Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Retrospect

I have a bad memory, so even one day seems like a long time to me. In order to look back at this past year, I have to "cheat" and look at photos, and my fitness apps, and what not. This is a bit weird, because all of us are guilty of only posting the best to social media, and of course my fitness graphs make me look like a lunatic, even though I often whine about being a huge slacker.

My memory works well enough though that I know 2016 was hard for me. Just prior to the beginning of the year I was living with Pixie, and I thought I had everything more or less figured out. An awesome girlfriend who works at a brewery (!), lots of cats and dogs, running, but reasonably so. I felt good.

By January 1 of 2016 I was living in Geoffrey's house. I was truly blessed that he let me move in on such short notice. And I'm still here! I stuck it out with Pixie until about April. I'm not going to go into the details about why I left. Even though I felt at the time (and still do) that it was the best decision for both me and her, I still felt immensely guilty. And regardless of whether I was justified or not, the fact is I hurt her.

Since then I've pushed almost everyone out of my life, because I felt that I was a trash human being who only hurts others.
A trash human hanging out with his only friend.

I saw Pixie last night. We were at that brewery together. It was a very nice night for both of us. But we didn't talk to one another at all. I wanted to. I wanted to apologize. Whatever happened in the past doesn't matter. I just wanted to say, for my part, that I was sorry. But I wasn't able to. I didn't want to ruin her night. I finally gave up and left.

There's plenty of people I've hurt, and plenty of people who hate me. I for one don't want to hate anyone in return. It's an awful feeling and only poisons me. A big thing I've learned is the power forgiveness. Forgiving others and forgiving myself. Because of all of the things that brought me joy in 2016, love was by far the biggest.

Regardless of how she feels about me, and even though we're not a good fit together, I will always love Pixie. She helped shape me into who I am.

Because of my self-hatred, I pushed myself over the summer. Too hard. I had a decent marathon at Run for the Red in April (shaved 3 seconds off my PR with a finishing time under 3:15). But that was about my last good race. After that they got worse and worse. And I kept feeling worse and worse about myself, and pushed myself even harder.

It spiraled out of control and I got a really bad case of Overtraining Syndrome at the end of the summer. I had 4 marathons and a ton of other races in the fall and they were all very slow. I didn't take a break though. I just kept on training through it.

Then Wineglass happened. I spent a truly amazing weekend with a bunch of extremely positive and amazing LUNARs. I ran that race and Baltimore with Brian, a man who simply refused to give up no matter how terrible a hand fate dealt him. I won't lie, I've been a bad friend to him lately. Largely because I just have no clue what I can do for him anymore, and that frustrates me. I don't want to project my guilt and resentment on him, although distancing myself has arguably been just as bad.

"Just slow down my man. Don't be in such a rush!"

I'm ready for a change now. I had a really wonderful holiday with friends and family. It's rekindled something in me. It's reminded me how powerful and important it is to me to be with people I love. To eliminate anger, judgment, self-recrimination, and all that crap. Loving others, and being loved in return, is the absolute best thing life has to offer.

I'm going to stop exercising as a form of punishment. Well, maybe a little bit. I need to be somewhat crazy to maintain my level of volume. But I'm going to try really hard to avoid sinking to the depths of despair I felt over the past few months. I've learned a lot, and those lessons have been extremely valuable.

I jokingly say that I'm selfish. But I need to be. I can't be a good friend if I don't like myself. I need to take honest stock of myself, without lenses of anger. I've thought a lot about what will make me happier in the future. And by becoming happier, I will have a lot more love to share with the people I care about.

Because no matter how much I hated on myself, the size of my family just kept on growing! I didn't know what these people saw in me. I still don't. But you know what? It doesn't matter! I'm truly blessed by the amount of inspiration, support, and love in my life, and I have to stop squandering that.

Originally I was going to talk a little bit more about my fitness over the course of the year, as this is a blog about CRUSHING PAVEMENT (pumps fist). But, frankly the above is more important to me. In the charts below you'll see the spike in the summer, the dip in the fall, and then a steady climb again. 2017 will see me focusing more on training for next year's Ironman. Which is really exciting! I still hate swimming, but hopefully I can get (slightly) better at that.

There's a lot of people who deserve individual mentions and individual thanks. But that list is just too huge now, and I know I would forget too many. But know that I love you and appreciate everything you've done for me. Even the anonymous readers: You give me a reason to keep writing. And this has been an amazing catharsis for me. Thank-you.

That swimming line is really smooshed down. But I got up to 10 miles in December!

For all of my obsessing over my weight, I've managed to keep it pretty steady. It jumped up around October due to too much ice cream, but I quit that, and it's been dropping since then.

Boilermaker was awesome!

Haven't chatted with Arch-nemesis in a while, but running with new people is always great!

Tromptown almost killed me!

Wineglass was absolutely one of the highlights of 2016. Wow!! And all of you LUNARs, who are too many to name individually, you are beautiful and incomparably inspirational people!

Baltimore was another incredible experience. And the medal is to die for! And this pic has three very special people in it. Geoffrey, my dearest friend; Meghan; who has brought so much love into my life; and Brian, who has taught me more about myself than I would have expected.

I've been training and teaching karate for over 20 years, and it continues to be a source of strength, community, and grounding for me.

This man is truly a brother. Thank-you Geoffrey... for more things than I could ever list.

And of course my flesh and blood brother. Every year I love my family more and more. If it wasn't for them I would have never started on the path of self-discovery.

This man! After my Ironman, Dan and I are going to do some serious ultra trail running. Just you watch!

This will likely be the last time I mention Pixie. I doubt she reads my blog anymore. If you do Pixie... I'm sorry. And thank-you.

Have an amazing 2017 everyone! From me and Haiko, my ever vigilant running companion.

I love all of you. You bring my life real meaning.

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