Where to begin? That’s always the question is it not. 2013 saw a lot of growth for me as a runner mostly and some changes as an overall athlete. My focus really changed from Trithlons to just running and biking events due to a feeling of complete failure as a swimmer. Coming in almost dead freakin last during every swim undertaken and then having to bust my tail on the bike to catch up to my wave……only to expend too much energy in the first 2 events and absolutely dying during the run. This had to change and it did – because I gave up swimming altogether. Sadly.
I completed my second ever marathon, The Army Marathon in April of this year and despite really not training like I had planned and having to visit the porta john somewhere around mile 19, I STILL managed to shave off around 10 minutes from my previous marathon time in San Antonio a few months prior. I also became well acquainted with the phenomenon of the runners black toenail!! Hah! Something about that distance just rubs my poor toes the wrong way apparently, but only on my right foot – which is the larger of the 2.
I started spending a lot of time running with these people, who I call, “the boys”. Although they are all grown men by any estimation – to me they are simply the boys. Their ages are irrelevant really. It is their hearts, quirky sense of humor and the knowledge that if I needed something they would be there that kept me running with them through the year. We spent many a mornings out on the trails here locally. Sometimes we would have a good day and we’d all be “on”, running until our time was up or we had met our distance for the day without anyone falling out. Other days, one of us would beg off from the rest of the crew with something as simple as a headache or more sinister and annoying as a stomach bug that decided to wait until we hit the trail to decide that it must make a quick exit……NOW.
The relationships I have made or strengthened this year with my running buddies, men and women alike are truly priceless! J.T…my ever present running buddy for every race or event I thought I may want to do. Who frustrated me with her ability to smoke the trails – despite swearing off road running because she hated it so much. The keeper of the trail tissue 🙂 and my road guard when the belly bug would strike and I’d have to pay a visit to the treeline.
P.C.W…my on again, off again training partner of all things NOT related to running. Although she did manage to sneak in a few runs with me and was my running partner for the Army Marathon she was mostly my swim and triathlon partner. Someone who does not know the word QUIT. Always a smile on her pretty face! Whether it was hill training in 96 degree heat in July or visiting with her and her new grand baby – she never has a negative word to say. J.S and A.B……men I spent a great deal of time with on the trails. Picking their brains about all things related to the trails and giving them as much crap as possible – and was returned, always returned. The greatness of these people is that we all look out for each other!
At this, the close of 2013, I find myself coming almost full circle in that I am once again contemplating swimming. Not just any swim but the completion of a goal to finish a Half Ironman distance triathlon!! CRAZY talk eh?!! I know, I know. But you know, I don’t really have quit in me either. I WILL prepare for and complete my first one in Austin, October of 2014!! Between now and then……….well that’s a post for another day. In the meantime, here are some pictures as evidence of the absolute FUN I had over the year and the people I experienced it with. Thanks for the memories boys! And the girls too of course!! Ha ha