On a beautiful cool and dry December evening I hit 1200 miles for the year. It should have been 1700 or more. I went with the Czarina for an easy eight mile run which we completed at a nice nine minute per mile clip. Now that's not the eight minute pace that I would prefer but considering the injury filled year I've endured I'll take it.
The year started off promising enough. I trained consistently through the early days of 2009. I'm not a streak runner but I hit 92 days in a row before my right hamstring let go in early April. Now I'll do a little swimming, biking, and the eliptical when I'm hurt but nothing compares with running. Even when I'm in horrible shape I'd rather huff and puff my way through three miles then spend 30 minutes in the pool or on a bike.
I was getting into pretty good shape again by August with my weight ready to dip under 180 pounds when I started over doing it after I got laid off from work. The next thing I know my right hamstring is gone again but this time it came with a kicker. I developed a nasty sciatica problem in my right leg. Even when the hamstring had healed the hip and leg just killed me. The pain could be excruciating especially if I sat for long periods of time.
I finally broke down and visited a chiropractor while visiting Lawrence in early December. It sounded like a machine gun going off when the doctor made the adjustment to my right hip. It convinced me to make follow up visits to a local chiropractor and slowly but surely the pain from my sciatica is beginning to ease.
All told I missed 121 days of running. All but two weeks of that time off was due to injury. I've been running since I was 15 years old so the new year will mark my 40th year of training. I suspect at some point either my right hip or right knee will need replacement, maybe both. But I'm not ready to invest in a good road bike and biking shorts yet.
You see nothing is as satisfying as what I did tonight. I followed my beautiful wife out onto the trails and watched the sun slowly fade into the western sky. As we turned to head east and back to home we both marveled at the brilliant hues of purple that splashed across the horizon behind us. We strode along in the dark of a tree line trail canal under the light of a near full moon, both of us moving almost effortlessly. There's a peacefulness of hearing the easy breathing of yourself and your partner running through the moonlight.
Anyway, here's to 2010 and another 1500 miles.