At this time last year, I was completing another marathon training cycle, in preparation for the Twin Cities Marathon. At the same time, I had an eye on training for Ironman Wisconsin – a monumental feat that would require an tremendous commitment to all three triathlon disciplines.
Since then, I’ve documented many of the ups and downs of life and training cycles.
It’s been a tough trail on the running front: fewer miles, lost fitness, weight gain and missed races. Along the way, I lost my Golden retriever, Riley, to cancer. And a torn Achilles sidelined me just as I began training for my next marathon.
But there have been some big wins: a terrific new job, surrounded by talented co-workers, in a great community, rich with the recreational amenities I crave and need. I’ve renewed my faith and commitment to excellence as an everyday athlete, determined to surpass the level I worked hard to attain.
The path ahead won’t be easy. But it will offer opportunities for new adventures and experiences in my journey for running redemption. And I’ll soon have a running companion to join me on the trails.
Last week, I brought home Coby, who just turned 7 weeks old.
In the past few weeks, I’ve started running again: runs with my buddy Tim gave us a chance to reconnect, share some laughs and encounter wildlife along the way; some spirited bike rides to remind me about the thrill of going fast; and a few early morning runs to satisfy my craving for exploration and new routes.
I need more of all of those.
And while I still miss Riley, I look forward to the journey ahead with my new Golden retriever pup, and the adventures we will share. Early signs show that he has a lot of personality. He stood out among his litter mates for his energy and social nature.
It may be a few months yet before Coby can run with me regularly, but I’m planning to chronicle the journey in the blog. I’m also planning the return of my column, now in the Herald, and plan to share running experiences in my adopted hometown, where I hope to find several new running buddies.