Sunday, December 29, 2013

Winding Down 2013

Winding down 2013, it's going out well. Over the past week, I've passed up 2000 miles and 200 miles for the month and still going. As it stands today, 2013 will be a banner year...not for race accomplishments, per se, but from the vantage point of miles covered, being injury free, and running purely for the joy of running. I'm quite happy with that. It's such a backwards way of the mainstream running world, in my opinion. So many people are wrapped up in training schedules, pace of their runs, how well they place, etc. I'm NOT saying those are necessarily bad things at all...that was me for YEARS. But for me personally, it's just not that important to me anymore. I do love races, I do love competition, and I have a pretty well padded 2014 schedule, but it doesn't rule me. Make sense? Anyway, I posted on Facebook last night about this topic and a good friend and fellow Navy lieutenant posed the question: "How do I stay injury free and log all of the miles?" I actually had a tough time answering that question and scratched my head a bit...perplexed by what the answer really is. Here is my response and maybe it'll help explain where I'm coming from here:

So 2013...about to end quite well and 2014 will start awesome, too, as a 50K is a mere 6 days away, down in the mountains of West Virginia once again. Before that, though, the Highlands Sky 40 Miler registration opens up on January 1st. I'm absolutely returning to that race next year over Father's Day weekend. They just opened the new lodge for my family and after my experience in 2013, another trip is certainly warranted. Details Here.

Yesterday, I hosted my annual WaterFalls Group Run. 7 years ago, I started it with 7-10 fellow runners as a way to celebrate 2007 and kick off 2008 by seeing the 3 main waterfalls of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and just having fun. We also stopped for photos at each waterfall. Well, it's grown a bit and 300 +/- 100 runners showed up yesterday. I didn't run for the first time, though, because I was a one-man show and did a joint collection for charity. I collected used shoes to be donated to those in need and also filled my wife's SUV up with food and household goods for the Freedom House, a veterans homeless transitional home in Kent, OH. They house 14 men at a time who show up with nothing. I took the full load of goods and nearly $500 in cash straight there and the men helped me offload the goods. That absolutely made my day! ALL worth it! The rest of the day, I was sent photo after photo of the waterfalls run. It absolutely lived up to the reason it exists. Hundreds of smiles and breathtaking waterfalls. You can see them all here at the public Facebook page: http://facebook.com/waterfallsrun. Next year's date is set for December 27, 2014!

More good running news this past week came from Brooks. Looks like I'll continue my journey with them via sponsorship for a 5th straight year but now under the umbrella of "Brooks Fanatics" vs "Brooks ID." They have done some reorganizing within the sponsorship realm and the ID program has been GREATLY reduced in size and is reserved only for coaches and the elite. I'm honored to be a part of the Brooks Family yet again and excited to begin year #1 with Hammer Nutrition. Got my gear, got my fuel...ready to race!

Have a fantastic last few days of 2013, friends. Whatever you do today, make it count and bless someone around you.

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