Returning to the blog with Reflections for 2013

First, for those of you who may still be subscribed to my blog or occasionally read it via FaceBook, I want to apologize. With the exception of keeping my race schedule up-to-date, my blogging has been quite non-existent for the last 8 months. Why the eerie silence? I am not really sure. I was posting plenty on FaceBook, so part of me felt that blogging about the goings-on with my running and health would be a 'rehash' of old news (and appear self-centered).  And to be honest, I wasn't sure I still had anything new, or helpful, or valuable to share.  I guess I lost my blogging 'mojo'.

But a few things happened to me this fall which led me (finally) back to the keyboard.  While at a 'meet up' with friends from the Mickey Miles Podcast and Team Allears, I met a woman named Rachel.  She came up to me and asked if I was 'Rick Peete'.  I said yes (I did not know who she was).  She said she wanted to say hello to me, and hoped that it didn't seem 'stalker-ish'.  I laughed and said 'Of course not! In fact, I am honored to meet someone who actually reads my blog'.  She then told me that she was a regular reader, that she appreciated the things I've shared about my journey, and that she was wondering why I had stopped posting.  I won't lie.  It made me feel good that someone received something beneficial from what I had been posting. It was very encouraging to me.

On several other occasions, I have had people tell me that what I was doing -- my efforts to live a healthier lifestyle, to overcome diabetes, to strive to better myself as a senior athlete, and to stay committed to the training and discipline required to achieve those goals -- was very inspiring and encouraging to them.  Hearing those words has always been both humbling and a source of strength and motivation for me to keep at it.  To keep moving forward.

In November, The Centegra RoadRunners (my running club) held its annual Anti-Pasta dinner, where we gather for fellowship, great food, and to celebrate all the races, accomplishments, training, mileage, and fun that we all participated in over the past year.  A highlight is the video slideshow that is produced from the photos of people's races, our track sessions, marathon training program, fun runs, etc.  Another highlight is the announcement of the Male and Female Runner of the Year award.  This year, I was selected as the Male Runner of the Year for our group!  I was really stunned because we have SO many amazing runners in our group, but people kept reminding me that there is more to our sport and our group than just 'who the fastest runner is'.   I am still surprised by it, but also deeply honored.

I thought a lot about that, and about what has happened to me this year.  I set some major challenges for myself.  I ran 1,100 miles this year, including 22 races in 7 different states (4 Full Marathons, 1 Ultra Marathon, 8 Half Marathons, and a bunch of 5Ks, 10Ks, 10-milers, etc.).  I set new PRs in every distance I ran this year except for the 5K distance.  I qualified as a Marathon Maniac.  I didn't get injured (that's a big one!).

And while I am proud of those things, I am more proud of other experiences I got to be a part of this year.  I helped my son to run his first 10K, 15K, and Half Marathon race (we ran together in FL, IL, and CA).  I got to help many friends reach their own running milestones through encouragement, support, and even being a pacer.  I got to run/walk alongside a good friend as she pushed through pain to finish her second Half Marathon.  I got to cheer and support friends at the National Senior Olympics in July (wow, that was so cool!).  I had the honor to volunteer at several races, including the Chicago Marathon, and 'give back' to the running community that has been so gracious to me these past 2.5 years.  And through all of this, and all the miles underfoot, I have made wonderful friendships around the world along the way.

2013 has been a great year for me as a runner and an athlete.  But mostly, it has been a great year of building and deepening relationships, and of reaching for and achieving goals.  The encouragement, advice, and support that I have received this year has been tremendous.  I hope that you have shared similar blessings this year.  And I hope I have been able to 'pay it forward' to those I have met, either in person or through this blog.

I will continue my journey, and chronicle it online (the good, the bad, and the ugly) with you in the hope that there will be something in my writings which will enrich, encourage, and motivate you to take the next (or that first) step towards a more active, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle.  I took the time last week to update various sections of my blog to bring things up-to-date.  I am reclaiming my mojo!  Take a look!

And let's all strive for great things in 2014!

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