Well, as we approach the end of December, it’s time to look back on the year that was. I’m not the type of person that likes to rehash the past, however this is one of those required posts you have to do if you have a blog (it’s in the WordPress contract). Especially when you look back and realize you haven’t posted anything in about a month. Here are the links to my 2018 Year in Review, 2017 Year in Review, 2016 Year in Review, and 2015 Digits.
First off, I’m thankful to have another year of healthy running under my belt. It seems like every other running article I read on the interwebs is either how to deal with an injury or how to come back stronger from one. I’ve never had more than the occasional niggle (knock on wood), which will allow me to add another 365 days to my running streak this year. I’m still kinda surprised that I’ve been able to get out every day for the last 7+ years. Even if just for a mile.
This level of consistency has helped me maintain my level of fitness at something close to peak level. Or at least based on my Thanksgiving 5K that was only 18 seconds slower than I was able to run three years ago. While that’s falls squarely within the “neat” category as far as I’m concerned, the bigger benefit was allowing me to knock out seven more ultra finishes. And while some of them got a little long towards the end (I’m looking at you MMT100) or took longer than I would have thought (and you Catoctin), none of them felt too big for me.
Comfortable isn’t necessarily a word I would associate with my 2019 races. It’s more that I have increased confidence that I know how they’re likely to go. I will probably never hit a hoped for time in a race, but my performances are generally right around what I think they’re going to be. The Olde 96er was probably the best example. While the unsupported point-to-point format was completely new to me, I felt in control for the entire race. Even during the stretch where I ran low on calories with the next open gas station an undetermined number of miles ahead, there was never any doubt that I wouldn’t be able to finish. It was a very liberating and confidence boosting place to reach.
And while my year typically revolves around races, the highlight of 2019 didn’t occur with a bib pinned to my shorts. And didn’t even involve running. It was the 40 mile hike I took with my son in July. It was awesome to spend a day with my son on the Mason-Dixon Trail and show him what endurance is all about. I get so wrapped up in adventures that others plan that it was nice to plan and execute one myself. This is definitely something I need to do more often.
Here’s hoping your 2019 was as good as mine. Happy New Year!