My final race of the year was the Gilbert 12Ks of Christmas, an annual tradition that goes back to 2012. I ran the 6K that year, and every year since then I have run the 12K. 2013 was my fastest 12K there, and every year since then has seen me go progressively slower. This year, I really wanted to reverse that trend, so I made beating last year’s time my one and only race goal. And I did it!
Kris and I went to New York City for our anniversary. The main reason for the trip was to see Wagner’s Ring Cycle performed in its entirety (that is a four-night event if you’re not familiar with it), which is something we’ve wanted to do since, basically, before we got married. Our first date was the first opera in the series, Das Rhinegold. I’m pretty sure that one of the reasons she stuck with me was because I liked it. It was a super cool experience, and we enjoyed the trip a lot.
February was when I figured I should get around to training for the 50k I had coming up in March. My first bigger mileage run was out at the annual Hom 100, a fantastic fundraising and awareness event for ALS that my friend Trevor puts on every year. It takes place on a 2-mile loop set up around his neighborhood, and you show up and run as many laps as you want. I did 21 miles (my longest run since Stagecoach) and had a lot of fun hanging out with all the running buddies there.
I have no idea how common golf course races are elsewhere, but it seems to be a semi-popular thing to do around here. I’ve been doing one (The Glow Run, which hopefully I will write about sometime) out at the golf course at the Encanterra Country Club for several years now, and the Illuminations half marathon (which was awesome) was on the course at the JW Mariott in Scottsdale. I know of a couple others that I haven’t tried, but I should sometime, because I love them. You do races that run up and down city streets, and you’re looking at a lot of long, straight, mostly-flat miles. Golf course races are mazes that curve and twist and cross each other over and over again. It’s a lot of fun.
This is on top of the fact that they’re beautiful. Water features, bridges, perfectly-manicured grass–I’m not a golfer and likely never will be, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate how much care goes into those courses. They’re lovely.
And finally, as someone who used to sneak onto a neighborhood golf course at night illicitly, there’s something about using a golf course for a purpose for which it was never intended that makes me feel both privileged to be there and like I’m getting away with something at the same time. It’s just fun.
I’ve really struggled with writing this post. I’m post-dating it so that it will appear in proper chronological order of my races and training, but in reality it is coming up on a year since the event. I feel like I should have some profound observations to make about it, because physically it was a very profound thing to experience, but I’ve never felt like I had a way to come up with equivalent words.
These are the moments and memories I took away from it.