Click on the slideshow to get a larger view of my favorite photos from 2010:
As hard as it is to believe, it has been a year since I started writing this blog. What an eventful year it has been for me and my family. I’ve had many firsts this year, both positive and negative, including losing my first parent and the first time ever not finishing a race. On the positive side, I finished my first 100 mile trail race, my first grandchild was born and my wife and I had a baby girl. Quite an eventful year to say the least.
I now have many more friends to share my interest in running. The “blogosphere” is a powerful medium and I’m grateful to have discovered it. Since I have been keeping track of my visitors, I have had over 1700 views in 43 different countries. I enjoy following other ultrarunners and learn from them and hope they learn something from me.
The hardest time this year was saying goodbye to my dad who was always active and enjoyed his life to the end. He was a great father, grandfather, brother, son, and husband who instilled important values in me and my siblings. He never wanted to outlive his quality of life and he succeeded, because he was mostly healthy and happy up to the end.
Not finishing Jemez 50 was disappointing, but I keep everything in perspective and don’t take my running too seriously. I was grateful to have made it to mile 32 in such a difficult course. I enjoyed most of the race, but when my body told me it was done, I listened and threw in the towel. I look forward to going back for another try in 2011.
Several months later I had the best experience and my proudest running accomplishment when I finished the Tahoe Rim 100 miler. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my loving wife and crew chief, Cara. Even though she was 5 months pregnant, she cheerfully endured the two day drive and a week camping at 9000 ft elevation on an air mattress that went flat every night. She got me to the start and met me at several aid stations for moral support and was waiting at the finish line when I crossed over 33 hours later.
We also had a wonderful trip to Virginia this year to see my grandson, Max. All my family was there, including my dad. Since my parents are from Pittsburgh, we are a family of Steelers fans and Max is no different as you can see by his attire. His proud grandpa gave him his first John Deere tractor for Christmas.
Our happiest moment of the year, though, was when our baby girl, Madeleine, arrived. She is the center of our life now and part of the running crew. When the opportunity to run the Big Bend 50K came up earlier this year, I asked my wife, “Are you sure you want to travel to Big Bend with a newborn?” She replied, “I don’t want the baby to limit what we can do, so sure, let’s go.” Madeleine and Cara will be the crew in a few weeks when I run Big Bend.
Several years ago we went to this race with Cara’s parents and we had a wonderful time. Since the race organizers added the 10K this year, her mom and dad decided to run also, so it will be a family affair this time around. Big Bend is a unique area in a remote part of Texas with the high Chisos Mountains in the center; surrounded by the Rio Grande that cuts through steep canyon walls. A natural hot spring awaits sore runners after the run.
I’m a little nervous about my 31 mile run this year, because I have been plagued with foot pain the last several months. I can’t understand how I can train for a 100 miler without any problems and then all of a sudden have plantar fasciitis flare-ups on shorter runs. Nevertheless, I have cut back on my running some and have been icing my foot in between training runs. I did get a 21 miler in last week and hope to get one more long run in before the race on January 16th.
It has indeed been an eventful year and I look forward to more running adventures in the future. Happy New Year and I hope to see you on the trail sometime in 2011.