Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year End Wrap-up

Battling 75 mile per hour winds, I tried to protect my eyes from airborne gravel while my bared legs stung from the grit being constantly thrown against them.  Sometimes I was reduced to a literal standstill, my burning legs barely able to keep me from being thrown backwards.  I only opened my eyes wide enough to recognize a pair of Red-tailed Hawks and a single American Kestrel, my only birds of the run.  As I wove out a 6.65 mile course along the mountainous dirt roads surrounding our house earlier today, I ruminated about the year that was quickly coming to a close.  I mostly thought about running, which is what normally occupies my thoughts on runs.  But in the process of thinking about my training, the races I've run, the races I plan on running, and the upcoming track season, birds were also omnipresent.  These two subjects, before completely alien and separate from each other, have now become almost completely intertwined throughout the course of the year.  I cannot go on a run and not also be birding.  After all, I've been obsessively birding since the age of six, while the running bug didn't bite me until a mere 1.5 years ago.  Birds have kept me motivated to train ("If I don't run, Bunny Rabbit might beat me!"), and the Sweaty Sanderlings have kept me birding during cross country season, a time when birds might otherwise get lost in the fray.

Regarding numbers, I finished with a total of 202 species.  I ran a total of 1273 miles.

Oh yeah, I got a haircut.

Welch here:  Sometime soon I'll be writing a 2011 recap, which will include our trip to the Nike Cross Regionals - Southwest Race in Arizona.  I finished the year with 214 species and 1,111 miles.