Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reflections on 2010

A damn good year and a damn good time; that's what 2010 was all about. I went into the year knowing it couldn't be any worse (financially and business wise) than 2009 and with the attitude of work hard, play hard, laugh a lot and live life, I feel like I accomplished most everything I set goals upon.

By the Months!

Amidst some of the coldest weather I've ever felt in my life in Florida, I tackled my first marathon (2010 Disney Marathon) while being injured (Achilles tendon). In reflection - NOT SMART. I opted to run with my dear friend Harrison who was running the Galloway method. It was the coldest day in recorded history at Disney World that Sunday morning at 26 degrees and that caused some severe muscle cramps in my friend's legs. In short, we hiked rather than ran that marathon. Finishing was an accomplishment no matter the time. The mile-18 medical tent looked like a triage center in Iraq! It was months before my Achilles fully recovered and I felt like I was truly running injury free. The best experience of this race???
A few hours after the finish. Jenny and I had the "talk" and pretty much officially became an item. Something good can always come from a negative experience!
As for surfing, I was able to take Jenny down to Puerto Rico where we hit up many a beaches and even fit in a long run over a mountain.

This was a rehab month for me. I focused on the physical therapy of my Achilles tendon and slowly eased back into running. Jenny and I got to be a part of a relay team for the 5-points of Life Marathon in Gainesville on yet, another, cold morning. I think we were both either still drunk or hungover from a party the night before.

Ahh March! Month of Jenny's birthday, longer days, warmer weather and more running! I was honored with the job of being one of the drivers for Team Hot Legs in the Sunrise to Sunset Relay, which they won the all female division. It was then I learned I can still function well while being severely sleep deprived. We also ran two races in one day by participating in the Trail of Payne 10k in the morning and Hospice Tioga 5k in the afternoon (Jenny did the 10k option). I think I was more afraid of running two races in one day than I should have been. Looking back it was no big deal!

Commence travel! Jenny and I flew up to Raleigh, North Carlina, to see one of her best friends for a long weekend. We ran our long run (in training for Seattle Marathon) partly on trails and partly on a hilly country road. It was my first good ass kicking experience with hills.

Continue travel! I flew to Sacramento where one of my best friends and I went into San Francisco, met up with my cousin from Portland and ran the 99th Bay to Breakers 12k race. This is definitely a bucket list race. If you haven't done it, do it. And make sure you bring a camera and adult beverage with you! Later in the month Jenny and I got together with a few friends for a romp in the mud at the Muddy Buddy race in Orlando. The race was awesome; being part of the Disney machine was not.

More travel! This time about as far away from Florida as we can go and stay in the lower 48. The Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon was a success! I totally bonked toward the end of the race (hills kicked my ass again) and that gave me a lower than hoped for time. However, we raised nearly $2,000 for the American Heart Association and had a damn good time all along the journey! Our families met over a few days in Seattle and then Jenny and I took the train down to Portland for some post-marathon rest while visiting my cousin.

This month I dubbed myself "Captain Rest" and made myself in charge of recovery and rest for Jenny and I. It was also the month Jenny made the move and job change to New Smyrna Beach from Gainesville (big major step in our relationship)! Being summer, there was also plenty of surfing.

If you had 48-hours notice to drop everything and get on a plane to Hawaii for a week's vacation what would you do???
I know what I did.... I dropped everything and got on the dang airplane! That's what happened when my cousin (Portland) separated from his long time girlfriend a week before his non-refundable all inclusive vacation for two to Hawaii. He knew that if anyone in the family was crazy enough to drop everything and meet him 4,000 miles away it would be me. I gladly took the place of his girlfriend and we did "man" things for a week instead of romantic stuff. Hypoxia at the Mona Kea summit? You betcha! Unknowingly snorkeling into sacred forbidden waters of the Hawaiian Gods? Ooops! Climbing across the top of Rainbow Falls? Why not! It was a great time and I will return -- next time with Jenny and some SURFBOARDS!

Just when I thought I wouldn't be traveling for a while.... Jenny and I found a great deal on tickets to upstate New York and visited her grandparents. Other than NYC I've never seen any other part of New York. This was an eye-opening trip for me. I deal with so many people from New York here in Florida and now it's nice to know where they are really coming from. And of course we found a race to run the weekend we were there. The Delta Lake Half Marathon is my favorite half marathon of date! It was gorgeous, uncrowded and super well organized. Not to mention I had a great run (Jenny did too) and got a PR.

My birthday month! The biggest event this month by far was that of the Apalachicola Running for the Bay Marathon and Half Marathon. Jenny trained for this race with the goal of Boston Qualifying. I ran the half marathon and attempted to support her through her training as she did for me in the Seattle race. Despite a complete disaster in organization by the race director, the inaugural event actually occurred without any major tragedies. I PR'ed the Half beating my Delta Lake time and Jenny got her BQ.

November & December
My blog writing has dwindled I know. Since the marathon Jenny has been struggling with some bursitis in her hip and since a short distance race in November I've been babying my Achilles tendon so there hasn't been much to write about in the world or running and surfing. But never fear my friends. We've got some ultra exciting plans for 2011 that should provide plenty of material to write about. Looking back 2010 was a good year after all. I ended up traveling way more than I could have anticipated, ran more races faster than ever, and found someone to be happy with.... I can only hope to do as well next year.

Here's 2010 by the numbers:

Leashes Broken - 2
Boards Broken - 0
Contest Surfed - 0
Races Ran - 12
Races Volunteered - 0 (regrettably)
Relay races volunteered as team driver - 2 (Sunset to Sunrise & Ragnar)
Surfing Trips to Puerto Rico - 1
Airline Flights taken - 12
Miles Ran - 1,218 (more than double that in 2009)
Days I ran - 204
Running Shoes used - 4
Marathons - 2
Half Marathon - 2
Running injuries - 0
Days Surfed - 59 (significantly down from 2009)
Trail runs - 16 for 121 miles (1 race)
Bicycle miles - 166 miles on 22 rides
New Experiences - Countless, but still searching for more!

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Do what you say you'll do!

It actually came....

And I thought I should show it to you...

Not because I'm saying "Look at me, look at me, I placed," but ONLY because the race director of the Apalachicola Running for the Bay Marathon and Half Marathon ACTUALLY did what he promised and sent out certificates to all those placing in their divisions. (My race recaps HERE and HERE)

I didn't believe it until I saw it in my mailbox. At the race we were told we'd be mailed certificates for placing. After the snafu that was this inaugural race I doubted I'd ever see such a thing, but the race director actually did it. Oh yes, he did! And I'd like to say that's a good start!

It's a good start in improving this race if there is going to be a next year. Do what you promise. Do what's advertised and deliver. . .