This blog was born in the waning days of 2016. I landed on the goal of collecting 40 race bibs quite easily — I’m going to be 40 in 2017. I gave myself the to the end of the year to achieve my goal, however, as my 40th birthday actually falls in Week 34 of the calendar. Running more than one race per week seemed unreasonable.
But here I am, just 16 weeks into the year and I’ve made it to the half way point. It seems like a good opportunity to reflect on the first half of this journey.
- Total Races: 20
- Total Miles (including training miles): 722
- Total Racing Miles: 369.4
- 5ks: 1
- 10ks: 2
- 15ks: 2
- Half Marathons: 7
- Marathons: 5
- 50ks: 1
- 100ks: 1
- Other Distances: 19.6 mile
And the memories:
Most Recent Race: Bib #20 – the Magnuson Park Earth Day 5k, 10k, 15k and Half Marathon. My yellow bib identifies me as a half marathoner, leading a pack of 5kers with their green bibs around the first of 4+ 3.1mile laps at Magnuson Park in Seattle.
Farthest From Home: Bib #7 – The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon – 7,403 miles from my Seattle home.
Closest to Home: Bib #13 – Seattle Hot Chocolate 15k – Just 1.5 miles from my front door to the start line, I traveled to the race on foot both ways.
Closest To Nirvana: Bib #19 – The Deception Pass Half Marathon in Oak Harbor, Washington. After days and days of rain, racers were blessed by blue skies and 55 degree temperatures.
Closest to Death: Bib #12 – Black Canyon 100k – Rain pelted racers for nearly the entirety of the 62 mile race, the conditions turning particularly brutal after dark. I was treated for hypothermia and hypoxemia (low blood oxygen) post-race, but still managed a time good enough to qualify for the Western States 100 lottery, my sole reason for running.
Most Memorable Race: Bib #4 – Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge Half Marathon – If the Black Canyon 100k was memorable because it was miserable, the Disney Half was memorable because, well, it wasn’t. With less than 12 hours before race time and severe lightening in the forecast, race directors canceled the event. Undeterred, thousands took to the streets and resort areas around Orlando to run their own 13.1 mile “races,” many donning their race bibs to do so. Spectators came out, unofficial aid stations popped up, and lifelong friendships were made. At the time, I wasn’t sure if this race “counted.” With the benefit of hindsight, I can say affirmatively – it counts.
Nearest Miss: Bib #18 – Blooms to Brews Marathon – Running one or two races per weekend means my year has been more about quantity than quality. At mile 13 of the Blooms to Brews Marathon, however, I found myself on marathon personal record pace. At mile 15.5 I decided to take a run at my own record, set at the 2016 Chicago Marathon. I came up just 20 seconds short. Not bad for the 5th marathon of the year, and the day after a trail half marathon with 4,000 feet of gain.
So what’s on tap for the next 20? In just 7 days I will embark on my longest race of the year, the Badwater Salton Sea 81 miler. And I have my sites on my 40th bib — the Runner’s World Half Marathon on October 22, a race I will be running for the 6th consecutive year. I don’t know what will happen between now and then, any more than I could have predicted what was going to happen during the first 40 races. I do know I look forward to continuing to share this journey with everyone who has followed along so far, and am truly grateful for all the support!