A quick recap: I ran on and off for most of my life. I was on the cross country team, but to be truthful that was more kicking my own rear end to get in shape for wrestling season each year. I was never at the front of the pack, but never really bothered about not being there either. In 2010, after not running for a few years, I was sitting on my couch feeling kinda sedentary & lumpy when I decided out of the blue that I should run a marathon. Did some research and concluded going from zero to my first 26.2 with the body that was staring back at me in the mirror in less than 18 months was unwise. But 18 months later, I was crossing the finish line of the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. That was pretty cool! 👍
Shortly after that I found the Loop. That was 2012. I grew as a runner, largely through sage advice from Loopsters. I went to Loopfests in Rehoboth, Erie, Shamrock, & Philadelphia, and ran races with a smaller number of Loopsters many times, and even got a handful of them to travel to Vermont each year to run a 100 mile relay race. Each year was better than the previous through 2015, when PF reared its ugly head (foot?) and although I kept running for another year, it ultimately sidelined me for a good portion of 2017. That sucked. ☹️
But last year, I slowly, very slowly, made my way back and 2019 has been my best running year in quite a while. I'll go over 700 miles for the year and my pace is occasionally below 10:00/mile. I ran the half marathon in Atlantic City in the spring with a bunch of Loopsters. My time wasn't impressive (2:31) but I didn't really care because it was the first half I'd run in almost 3 years (and I ran with a ear infection and a sinus infection! 😮). I saw it as a starting point. Which is exactly what it has been. I ran 2 other halfs this year!
I have days - like today - when I feel all discombobulated and slow and fat, but the majority of my runs are enjoyable. And I like the trendlines: more miles per month, more miles per year, slightly faster paces as time goes on. I see lots of good stuff ahead for me. I feel like this year has been a turning point, where I am - dare I say it - finally running regularly again and not dealing with any significant injuries. Its tough to be out, but when you come back it sure feels so good.
So for those that are injured, hold out hope. You can do it. Running can be frustrating. But the effort pays off in the end!
I look forward to seeing some of you in 2020! Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and have a wonderful Christmas!
- Apple Pie