Nostradamus predicted 2012 would mark the end of the world...and for a while I felt like it was the end of my RUNNING world. Instead it turned out to be a year of TRANSITION and PATIENCE...learning to cope with the unforeseen (injury) and the inevitable (age).
It started off great...training in LA with Blue Benadum. When I relocated permanently to NYC in March, I was running faster/further/better than ever. By May, I was logging mileage with all the glee of a Newbie. But a misstep (walking!) on the sidewalk resulted in a hamstring tear that kept me almost entirely off my feet for weeks. As I slowly shuffled my way back, subsequent injuries started to plague me. The funny thing about injured runners: no one seems to have much sympathy for us, except other runners. It's as if we're "getting what we deserve" simply because we love to run. How often we hear, "You knew this would happen sooner or later!" I went through various trainers and doctors until I finally hit on the right diagnosis for what was keeping me from joyful running: Synovitis, a painful swelling of a joint area, generally brought on by overuse. Heel spurs were also revealed in the x-rays--not uncommon for flat footed folks, runners or anyone who lives in urban area and pounds pavements. I was guilty on all counts! While "overuse" is a kinder word than "age," it was clear that the time had come for me to adjust my routine. The hard truth: I'm not invincible.
Panic set in immediately. What if I can't ever run again!? I'll get fat. For so long I've identified myself as a Runner...I'll let people down and won't be the same person. All sorts of psychological issues were tied up with my physical ones. Would all the medals I have proudly hung over my office desk dangle there only as a reminder of a lost love? Heck, I can't even go on a first date without discussing how much running is a part of who I am.
I briefly worked in a Running store to gain some knowledge into proper footwear...I consulted a Sports Medicine Orthopedic specialist and my dad (a retired Orthopedic Surgeon) as well as implemented their advice with my new trainer, Scott. Learning to strike more mid-foot than on the ball of my foot helped immensely. New shoes with metatarsel support ("Barefoot/Minimalist" running is NOT for everyone) and a wider toe box helped, too. And, for the first time, I learned to benefit from making time to stretch. Cross training, everything from softball to weight lifting, took on new importance.
The physical snafus were compromising enough to my training, but Nature was also tinkering with my best-laid plans. Having left sunny California, I would now find myself kept from scheduled workouts by conditions such as dangerously high humidity and lightening storms. On the bright side, when the forecast was clear, I had the proximity of Central & Riverside Parks and a great new running buddy: ABC-7's marathoning meteorologist, Amy Freeze.
I missed out on an annual Marathon for the first time in a decade, but did discover the joys of a new, shorter race distance: the Half Marathon. All the fun of a sporting event with half the training time and effort! My hectic-as-ever work schedule benefited, too.
As of this writing, I'm feeling about 90% back in shape. I haven't gained weight and all those adjustments are becoming the "new normal." So, while I won't rule out another Marathon, I'm taking it day by day and remaining mindful of what a blessing it is to be able to run at all...regardless of distance or pace. That said, here's a rundown of my memorable running events from 2012. Thank you again for your interest and enthusiasm for all my sporting endeavors.
What about 2013? Well, I'll be entering a new Age Division...anything could happen!
Moving to NYC jettisoned me into a running frenzy. The incredible Spring weather & NYRR scene called me into Central Park almost every morning and I'd run at least the 6 mile loop.
*Colon Cancer Challenge 15km (1:21:50) Missed a PR by .8 seconds!
*Scotland Run 10km (53:50)
*Run for the Parks 4 miler (32:02)
*5th Avenue Mile (8:02) I'd just come home from a 13 mile run when Amy called, asking me to be a last-minute fill in with the "Eyewitness News" team for the Media Division of this One Mile race down the Museum Mile of famed Fifth Avenue. I was already knackered, but how could I say no!? I managed to pull off a respectable 8 minute mile.
*Hamptons Half Marathon. (2:03:05) While I was crushed that my plans for the Full were dashed, I was happy that the Race Directors (my pals Amanda and Diane) allowed me to switch to the "Half." My best friend, Glenn, and I kept up the tradition of making it a fun weekend outing and the 13.1 miles were a pleasure to run from start to finish. Note my "SeptemBeard," which I grew to help raise $ and awareness for Prostate Cancer.
*Grete's Great Gallop (2:04:28) Just two weeks after the Hamptons Half, I found myself doing another 13.1 on a much hillier Central Park course. I ran a strong pace time and, most importantly, pain free.
Just 3 days before the NYC Marathon, the world thought the race was still a Go, in spite of Superstorm Sandy.
But, at the Eleventh Hour, Mayor Bloomberg and NYRR cancelled it (right decision, albeit made too late). At least I got to see some of my pals who had planned to participate. Blue came to town and we got to run a few miles along the Hudson and Amy tagged along.
Aussie Paralympian Kurt Fearnley & I had a fabulous dinner reunion, which is becoming an annual tradition.
And in an impromptu salute to the resiliency of runners, thousands gathered in Central Park to run anyway! I was proud and excited to cheer them from the sidelines.
*Ted Corbitt Classic 15km (1:26:00) What a blessing to be able to run this fun event every year. A bonus was enjoying the company of my new Aussie mate Mark Power--founder of the "Mad-hatten" ultramarathon. Hmm....might that be a race on 2013's calendar?? I'm already signed up for the NYC Half Marathon, March 17...so bring on the New Year! I'll also continue to offer guided running tours and you may get more info on those runs at City Running Tours:
For my last long run of the year, my visiting colleague Andrew G & I tooled up the Hudson River pathway to the Little Red Lighthouse and back (10 miles)...a perfect way to close out the year: a brisk, scenic run with a fab friend, followed by a hearty breakfast. Some simple pleasures are worth far more than anything money could buy!
In addition to dozens of 5ks and 10ks, here are Nelson's marathon times:
2007 DC National Marathon: 4:03:46
2006 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 1:47:47
2011 Ted Corbitt 15k: 1:21:42
2005 Run for the Bay 10k: 45:38
2007 Santa Monica Mountains Trail 9k: 52:14 (1st Place Men 40-44, 9th Overall)
2011 Achilles Hope & Possibility 8k: 41:01
2009 Run for Central Park, 4 miler: 31:22
2006 Achievable Foundation 5k: 21:58
2014 LA Marathon: 4:42:22
2013 Hamptons Marathon 4:27:55
2011 NYC Marathon 4:21:37
2011 San Francisco Marathon 4:25:37
2010 Hamptons Marathon 4:19:48
2009 Hamptons Marathon 4:24:00
2008 Hamptons Marathon 4:26:11
2008 Bermuda International Marathon 4:17:51
2007 Catalina Eco-Marathon 4:41:30
2007 San Francisco Marathon 4:15:55
2006 Florence Marathon 4:22:11
2005 St Jude's Memphis Marathon: 4:11:39
2006 LA Marathon: 4:13:37
2005 LA Marathon: 4:14:01
2003 LA Marathon: 4:23:35
2002 LA Marathon: 5:08:11
2003 Honolulu Marathon: 4:47:55
2002 Honolulu Marathon: 4:32:53
2001 Honolulu Marathon: 4:51:31
2014 Grete's Great Gallop (NYC): 2:08:22
2013 NYC Half-Marathon: 2:03:41
2012 Grete's Great Gallop (NYC): 2:04:28
2012 Hamptons Half-Marathon: 2:03:05
2008 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 1:54:26
2005 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 1:48:29
2004 Palos Verdes Half-Marathon: 2:06:47
2002 Santa Barbara Half-Marathon: 2:06:50
2022 - 1071.3 (1724.09km)
2021 - 1071 (1723.6 km)
2020 - 1111.8 (1789.26 km)
2019 - 1167.4 (1878.74 km)
2018 - 1132 (1821.77 km)
2017 - 1160 (1866.83 km)
2016 - 1212.5 (1951.32 km)
2015 - 1092.8 (1758.69 km)
2014 - 1169.5 (1882.12 km)
2013 - 1323.6 (2130.1 km)
2012 - 1175.2 (1891.30 km)
2011 - 1200 (1931.21 km)
2010 - 1105.6 (1779.29 km)
2009 - 1070.1 (1722.16 km)
2008 - 1152 (1853.96 km)
2007 - 1300 (2091.7 km)
2006 - 1064 (1712.34 km)
2005 - 1143 (1839.08 km)
2004 - 944.9 (1520.34 km)
2003 - 834.2 (1342.22 km)
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