Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Belly Flops

"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."
B.F. Skinner

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.

Trail Work

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

Mt. Elbert

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!!!


  1. Hoping for a better 2015 for you and thinking good thoughts for Alfredo. Very tough.

  2. 2014 sounded unforgettable in many ways, Scott! We are all praying for Alfredo... Looking forward to a great 2015 even knowing it won't be all roses - life never is. Let the games begin!