Yes, I am still alive. And hopefully now I'm also back with regularity here on this blog. I won't go into too much detail now just for the sake of time but I've been lacking a little bit of the fire I used to have and that's kept me from feeling too enthused about things like blogging. But I'm coming out of it - the flames have been flickering - and I've decided to put together a year in review type thing for my blog.
So, this year was pretty spectacular. Overall, that's a fair statement to make. A lot of things happened in my running life to make it so as I reached a lot of firsts. But it wasn't all roses either. Some bad things went down too.
Most Proud Of: Running four marathons. At the end of it all, that's what will remain. Well, the only tangible thing anyway. I ran LA, OC, San Francisco and Long Beach Marathons, got to see a lot of the state of California in doing so. I also ran four half marathons - Surf City, Redlands, Fontana, Mission Inn. Proud of that too of course but the full marathons are what keep me going.
Least Proud Of: I had too many skipped runs late in the year. I had the time but not the fire. Sigh. Hopefully I found the remedy for that (more on that in my New Year's post).
Best Moment: OC Marathon finish. I jumped at the finish line. I mean, I jumped! I ran my best-ever marathon at OC. No, I didn't PR but I felt absolutely great all the way through. I celebrated each passing mile marker and looked forward to the next one. I finished under my 4:30 goal and felt fantastic afterward.
Worst Moment: Long Beach Marathon. I went out way too fast. I was gunning for a PR and I had not trained anywhere near that level. Of course it caught up to me, around Mile 15 and I struggled terrible. Had my brother not have met at Mile 20, I would have seriously contemplated quitting. I set my PW that day, got around a 5:12, but that's not what I'm ashamed of. I'm ashamed of how easily I ignored my own advice. Still, it's good to have a wake-up moment like that... I suppose...
Best Personal Experience: Being a Loper pace leader was and is great. I enjoy watching runners who maybe previously had not been able to run more than a few miles and watch them becoming long-distance runners. I like watching runners conquer new obstacles. Pacing someone to their longest run ever is a thrill each and every time. The payoff is of course in races, and I was there to see several new runners cross finish lines of full and half marathoners, and to know that I played a small role in that is humbling.
Best Race Experience: I really enjoyed the LA Marathon, way more than I thought I would, but my best race experience had to have been the San Francisco Marathon. From meeting up with a lot of the other Ambassadors during the Expo on Saturday and hanging out with a few the morning of, to the scenic, challenging and magnificent course itself to seeing my family just before the finish line, there's no topping that.
Most Memorable Run (non-race): Oof. This one's tough. I had so many good runs this year but I think running solo for 20 miles in mid-April was probably the best. Now, it wasn't a "I wish I could re-live it" best but rather a "this one's so damn hard I'm going to remember forever" best. It was hard. I started at 8:30 a.m. with the sun shining overhead already. I ran nine out, nine back and was at my truck at Mile 18 but still somehow managed to talk myself out of calling it good then and ran two more miles. I think I slogged more than I ran but still I got em done. I wouldn't necessarily recommend a run like that but that's the kind of stuff you can draw some inspiration from. If I can do that and I can put myself into position to do that, then I can get through little 4-6 milers, right?
Well, there you go. A few of the highlights and some lowlights from 2012. Thanks for reading, and if you're reading this part of this post, I know you're loyal and I appreciate your readership. I promise I'll be around more in the days/weeks/months to come.