On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 in review: a premature look back

I really shouldn't be blogging right now.

Somewhere, on a scrap of paper in a coat pocket or on a pile on an end table in my apartment, I have a hastily scrawled list of things I should blog about. Things I've meant to blog about. Things I will blog about, once I have a computer again. These are perky things, happy things, funny things. These things are light as air and fluffy as clouds. These are not things that I'm thinking about at 9pm on a Thursday night. After a full day of work, after an evening run, after returning to my office with my mind still on overdrive, the things I'm thinking about are the opposite of fluffy clouds.

No, sitting here in my office, I most definitely should not be reviewing the year that has almost passed in my head. What a year, and not in a good way. Personally and professionally, I've had to answer some serious and hard questions this year. As much as I've made a whole mess of awesome friends this year, I've also had to let go of several people who were very important to me - a break-up, not a death, it could be worse. And I have my health, as do all of my loved ones. For that I'm grateful.

I know last year I waxed on about how January 1st was an arbitrary date and resolutions are meaningless. But this year, I'm welcoming the fresh start, even though it's fabricated. I'm looking forward to 2012, but only because it means I can put 2011 very, very far behind me.

Anyway. In between pity parties, I did do some running in 2011.

In January, I started the year with a 4m midnight run in Central Park. Shortly thereafter, I left for Egypt. I ran a 22k (you read that right) in Luxor, Egypt, during the Egyptian revolution and then got evacuated by the State Department.

In February I came back to the states and, out of shape, ran a Valentine's themed 5k.

March saw me developing a bit of a statement on blogging, and also running Coogan's, another 5k in upper Manhattan. It also marked the first time I said "this is my last race for a while" in a blog entry. Hahahahaha.

Yeah, that lasted. Until April, when I ran a trail 10k in the Bronx. And another 5k on a runway at JFK. And then a sort-of 10k to celebrate Easter. I finished off the month with a PW half marathon in Nashville.

In May, I ran the "dirty german" trail 25k (which has gotten my blog no small number of hits by people searching for "Dirty Tracy," "Dirty Germans," or other things unfit for print) in Philly. I closed out May with a difficult 5k in Van Cortlandt Park. June also saw only a few races, including a hilly 10k, a supershort 5k in Montreal, and back-to-back PRs in one weekend at a 5k on Saturday and a 10m race on Sunday.

Also in June? I drank a lot of beer and defended the running skirt.

This seems weird, but I don't think I ran any races in July. How can that be? But I did upset the RWOL forums with a blog entry that I wrote that someone else posted on the site. I certainly wasn't done annoying people at that point, however. In August I wrote about a woman whose blog I read who fabricates her race times. (She got back to me on that, by the way. We exchanged a few messages after that. I think she might be a compulsive liar.)

I ran a mile in 7:37 in September and then I laid low, training for NYCM. (I did try to talk Nike into sponsoring me, but I'm still waiting to hear back.) To prepare for the marathon, I ran a taper-time half that nearly left me dead by the side of the road.

And then! Then! The glorious fall in which I BECAME A STUNT MARATHONER! In other words, I ran 3 marathons in 22 days. It somehow worked, although it involved a lot of massages and rest. But I hope not to do that again. The first was Marine Corps, and then a week later New York City. I gave myself a two week rest before the Flying Monkey.

In December I ran a 10 mile trail race that I haven't blogged about and set a 15k PR.

Happy holidays, y'all. Appreciate what you have. Don't take anything for granted.


  1. Happy holidays to YOU! 2012 is going to be a fantastic year for you, I just know it. And here's a [hug]; I know you love them so.

  2. Jeez, you DO race a lot.

    And 2011 can go do inappropriate things to itself. You've got a ridiculously awesome 2012 coming, because I say so.

  3. man i read this entry a few days ago and came back to re-read it. i want to run all those races! the cupid 5K! the dirty german trail race!! the jfk race!

    so jealous of your ability to find sweet local-ish races.

  4. I am sorry 2011 was rough for you...hope 2012 is better to you!