The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. It’s the standard stuff about who from where read what and when.
When I think about 2013 from a running point of view the first thought I have is that my cup was generally half full, I had a wobbly wheel on my trolley and I was trying to polish shit. One of the ways you know you’ve gained wisdom is when you know you can’t polish shit.
Let me catalogue the number of ways I can list my failure:
- My mileage for 2013 was the lowest it’s ever been at 1,250 miles (give or take).
- I ended up missing my target race due to injury – a waste of 7 – 8 months of training.
- I reduced myself to being unable to walk at one point in May.
- I am getting slower and slower
- I have had the previously unheard of thoughts of why the fuck do you run more than before.
A bit of a mid-life running crisis that might end up resolving itself with a bicycle and some ill-fitting lycra and a love affair with petrol station coffee. Time will be the only thing that will play that one out.
Now, pessimism is not my default setting. Cynical and sceptical – possibly; sarcastic – most likely. Pessimism requires too much hard work. You have to seek out the gloomy side of people and places and that, to an inherently lazy person like me, is just too much ongoing effort to sustain. No, for me, the narrative that optimism creates is much more manageable. Optimism also allows you to see the potential good in even the shittiest situation. The ability to cope by rolling out tired and well worn maxims like at least we’re able to do it when panting your guts out on the climb up a mountain.
So, when I re-look at 2013 with my happy glasses on I see a different narrative.
- I ran 6 marathons or ultra marathons.
- 3 of them were off-road and allowed for the full immersion I crave.
- One of them (the Wicklow Way ultra) was full immersion – in ball-freezing ice and snow.
- I listened to my body and recovered from my injury to be stronger, better, fitter (I think I read that on the side of a box for running shoes).
- My average run lengths increased over other years as I cut out all the recovery shite they tell you you should be doing and I realised that a long run (more than an hour) every second day was, to use a word borrowed from the world of biodiversity, more sustainable for me. Recovery meant not running.
- The mystique of the marathon faded away for me. Distance is nothing.
- I have found some sort of running form where I don’t injure myself all the time and am now at 800+ miles on my New Balance 1060s (I used to have to replace them at 350 miles due to heel-striking). This has knock on benefits as the mountain of old runners under the bed is less pronounced so the brokering that goes on in a marriage with 3 parties involved (Husband, Wife & Running) is less stressful.
Clearly when it comes to perspectives on 2013 as a running year I’m more willing to accept it as a positive year rather than a negative one. This is a coping strategy more than anything and I’m fine with that as it allows me to park it and move on. You can’t change the past so why try.
One of the problems with this optimism version of events is that I’m becoming more serene.
Serene is a polite way of saying that I’m more likely to tell you my man feeling even if you are only asking about the weather. All the stuff about isn’t nature great, the views from the mountain top and make sure to give everyone a hug.
Awfully mawkish but it’s probably just the nice person inside of me trying to break out.