2013 in review, and the year ahead

2013-in-ReviewIt’s been four years since I’ve written a year-in-review post. I need to get back in the habit, especially since I’m back on the trails and training for a couple of big races in the spring.

So here goes.

Gotta say, 2013 was a mixed bag. I had progress and setbacks, joys and frustrations.

But it was mostly good, I am happy to say.

Biggest joy: No doubt, it felt great to get back into the groove. I finally learned how to manage my injured leg, a challenge that has bedeviled me for three years. Once I did that, I got busy and put together a sensible training schedule, with short daily runs and very slow mileage increases. I stuck to it and ran faithfully for months. I pushed my distance gently and gradually to 10 miles. I ran with a few old friends, and enjoyed some group runs. For a trail runner, this was absolute bliss, after  years of fits and starts.

Biggest thrill: After months of building of my base, I was able to say in November I was back in the hunt. I signed up for the Glass City Half Marathon in Toledo in April 2014. I went running with the Indiana Trail Runners on a 10-miler on the Tecumseh Trail. I met old friends and made some new ones. I felt like a runner again.

Best of old times: Spending five days in Northeast Ohio in October, running and hiking old trails, including a morning on the towpath with Denny. Old trails and old friends are the greatest pleasures of a trail runner’s life.

Best race: I ran only two races this year. That’s low for me in the big picture, but two more than I ran last year. So I count that as progress. My races were the Butler Bulldog Jog in March (3.5 miles on trails and roads) and the Pleasant Run Run (5 miles on roads). Both were fun, and I’m not going to choose one over the other. Next year, more races!

Biggest setback: December crept up on me and clobbered my running. The cold weather, the holidays, the traveling, the stress of work and lots of other distractions threw me for a loop for the last two weeks of 2013.

Well that’s the beauty of a new year. It’s a fresh start. To 2014!

In that spirit, I did two fun things today:

1) I signed up for the Fools 25K trail race at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio for March 30. It gives me a fun, ambitious trail goal for the next three months.

2)  I ran five miles at Fort Ben with the gang from Indiana Trail Running. It was just what the doctor ordered. These are my people, and this is my scene.

Happy 2014!

Trail runners about to stampede off in search of trails. I’m in front row, far left, crouching like a baseball catcher. (Photo by Terry Fletcher)

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