Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 In Review

I've done this every year since I started this blog. I've wondered why. But I went back and read my 2011 review and learned that it really does help me to see where I am and where I've been. As I write this, I'm sitting in a chair with a stress fracture about 4 cm above my right ankle on my tibia. So, it will be difficult to remain positive.

First, though, a huge thanks to Fleet Feet for their generous support of the running community in North Alabama. It has been my honor again to run on their racing team for 2012. Almost every race and training program in North Alabama is supported in some way by Fleet Feet. I've never known a business that gives back to the community the way that Fleet Feet does. I am so thankful that Dink is recovered from his scary stroke earlier this year. He was an inspiration before, but seeing his comeback from this has been nothing short of amazing.

2012 was the year that I did it!
I know, you've seen this. But this is my 2012 highlight.
I believe that I will always look back at 2012 as the year that I did it! From fairly early on in my running, I wanted to run a sub-3 hour marathon. I don't really know what's so magic about that number, but I wanted that goal very badly. In 2012, I did it! I've heard it said that anyone, if they set their mind to it and train and focus, can run a sub-3 hour marathon. I don't know. In a way, I want to believe that. I did it even though I am not very talented and I am not a very hard worker (definitely harder working than I am talented, but still, I don't think I'm excellent in either area). But I know how hard it was to do. It requires work, sacrifice, knowledge, support, and luck. It's the luck thing that makes me reluctant to believe that anyone can do it. I was blessed and fortunate enough to avoid injury for an entire training cycle. I had the support of my lovely wife. I'm not sure I could have gotten from 240 lbs. to sub-3 hour marathon without good fortune and support. So, on one hand, I believe that if I can do it, anyone can do it. On the other, I know that I was not in control of everything that came together to allow me to accomplish this amazing goal. Recaps and thoughts on the big race are here and here and here.

Another highlight of 2012 was the sub 24 hour effort and ultra team win at Ragnar Tennessee. Read my recap, but that was an amazing experience. By far, it was the best relay that I've ever done.

Medical Struggles
Yes, 2012 had its downs, too. I had a retinal vein occlusion. It's a relatively minor medical problem, but it's not supposed to happen to fit guys my age. And, being unable to see made me a bit unsettled. That then mushroomed into lots of blood work and wasted time trying to get my blood thinners all worked out. It turns out that we have no idea why that happened. The treatment is to take an aspirin a day and hydrate. It was scary for a couple of months, but all seems well now.

The depression that I've cataloged here still gave me some problems in 2012. I'm finally off all medication for it and things are really looking up. I'm learning more healthy ways to deal with things and I've mostly removed myself from the situation that was the trigger. 2013 will be a better year for a lot of reasons. I hope to be a pleasant and fun friend again and not such a sad fun sponge.

The year closed with a stress fracture. Fortunately, the doctor says that we caught it early and he expects it to respond to rest. I'm doing some extra things like calcium and a bone healing system. I'm halfway through my rest and I do not have any pain when walking. I'm determined to take it easy on my road to recovery from this injury. The upside is that I'm learning to swim. I can now swim 400 yards without stopping. I'm planning to work up to a mile (1500m, actually). Is a triathlon in my future?

This is the year that I became a master. Yep. I'm over 40. Old man. But, I did win a couple of masters races, so 40 isn't all bad. I also plan for every PR that I have to be accomplished over the age of 40. Look out sub 2:55 marathon. Look out sub-17 5k. Look out sub-36 10k. I'm coming.


Anonymous said...

Old guys rule!!!
Good too run another year with you.


Ariel Hessing said...

I've always wanted to run the 'Rocket City Marathon', and I will be running it in 2013 to raise charitable donations on behalf of 'Food for the Poor' and 'World Food Programme' as well as 'Points of Light' and 'Cross Int.' I love Huntsville, and I love the State of Alabama and the deep South. I race UST&F certified marathons for charity; never for reward money, and this is a great Marathon with grand tradition and wonderful runners and volunteers. Good luck everyone and God speed.