2015 and 2016 editions. And the quest (read: want) for the final piece ensured I at least signed up, and would find ways to complete it given my very limited training.
my maiden marathon attempt in its 2015 edition and not so fond memories of a squandered opportunity 300 some miles south a couple months later were still pretty fresh when I signed up for the 2016 edition of the Marquette Marathon. With this being the only chosen Marathon in 2016, all my eggs were in one basket so to say, and hope was that I would actually follow a training regiment to improve my PR. Maybe even bring it under the four hour mark.
Hancock Canal Run signals the completion of two full years since I took to running half marathon distance and marks the beginning of a new year (#4). Reasons to participate in this event haven’t really changed over these years: a very well organized and attended race in my own backyard, the potential to see and be with a lot of friendly faces from the awesome community I am so fortunate to live in and a chance to sleep in my own couch the night before, and show just about everyone in this community that has ever helped me run (better) that their investment in me wasn’t a wasted effort.
the highest peak in the entire state, 1,500 ft doesn’t sound all that bad. Unlike the real mountains elsewhere, this one (with a handful of its siblings/cousins) is right in our own backyard. And quite importantly, it (and each of one its siblings/cousins) offers the same lessons my favorite wilderness prophet talks/writes about in his 1901 book.
Hancock Canal Run signals the completion of two full years since I took to running half marathon distance and marks the beginning of year #3. Reasons to participate in this event haven’t really changed over these three years: a very well organized and attended race in my own backyard, potential to see and be with a lot of friendly faces from the awesome community I am so fortunate to live in and a chance to sleep in my own
bed couch the night before, and show just about everyone in this community that has ever helped me run (better) that their investment in me wasn’t a wasted effort. Additionally, how the event spreads the event-awareness through social media outlets and periodic reminders, invite local running groups to contribute articles and gives back to the community helped the cause as well. So, including this event in the planned list of races for 2015 didn’t cost any brain cells, and neither was signing up for it as soon as the (mail-in/paper) registration opened.
Had everything I planned for 2015 — life and running events alike — panned out as I had planned, this particular journal entry should have been seeing the light of internet a few days later, and I should have been just about done exploring the wicked(ly awesome) wilderness in Forever West and Big Sky Country planned around a half marathon each in the vicinity of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks: witnessing stuff that I have only watched in various Ken Burns’ documentaries (Roosevelt Arch, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Old Faithful in action, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Tower Falls, Willow Flats and Teton Range, Moose Junction, Snake River Valley, Jenny Lake and a plethora of wild flora and fauna), hanging out with friends (Sara and Dustin) I haven’t seen in quite a long time, tracing and living many a fond memories of dear friend Kyle‘s 2008 adventures, re-tracing and re-living many more of my own from the 2010 Great American Road Trip with buddy Nils, visiting the Stickelmyers (Kari, Steve, Anna and Tommy) and Stenvigs (Tom, Annie and Alexa) in South Dakota — the birthplace of my pesto obsession during the aforementioned 2010 Great American Road Trip, adding some more photographs to the somewhat stale portfolio, flooding the instagram feed with images of food and beverages, and making more friends and memories to last few more life times.
The 2014 edition of this event made me the recipient of yet another unexpected, undeserved and unrewarded act of kindness from a lady at about the 11.75 mile mark. Courtesy of a miserably failed experiment — of using my body’s stored fat reserves in lieu of energy gels during the run — I was seeing more than one star in day light. And courtesy of my super-massive ego taking a back seat to my common sense for once, I stopped in someone’s front yard asking for a fruit. In ran the lady and out she came with a plateful of freshly cut berries of various kinds and a bottle of water. It was and still is a very humbling experience to have even completed the race, and realize how much this random act of kindness played a role that day (and has since then) — especially when I look back and remember how many more runners fainted under the scorching sun (and couldn’t complete the race) over the last mile or so, and understand the stupidity of the said maiden experiment.
As noted in my looking ahead post posted several weeks ago, I had registered for several running events in 2015. Unlike the 2014 edition of this event, I procrastinated much less and was far more disciplined in keeping up with eating, sleeping and working out routine — in spite of being somewhat sick during the first half of January. The decision to participate and do better in the 2015 edition of Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon, much like the 2014 edition of Madison Half Marathon, was finalized several strides before I had even finished the 2014 edition. All I knew then, as did I when I was approaching the finish line with clock ticking past 2:43:xx, was that I had to find ways to do better in 2015 edition — much much better than 2014, and that Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon, as it was in 2014, would be the first half marathon of 2015 calendar year.