Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 - The Year that was . . .

2010 was definitely not the the best year on record for me . . . but I'm not complaining.

While this blog is a running blog, I do want to mention two non-running personal items . . .
No pictures of Michael actually studying!!!
  • Son, Michael, got his Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering from Clemson University.  But only one person in his class got a job by graduation . . . not Michael.  He moved in with me for a few months, but has now moved to Telluride, CO to work until he can find an Environmental Engineering job.  So net-net it's good, and bad, and good!

  • My daughter, Laurie, became the store manager for the new North Face store in Vail, CO.  So proud of her!  She moved to Vail just last year after graduating from College of Charleston.  Got a job as an assistant manager for the North Face store in Lionshead and when they decided to open a new store in Vail Village, Laurie was asked to open and manage the new store!  Wow!
Notice Laurie is wearing a Patagonia fleece!

    But this is a running blog and I need to stick to running here or I'll lose the ten's of readers I have!!

    For the third year in a row I've run at least a marathon a month (okay . . . 12 marathons or longer over the 12-month period).  Guess that is cause for some celebration.  Plus, I had two more runs that weren't 26.2 but they ran like marathons - Bays Mountain Trail 15 mile Race and the Uwharrie 20 miler.  I was a 'beat' after each of these as I was after any marathon.

    Anyway, running 12 marathons in 12 months really isn't much of an accomplishment.  The first year I set this as a goal, I thought it would be challenging.  But it really isn't all that hard.

    Compare my 12 marathons with some friends' accomplishments:
    • Daniel Lieb completed 52 marathons+ this year.  And he took some weekends off so, yes, there were several weekends where Daniel ran 2 marathons!  
    • Jim Plant ran over 2010 miles in 2010!  Finished at least two 100 miles (maybe more!)
    So, to the uninformed, 12 marathons may seem like a lot, but it really pales in comparison to many.

    Up to this year I had never had a DNF.  Now, for the uninformed, a DNF is not a good thing!  DNF stands for 'did not finish' and is something we runners all live in fear of.  The longer the distance the worse it is.  Failing to finish a 5k race is really no big deal.  We've run many, many runs and races way longer so deciding to not finish a 5k means nothing.  But that changes when you think about a marathon or longer.  Here, the distance itself is the challenge.  And all marathoners live in fear of failing to finish a race.

    But 2010 saw me with three separate DNFs . . .

    • My first DNF happened in April when I failed to finish running my first 100 mile attempt.  I stopped at 50 miles.  But somehow that failure didn't seem harsh.  
    • But my second DNF hurt a lot.  After finishing 20 miles of the Leadville Marathon I was forced to quit since I missed the time cut-off.  The hardest part was done.  I felt very positive when the RD met me and told me my race was over.  In hindsight I wish I had given him my race number and chip, but continued on by myself without support.  But I didn't.  This race is a real bugger.  I doubt if I'll try it again.

    • DNF #3 happened at the Medoc Trail Races Re-run.  I fell hard and hurt my wrist and the decision to stop at 20 miles was easy.  No regrets on this DNF!
    Also, the Friday after the Leadville Trail Marathon I had knee surgery.  Injury happened when I got on the floor to play with my dogs . . . not running!!  Surgery July 9th went super smoothly and on August 10 I ran 13 miles.  Did lose fitness, but the comeback was actually fairly easy.

      A few of this year's high points for me . . .

      #1 - Finishing the New River Trail 50k this October.  The distance wasn't the challenge but the time sure was!  I had to finish in 7 hours and I just made it!  I worked hard for this finish and it was quite rewarding.

      #2 - Finishing the Umstead Marathon and not being dead last!  The year before I had finished, but just barely made the time cut-off.  This year I was safe from the cut-off and had a good finish.

      #3 - Got a 'speeding ticket' for running too fast!  That's right folk! A frickin' TICKET!  Doesn't get much better then this.
      #4  Actually won an age group award in two races!!  Since I started running in about 1976 I had NEVER won an age group award in any race of any distance.  Even very small races!  But this year I broke through . . . well actually the 'ranks are getting thinner' each year.  So there is something to be said for just showing up!!

      So 2010 wasn't a bad year at all.  Thinking about it now, it maybe was a pretty good year!  But 2011 is going to be even better!!


      1. what a great year! and what great looking kids! :o) I know you are proud of them, and you should be extremely proud of your running accomplishments in 2010. :o)

        I am so happy we got to run several races together this year! ( still bummed I was too out of commission from my first 50 miler to run bays mtn-- I love that race.. I would of been walking or DNFed that race for sure I was so injured) So glad I'm better now.
        Same goes for you, you had KNEE SURGERY! and LOOK AT YOU!!! absolutely amazing!
        Have a wonderful christmas and a happy new year filled with running roads and trails with good friends!! ((HUG))


      2. First off let me get the important stuff out of the way. Two grown kids who are on their own and doing great in such economic times is a great testiment to dear ole Dad. So many parents would just love their kids to get up and get any job and attempt to be self sustaining, but both of yours are doing so much more. Be proud as I know you are. They both sound like they are working hard and moving in the right direction.

        Secondly to the running. What a year for you. Don't you dare worry about those dnf's. They only make you stronger. Knee surery and then all of these long runs make you one amazing individual. Don't sell yourself short as 2011 is going to be even greater, but please no more surgery. I wish you a wonderful Christmas Frank. It is truly a very special time.

      3. I still get a kick from that ticket. Reminds me of when I got stopped during my military time for running without reflective gear and was instructed to walk home... still without reflective gear...

      4. Great wrap-up, Frank! Sounds like 2010 was indeed a great year, and I look forward to what 2011 brings!


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      Littleton, North Carolina
      World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.