"A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances.
The real mistake is to stop trying."
|Zoe Summits Hope Pass|
I'm dubbing 2014 the "Year of the Belly Flop" for me. Not only was 2014 filled with injuries, I DNF'ed every distance except the 50K. (Potawatomi 150, Bear/Sawtooth 100, San Juan Solstice 50 mile and Las Vegas Marathon (though this is a long story). I did more crying and quitting than usual. Poor Dovi had his mileage cut by almost 1/2 (from 1250 in 2013 to around 800 in 2014). I also parted ways with several good friends and my former running group New Leaf.
|How bad did I want to quit?|
I didn't re-qualify for Hardrock. I didn't finish a 100 mile race. My pants grew tighter. My hip hurt. I became more bald and more grey. 2014 didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.
That being said, it wasn't a total loss. My friends often prevailed where I didn't:
We also set up a small running group called Flatlanders. It's growth hasn't shocked me. It was built on a few very simple principles. No money, no bitching, keep running and help one another. I'm proud to be part of that group.
|Lakefront 50/50 Aid Station|
OK, I know, I did some stuff too. I ran the Comrades, Sean O Brien 50, 100 at Potawatomi, a PR marathon, the Gnome 50K, to name a few. I climbed some mountains
I made some new friends. I volunteered. I paced. I crewed. We laughed and cried. We ran from Milwaukee to Chicago. We put on some great fatasses (re-taste, krispy kreme, salichia) and we helped a few people reach their goals.
|Vicki - first 50 mile!|
Also, Dovi completed his first Ultra at McNotAgain 30. He even beat me (by a nose).
I'm convinced that you learn a hell of a lot more from failure than success. I learned how to be OK with being injured. I made some good decisions. I learned how to cheer for the success of others while experiencing failure. In short, I learned to make the best of it.
2015 will be very different.
My main running and training partner Alfredo has been diagnosed with ALS. This year I will think about him often. My wife has laminated pictures of him to take with me on all of my races so we can continue to run together. I will remember that he is suffering more than I. and that my suffering has been self-inflicted by choice, for sport. I won't take another run for granted. When times are tough I will draw on him for strength.
Don't get me wrong. I know for CERTAIN that there will be more belly flops. I don't think Alfredo would have it any other way. With that being said, I am off to tackle the next thing....Tuscobia 150. This will be a long run n the snow carrying my gear on a sled (named Alfredo) which I drag. I have no idea what I'm doing. Things are about to get interesting.
Please keep Alfredo and his family in your thoughts and prayers and have a great holiday!!!