I understand when people have had a not-so-great year and they declare loudly to all who will hear that they are soooooo over this year and ready for the next one to begin. In reality, however, many years are similar. Some you beat cancer in and some you don't. Some you find the love of your life and some you get divorced. But the pressure to make THIS YEAR the BEST is ridiculous. For reasons I can't even recall, nine years ago I was interviewed in the Washington Post about finding someone special for a kiss on New Year's Eve. I said then what I said now: New Year's Eve is vastly over-rated with far too much pressure.
The same goes with looking back at the past year. I like doing it. We all like doing it. We like lists. We like Top Tens. We want things in a neat bow. They rarely are.
All told, I was quite pleased with how 2013 went because I made it through the year and virtually everyone I cared about in the world made it through the year as well. That's a pretty good year in my book.
Running-wise (and the only reason why 95% of you care what my opinion on anything is) I had a good year as well. Not a great year, per se but a good one. Here are some of the things I will remember in no particular order.
* I had my plans to run across the Panama Canal thwarted because of incorrect information provided and horrible planning on my part.
* I skied for the first time in my life and did it at the beginning of a winter triathlon. I ended up being the fastest trail runner on the day which is just hilarious given my love of road running.
* This year ended up having the most miles in a year for me (~2500) since 2008, when at no time did I feel like I was running that much or that far at all.
* My running and everything was put on hold for a bit when I contracted a nasty little staph infection in my foot which made it difficult to sleep, let alone walk, or even think about running. Fortunately, I am mostly recovered from that but know I have to be ever vigilant.
* I set a new half-marathon PR on a day when I was not really expecting much in the speed department at all at the Mt. Nebo Half Marathon.
*The Dane to Davenport was a success as I ran 165 miles in 3 days before hitting the Quad Cities Marathon the next day.
* With little to no cycling in the previous 6 months, I was able to have a solid showing at the National Duathlon Championship race and qualify for the world championships.
* My second book continued to sell well and received good reviews while readers continued to like my 52 Marathons in 52 weekends story.
* I finally realized the movie about my 202 mile solo running of the American Odyssey Relay would come to fruition at the start of 2014.
I have no major plans for 2014 in the sense that others want to hear about how long I will be running and from what point in the country to the other I plan on traversing. This year has a focus on returning to speed and trying to leave the long-distance stage running behind for a year or two. I continue to wish to try new races and distances but would love a few more cracks at setting a nice fat PR in the marathon. It has been four years since I really tried with any sincerity and I think the time is right.
I think that, for the most part, if 2014 looks a lot like 2013, I will be a happy camper. I could do without any staph infections or similar injuries but hey, I haven't had a bike crash since 2012!
Here's wishing you the best in 2014 and I do hope your running. racing and life dreams do come true.