One of the nice benefits afforded by Brazzaville’s slow pace is the opportunity to work out virtually every day. With this in mind, I set a goal in January to run at least 1,500 miles during 2012. After 366 days, I’m happy to report that I blew past that goal and almost hit another major milestone, running more than 1,970 miles total.
What a Run
There’s some mileage missing from that final tally, reflecting times when I forgot to charge my watch or had trouble with locating satellites; regardless, I don’t think I hit 2,000 miles.
The end of year tally has brought back some good memories and put the year in perspective. For instance, I got a real kick out of the more than 85K feet of elevation gain, which is almost three times up Mt. Everest. I also ran more than 12 whole days during the course of the year, clocking more than 300 hours of road work. I ran in three hemispheres, north of the Arctic Circle (albeit on a treadmill at Barrow High School), and in exotic climes as varied as Ethiopia and Hawaii.
My favorite 2012 run was the Maui Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. It was an oddly-distanced 8.6 mile course and was supposed to be a race where you called your time before you began (I cheated and ran with a watch). I felt great during the race, covering the distance at nearly a 7:30 pace, nailing a couple of the miles under seven minutes. Plus, I was running in Maui.
My second favorite run of the year came during Brazzaville’s second annual “Demi-Marathon”. After the race began about 3 hours late (ensuring the course had a chance to really heat up), I took on the course, dodging taxis (traffic control is not quite up to U.S. standards). When I crossed the finish line, I was thrilled because I ran a sub-eight minute pace and knocked about 15 minutes off my personal best. However, I don’t know if I can actually count this as a PR because my watch showed that the course was 11.56 miles and not the universally recognized half-marathon distance of 13.1 miles. That said, a highlight of the race came after crossing the finish line, when I went around asking non-English speakers if they a) had a satellite watch and b) knew how to convert kilometers to miles.
I’m looking forward to the year ahead for a number of reasons, not the least of which is moving back to the States in April. Between now and then, I have a series of short-term goals. For instance, I’ve definitely put on a little holiday weight so I look forward to starting fresh on Thursday (I’m going to treat January 1 like a holiday and chug a bunch of Cherry Cokes and eat some Funfetti cake). And as the old saying goes, you cannot outrun a bad diet, so I’m going to rely on my old standbys, water and canned chicken, to get me back into fighting shape.
I’m going to use the first quarter of 2013 to lay a foundation as I prepare to compete a full race calendar in 2013. In addition to road races (like April’s Tar Heel Ten Miler or maybe even Pat’s Run, my favorite race of all time), I’m looking at a number of triathlons in the DC Metro area as well as on Strong Island. In September, I have my eye on completing a Half Ironman in Montauk.
Finally, I’m looking forward to getting back on the blogging horse in 2013 as well. I hope to have as much success with my 2013 resolutions as I enjoyed in 2012.