Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Need To Win

Finishing the 2015 Plaza 10K with a 38:20 PR and Age Group win ... the race had over 3,000 runners
As I take a quick inventory of my running and fitness in 2015, I think I would give it a solid B.  It wasn't great, mind you.  I mean I dealt with some hip inflammation for a couple months in the Spring that really slowed me down, ran a "mere" 2,200 miles ... my lowest total in six years, and only ended up finishing three marathons.  But inflammation aside, I stayed relatively healthy, qualified for the Boston Marathon again, set a personal best, and won my Age Group several times.

Aside from the PR, the thing I'm most proud of is the 3 first place, and 2 second place finishes in my Age Group.  I know there are some who will roll their eyes at this statement because it obviously means that I haven't evolved to their level of self-righteousness or sanctimony ... and that I simply don't understand the "greater good" of running, health, and fitness ... but I love to win.  In fact, sadly, I think I "need" to win.  Drawing a line between "wanting to win" and "needing to win" is probably a couch conversation for another day.  But understand, that being the best of every other person who's my age on a particular day at a particular race, centers my focus during training and really drives me.  Sorry non-competitive person ...  I know that obviously makes me small.

Here are a few notes from races this year ...

Miles ran ... 2,237 ... Fail!
Only three Marathons completed ... Phoenix, Denver, Maui ... Fail!
10K PR ... Plaza 10K ... 38:20 ... 1st Place out of 126 runners in my Age Group ... Success!
Kansas City Royals 5K - 1st Place Age Group ... Success!
Prairie Fire Spring Half - Overall, 1st Place Age Group ... Success!
Striker Life Half-Marathon - 2nd Place ... Eh???
Stars & Stripes 5K - 2nd Place ... Eh???
Missed a PR at the Stars & Stripes 5K by 39 seconds ... Success
Missed a PR at the Phoenix Marathon by 38 seconds ... Success!
Missed a PR at the Kansas City Half Marathon by 34 seconds ... Success!
Qualified for Boston for the 7th time at the Phoenix Marathon ... Success!
Felt like I was closest I've ever been to death in the Maui Marathon ... Fail!
Didn't do well with the altitude at the Denver Marathon ... Fail!
Think I might have actually been first at the Striker Life Half-Marathon, but there was a timing issue ... Eh???
Got meet my friend Bobby, and several others in the running community at various races ... Success!

So if you measure the year by wins, PR,s, BQ's, and the like ... it wasn't a bad year ... but I can do better.  If you measure it by being relatively healthy, staying active at age 47, spending time with my wife who also works out and runs, and just overall enjoying life ... it was a huge success!  Here's to another good year in 2016!

Be the fire.


  1. I am always thrilled with ag awards; especially when its not because I am the only one in that age group (I'm 57). I love it when I beat someone who I see who is in my group and I pass them and win.

  2. Yes you did have a great year! I totally get the need to win and I also love AG or overall placement.
    : )
    You are like fine wine Jim, you will only get better with age!!
    Here's to a happy, healthy, injury free new year with plenty of wins/successes/PR's to keep the motivation. You rock!!

  3. You did have a great year, I wonder if it was BECAUSE of decreased mileage?
    I need to work on wanting to win more. If I wanted more to win, I bet I'd want more to train.

  4. Nothing wrong with having a competitive streak. It's what keeps you pushing to better yourself. You've had a great year despite the hip thingy. And I'm sure that 2016 will be just as stellar. Because, Jim, you're a running star.


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