As I look back at the past year, I can't help but to look back with pride. In 2010, the longest race I completed was the Crim 10 Mile and that wasn't easy. In 2011, however, I accomplished so much more.
Thanks to the encouragement of two good friends I started training early in the year to run in the Flying Pig Marathon. This was the first marathon that I've run since 2002. It was a challenge, but one I overcame.
The Wisconsin Tough Mudder was so much harder than I was expecting. It truly kicked my ass, but it was great fun as well. Although I was bruised, bloodied, and electrocuted, I persevered and finished the race. But I was not finished abusing myself.
The Run Woodstock 50K was my very first attempt at an ultra marathon. The rain and mud made the day as difficult mentally as it was physically, but once again, I did not quit. I pushed through the pain and the thoughts of giving up until I crossed the finish line.
I ran several other races last year but those three were the toughest for me. However, none of them quelled the fire inside me to attempt greater challenges. The 1,124 miles I ran in 2011 are merely a strong base for me to build on to tackle the challenges of 2012.
Many people have asked me why I continue to run races and distances that are harder than the ones I've run before instead of sticking with a distance and just get faster, maybe try to win. I tell them that I do not run to win, I don't even do it to be better than anyone else. I am on a quest to find my limitations, physical and mental; to find them then overcome them.
Perhaps I may find the 100k in 2012 to be more than I can handle, but I'm going to wager that it won't be. I may not be the fastest runner, but I'm damn tenacious!