Editor’s Note: Three long time Empire members express their thoughts and feelings about the new year.
Cover photo courtesy of Jeremy Olsan, Nov 23, 2017. Caption: We are family. — with Ann DuBay, Debbie Gayaldo, Dustin Engel, Andrew Engel, Jeannette Engel, Mark Mathewson, Carol DuBay and Catherine DuBay.
Long before the fires I came up with a crazy moonshot to try to break 40:00 in a 10k one last time. I am 53 years old and since my 10k PR of 35:49 in 1999, my times have gradually slowed and hover around 42:00 these days.
Photo of Catherine DuBay by Paul Berg.
A sub 40:00 was going to take every little bit of everything I had so 2017 became a year of disciplined eating, hard training and lots of racing to keep me honest.
So, on October 8 as I toed the line at the San Jose Rock n Roll for my big attempt at sub 40:00, I had no idea what the next 24 hours would be like.
I managed a 39:30 10k good for 2nd overall and 1st Master and a few minutes of fame on the big stage.
As we drove home later that day we remarked on the incredible winds. A few hours later I would be packing valuable as we were forced to evacuate our home. My sister who had been evacuated hours before us and had lost her home was now at our house. I asked her what she had packed. She said her running shoes and little else. I grabbed my running shoes, looked at the trophy I’d won just 12 hours prior. It suddenly seemed so trivial and it was left behind as we left.
Truly a bittersweet day.
What a year! 2017 began with the return of a more normal much needed rainfall and a list of resolutions, none of which made much sense as 2017 closed. Who would have thought Donald Trump would become president. Well unfortunately that situation hasn’t gotten any better over the year. Initially the year was dominated by daily horrific ‘tweets’ and a myriad of ridiculous and antagonistic speeches. These were followed by complaints, excuses and firings of our government officials. The almost daily nature of these misgivings have numbed me beyond belief. Just hoping to live to a ripe old age has been my new goal and make it to 2018.
The second dominating feature of 2017 was the large number of friends and family that died this year. The year started with my Uncle’s passing and Bob Shor’s surgery. At this point there was much optimism but by April Bob wasn’t getting better. In the meanwhile ER pal, John ‘Mojo’ Royston was diagnosed with cancer as well. A number of house visits at Bobs and ‘Hamburger Wednesdays” with the ER group were both fun and comforting. But by the midyear it wasn’t going well for either of them; First Bob leaving us in July, then Mojo in August. Without much warning my Mother died in September followed by 2 former coworker/friends in October and November. So the Fall has been dominated with funerals, memorials and celebrations of life. The funerals have sucked but the memorials and life celebrations have been painful yet restorative. Then my son, Mike, moved permanently to South Carolina. Finally, the holidays arrived which I have tried to appreciate more than ever.
Resolutions 2018: Making it through the Holidays unscathed and hopefully re-energized is the first order of business. That being said, with the year I have experienced my resolutions will be few and simple:
1- Say ‘I love you’ as often as possible
2- Live more in the moment
3- Retire(sooner than later)
Left to right, Dale Peterson, Paul Berg, Brad Zanetti, and Val Sell . Photo courtesy of Paul Berg.
Looking forward and back on 2017
Not even considering the national political landscape, 2017 was a rough year for the Empire Runners family. We lost two beloved long-time members, Bob Shor and Mojo, then the October fires displaced so many while reminding us how lucky we are to have great places to run. The outpouring of community support was truly inspiring, plus club members turned in many standout running performances in cross country and throughout the year.
On the personal side, after running the Dipsea in June I needed to have hernia surgery which set me back a few months. Combined with several road trips in our truck camper, my training was haphazard at best, though I did get to see and photograph a lot of natural beauty in the western US.
Christmas brought me a gift of a fancy new Garmin watch courtesy of my thoughtful daughter, which I plan to use to more effectively track my training. At this bewildering age bracket, I realize that core strength is more important than ever, so I’m hoping to do TRX twice a week this year. I’m definitely enjoying the trails more than roads these days, so a longer trail adventure might be in the cards. New Years is a great time to reflect, reset and remember what I’m most thankful for; it’s a long list, including Empire Runners.