I am a foolish man.
Only a couple of weeks in to the year I thought it was a good idea to go for a trail run on the ice and snow—gravity and my arm taught me that was foolish.
A couple of months later I thought it would be a good idea to do an 18 mile run when I started having pain four miles in–my hamstring taught me that was foolish.
A month later, after not having any regular training for six months, I thought it would be a good idea to follow a librarian with a gash in his forehead for a 50K with over 3,000 feet of elevation gain in Kentucky–foolish.
Although I don’t enjoy running in the summer heat, i followed this with a 100K in June at Eagle Up, setting records for longest run ever and longest time on feet (emphasis on longest time on feet).
A month later was another hilly 50k in the midst of a July summer heatwave that I only completed because a fellow possum refused to let me quit. August included two runs of over 26 miles, one was supposed to be 52 miles and got cut short, the other was supposed to be 25 but i made a wrong turn and got to explore some extra parts of the Tuscazoar.
My favorite and least helpful trail marking of all time.
In a five month span I ran five ultras/marathons. My thinking was to stay trained up and run races as my schedule allowed. Why go through the pesky cycle of building up and resting when you can just keep running? Foolish.
By the time the summer racing series came to an end I had raced myself in to training shape and was healthy and strong. While I was in my best shape the last four months of the year, the opportunity to race wasn’t there. I was all trained up and nowhere to race.
With the injuries listed above, and a strong allergic reaction to California, by the end of October I knew I would not reach my goal of running 2,019 miles for the year. I spent the last two months pushing to pass my own personal record of 1,800 miles. With a week to go I only had to average four miles a day, this seemed like the most attainable goal, until a sinus infection hit. Suddenly I missed three days in the last week and used running to try and clear my sinuses. On the final day of the year my infected body pushed through 13 miles to finish with a new record of 1.801 miles for the year.
I don’t have a lot of running plans for 2020, but will continue to embrace opportunities as they arise. In the spring I’d like to enjoy the community of the Seamus O’Possum and struggle up and down the Mohican hills at Forget the PR. Over the summer, I’d like to do something at Eagle Up, maybe 50K or relay, and battle the allegedly “runnable” course at Tuscazoar. In the fall I’d like to push new limits once again with either a 24 hour or 100 mile run. For the third year in a row I’ll be taking a shot at the Run the Year goal of 2,020 miles. Third time is the charm.
Here’s to another foolish year in running.