Kilimanjaro served as my primary source of motivation for the first half of 2010, and in a sense that’s the case again in 2011.
No, I’m not headed back for a second trip up Africa’s tallest mountain — although I would love to if my budget allowed it — but the fitness gains that Kili training provided have set the tone for 2011 to be a year on the run.
Miserably tender patellar tendons that brought me to a halt for more than three years healed during Kili training. An agonizingly weak lower back turned into a sturdier trunk.
Conquering the mountain opened the door to tackling more physical challenges in the months that followed. Trail running became part of the regular routine during the last half of 2010, and four races were completed. A sub-50-minute 10K and a snowshoeing/ski trip to Breckenridge were the final highlights of a year full of obstacles tackled.
So far, 2011 is shaping up to be even more productive.
Frigid weather and snow haven’t kept me off the trails much. Friends in the Lawrence Trail Hawks invited me to the annual Frozen Fat-Ass run on Jan. 8, and the legs logged 9.6 miles.
Tonight, as Snowpocalypse 2011 dropped 5-plus inches of snow (more continues to fall as I type) , I logged a 30-minute training run in ankle deep snow and 12-degree temperatures.
In less than three weeks I’ll take on my longest race ever — the Run Toto Run 10-miler at Wyandotte County Lake Park. And if that goes well … a half-marathon will follow.
The race calendar continues to grow. Many miles will be logged. Unlike 2010 when most of those miles were spent climbing up, a majority of the 2011 miles will be spent going out — out through the neighborhoods, out to the park, out into the woods to wind along the trails.