It’s kind of fun to sit back in my recliner on a cold winter afternoon and reflect back on the past year’s worth of running. Although I battled through a few injuries, 2012 turned out to be my best year yet; full of personal records (PR’s) and memorable moments. I ended up running a total of 1,347 miles for the year, and cycled almost 400 miles more when unable to run.
“The Streak,” November 26, 2011 – March 4, 2012: The year began with me continuing to see how many consecutive days I could run at least 3 miles. I reached precisely 100 days before catching the flu stopped “the streak” on March 5th. “The streak” made me realize, however, that I shouldn’t run every day at my age, especially while training for a marathon: This old body needed time to rest and recover after long training runs. Overtraining contributed to some calf issues that ultimately resulted in me missing the Fargo Marathon. Not being able to train for over a month was very difficult, but I came through the injury stronger than ever, so I count it as a blessing, even though I didn’t think so at the time!
Frozen Feat 10K, February 11: This was my third consecutive year running this race, and the first one where the weather actually lived up to the race’s name! It was below zero with a strong, steady wind, meaning I overheated while running in one direction, and froze my eye lashes together while running in the other. My time of 49 minutes and 11 seconds wasn’t a PR, but I was pretty satisfied with the race considering the cold and the fact that I was 70+ days into my streak and starting to get a little worn down. I ran the race with a special bib on my back to remember Sherry Arnold, the Sydney Montana runner who was kidnapped and murdered while running a few weeks earlier. It was a brutal reminder to all runners that we not only have to be weary of the elements and weather, but also of those around us who may wish to do us harm when we are alone and the most vulnerable.
Fargo Half Marathon, May 19: I was starting to recover from my calf issues, but didn’t feel like I could complete an entire marathon, so I changed my registration to the half marathon instead. A tendonitis flare up the week of the race made me considering dropping out, but loads of ibuprofen did the trick, and I felt fantastic on race day. This was my second half marathon and my time of 1 hour, 49 minutes and 15 seconds was a PR.
Firecracker 5K, July 4: A warm and extremely humid morning wasn’t ideal for any type of race, but I was ready for this one, placing 6th out of 79 in the men’s division. This was only my second 5K race ever, and my time of 21 minutes and 46 seconds was a new PR by more than three minutes!
81 on 81 Relay Race, July 21: I was part of a six man team, “Twisted Blister,” that covered the 81 miles from Fargo to Hillsboro and back in 10 hours and 16 minutes. I ran the first leg (7.0 miles) in the dark and the seventh leg (6.1 miles) in the light. This was the most fun I’ve ever had running thanks to the camaraderie experienced from Fred, Brian, David, Justin and Adam! Did I mention that I got to wear a head lamp and run down a deserted highway during the middle of the night?
Dick Beardsley Half Marathon, September 8: My summer training had gone phenomenal, and this was a tune up race for the Twin Cities Marathon in four weeks. The cool temperatures were welcome, but the gale force winds blowing off Big Detroit Lake made this rolling hill course quite difficult. My time of 1 hour, 44 minutes and 27 seconds shattered my May PR by almost 5 minutes and filled me with great confidence heading into Minneapolis! By the way, Dick Beardsley himself ran the race, untimed, and finished just ahead of me according to spectators. Just being on the same course as one of the fastest American marathon runners in history felt great, even if the legend was seven years my senior!
Twin Cities Marathon, October 7: This was my only marathon of the year, and I wanted to make the most of it! All the hard training paid off, and I finally finished a marathon in less than four hours. My trainer and friend Martin made the trip to run at my side, and we crossed the finish line in 3 hours, 47 minutes, and 37 seconds, a new PR by more than 20 minutes. This race was the highlight of my year and one I’ll never forget!
FM Mini 5K, October 20: This race was special because it was the first with my son Carl. I let Carl set the pace, and he made his father proud by running each mile progressively faster. We finished in a time of 25 minutes and 8 seconds, and celebrated by eating omelets at IHOP when we were done! I’m looking forward to more runs with Carl in the future!