Statistics are an easy way to talk about one's main hobby, and I suspect they wrap up the package nicely into something digestible. So, let me try to put some prose against this year and highlight my 11 favorite running moments from 2011.
11. Two glorious runs in Bellevue, WA
|From the I-90 Bike Path looking North over Lake Washington|
10. LA Marathon in the rain
I ran 5 marathons or longer in 2011 (including one 31 mile ultra). The craziest was March's LA Marathon. It poured and poured. And guess what? I ran my fastest LA time out of the 3 I have done. It turns out you can only get so wet. This was part of three marathons I did in less than 60 days - all of which featured rain at some point and allowed me to join the Marathon Maniacs group.
9. Copacabana Beach
My South American trip in October included three days in Rio de Janeiro. After climbing Sugar Loaf, I had to follow that up by running along the fabled Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches. Happily, I hit a holiday, and all traffic near the beach was diverted, so it wasn't hard to bang out 8 miles in the sun amongst relaxing locals.
8. Three marathons in the 3:30's
|NYC Marathon, November 6, 2011. 3:37:44|
7. Hearing from people how I inspired them to run
I started running for myself in 2006 - I wanted to lose weight, get in shape and develop a hobby. These past 5 years of running have been some of the happiest in my life. What makes them more special is hearing about people who have read this blog or been told about my adventures by friends. Every now and then, I will get an email from someone writing about how they started running because of me. I never try to convert someone - it's too hard to stick with it if you do not like it. But when someone gets the bug, I am there to cheer them on. In fact, I get re-inspired by people who feel I have inspired them. How cool is that?
6. Activision's Born to Run Club
While I wrapped up my Activision career in December, one awesome part I will miss is the newly created running club. I developed friendships with co-workers that has lead us to plan running events outside of work. And I'm still invited to join on Monday evenings when I am in town. I rarely ran with anyone else before, but I found that I enjoy sharing the runs with others. Everyone worries I will try to run too fast, but in fact, I'm very happy to be much more relaxed and casual than I am by myself. It's allowed me to find another layer of enjoyment in my passion.
5. Raising 10k for charity
|Chile: Speaking to two local parents supported by Children International.|
|The empty 405. All of West LA looked like this.|
3. Fan support at various races
This year saw my family and friends come out at a number of races. I've gotten better about accepting this request, and the November NYC Marathon was particularly fun as I had support at two different spots on the course. It helped that the day was gorgeous, but my parents and friends didn't mind being there in the rain at the LA Marathon in March either. Rebecca was there at the finish of Antarctica too trying to not get blown away by the 40 mile gusts.
2. Running in Antarctica
And speaking of the white continent, running there was incredible. I've written all about it. (Click here.) So, not much more to say other than that the bloom has not come off the rose. I suspect it never will.
1. Finishing the 7 Continents Quest
This one is sort of obvious. In 2008, I set a goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents by the end of 2011. And indeed, I pulled it off. The goal has no meaning outside of a personal accomplishment. (In fact, some people even debate the count of 7 continents; are Asia and Europe really separate?) Still, it's cool to be one of less than 2000 people to do something, but the journeys were as great as the runs. I met amazing people, and I had amazing vacations along the way. I still haven't decided what to "do" next other than keep running. I have 5 marathons planned between now and July (starting with Xiamen China on January 7), so we'll see what I come up with. Whatever the goal, having fun and sharing it will be key components.
Happy New Year to everyone. Thanks for reading the blog and cheering me on; I'm cheering you on in return in whatever endeavors you enjoy.