2020 is over! For many runners, 2020 was a year they would never want to see repeated. Gyms closing, races canceled, and social distancing mandated. I on the other hand know things could have always been much worse. In regards to just my running goals, yes, 2020 was disapointing when I take in consideration that I didn’t get to run the Boston Marathon or the Grand Rapids Marathon. I had a great chance of setting a new personal best in the marathon. Yet, 2020 was a “test” for me and for those who would consider themselves devoted runners. How did I do?
I didn’t need a race to know I was in some of the best shape of my life this past spring. I remember putting in an 8 mile tempo at under 6:00 a mile pace. I felt great that day. Not bad for a guy who is 40. I also remember throwing down a 5:01 mile on the track and this was after having already run eight other mile repeats at around 5:45 pace first. I also ran a 50 mile run well under 8 hours in the fall.
The highlight of my running year though was the opportunity to run 100 miles for the first time. This was only possible because my marathon races were all canceled. My focus this fall shifted to using my passion for running to raise money for adoption. I am now left with a love for ultra running. Currently, I am planning on my next ultra race and it will be in 2021.
Honestly, I didn’t know I was going to run 4501 miles. This is a personal best. I even took 37 days off for either rest, recovery, or because of scheduling issues. I might have made it to 5,000! Maybe I can run 5000 miles in 2021? 2020 leaves me excited about what 2021 may hold. This past year showed me that taking it one day and one run at a time will add up in the end. I learned that I am stronger and capable of doing more than I ever thought. 2020 was not a bad year for me, it was a foundational year for the future.
None of us as runners can predict what will happen in 2021. More races may be canceled, injuries might set in, or maybe we will take our training and focus to new heights. As a coach I tell my runners we can have a say in our attitude and effort. We may not be able to control a pademic, change the weather, clear up a schedule or heal an injury but we can choose to be positive and strong mentally as we give our best effort in our daily athletic pursuits. I did well in 2020. How will I do in 2021? It is going to be another great year!