2012 was an interesting year of running for me. In prior years I focused heavily a few big races and stacked a large number of smaller races throughout the year. 2012 featured a more relaxed approach with less focus on my races, fewer races, and more downtime.
The year started with marathon training for the Rock N Roll USA Marathon. Unfortunately I did not have a good day and suffered badly on the back half, exacerbated by unusually high temperatures for mid March (3:09 finish time). One bright side was a great race at the hilly, small, local George Washington Birthday Marathon, where I clocked a 3:04 on a “training run”. I am hoping to return to that race this February.
After Rock N Roll USA it was back to the trails and the ultra world. The Ice Age 50 with Big Papa Fitz was a highlight from all the races I have run, and it was lots of fun to run with Dylan and have the family there supporting us.
My only DNF of the year came 3 weeks later at the Laurel Highlands 70. I dropped at my 46 after struggling mightily with nutrition. It was a bummer to have this long-standing problem happen again, but I’m happy that this was my only issue in 2012, and my nutrition was spot on with every other race.
A week later I jumped into the Mason Dixon Longest Day Challenge 100K. After the DNF I was out to prove something. I certainly had ample opportunity at this race, which can only be described as one tough mother. The course was unmarked and difficult to navigate, there were only 3 aid stations over ~65 miles, I was running unsupported, and parts of the course were extremely tough. At mile 9 I took a nasty fall that left me bloodied and with a badly bruised hip. Add in being lost for over an hour, and it indeed was a long day. But I stubbornly pushed on, giving Jen a call every so often saying, “No I have not finished yet … yes I am still alive … yes I promise I will finish eventually.” I definitely proved something to myself, and this will always be a memorable challenge for me.
After that race I decided to let my body and mind recover and uncharacteristically did almost zero running the entire summer. I however keep my passion for adventure alive with some unbelievable hikes, but more on that soon.
In September I fired myself back in gear and started whipping myself back into shape. I had signed up for the Marine Corp Marathon planning to cruise through it as a fun, local race. Without any real planning, preparation, or tapering, I lined up deep into the crowd and started out slow. It ended up being one of those days where everything clicked, and I pretty comfortably ran a very surprising 2:58.
Following MCM, I ran my second fastest 5K in 17:55 at the Flemington Turkey Trot and set a 50K PR of 4:37 with a 1st place in the MGM 50K.
Overall it was a great year despite being less structured and planned. I ran roughly 3,200 miles this year vs. closer to 3,500 the past several years.
2012 also featured some quite spectacular hikes. Jen and I were lucky enough to do a Rim to River to Rim Grand Canyon Hike, the 4 day Salcantay trek through the Andes to Machu Picchu, and about 65 miles of Alta Via 1 through the Dolomites.
I hope you all had a wonderful 2012 and got to experience some good adventure. Here’s to more adventure and fun in 2013!