Thursday, January 20, 2011

Memento Mori Carpe Diem

2010 started very bumpy, to say the least. I had an awful diet, my previous hamstring/calf and shoulder injuries were chronic in the pain category. The hammy/calf wouldn't allow me to run with full stride, good form, and without serious discomfort & hurt. Mentally I was out of it. Spiritually I was bankrupt. Physically I wasn't treating my body well. Travel had me beaten up. I wasn't sleeping. I was depressed, and ugly inside and out. I was in a dark lonely place with emotional apathy. Life was totally predictable, how I'd feel (miserable), scared, full of fear, anxiety, hurt, and lonliness.

To avoid a long story, I was simply touched by an angel; given another chance.

My diet bounced back from the help of Melissa, and my injuries became manageable through PT with Denise. Church and support groups gave me a resurgance of my mental and spiritual maladies. Physically I was improving 1 day at a time. I began to show signs of hope and recovery, and the ugly began having less space within as the good & hopeful took residence once again. My fitness began to improve with hard work. Work situations changed and I didn't have to travel any longer...for at least a while. I was begining to feel rested, and well on my way to a happier lifestyle. I still did struggle, at times, but to say the least, life was getting good again.

Then work hit, and I was in Charleston SC for approximately 4 months over the late spring/majority of summer. I found new friends there, and was taking life in stride. Moving back home I struggled with life once again, but, kept on the bright path and ultimatley worked myself through the halloween season with two feet under my head, still six feet up. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years were a blessing, and very fruitful with a new way of living 1 day at a time. I had had a spiritual awakening.

Sometimes, as an engineer, I need to see the numbers to show the results. Simply looking at my running, here are the stats:

Total Mileage = 2,361 (Previous best over 10 years 1,439. 10-year average 905)
Total Races = 20 (not even sure what previous best was, but likely only 14)
PR 5k - 17:13
PR 5M - 29:40
PR 8M - 49:51
PR 9M - 55:52
PR 10M - 1:02:35
PR Half Marathon - 1:24:08
PR 50K - 6hr 24min
PR 100k - 14hr 11min 57sec

In all, I raced:
5k's - eight (8)
3.55M - one (1)
5M - one (1)
10k - one (1)
7M tough mudder - one (1)
9M - one (1)
10M - one (1)
Half marathon - three (3)
50-mile relay (28M) - one (1)
50k (35M) - one (1)
100k (62.8M) - one (1)

All in all I raced 230 miles, and three alone accumulated more than half. Placed 2nd or 3rd in a number of races, and took one (1) victory at the 5k. I've never run longer than 26.2 miles in my life prior to this year, and within 11 weeks I surmounted 35-mile trail race, 35-mile road training run (4hr 34min), 63-mile trail race, and 28-mile dirt road relay. I set personal best records in eight (8) different race distances ranging from the 5k to the 100k and everything in-between.

On new years day 2010 I raced a 5k in 20:41. The same exact course, exactly 365 days 0-hours later I ran 17:37 (3min 4sec faster). What a difference some hard work and focus accumulates.

I got fit, healthy, found new friendships and regained trust in those previous, a new more productive way of living, and I have learned to help others along the way. I give to my church in offerings, and have God on my side and inside each and every day. My new code of love, tolerance, and kindness toward others is a rule. As the wisest part of wisdom is kindness.

As we head back to Miami in 1 week, I will have time to reflect and give thanks. Also, to be reminded of whence I came. I will not forget the past, nor wish to shut the door on it. For this is who I am now, and all that other stuff was not of me. Miami 26.2 - let's see what a year has chissled.

Goodbye 2010, you were the best year I've even known. Your takeaway gift will be carefully handled...for in a glimpse I can throw it all away. Looking forward to the unknown grace of each day in 2011. The best is yet to come!