Tuesday, December 31, 2013

IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES, IT WAS...

As we wave goodbye to 2013, the words of Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities," applies to the roller coaster ride of the past twelve months.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

At the Louisiana and Miami Marathons in January, both races I would highly recommend, I was privileged to deliver seminars, meet runners from around the world, and sign books. www.runningshortsbook.com

I ran the half marathon at both events, and my wife ran the 5K.

In March, we went to the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, a race with a special meaning for us, as Dick Yuengling, the President of Yuengling Beer, America's Oldest Brewery, was my former Little League coach, and remains a personal friend today. My wife ran the 8K event, as did Mr. Yuengling's grandchildren. Dick's daughter, Jennifer, ran the half marathon, and we enjoyed the company of her family for the weekend. On Sunday, a Boston Marathon training run for me, turned into a 3:10 marathon effort on a flat, fast Shamrock course. This is a race everyone should run.

April 15, 2013 is a day I will never forget. It was a perfect day to run a marathon. For me, and many others, it began so well. The crowds at the Boston Marathon were more supportive than ever. The city of Boston opened its arms to its heroes: the Boston Marathon runners. I turned in a time of 3:04. My wife and I sat down for lunch, near Boylston Street, when evil struck. It was tragic, senseless, surreal.

The next weekend I delivered seminars at the Salt Lake City Marathon. Runners displayed a sense of shock and remarkable solidarity. A collective healing process began.

May 7 unleashed a personal hell for me. On a routine training run, I tripped, crashed to the ground in an odd manner, and tore two of three hamstring tendons. My racing year ended, and as I close 2013, I remain unsure of my running future, as the rehabilitation process remains agonizingly slow.

In the fall, my wife and I went to the Twin Cities Marathon, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where I delivered seminars, and where we were treated to a healthy dose of Midwest hospitality. What a great event.

Finally, we went to the Atlantic City Marathon, and the Niagara Falls International Marathon. My wife ran the 5K at the three aforementioned races, earning a 3rd place award at Atlantic City.

The best of times and the worst of times were evident in 2013.

But I am truly blessed.

To all of you who have followed and read this blog: THANK YOU!!

To the many runners I have met at races all over the country this year: You are special, wonderful people. We share a passion for running, and we are, truly, all in this together.

For those of you who have purchased my book, you have my deepest appreciation. I hope you enjoyed it. My next book will be published in 2014.

In my book, I talk about family and friendships. Our running steps are taken alone, but our family and friends share them with us in a unique way. They are the ones who can help transform a runners' worst times into their best times.

For 2014 I wish you all the best of times.