During the last few days of 2017, as we reflected on year gone by, I crunched a few running numbers just for the sake of interest /being OCD/Virgo/a runnergeek. The stock take was actually sparked when, during a long run in December, I crossed the 1000 km mark for for the year. A whopping one thousand kilometers! On my feet! That is like running from Namibia’s southernmost border, Vioolsdrift, to Otjiwarongo in the north of the country and having some 60 km in spare change!
And while personal accomplishment or satisfaction might appear the obvious sentiment, paging through my running logs fills me more with immense gratitude than anything else. Especially since I’ve been hovering on the sidelines after a (non-running related) knee injury after a fall. Yes, I may be the first person in history to fall on level ground while standing still. Nevertheless, for the time being I shall continue to be grateful for these running numbers from the year 2017:
My total mileage for the year that was 2017. Of which more than 95% were on trails, tracks and dirt roads. During the last three years this young love for trails has grown into a fierce and devoted passion, to the point where I can proudly say that trail running has ruined my life (for the good)!
The total elevation in meters gained on the run during 2017. So more than 20 km in vertical height. Admittedly, lots of the steeper parts were power hiked, walked or slow-crawled, but they got done and most of them rewarded with incredible views up top.
The number of times I got to lace up and head out for a run in 2017. The privilege of being healthy and able to run and enjoy it remains one of my top 10 sources of mind-blowing gratitude.
The number of hours I spent running during 2017. Which roughly translates to the number of additional hours that my generous, loving and supportive Hubs played with, entertained, fed, bathed or read to our boys so I could run solo. That was if they weren’t hurrying-up-and-waiting for me somewhere or in the middle of nowhere as my support team on a race or a long training run.
Hubs and boys waiting for Mama during the Marathon du Mont Blanc.
As in 1 January 2017 and the number of family run in total. The first run this year was as a complete family on the first day of the year. All four of us took part in the Resolution Run in Vancouver, Canada, on 1 January 2017. We participated in the 2016 Resolution Run in Swakopmund as well, which took place at 12 am on 1 January 2016. And although none of us are night-owls, we do enjoy the idea of starting a new year by running together as a family, so we will try to make it a tradition. By perhaps keeping it an early tradition and not so much a 12 am one.
One is also the number of runs I shared with my dear lovely Hubs and the number of new trail races we completed this year. The Dunes Xtrail was a delightful 15 km trail race that had its inauguration on 30 September this year. The route started at Tiger Reef Beach Bar from where it crossed the the Swakop River mouth wound into the sand dunes hugging the coast. Most of the trail was on compact gravel plains but a number of dunes and sandy riverbed crossings made for a nice challenge. The race was superbly organised by OTB and it is surely one for the perpetual calendar.
Of all the races and places during the year, one is also the number of DNF’s I had to come to terms with, and luckily not without a myriad life lessons learned. I remain thankful.
The pairs of shoes that I ran in this year and that I will keep on wearing through the year to come (unless I go completely minimalist or barefoot!) See 3.
The number of fantastically inspiring books I got to read during the latter part of the year. Note that, after devouring Born to Run, I have some serious contemplations about footwear and how wearing it affects the longevity of us as runners. My dearest hubs scored very high marks for the spot-on birthday gifts of the Lizzy Hawker- and Kilian Jornet autobiographies. He has that way.
The number of different towns/localities we traveled to and got to run in during the year. These included visits to 3 continents (not counting the short, sweaty stay-over in Doha) and 8 different countries. Notably I had to miss out on running in Italy and Switzerland while I was recovering after Marathon du Mont Blanc, and only Nico got to run in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while he was there for work, but so many beautiful scenes and moments remain vividly ingrained in our memories and hearts.
And the best part is that all of these moments is that they were shared with my precious family.