Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year in Review

There is no easy way to dance around it.  2015 was the most difficult I have known in all of my 40 years.  Diagnosed early in the year with Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP), my vocal cords have been under constant attack from this virus.  Treatment consists of direct micro laryngoscopies with surgical removal using a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser. Because the virus lives in the normal appearing tissue surrounding the papilloma, recurrence is likely, and repeated endoscopic removal is required every six weeks.  Translated this means that I have had eight surgeries this year so that I can have some assemblance of a normal life with being able to talk at more than a whisper.  The virus is extremely rare in adults, impacting less than 1 person of every 200,000 Americans.  There is no cure.

Running has helped to maintain my sanity amidst these health issues.  There isn't as much witty banter on the run as there once was, but my legs can still turn over at a decent pace.  The virus makes it difficult to breathe at times but I refuse to let it beat me.  With the Grace of God, we pray that the virus will eventually go into remission.  Until then we fight the good fight.

Above all else, the love and support from Rachel has made everything possible.  She is my voice when I can not speak.  She is my strength when I am weak.  In September we said our vows at the majestic Snoqualmie Falls in North Bend, Washington.  That truly was the highlight of my year.

Here was the story of my year afoot!
  • 3,105 miles running (34,022 career)
  • 5 wins (78 career)
  • 4 masters wins since turning 40 in November
  • 14 top 3 finishes (176 career)
  • 29 total races (368 career)
  • HTC Open Male Gran Prix Series runner up for the 5th time (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, winner 2013)
  • Two-time overall winner Southern Tennessee Half Marathon
  • Raced New York City Marathon in November, competing all three U.S. Marathon majors (Boston, Chicago, New York) for the second time
  • Overall winner of Care Center 5k for the 5th consecutive year
  • Three time winner of Krispy Kreme Challenge (4th time overall) with second best time on record 29:25 (28:53 course record)
  • Paced 3:25 at Rocket City Marathon and 1:30 at Scottsboro Half Marathon
  • 1,575 miles cycling