2017: My Year in Running

When I look back at a similar post I wrote at the end of the year last year, it said that I had run 1631 miles with a few more miles to go before the end of the year.  That is precisely where I stand right now: I’ve run 1631 miles for the year, with one more run still to go on New Year’s Eve.

I don’t have as many running-related accomplishments to brag about this year as in years past.  I’m not setting a mileage record, and I didn’t end up setting any PRs this year.  But I had some cool new experiences, and I’d call it a good year of running overall.  I didn’t run as many races as usual, but I did manage to fit in one of each: a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon.  Nikki and I also ran in a very challenging event called a Ragnar Relay… but more on that below.

I started off the year with a mysterious swelling in my knee that turned out to be a staph infection. That was fun. I ran in Nashville, Reykjavik, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. I ran through forests, along the beach, and in the city and suburbs. And along the way, I saw lots of deer and turkeys, plenty of wood ducks, one bear, and an angry bird that swooped down and pecked me in the head as I ran past its favorite tree.

Ragnar

So, a Ragnar Relay is an event where a team of 12 people splits up into two vans and takes turns running about 200 miles over two days.  There is a whole series of them around the country, and Nikki and I have wanted to do one for years.  This year, Nikki, a coworker named Sheila, and I got a chance to join a team for our local event, Ragnar Cape Cod.  The race goes from Hull to Provincetown, and we all ran three times over the course of about 36 hours, sleeping on gym floors and yucking it up in the van in between.  It was FUN.  It was the kind of fun where I kept looking at my watch and exclaiming out loud that I couldn’t believe how much time had passed, because time was literally flying because I was having so much fun.  It was so fun that we decided to start our own team for Ragnar Cape Cod 2018.  As of this writing, we have five seats left.  Come join us!!

Races

Epic Runs

  • February 12: Ah, New England.  This was one of my standard routes, out to Franklin Park and back, with the added challenge of hurdling growing snow drifts as a foot of fresh snow fell.  Fun!
  • February 20: I could have filed this one under epic fails, but I won’t .  When we were in Iceland in February, both my runs were pretty amazing.  On my first, I explored Reykjavik, then picked up our rental car.  On my second, I made a big lap around what used to be an American air base, along the coast, and then back through the waterfront and downtown.  I had planned to do 12 miles, and after fighting the wind and cold, I decided that my 9.8 miles counted anyway.
  • October 15: On one of my last long runs before my fall marathon, I explored some areas behind North Station that I’d never seen before.  I ended up running the waterfront from the Aquarium, around the North End, then up the Charles to the Mass Ave bridge.  It was pretty cool.
  • December 17: For a recent podcast episode, I used my Sunday run to multitask.  Along with running, I also traced the entire length of the Mother Brook, getting pictures of each dam.  While I was at it, I took pictures of the old Baker Chocolate factory in Dorchester.

Epic Fails

  • February 8: Back in February, I headed out for my usual Wednesday morning 9-miler, but soon discovered that the world was coated in Black Ice, and I hadn’t brought any traction aids.  Yikes!  To keep from breaking my neck, I aborted and converted it to a slow four mile jog.
  • March 29: Remember how I said I got a staph infection in my knee?  Well, this was my attempt to go for a run while it was still all swollen up and infected.  I made it less than a block.
  • May 27: This one isn’t so much a failure on my part, as on the part of my truck.  Nikki and I were driving down the Mass Pike on our way to West Virginia, when suddenly our muffler and tailpipe went sliding down the highway next to us.  Three or so very loud hours later, we bedded down for the night in Middletown, New York.  In an attempt to make lemons into lemonade, I dropped the truck off at a muffler shop when they opened the next morning, went out for a run around Middletown, then came back about two minutes before my truck came down off the lift.  Middletown is a very attractive former industrial town that’s a little bit down at the heels.
  • August 19: In August, we flew to Nashville, met up with some friends, and planned to watch the total solar eclipse.  While we were there, the weather was brutal.  Low 90s, and too incredibly humid for us New Englanders to fully comprehend.  I had planned a 20 mile run as part of my marathon prep, but I knew imediately that my plan had to change.  Suffering from minor dehydration and major GI discomfort, I stitched together a run that explored the riverfront and downtown while skipping from water fountain to porta potty to water fountain.

Runstagrams

#morningrun

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#morningrun

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Danger, danger! #morningrun #longrun

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Good day to make some snotcicles. #morningrun #longrun

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High water along the trail this morning. #morningrun #trailrunning

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Love this time of year. #spring #morningrun #teampixel

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I’m really starting to regret not putting on a hat. #morningrun #longrun

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Making progress… #ragnarcapecod #88acres

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Cape Cod bound. #11tortoisesand1hare #ragnarcapecod #88acres

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#vanlife #11tortoisesand1hare #ragnarcapecod #88acres

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Ready for my first night leg. #11tortoisesand1hare #ragnarcapecod #88acres

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The tally grows. #11tortoisesand1hare #88acres #ragnarcapecod

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It’s official. #ragnarcapecod #11tortoisesand1hare

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38 of these were mine. #11tortoisesand1hare #ragnarcapecod

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Welcome to New York. #morningrun #abandoned #newyorkontarioandwestern

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#morningrun #trailrunning #dedham #westroxbury

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#morningrun #trailrunning #dedham #westroxbury

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Looks very tropical in Hyde Park this morning. #morningrun #notplumeria

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Made a friend on my run this morning.

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Jamaica Pond #morningrun #longrun

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#morningrun #nashville

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It’s grape season. #morningrun #trailrunning

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Just before sunrise. #longrun #morningrun

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#neponset #morningrun #trailrunning

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#foliage #popespond #milton #morningrun

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(long) after sunrise. #morningrun #longrun #runri #marathon #bling

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What’s that saying? Busy as a… something? #morningrun #trailrunning

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Further progress along the Neponset. #trailrunning #morningrun

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#trailrunning

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Sky in the swamp. #trailrunning #morningrun

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#morningrun

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