I am more than a pair of running shoes. Most days.
Here are a few other things I’d like to continue/practice/improve in 2017:
Read more non-fiction
Unlike most Americans, finding time to read or just reading in general, is not my problem. I’m an avid reader and probably average 40 or 50 books a year. But give me a choice and I’ll always go for the pot boiler over the pop psychology.
I have noticed as I’ve gotten older than I’m increasingly interested in non-fiction, but I’m still primarily a fiction reader so I’m giving myself a goal for ’17 of reading at least 12 non-fiction books (cookbooks don’t count either).
Degree of difficulty: Moderate
I turn 40 this year and time is growing short (just kidding!) so let’s get the big one out of the way first. I’m going to run the Chicago Marathon in October. At the end of last season when I started thinking about this year’s fitness goals, I originally thought I would try to go after that sub-90 minute half-marathon. Truthfully, the half marathon is probably my favorite running event but somehow that didn’t seem big enough, memorable enough for a milestone year like 40. Go big or go home, right?
This year would have had to go seriously wrong to come anywhere close the life-changing havoc that 2015 wrought. Luckily, it didn’t come anywhere close. It was actually a nice tame year which is just what we needed really. We did some travel, we hosted lots of friends, we kept expectations light and we kept it simple.
Finished off the year with my hometown 5k yesterday. I’ve written about this race in the past, so I’ll keep it short, which actually turned out to be sort of the theme of the day.
Two things of note this year. One, they smartly added a competitive corral at the front of the race. The Angel Run is heavily promoted through the schools (it was started to honor a third grader that passed away) and always brings out a lot of young kids. Which greatly adds to the energy of the event, but also can add to the challenge of the start as you weave and dodge around pre-teens that sprinted out the first 200 yards before abruptly stopping. An expected time of sub-23 got you entry into the corral.
At this point, the Rock ’n’ Roll running series is a pretty well established brand and I’d guess most runners would have a general idea of what to expect when they are the race directors. (They also have a healthy ego as on their About page they claim the RnR format “ignited the second running boom”).
You are going to get a professionally packaged race experience that is used to putting on a big production, typically in a big city with a big entry field. You are going to get bands/entertainment at most mile markers. Well stocked and spaced aid tables. A nice finisher medal. And lots and lots of upset opportunities to enhance your race day experience.
At the Brooklyn Half, I experienced all of that and a few more things, but had little complaint. I knew what I was getting in to. But let’s start at the beginning.
It’s been three weeks since the addition of the new meds and I still sometimes catch myself smiling for no reason during my runs. The difference is just so drastic that I’m almost giddy. I’ve gone from cautiously pessimistic of even finishing without walking to cautiously optimistic of having a really good run.
This was an impulse race, though unlike some of the peanut M&M bags that have snuck into my cart in the checkout line, I never came to regret signing up. The Dover Sherborn Boosters triathlon is a local sprint distance race in a nearby town that I had heard about over the year but just never fit into my schedule. In fact, most of my open water swims in the summer use the same pond and the surrounding roads I’ve criss-crossed on the bike over the years, so there was really no excuse for not signing up at some point. I just didn’t really plan on it being this year. It wasn’t the best day, but it wasn’t the worst, either.