2019 In a Nutshell

He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
st_nickThis bit from Clement Clarke Moore’s famous yuletide work went through my head as I jogged down the main drag leading away from home and out of our development. Indeed, my over-fed belly felt as though it were a bowl full of jelly: Jog, jog, bounce, bounce with each step. I made a note to myself to dispose of the remaining holiday leftovers upon my return home.
Christmas has come and gone. The 2019 calendar has less than one week remaining. As another decade draws to a close, I can’t help but reach for something firm to hold on to lest I be whipped off into space as the velocity of this spinning, blue orb seems to be ever increasing. That said, 2019 was a pretty darn good year.
Perhaps I am speaking too soon or maybe I should wait another few days to publish this but it appears that, for the first time in about three years I’m going to make it through the year injury free! In fact, thanks to Vincera Institute and their amazing surgery and Dr. Lee Cohen I feel physically better as an athlete than probably any time since I started running some 10 years ago. Please note that I said injury free and not fat free. I complain about my added belly every fall but honestly I don’t mind that much. I stick to a pretty strict regimen of exercise and disciplined eating most of the year but loosen the reins toward fall when my interests turn to the deer woods, the holidays, and enjoying time with friends and family. I don’t add that many pounds but, like most men, it does always show up around the middle. When the belly starts challenging the will of the elastic in the band of my running shorts it is usually a good time to straighten up and get back on track food-wise.
Whoa . . where’d the story go? Story? Is there one or am I just rambling a bit? Oh, something about what a successful year 2019 was. It really was dammit. Granted part of remaining injury free was that I’ve become a bit less obsessed with racing in general and even less obsessed with being competitive when I do. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get on the podium but how much cheap hardware and glassware does one really need? Despite skipping my last planned race of the year I think I raced more this year than the past couple combined. It was very nice to toe the line injury free if not necessarily in the best physical condition I’ve been in. I was happy with the overall results and that’s really all that matters. To recap some of the highlights . .

These weren’t the only races I did but they were the noteworthy few I took time to scribble some thoughts about.

Reviewing Stava and Garmin, I was down on bike miles a bit this year but think I got a bit burned out over the last couple when it was all I thought I could do. In fact, as mentioned previously, I sold Rakita to a better owner. As in, an owner that would actually ride and race her. She deserves that. She has spent the last two years mostly on my trainer in the garage while I rode my shiny new gravel bike.

If you are a fellow statistics geek you are well aware of Strava and similar sites. You are also no doubt aware that if it isn’t on Strava it doesn’t count. stravaBut then who wouldn’t want their workouts posted on Strava? How else would we go about receiving accolades in the form of “Kudos” from complete strangers? And segments! Let’s not forget segments! For those unfamiliar, Strava Segments are used to inspire athletes to push a little harder for brief periods of time endangering themselves and the general public in hopes of becoming the reigning king or queen of a Strava segment. In fact the only thing more fun than being the sovereign leader of a Strava segment is creating and naming a segment. You can’t miss with these fun names:

And of course our local favorite that concludes our lunch time 5 miler The Happy Ending. You’d be surprised at the behavior of grown men in the locker room after stiff competition for the title of King of that segment. Hmmm. Nothing about this paragraph doesn’t sound obscene but I really am talking about running. Click the link! I promise . . it goes to Strava.

In fact, after personally witnessing the intensity with which people chase Strava segments, I created one of my one in hopes of inspiring local competition. It can be found here: Lawn Mowing Challenge,

Come tackle this exciting segment!

For the sake of consistency, I would provide the mower and gas. The segment has, surprisingly, been underutilized. The title of “King” is there for the taking. You may have to wait for spring at this point but the opportunity awaits!

Segments aside, Strava is a great place to compile exercise and fitness data. It interfaces to most commonly used devices and applications and also allows manual entry. At the year’s end it provides a great little summary of activity. I have to admit, despite knowing I am left far in the fitness dust by most of my Strava friends, the summary does provide a great feeling of accomplishment.

Your Year In Sport
Strava gives you some fun stats.

It’s a bit more fun when broken down farther:

It is fun for me anyway to see how the year went fitness-wise. The most important thing still is it was injury free! Last year, as an example, due to surgery recovery followed by an unforeseen injury, I logged a total of 241 running miles.
Are you impressed? Bored? Sleeping? WAKE UP! Sorry, I got caught up in the pretty widgets Strava throws at me at year-end. I’m dreading looking at the same graph from my credit card company that tells me how much I spent on things like gas, groceries, etc.
With all this good health and good cheer you might ask what is in store for the new decade? Or you might ask “Is he still rambling on about running and stuff”? Either way the answer is plenty and yes. With cautious optimism I have decided to sign up in advance for a few events. Based on a long list of “Did Not Starts” and money out the window, I had given up on early registrations but then one loses out on the opportunity to partake and prices go up as events draw near. I’ve decided to bite the bullet and get in on early pricing on a few select events. The good news for you the reader is that you can look forward to curing potential insomnia by reading about:

More to follow too and hopefully some other new and fun adventures. I know you can barely contain yourself with excitement for my diatribe on each of these things. Well, patience dear reader. The world is turning fast enough and they will be here soon enough. Until then I hope you have a happy and healthy new year!

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