A little over four years ago, I started running every day. I had done that before but never with much success. This time things were different and I managed to run every day for a year. The following year, I biked everywhere. After that, we moved from Boise to Seattle and I decided to jump into open water and swim at least once a week for a year. Then, I had no idea what challenge to do next.
During 2019, I decided to run my first 50 mile race. When I finished, I wasn’t motivated to run much (apparently that happens after a lot of long runs). To get back into running, I decided 2020 would be another run streak year. Well, about 10 days in, I had pain that made it difficult to walk (not a running injury), three months in all my running clubs went on hiatus (along with much of life), nine months in we had air quality so terrible anything that wasn’t closed for covid was shut down, but this afternoon we went to the track to finish out the year with speed.
Leah invited us to run the Flying Lion Run Club Virtual Final Mile 2020. We found a local high school track that wasn’t locked and our two households met for a timed mile. I hadn’t run a timed mile in a couple of years. Leah had never run one. Avery opted to run it was well. The track only had three lanes (typically six is the minimum while eight is usually required for official events). To ensure that we kept a safe distance apart, Avery, Dom, and I started first. I did two warm-up laps with them before getting ready for my mile. Dom accompanied and cheered on Avery for the final two laps. She crossed the finish line at about 14:30 which is pretty good for a four year old. I went next and hoped to run a 5:30 or a bit faster. While chasing a high school kid in a race a couple months ago, I managed a 5:50 pace for four miles so I thought 5:30 was doable. I completed my first lap in 71 seconds or at a 4:44 pace. Clearly I started a bit too fast. I kept going as well as I could and finished at 5:13 which seems like a great way to finish my year of running. After I picked myself up off the ground, Leah started her mile. She too started a bit fast but put in a great mile as well. She wanted to run a sub-7 minute mile and hoped to hit 6:45. She crossed the line at 6:54 and now knows what a track mile feels like. I’m excited to see how we all do next year.
As for 2021, I was again thinking about what my annual challenge could be. I came up with a lot of different ideas, but none felt quite right. Then, as I was researching a present for Dom, I started discovering all the different ways to ferment and thought it might be fun to do a new ferment each week. I’ve brewed beer, baked sourdough bread, and even got pretty good at making kimchi, but hopefully this will push me to try new ferments. My only rules are: I can only count one recipe once, no matter how many times I make it, and it has to ferment for at least two days (yeast breads with commercial yeast won’t usually count since they are done in hours).
To get the year started well, I brewed a Hazelnut Brown Ale today and once it cools, at 12:01 on Jan 1, 2021, I will pitch the yeast to get that one going. I got to use my electric brewer for the second time and I’m still excited about how easy it makes brewing. Avery even grabbed the brew spoon to help stir the grain. Next year is going to look new and different, hopefully there will be more changes than just switching from running to fermenting.