We all look forward to the future. The future gives us hope and a focus to improve our lives.
2015 was an amazing year! My wife and I moved to a new house and welcomed our first child – Penelope Ciccarello. Fatherhood has been a great journey. Every minute is different, and I look forward to what the future holds.
With all of the changes I’ve had to adapt. 2015 was a year of little racing and less structured gym/running workouts. I’m looking forward to improved fitness in 2016 and re-qualifying for Boston.
Whatever your goal may be, take time to focus and make it happen.
Sure, exercise is good for your body, but what about your brain? Well apparently there’s a link between exercise and mental alertness, in a similar way that happiness and exercise are related.
A lifetime of exercise can result in a sometimes astonishing elevation in cognitive performance, compared with those who are sedentary. Exercisers outperform couch potatoes in tests that measure long-term memory, reasoning, attention, problem-solving, even so-called fluid-intelligence tasks.
Of course, exercise can also make us happier, as we’ve explored before:
If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy.
At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, are released in your brain. The main purpose of endorphis is this, writes researcher McGovern:
These endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria.
It’s been two months since my last track workout. I’m proud to report this morning, I am officially back!
My stress fracture recovery has gone well. Over the last couple weeks, I have only ran three times week, ranging anywhere from 2-8 miles. Additionally, I have continued swimming, biking and bodyweight exercises to keep my cardiovascular system in check.
I’ll admit it, last night and this morning I was nervous about picking up hard running again. Everyone’s positive energy and words gave me great encouragement on the way to the speed loop. It’s amazing how working out with a group can make all the difference.
Special thanks to Caitlin Bullock, Laurie Sturgell Knowles, David Willis, Charlie Kishman, Caleb Boyd, Matt Jaskot, Jesse Mcentire and Ryan Crosswell for the support this morning.
National Running Day is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and I encourage you to invite a friend or organize a group run to support running.
This morning starting from the Dowd YMCA, I was joined by Chad and Danielle Crockford, Bill Shires and Hanna who just moved to Charlotte, NC from Arizona. We started at 6am and enjoyed 8 miles together through the beautiful streets of Charlotte.
I am honored to announce through the support of friends and family, I have surpassed my fundraising goal for this year’s 24 Hours of Booty cycling event!!
This will be my second year participating in 24 Hours of Booty, a 24-hour cycling event that raises money for national and local cancer initiatives. The plan is to ride 150 miles during the 24 hour period starting Friday, 7/27 @ 7:00p.m.. If you are looking for something fun to do in Charlotte Friday night, consider cheering the participants on. Here is the official map of the Booty Loop.