We'll start with the numbers: 13 races(one 100K, one 60K, two 50Ks, one 6 hour, one 27 miler, one marathon, two half marathons, one 12 miler, one 5 miler, one 5K, one DNF) and 302.7 race miles for career totals of 244 races, 55 ultras, 22 marathons, 30 half marathons, 12 DNFs, and 3883.6 race miles. 13 races in a year is the least amount of races I have run since 2007, where I also ran 13 races. 302.7 race miles is the least I have run since 2006, when my total for the year was a mere 177.2 race miles.
To sum up 2013 in one word: Perseverance. I am not superstitious, but 2013 was an unlucky year for me. I have never had a problem with injuries and bad luck in running until 2013. Another factor may have been the "what now" feeling after completing the "big one" by completing the Oil Creek 100 Miler the in 2012.
Three weeks after the 100 miler at Oil creek I ran a 50 miler and two weeks after that I ran another 50 miler. That caused me to finish 2012 with the start of what could become an achilles injury so I took off some time. Too much time and it led into the start of 2013. When I did start running I managed to slip a couple of times on the ice on the bike trail at Belmar. I didn't initially notice a problem and whether it was that or my Hokas were past their mileage, I later developed a problem with a ligament or muscle on the inside of my knee that would plague me from March until May when Dr. Dan pinpointed the problem at Katie's race.
I thought I was back on track and my training started to pick up until I severely rolled my ankle in my Hokas at Mohican the second weekend in June, where I suffered my first DNF in 2 years. That put me on the shelf for 6 weeks and it wasn't until late October that I started to feel somewhat strong again.
Perseverance is the key word. 2013 was a rough year. My times were poor and I had some bad races, but finished all but one of them. I only felt good and like I ran a good race at two races this year. They were the Gristmill Grinder Half in April and Dances with Dirt 50K in September on my birthday. Oh yeah I actually did somehow manage to win the 6 hour endurance race I ran at the end of October too.
I also accomplished 2 fairly significant milestones in my running career this year. On March 9th I ran my 50th ultra marathon. On May 5th I completed my 100th half marathon or longer race distance. I ran my first marathon back in October of 2001, but most of those(91) were from 2006 to May 5, 2013.
I kept moving forward though and I actually feel like I am finishing this year stronger and more healthy than I did the year before. My strength training and running are both back on track and I am looking forward to next year, where I will be running my favorite races throughout the year. 2014 should be a great year and lots of fun. Hope to share the trails with some of you. Thanks for reading.
Run Like a Horse,