Every year I update my blogger photograph to one of the proceeding year. That way it doesn't get too far out of date. For 2014 I'm choosing a photograph showing me at the conclusion of my most significant event, the half marathon I ran in DC in September.
It was my longest run in half a decade and I considered it a complete success because not only did I achieve my goal of breaking two hours but I unexpectedly broke 1:55 as a bonus. Even though it was my second slowest HM ever. But I don't run like I used to in my heyday of the last decade, before I came down with a chronic ankle injury and laid off of running for two years. (Back in the day, doing Leg Two at the Lake Tahoe Relay, the last four miles of the eight-mile leg being an unremitting climb on switchbacks to the top of a mountain pass, my toughest run ever.)
As you get older all things become relative. I overcame some setbacks to achieve my personal success, battling bursitis in my left knee that developed, I believe, as a result of two falls I took last summer while running (I tripped twice in two weeks). My training only went up the scale to 11 miles before the race but that was close enough for me to complete the distance without stopping to walk, even through water stations. Still, my miles were dropping precipitously from 8:20s during the first half of the race to 9:10s at the end. (The course.)
What pulled me through the race was the fact that I hung to the halfway mark with my current running buddy, friend and colleague at work Lia, taking turns pathbreaking before I tired and told her to go on ahead and run her best race. Which she did, throwing down a 1:50, her PR by perhaps twenty minutes. Proud to know ya, Lia. (Our last long run, of seven miles through the District, the week before the race.)