An Arbitrary Endpoint

by Bill Durbin, re-posted from his blog, Left Right Repeat (Again)

Well it’s 2015 (stating the obvious). It has been for almost a day now.

About this time, a lot of people like to look back and reflect on the past year and look ahead to the coming one. Some years I do that, and some years I just… don’t. Maybe there’s some other event in the year that makes me take stock and make the same kinds of observations… maybe I just get lazy. I’m going to do a half-assed job of it this time, because I had a nice chilly, damp run today with plenty of time to think about this stuff. But I’ve forgotten most of it in the meantime.

As far as this running thing goes, 2014 was a pretty good year. I ran a lot of races (for me) this year. Seven, if I don’t count relays and “fun run” events  – eleven, if I do. Among those seven, I set a personal record at every distance I raced – 5k, 10k, 10 mile, 1/2 marathon, and marathon. That’s a lot of really good races. I also had a really crappy 10k and a fairly poor 1/2 marathon early in the year, but we’ll forget about them for now.

Why was this year so good? I can point to some of the easy things – my training has been different, more miles, better quality work. I ran more miles between May and December than I’ve ever run in a full year. I could get all introspective and talk about finding my motivation and listening to my body and whatnot. I could point at the race-day conditions and say I just got lucky for every single race this year.

But at the root of it all, it’s people (not in a Soylent Green way). It’s the team. I have this awesome group of friends to meet with several times a week, and a great coach who invests in us and really cares about our success. They are the ones who make me look forward to waking up long before the buttcrack of dawn every Saturday to go run an uncomfortable number of miles. They’re the ones that motivate me to show up two nights during the week to run yet more miles at uncomfortable speeds. And on those cold, wet days where I am dragging my feet, I am fortunate enough to have a supportive spouse who is more than happy to kick me out of the house so I have to run around for an hour and a half to just stay warm. I can’t credit any of these people for race-day weather, but the motivation, accountability, and friendship (and of course, the happy office snacks) that they provide are what enables the miles, the quality workouts, the consistency. They are the real reason 2014 was a great year for running.

2015 is still a big unknown, but at least I seem to be starting the year off right.

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