2019 was a huge year for running. I completed my first 100K and 100 mile race, and overall hit a huge stride in my running. I know that my running years usually cycle around to a low mileage, low accomplishment year every fourth year, so this year should have been another knockout year. However, as we all know 2020 had other ideas.
When the pandemic hit and all races got cancelled, I knew this wasn’t going to be a normal year. I still wanted to keep up the mileage and get outside though. Then along came virtual races, and once again I had at least a little something to keep myself motivated. The Upper Midwest Trail Runners kicked it off with a stir-crazy virtual fatass that required you to run in a loop less than a half a mile in distance. Other races offered their traditional distances in a “do it where you can” fashion. While still others posted big challenges like racking up enough miles to cross the state of Tennessee.
I opted for a few of these challenges and started ramping up the mileage. I managed the Stir Crazy Fatass, as well as a couple of other virtual events before everything came to a slow painful halt. I accidentally let a dumbbell fall onto my middle toe on my left foot. It broke the end of it and put the kabosh on any running for 6 weeks. Biking and walking still felt fine, so it was time to focus on those sports while I let the toe heal. I eventually got back to running and immediately set my sights on doing the Badger 50K virtual run. Because the Badger is a rail trail, I wanted to keep it as close to that feeling as possible. That meant 31 miles of the Luce Line trail in the SW Twin Cities.
I managed a few other virtual races this year, but otherwise it was just my own motivation getting me out the door. Despite this, I still managed to rack up over 1000 miles on foot this year. Given that my biking mileage went through the roof, I’m even more pleased by how much I did get done. There were supposed to be a lot more races this year, but now it just means that next year will be even better.
Despite having a bit lower mileage I was stoked that my pace was remaining consistent. Twice this year I put down PR attempts on the Elm Creek horse trail loop, and overall my pace as been solid. This speaks a lot to the base fitness I’ve been able to build over the past decade. Losing 20 lbs on a vegan diet doesn’t hurt either!
Finally, one other running accomplishment I’m proud of is that I was selected to be a brand ambassador for PATH Projects, my all time favorite running shorts. I’ve loved getting to know the people who run the company and getting to share more of my adventures with a new audience. These are awesome shorts, and I would highly recommend checking out their entire product line.
Although 2020 didn’t turn out quite like I had expected, I can’t complain where I ended up. I ran a whole lot, survived a broken toe, and had a bunch of fun doing it. Isn’t that what this crazy sport is all about anyway?