Back on track

Hard to believe it’s been so long since my last post. At that time in early March, my daughter was barely 2 weeks old, I was just recovering from a 2 month Achilles tendonitis injury, and the Bay Area was just beginning to blossom into spring. Needless to say, much has changed since then.

Summer has arrived (climatically speaking), I’ve bounced back from my injury, and little Autumn is developing in all those special ways that only her family can fully appreciate (so I’ll spare you every last detail).

Having a baby, or going through any major life event, is a valuable opportunity to examine the priorities in one’s life. It’s amazing how the scarcity of free time brings clarity to how you want to spend it. There are some things that I thought I was excited about but have completely slipped off the radar in the last three months. Blogging, for example. Learning a foreign language might also fit into this category, although I remain hopeful this inspiration will return one day. Looking back on the last 3.5 months now that the dust has settled, It is the relationships and activities that prospered during this time that feel very significant. Family and friends (obviously), running, cooking, and travel come to mind. These aspects of my life are more meaningful and joyful now than ever before.

Running is going better than ever after returning from injury. I think i’ve found a nice balance between running as training (which is an aspect of running I have always loved, but has sometimes come at the cost of injury and burnout), and also running as a means of both experiencing joy, and coping with the world around me. A big part of this balance is learning the value of restraint, and I think i’m practicing that with greater success than i have before.

So far I have two races under my belt this spring, both on the roads. I did the Kalamazoo Half Marathon while visiting family back in early May and came away with a nice little unexpected win.

And this morning I met up with friends Nathan, Brett and Peter to run the 92nd Annual Statuto 8km Race in North Beach (aka little Italy). I first ran this race back in 2007 and appreciated it’s “small town race in a big city” atmosphere. Hosted by the Italian Athletic Club of San Francisco, the race is unlike any other. Donuts and coffee are served before the race. Salami and wine are given away as awards. And the trophies are reminiscent of what you might expect from a high school national cross country championship. Huge.

I’ll always remember what the rotund Italian announcer said to me when I collected my trophy back in 2007. “Congratulations. He looks like a runner doesn’t he? Now someone get that boy some food!” Classic.

Well, It seems the mega trophy is a tradition they are fond of, as I took home another one this morning, along with a bottle of Italian red wine. It was a great morning in the city with friends.

Statuto trophy (photo by Brett Rivers)

Looking forward to running my next race on trails, most likely in the Headlands of Marin in the next month, and some bigger mountains later in the summer. Stay tuned…

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4 thoughts on “Back on track

  1. Benissimo! Congrats on the North Beach win – I like that Italian sensibility of having the food and wine be a high profile part of the race.

  2. Hi Galen,

    I just wanted to say that it was awesome to get blown away by you in the last miles of this race. I have just found your blog and am amazed at all the cool runs you have logged. I hope to one day be able to do some of these things myself. Good luck to you and happy running.
    -Alex Poulsen

    • Hi Alex. Thanks and happy new year! I’ve been fortunate to be exposed to lots of interesting running experiences over the years. Good luck in seeking out your own adventures in 2013… Best, Galen

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