2022 has been a bear, personally. Mentally and physically my body has had enough and forced me to deal with stuff at this moment. No more putting it off. That doesn’t really bode well for planning purposes. With that, I did not get enough training and miles in as I had in years past. It shows in the time and how challenging the race was for me. 5:25:20 is my slowest recorded time, by a large margin. Am I beating myself up about it? Hell no! I fought for that time. A finish is a finish, and I finished that thing as fast as I could that day. As alluded to, I was fighting some health stuff and on corticosteroids when I was running (still am!). At the half-way mark I was thinking about throwing in the towel as I was just so beat up. I just kept lying to myself. Re-evaluate at 16, re-evaluate at 18. 18! The wall. It always hits me at 18. I just start seeing red and wonder why I ever chose to do this. Then you hit 20. Only a 10k left. After 22 you will finish. You can do anything for 4 miles. And then you do. Euphoria, pain, exhaustion, it hits you all at once. There is nothing quite like marathons, at least for me. I don’t have many friends who like running like I do (and that’s ok!), so it’s usually a solitary experience. Rarely do I talk to anyone, but I’m glad there was a picture that got snapped of a guy I did get to run with for a few miles. As his shirt says, that’s Dan. He’s 75, from Iowa, and that was his 12th marathon. He started running at 60 after he retired as a high school English teacher of 40 years. He talked about how much running has done for him. I sure hope I end up like Dan at 60 and 75. Sure, I hope to keep running races, but also to keep pushing myself to do stuff, even if it’s hard, especially when I doubt myself. That’s a long way of saying that number 11 is in the damn books. Number 12 is in Madison next month and sitting here with sore legs I am looking forward to it all over again; at least until mile 18. It may seem like this is all personally grit or whatever, but it wouldn’t be possible without support. Individualism is a trap. It is always friends, family, and community.

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