2013 was a good year for me.
In November of 2012, I decided I was going to start running … and I made a handful of halting little tries. On and off throughout December, mostly walking, I think I wound up with 18 total miles in 6 weeks. But, I had registered for a 5K in March of 2013 and, struggle to move though I might, I made my mind hold on to the goal.
On January 1, 2013, in the middle of the afternoon, I drove to a local trail and ran a bit over a mile-and-a-half out and turned around and ran back – 3.1 miles. I mention the afternoon because that’s why I was on the trail instead of the road; running in the daytime was something I didn’t do much because I was embarrassed to be seen. That “baseline 5K” took me 49 minutes and 30 seconds, for a 15:43 / mile pace.
But I did it. And it felt good. And it made me start thinking that I could do it. And so, on January 3rd, I got up at 5am, bundled up, walked out of the house, and made it about half a mile before the cold drove me back in. Epic fail. But I went back out on the 4th, and then the 5th, and then the 6th. Eventually it became a habit, and then a bunch of goals … and it has since become, if not a passion, at least a hobby.
The rest is history.
In 2013, I went for a run 181 times, for a total of 679.7 miles – an average of 3.75 miles per run. I ran in 11 races, including a 4K, five 5Ks, two 10Ks, a 15K, a half marathon, and a Ragnar. I ran races in Central Park in the snow, on the beach in Los Angeles, on the runway of JFK airport in Queens, through the countryside of southeast Tennessee, and down the boardwalk of Virginia Beach. I’ve done training runs at the beach at the Hamptons on Long Island, down Duke of Glouchester Street in Colonial Williamsburg (dodging horse *ahem* piles the whole way), and in rural Arkansas. My 5K PR is now 31 minutes and 15 seconds – a full 18 minutes (18 minutes!) faster than that January 1 baseline.
And I lost 38.4 pounds. I went from an XXL (and sometimes XXXL) shirt to an XL … 48 inch (and sometimes 50) pants to 42 inch (and sometimes 40). From the last hole on my belt to the first hole on my belt. Well north to well south of 300 pounds.
2014 is going to bring bigger and better things – I’m putting pen to that paper now – but I believe that New Year’s Eve, and this week between Christmas and New Year, is a time to reflect on the past year. Upon reflection, I’m proud of this one.
How did your year go?