it will be an event for sure.  I am hoping that in 5 weeks I can stretch my distance from 4.7 miles to 13.1.  My plan is to run Wednesdays and Saturdays, Speed work and long runs.  Any time the temp is above 30 I will go for a bonus 1-3 miles.  My base is feeling better after 40 in February.  Looking ahead to March, and warmer temperatures too.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I give up

 I read in a running magazine that if you eat the same calories that you burn after after 30 you will gain a pound a year.  So in order not to keep gaining weight I need to give up something.  For 2014 I give up chips.  No more potato and Doritos chips for me.  That is something I am willing to give up to be healthy.  Burgers are something I cannot part with yet, that and pizza.  I almost added bacon to that list.  Almost, but not yet.  What are you willing to give up to be healthy?

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Zero Drop

     I have walked all of last year in my Altra zero drop shoes.  I covered about 200 miles of just walking in my zero drop shoes.  I spent all day at work on my feet in them.  In the summer I received a pair of Saucony zero drop shoes and probably ran about 50 miles in those.
     When I first started running I was told I needed support shoes.  I ran in a pair of Asics 2160's and Brooks Adrenaline.  These shoes were big and clunky.  The offset from heel to toe was 12mm.  Now after running for a few years I find those shoes offer too much support to my feet. So last year I ran in shoes with 10mm heel to toe drop.  I also mixed in the zero drops for walking and some speed work.
     I feel like this is the year for zero.  Zero drop that is.  With keeping my races to half marathons this is a perfect year to work on my form and speed.  Runners World has an article for those thinking about the transition.   Runners World has an article for those thinking about the transition.  Altra shoes also has a great guide on how to transition. 
     From now until April 5th my running journey will be attempting to complete a half marathon in zero drop shoes.  I want to get back to racing weight by dropping 10+ pounds. April till July 12th will be hills and speedwork.  July to August I will focus on tempo runs, attempting to set a half marathon PR at the Badgerland Strider Half.
     Join me on this journey to running and eating natural.
Till next run...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What to do in 2014

What happens on the days you run 13.1 miles but feel like you could keep going.  What if you set out to run 50k, just didn't have it and stop at 16.  After searching what to do for my running year the picture is finally becoming more clear.  Due to circumstances outside of my control I now have a better vision for 2014.  This year I want to give back to the running community.  I desire to keep running simple and primitive.
There is a certain thrill that is only found on race day.  It is injected in our veins and makes us run too fast at the sound of the gun and sign up for another race even though we swear to never do it again, EVER!
I love race day, but after reflecting on it.  I don't get it.  Why should I pay 65$ to run 13.1 miles in the woods.  I could run on the same trails any other day for free.  If I were to take that 65$ I could buy my own tech shirt, a case of beer, and a few boxes of cliff bars.  I would still have money left over.  Some say it is the lure of giving back to charity to enter a race.  I can donate 50$ to the charity of my choice and run my butt off 20 times around the block.  What about the shared experiences?  How many runners you know blog about it? Write about it on Dailymile or Facebook?  We are all connected via technology in greater ways than ever before.  There is something to say about personal contact with other humans from time to time, even the apes need it.  So the next time I am out for a run it may be a race.  If you are the guy in front of me I just may race you, yes on what you perceive as a "training" run.  However, it's my race day baby!  I don't want to be "that" guy that makes every thing a male ego competition.  I just do not get paying lots of money for an experience that I can make better myself.  Now there are some races that allow you to run on city streets that are normally closed to foot traffic.  I get that.  Signing up for a race can give us something to focus on and train for.  Races are great for that.
This year I am going to focus on being a pacer for two half marathons.  It is one way I can give back to others.  I will also be volunteering at the Ice Age 50.  The last two years I've sat at a road crossing, and I will be back at my post again this year.  In August the Triathlon Nationals will be in Milwaukee and once again I will help out with that.
I made a pact with my running buddy to not run any event over 13.1 miles.  Personally I want to run South Shore Half, and maybe the BLS half in August.  I may also add the Dances with Dirt in Devils Lake.  It is 49$ and a few hours drive.  I have not fully justified the total cost yet.  I know that for 51$ I can get a pair of trail shoes and run all summer long.  Until then I will run for what it is.  Moving my feet!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Years Resolutions?

Every year when people wake up tired and hungover on this day hopes and aspirations of a better self awake too.
This year I do not have any concrete goals.  They are more approximations and guidelines.  As humans we all want to improve and better ourselves.  So in the spirit of improvement I desire to better myself.

Physically I would love to drop some weight.  Last year at this time I set a goal to get below 160 pounds and I did it for a few weeks.  As I sit and write this I am almost 20 pounds heavier.  I don't know how much I want to lose, but I know in peak form 165-168 pounds is a great racing weight.  I will not be in peak form till May or June, so I have some time.  Around Christmas time I let my self go and begin to eat like junk and run less.  This year the damage is about 15 pounds worth.  Last year I took a weekend in January to reset my body.  I ate juice for breakfast and lunch and a vegetarian meal for dinner.  I plan on doing it again this weekend.  I need to limit my intake of sugar and fatty foods.  I let myself get out of control over the holidays. This post is more of an awaking and confession of bad habits that need to get back in line.

Mentally, I suppose reading more would increase my mental fortitude.  Less television in 2014 would help.  There is too much on TV lately that is crap and awful to subject my children to.

Spiritually, I want to love more.  I wish to be an open and accepting person.  I want to help love people who need it.

All these are good things for the new year, but they are hard to measure.  That is why I feel like they are my guidelines for 2014.  I could say I will only watch 10 hours of TV per week.  What if I watch 11?  Will I be a failure?  I am not setting strict limitations because of a fear of failure, but because I become too legalistic.  I would log my hours spent and think about and plan my life around what I want to watch because I can only watch so much.  If I aim to lose 5 pounds by the end of the month I will weigh my self everyday and count calories like Scrooge.  These actions, all though good for myself, will be a living nightmare for my family.  I desire to live life connect to God and others in freedom.  I want my life to be marked with improvement and maturity.  But not at the cost of others.

Here is to a better 2014!