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Tomorrow is April 1st and besides being April Fools’ Day it also means that twenty-five percent of 2014 is also in the history books. Apparently in some parts of the world, spring has started but as previously noted in this space, we have not been so lucky.Even so, I would have to say that 2014 has gone better than I could have imagined and if things keep going the way they have it will definitely be a year to remember in terms of running and running accomplishments.

To date I have run over 600 kilometres this year, with 245 of them in March. I can say with a great degree of confidence that I have never run that many kilometres in a month. This is something that I’m proud of for several different reasons. First, at 38 years old, I am in better shape than I ever have been before which is great for me and something I am glad to model to my sons. Secondly, I have increased my mileage significantly from a year ago and I have stayed injury and pain free. Lastly, even with terrible weather I have gotten in most of my runs.

I have only raced twice so far this year, setting a PB in the half-marathon by almost 5 minutes in February and racing 5 km in under 23 minutes for the first time since I returned to running. I was extremely happy with both results given that I have been focused on my second marathon, the Fredericton Marathon, which is May 11th (www.frederictonmarathon.ca).

I feel that my improvement and consistency are owed in large part to my coach, Chuck Dixon, who is a marathoner himself (www.marshhawk.ca). Chuck has developed my training schedule since the beginning of the year after helping me get through my training for my first marathon last October. Being in constant communication with an experienced coach and runner is invaluable and I consider myself very lucky. Add in the amazing people I’ve connected with through social media and I feel as though I am improving both my knowledge and fitness with regards to running on a weekly basis.

The last significant running related occurrence in the first quarter of the year is that I have registered for my first ultra-marathon!! This happened rather spontaneously and was the result of me being lucky enough to win a draw prize from Bib Rave (www.bibrave.com) during one of their twitter chats. My name was randomly selected to win a free registration for any of the North Face Endurance Challenge Series. The closest event is in Ontario in July, so it seemed unlikely at best that I would be able to take advantage of such an awesome prize. However, after talking it over with my amazingly awesome wife, we have decided to make a vacation of it! There are races of every distance between 5 km and 50 miles, so I decided to go big and register for the 50 km race – I’m not silly enough to try 50 miles…..yet! You can check out the TNFECS Ontario here – http://www.thenorthface.com/en_US/endurance-challenge/ontario-ca-trail/?stop_mobi=yes .

I hope everyone reading this is having a great start to 2014. If you’ve been battling injuries, polar vortexes or other challenges this winter and have had struggles reaching your goals so far, stay positive! We still have 75 percent of the year to come and countless achievements ahead!

Happy running!!