Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Review - Part 1

I am going to do the review in two parts here (honestly it would do better as a trilogy, everyone likes a trilogy, but really who wants to read two parts of a year review much less three).  Mostly I want to highlight the accomplishments of running throughout the year, but I also want to touch on a few things that were important to me too.

January - After having convinced my friend (or him convince me) that we should run a Half-Marathon in the spring we had taken the plunge at the end of 2010 and ventured into the local running store.   Having been properly fitted for running shoes we had eliminated at least one excuse from the goal of running 13.1 miles.   Now all we needed was a training plan and a race.   December saw the culmination of my running goal for 2010, which was to run a 5k.  With this goal accomplished January became an exercise in two ways.   First, try to build up and maintain a good mileage base for the start of training.   Second, get through basketball season without too much pain.   I found that running and basketball caused a flair up in my shin splints, so I limited running to get through the season.   Spots of running throughout the month brought me to a total of 18.6 miles, but at least I didn't think I was pushing myself too much.

February - With six basketball games to referee in the first 5 days of the month I knew that I was not going to get any running in during the first week.   But I did manage to sell my friend on the Vancouver USA Half-Marathon and  a training plan.   We chose this race because it met the two requirements, it had to be on a Sunday and it had to be a Half-Marathon.  I used the majority of the month to get back into the three days a week running habit, and started increasing mileage on the long run with my training partner, getting to 5 miles for a long run by the end of the month and hitting double digit miles for a week for the first time ever.   February saw a total of 22.2 miles.

March - My first 10k.  Which was also my first attempt at 6 miles.  It was made especially intimidating by the fact that I had to spend the week of the race away from home for work.   Nothing is as exciting at Butte, MT in March.   This was also around the time that I discovered the Loop.   Mostly I was a bit of a lurker, I was a bit afraid to put anything in to writing, as it didn't seem as if I had anything more interesting to talk about than training runs, of course the more I read the more I realized that this was the perfect place to start putting any of my thoughts down to share with complete strangers.   March also included a twisted ankle.   An misstep off a ladder while working in the garage sideline me for one long run.   While I felt guilt at missing the run, I did get back out only a couple of days later and found that I could work through it.   The following weekend I ran 7 miles in celebration, brining March's total to 42.8.

April - Looking back this was one of the more mundane months both for training and personally.   With the improving weather, I did notice an improvement in my running.   I incorporated an evil hill to start getting ready for Doomsday Hill in Spokane.  As I look back through the log I question the 3.3 mile week - now I remember being sick, a cold or strep throat, something along those lines.   I also remember feeling much better the next week, running back to back days for the first time ever and slipping under 25 minutes in a 5k for the first time.   So maybe April wasn't that boring after all.  In the last week of the month I managed to really nice up-tempo runs as lead ins to Bloomsday, and brought my monthly mileage to 49.7.

May - What a way to start the month!   Bloomsday was perhaps the highlight of my running year.   This race left such an impression on me that I can't wait to go back and run again in 2012.  If you are ever in Spokane, WA for the first Sunday in May, you owe yourself to run this race.   Everything about it was amazing, from the start with the trees full of clothes, to the on course entertainment, to the amazing crowd support, many of which are on their front lawns.   Really if you want more wander on over the my race  Riding that high, I hit double digits on a run for the first time, with runs of 10 and 12 miles in consecutive weeks.   I also, felt this strange jealousy over the fact that I was neither prepared, nor financially able, to join a group of strangers in Philadelphia for a running event.   Looking back, it seems weird that it took 2 months to form a bond with the amazing people on the Loop, that share nothing more than a love of running.  Now when I miss a week of Bloops I feel like I have missed a year of people's lives.  As the calendar turned to June, I saw 72 in the month total column for May.

June - The anti-April if you will.   This month was turbulent in so many ways.   It started off calmly enough, with my training partner and I hitting 12 miles one last time in the lead up to our Vancouver race on the 19th.  During this time my wife was entering the home-stretch of her own race, six weeks until the birth of our second son.   With doctor's appointments regularly, it wasn't much of a surprise when we learned that the first signs of labor were present and that our new bundle of joy could arrive any time now.   So of course in the weeks leading up to the race I pondered what to do.  Finally, I decided that if I were to go, I would end up missing the birth, and decided to stay home for my wife (more races always exist).  So I ran a virtual (or fake) Half-Marathon around my neighborhood, on a slow, sore, wet morning, details  Of course, our son didn't make his grand appearance until nearly two weeks later on he 30th of June, a week in which I ran zero miles.   Even with the hubbub of baby, and the 13.1 mile adventure I managed to get to 74.5 miles for the month, and was up to 279.8 miles on the year almost half way to my goal of 600 for the year.

The first half of the year

Races -
  • March 12 - St. Patrick's Day Footrace - 10k - 55:18
  • May 1 - Bloomsday - 12k - 1:03:48
  • June 18 - Max's Virtual Half - 13.1 - 2:05:04
The review continues tomorrow where I hope to improve on my 10k and Half times as well as the pursuit of even more.

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