It was a year that was and a year that wasn't. A runner can't really complain about a year that included running in the Boston Marathon, but if adversity makes a man stronger, I'm in for a "whale of a" year in 2012. My running highlights, lowlights and a look ahead; read 'em and weep.
Boston: How can a year be a down year when you ran Boston? 2011 marked my second year in a row running the Boston Marathon. Surprisingly, this was my ONLY marathon in 2011, so if you were to only pick one to run, you couldn't find a better race. Weather was perfect (with a tailwind no less) and it was a special one as my sister and her husband made the long trek from Colorado to watch her "baby brother" compete. My Boston race report here. I had my Andy Warhol "fifteen minutes of fame" as Runner's World's Facebook Page showed yours truly as I headed to Boston. While I had a BQ for 2012, it wasn't fast enough to gain entry, so my streak has ended, but it's provided extra motivation for this coming race year.
Discovering my alter ego; Triathlete
Just like I stumbled into marathon racing in my adult life, I tripped into triathlon competition. Due to injury and over training, I needed a competition fix to counter the running withdrawals I was going through without marathon racing.
My supporting team of coaches, Drs. and PT's told me to take the rest of the year off from marathon'ing to recharge my run battery. I didn't see any "fine print" that told me I couldn't swim or bike so I poured my energy into learning how to swim and bike. I knew so little about triathlons, I literally couldn't even spell it. I pushed myself...read....took a swim lesson...borrowed a bike and was determined to not embarrass myself. Just as I became a run addict, I'm hooked on tri's. Perhaps three podiums in my first three ever triathlons had something to do with that. I'm not retiring from marathoning (more on that later,) but I plan to compete in more tri's next summer as part of my cross-training.
My favorite blog of the year:
Picking out my favorite SeekingBostonMarathon blog story is like trying to pick out your favorite child. Some of this year's favorites include; "I was Beat up by a Ballerina," "Fox in Socks, Socks that Rock," "You Know You're a Marathon Addict When," and "Sore Nipple Calculator."
My favorite was, "Why Triathlons Are Like Frat Houses." "At times, you are taking your clothes off as fast as you can, but you're not very good at it."
The toughest blog to write yet most liberating was "Behind Blue Eyes: Angels & Demons" which chronicled the other obstacles that dragged me and my running year down. Not a "pick me up" story so flip the channel to the Frat House blog if you're looking for the funnier side of SeekingBostonMarathon.
A Lump of Coal
Clearly my Dr. imposed six months off from marathoning had me a bit "out of sight, out of mind" as I was rejected by the local running store's race team. Rejected by the BAA and the race team in the same year. I haven't had this much rejection since High School. I can only conclude I'm more popular in the virtual world vs. real world or I have a face made for radio. Perhaps my writing is not politically correct and has too many "F bombs." Perhaps I should clean up my act..."Fuck that." The good news is that Chico's Bail Bonds is looking for runners to sponsor, so I've got a Plan B.
I ended this year on a high note by delivering on a promise to take my daughter to New York for her 16th birthday. Nothing better than New York city at Christmas. I packed my run gear, but the weekend was all about her and I didn't run once. I did have a running premonition as we drove over the Brooklyn Bridge heading out of town.
I've spent the last couple of months ramping up my weekly mileage and speed with plans to start my first marathon training plan in nearly nine months in January. My energy level is good, but still in denial about some pain in my left hip. I'm working my "bump wheel" with the physical therapists and chiropractors I've relied on in the past. The "glass half full" is that I can run the Colorado Marathon for the first time in May which I've always wanted to run, but it didn't fit into my race schedule. Registration already booked. My other "circle the calendar" race planned for 2012 is my favorite half; Georgetown to Idaho Springs (also in Colorado.)
My goals for the year? Another BQ and trying for my first NYQ (thus the premonition.) Ambitious perhaps, but not when you consider I'm entering a new age bracket this coming year. Never thought I'd think or write those words that I'm glad that I'm a year older, and hopefully a bit wiser.