The Last Run
Today is Hogmanay, New years Eve the years end in the Gregorian Calendar. It is a time for reflection on what has come before and what is to come. I stepped out of the door into the dreich day and once again I was running in the rain after half a mile my breathing and stride relaxed to a comfortable pace and the stiffness and soreness from yesterday’s trails are shaken out of my legs.
The past year has been good for my running my distance and pace have improved. As always there are days when you are totally Zen and everything flows and other days when you really worry about your sanity and why you put yourself through this. In the past year I’ve run trails, roads and beaches both alone and with my faithful four legged running companion. I’ve worn out 5 pairs of running shoes (4 road, 1 trail). I’ve consumed bucket loads of dates and banana’s and even the odd gel (though gels are not my fuel of choice). My running has involved rain, snow, gale force winds and even a wee bit of sun. I’ve run on both the longest and the shortest day.
My breathing has settled I’m into my stride as I take the road towards the beach. It is fitting that my last run takes in the beach.
Last year (2013) in my first year of running I ran 660 miles. This year I started the year with a goal of 1200 miles. I surpassed that with ease. I started the year with some good months. I however lost a bit of mileage when my in-laws came in July and recorded my lowest mileage of 108 miles. It then took a couple of months to get my miles back where I like them.
The tide is out as I hit the beach an Irish wolfhound bounds along the beach I run to the waters edge to take in the sounds and smells for a few moments realising how lucky I am to be able to run and especially run here.
No matter what mileage I do that isn’t the point to running for me. Yes I like to set myself distance goals and keep count but if I don’t reach these goals it doesn’t take away what running is to me. The focus and fitness it gives me. Running with a dog that totally understands and is in sync with you can be one of the greatest highs.
At the end of November it came to me that there was a possibility of me hitting 2000 miles for the year. I was under no illusion that it was an outside chance but hey it was worth a go. The Scottish weather did not play ball with me so I lost a lot of miles in December due to horrific weather.
Running from the beach I know I will be back. This may be the last run but there is next the first run to look forward to and many more runs along the beach in the next year.
So I finished the year on 1906 miles so near yet so far. I think even if I managed to get the miles in that the Weather stopped me I would have been 20 or 30 miles short. No matter what that is a great distance. I have some interesting challenges in the making for next year. I will tell about these nearer the time. My mileage goal is going to be 2400 miles which I think is pretty realistic if I keep going the way I have the latter part of this year.
I thank everyone for the inspirations they have been over the past year and also for helping root me in reality.