Monday, December 31, 2012

The Long Year

I'm working on a post with the same title over at I Did Get Fun. My other blog (one in a growing list of distraction blogs) features my details on raising a very active, inquisitive, sometimes challenging toddler. Not too different from managing my running life.

The long year. It captures all aspects of my life over the last 12 months. Of course I'm aware that the year can be neither longer nor shorter than what the year is. It just is the length of time that it is. On the other hand, the way it feels is the way it was perceived, and it felt long.

I started running again this year. It was hard at first. Then it was fun and exciting. Then I discovered the overuse injury. I recovered, then re-injured myself. Now, as I get back to full health, I spend a great part of every day thinking about and mentally planning my next outing. 

Because of my early-rising little guy (see blog link above), I have found that I have to get out long before the sun crests the skyline if I want to get some time on my feet. With each day it gets colder and darker, so the process becomes more drawn out; 

  • Alarm rings - I fumble with the watch, then stare at the ceiling wondering why I do this. I flash through excuses and reasons to get just a little more sleep before he wakes
  • Run starts - I stagger my way through dressing and shoe tying. I hit the cold air and take off. The first 10 minutes are spent questioning why I am doing this
  • Middle section of the run - My mind goes quiet and I forget what I was thinking. Most likely the only "silence" I will experience all day
  • The close - Run my ass off to finish things so I can get inside. The runners high is a real thing. Sometimes I feel that I could put my hand through a brick wall
  • Rest of the day - Thinking about doing it again

It's the same every time. So, I cannot imagine that 2013 will be any different. In place of the standard resolution setting that comes with the close of each year, this time I am going to focus on a few goals. I have another long, most likely harder year in store for me (and my family). I won't need to stop doing things. I will need to start being more efficient with what I choose to do.

A move is in the books. I am looking forward to our first house in a new town. A trail head sits just a half-mile down the road. But, I am well aware that there will be a significant amount of work ahead of me. This will mean less free time and more lawn mowing.

On the subject of free-time, we have a new one on the way. Raising a little guy has been the hardest, most fulfilling thing we have done together. My wife and I just barely survived our first little bad sleeper. Let's hope that number 2 likes naps.

And in this mix, I want to throw some new running projects. New races and endurance runs to challenge what I think I can handle (now on even less sleep). 

I want to run for LBI, our summer community devastated by Storm Sandy. I want to set a PR or two, and I want to tackle the longer version of Mountain Madness. Going into the race this last September, I never believed I could move for that long over that type of terrain. Now that I know that I can, I want to do it again, and do it over 50 kilometers. 

I want to bring my son into all of this and teach him the trails, get him to love being out in the woods as much as I do. 

I want to find happiness in my job. I will need to find more time, or better use of it, so that I can be there for family and friends.

I want to keep demanding more of myself... keep pushing my limits just out of reach. Hopefully,  I won't find them in 2013.