Since this is a running blog and another year of running has come and gone, it seems appropriate to pull out some highlights and lowlights of 2009.
April 2009: After 7 months of training, 17 of 17 members of my running club from Centerville Elementary School completed the Great Falls Icebreaker, a 3-mile road race through the streets of Great Falls. Myself and my "project runner" (he could hardly walk, due to weight complications, at the beginning of the program) finished in 1 hour and 3 minutes. Since that race, he has gone on to lose 20 more pounds.
April 2009: April 2009 marked the end of my ill-fated running experiment, I hit 6000 runnings miles in 365 days, from May 2008 through April 2009. I averaged 18 miles/day for 365 days. Ill-fated, because of the long-term damage incurred...
May 2009: After crashing and burning during a 30k race and failing to be able to get out of bed the following day, I decided to take a month break. No running for June.
July 2009: I was hired to pace the Missoula Marathon Boston qualifying women. I paced a group of 4 women to the finish, just within the qualifying mark. 3 of the 4 crossed the line with me a bit hot on the pace, 4 minutes fast. I sprinted back down the course and picked up the last of the woman and sprinted her in 15 seconds ahead of the qualifying cut-off. It was a glorious moment.
August 2009: Dropped out of the Elkhorn 50 miler at 50k on track to set the course record. My right knee was giving me heck and I didn't feel comfortable pushing it for 19 additional miles. I ran back to the start and worked the aid stations for the duration of the race.
September 2009: I broke my 2nd metatarsal in my left foot during a 70 mile barefoot running week (120 total).
November 2009: Recovering from my break, after breaking free of "the boot", I hammered out 967 miles on the exercise bike, in November (31 miles/day avereage, 46 miles/high).
December 2009: I was accepted into "The Greatest Race on Earth", the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon, a 47 miler deep in Copper Canyon, Mexico. The race is a celebration of running, pitting gringos vs. the greatest long distance runners on Earth, the Tarahumara.
December 31st, 2009: After a long Orthopedic visit, x-rays and an MRI on my left knee, it was discovered that my medial miniscus was torn, requiring Anthroscopic surgery. Not the greatest end to the year, but so it goes. This, of course, came as little surprise after what I had subjected my body to 2008-2009.
All told, 2009 was a year of extreme highs and extreme lows. I cherished and continue to hold dearly the highs (the Icebreaker and the Missoula Marathon) and have learned much from the lows. In the end, I am optimistic and positive that 2010 will be an even better year. It has to be. I will make it so and Lord willing, it will be a year of change, new and wonderful. I am ready.