It’s been a good year…

Ok, ok, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve written anything. What can I say but life is incredibly strange, very busy and I’ve been going through a really weird time lately, call it a mid-life crisis without the Corvette. During this time, I’ve been evaluating absolutely everything about my life, including this blog. And, for reasons that I can’t really explain let alone understand, lately I’ve been having trouble moving forward in any area of my life beyond the basics. After a lot of processing though, I have come up with a few things that I refuse to give up on. And, as much as I hate lists, the non-negotiables are my faith, my family, my running, my music and my writing but anything beyond that is fair game. So, where I go from here is anyone’s guess but I’m sure that anyone who reads this will hear about it as things come to light.

One thing that is an incredibly big deal to me though is today, May 17, 2011. And, before you go there, no, I didn’t join the “50-something” crowd — I ain’t that old! The reason why it’s a big day is because exactly one year ago today, I started my most recent attempt at running. And, while this may not seem like such a big deal to most runners, understand that I’ve been trying to once again become a runner for the better part of 16 years but, with each and every attempt, injuries have sidelined me at fairly early stages. This time was different though. Instead of buying books, shoes and taking advice from unshaven, overweight and typically drunk ex-athletes, I came to the party prepared with the greatest weapon that mankind has ever known: the internet. After all, who needs a degree in PhysEd when wifi’s so readily available? So yes, I’m a really, really happy guy today.

As I’ve tweaking with my running schedule lately, my body was a bit sore and stiff this morning and anyone with even a hint of wisdom would probably opted to take a rest day. Last time I checked though, my hint of wisdom wasn’t anywhere to be seen. So, I headed out on a slightly hilly 6 mile run.

As I ran, my mind cycled through all of my running experiences over the last year. I thought about some of the injuries — shin splints being the big one. I’ve also run through Runner’s Knee and a weird pain that migrated from my shin to the back of my knee, down my calf and onto my heel, back up my calf and back to my shin before going away — possibly the weirdest injury (?) that I’ve ever experienced.

I also thought about the different places where I’ve been able to run and the lessons that I’ve learned from the varied geographies. I was reminded of what it’s like for we who live on sea-level to run in higher elevations such as the Sierras. I’ve also had the opportunity to run along the foggy coast of Mendocino and seen more vultures that I’ve ever seen in one gathering which, more than anything else, reminded me of my mortality big time. Kauai taught me exactly what runners in humid climates such as Florida and Georgia have to deal with for months at a time and brought forward an appreciation of the climate in my stomping grounds. Southern California and Disneyland was crazy — 5.5 miles of either incredibly crowded sidewalks or inner city concrete and asphalt, take your pick.

For me, it’s truly been a good year for running. And, though I’m frustrated that my speed hasn’t come back as quickly as I’d hoped and that I’m not yet below 160lbs, if someone would’ve told me a year ago that, one year later, I’d be averaging 30 miles per week while being 20lbs lighter, there’s no way that I would have believed it.

So, I’ve got some goals for the next year. And hopefully, you’ll hear about them over the next few days. Keep running and stay tuned….

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