Thursday, January 22, 2009

2008 In Review

Every year I have only one New Year's Resolution -- to have at least as much fun this year as I had last year.  2008 proved to be the year that ended a very long streak.

Now, it wasn't because it was a bad year.  It just wasn't as fun as 2007, when I ran marathons on seven continents TWICE.  (I'm the only person who's ever done that twice in a year).

It was a great year though.  In January I started off with a trip to Florida with the lovely Francine for the Goofy Challenge--running a half-marathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday at Disney World.  We also threw in the 5K on Friday with Carly.  My biggest running weekend of the year, it turned out.

Somewhere around the end of that month, I must have twisted my left knee on some slippery roads and I tore my meniscus.  

Running was painful in February.  In fact, it was my lowest mileage month in several years.  I still managed a marathon that month, but it was pretty slow.

Sometime in March, I found a house for sale--a great deal on a 5 bedroom house in Forest Hills.  I knew it was right when I saw it, and the end of April we closed the deal.  So now I'm living in a cool house in a great neighborhood with a beautiful woman.  Life is good.

I managed to keep up my marathon-a-month streak, but after running the Bayshore Marathon in May and doing some hills a few days later, my left knee--which I thought was on the mend--returned to painfulness every time I ran.  After our climbing Mt. Marcy and running a marathon in Lake Placid in June, I decided it was time to have my good friends at Metro Health get involved.  A little physical therapy, an xray and an MRI, and they referred me to Dr Theut for a little arthroscopic surgery in July.  

My marathon streak was at 64 consecutive months at the time.  July would be 66.  I told the Doc that I was going to try and keep the streak alive.  I was willing to drop out if I needed to.  But 17 days after the knee surgery, I ran the Carrollton Marathon the last weekend of July.  SLOW.  But FINISHED!

On the way up some stairs to do hill repeats one lunch hour, Francine slipped and broke a bone in the back of her hand.  She had a plate and screws put in it, then the next day we flew to Montana for a vacation in August.  We did a very hot, slow, and hilly marathon (They even gave us a pin at mile 19 when we got to the top of a particularly difficult hill!) .  Francine got lots of attention for being all taped up from the surgery--but she finished with flying colors anyway.  We also took Carly to Glacier National Park.  

The Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon (my biggest project of the year) was fantastic.  Over 3000 runners, plus a kids marathon that involved nearly 1000 kids.  It was great.  

Two days later, on October 21, I had my right knee done as well--just to clean out a bunch of the stuff that was floating around in there.  What the heck, I had met my deductible for the year anyway.  

Mike Schwartz, my old college buddy, wanted to get away for an adventure.  So, in November, we drove about 3000 miles, climbed to the highest point in 6 different states, visited about 8 microbreweries, and spent one night at my friend Brent's house in Cheyenne Wyoming.    (read November blog entries for the whole story)  

Then, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I did the Flying Monkey Marathon in Nashville and kept my streak alive for another month.  Month #69.

My beautiful granddaughters spent two nights with us at Thanksgiving.  Aunt Carly had a great time, and Thanksgiving night I went upstairs to find Carly, Ashley, and Amber in their bathing suits in the shower.  The shower curtain as outside the bathtub, of course, so there was water everywhere.  Oh well.  Still, I have LOTS to be thankful for.

Also, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Aunt Mary, both my kids and Katie's three girls came for Thanksgiving dinner at our new house.  We took five generation pictures.  We ate turkey.  

After totally missing the Christmas season in 2007, I got through the whole thing this year feeling like I still wanted more.  I suppose that's good.  And on 28 December, the lovely Francine and I ran a marathon in Springfield, Missouri.  Two more months and I'll have 6 years in a row of at least one-a-month marathons.  And Francine will have two years of a marathon every month.

14 Marathons.  Seven new state high points.  Only one night spent outside the US (when we didn't get back to Montreal in time for our flight and spent the night there).  A new house.  A successful GR Marathon.  Not a bad year.  

What's ahead for 2009?  Who knows?  I'm starting a new streak though--to have more fun this year than I had last year.  

and the adventure continues....


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