Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A look back at the year

It's kind of hard to believe that 2010 is almost done. Personally I'm still trying to figure out what happened to the month of January. Or March. Even July. It just seemed like the year flew by. It was full of some exciting moments and some great opportunities yet at the same time there were a few disappointments and struggles. But overall it was a pretty good year. Let's take a quick look back at some of the highlights:

I said hello to my 30s and celebrated by completing an indoor triathlon and picking up some first place hardware, going out for some tasty Mexican with friends and catching a Division III college basketball game.

There was a new man in my life. OK. Not a man of the human kind. I finally caved and used some birthday money to treat myself to a Garmin 305, which I named Gus. We feel in love instantly.

I recorded my highest mileage month ever when I logged 72.5 miles.

I got locked up. Well not literally, but I did spend an evening at Alcatraz when I flew out to San Francisco to visit my college roommate. There was also wine tasting in Napa Valley and a 4-mile run through a very hilly cemetery. It was a great trip. And one that I'm glad I took since my friend recently left California behind and moved back to Chicago!

My dad caught the walking bug. His company was a major sponsor of the Sole Burner, a 5K in my hometown that raises money for the American Cancer Society, and since they were paying for employees' registration, he decided to walk the 3.1 miles. It was cute. Dad was worried about being able to cover the distance. But he rocked the 5K. I was glad I got the chance to do it with him (well, I ran). It was the first of three 5Ks my Dad did this year.
I tackled the half marathon for the first time since battling The Monster. I finished the Green Bay Half Marathon with a lap around Lambeau Field and set a new personal record in the process. I'd say that was a good way to reintroduce myself to half marathons.

I survived swimming through whitecaps, biking into a nasty headwind and running up a cliff road at the High Cliff Sprint Triathlon. And set a new PR at the event in the process.

Looking back, July could be remembered as the month of racing. There were three races - the Firecracker 5K, the Trek Women's Sprint Triathlon and the Scheel's Sunset 5K - all within a two week period. Of course the highlight might just be finally getting my picture taken with Bucky Badger at the Firecracker 5K. Seriously. How can a Badger fan go 30 years without getting a picture?

It was hot. And humid. And the thought of running long distances outdoors wasn't appealing. So I decided to take my long run indoors. But not on the treadmill. Nope. Instead I ran 9 miles on the indoor track at the YMCA, where 11 laps equal a mile. For those keeping track that's 99 laps. A lot of running in circles. Maybe I should just learn how to get up early during the summer.

I became one of Lady Gaga's little monsters when I drove my dad and cousin down to Milwaukee for her concert at the Bradley Center. The concert was actually pretty amazing and well worth the trip down. And most importantly, my dad had a great time.

September was also the random meeting of an elementary school friend at the expo for the Fox Cities Half Marathon. It was a great mini-Columbus Elementary School reunion among three good friends and the race wasn't too awful either. Set another PR.

 While I could make the argument about the Badgers being a highlight for the entire year (hello, Rose Bowl?) I'll stick them in the October slot. Because after opening the Big Ten season with a loss at Michigan State, Bucky came on strong with back-to-back wins against then-No. 1 Ohio State at Camp Randall (so wish I could have been there) and then on the road at Iowa. Those were the two games when I first looked at the schedule that had me worried. I was thinking best case scenario they'd split. But Wisconsin pulled it out. The magic continued through the rest of the season, where the Badgers ended up outscoring their opponents 235-84 over their final four games on their way to an 11-1 record, a No. 5 BCS ranking and a chance to take on TCU in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. Magical. (Note: The picture is actually J.J. Watt after the Badgers beat Northwestern in late November.)

The Santa Scamper is supposed to be a fun run. It's held every year before my hometown Christmas parade and it's a one-mile run down the parade route so there's a ton of crowd support! I'm not sure if it's because I was so freaking cold or if all the running I've been doing this year has paid off, but I posted my fastest mile time ever, 8:56. I hope to lower it even more at next year's edition.

Las Vegas. Need I say more? There was sightseeing. A ton of walking. A moment when I straddled the state line and the right side of my body was in Arizona while the left half of me was in Nevada at the Hoover Dam. And oh yeah, that whole half marathon thing. Even though I was sick and my legs were dead tired and decided to revolt at Mile 10, I still had a blast. Great trip.

And I'm crossing my fingers that everything goes to plan today and I'm able to sneak in a 9.7 mile run, which would put me at 600 miles for the year. That would be the most miles I've ever run in a year before.

Overall I'd say it was a good year. But I'm looking forward to seeing what 2011 has in store.


J said...

I still can't believe that the year is almost done!! Hope you get the run in today and reach 600 miles for the year!! Happy New Years' Eve!

Havs said...

Awesome mileage! Awesome report, and Happy New Year!

James said...

Great end of the year wrap up. I hope 2011 goes well!!