Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: My Year In Running

Man, what a year!

Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I'd take to running like I have.

2011 was my first-full year as a runner, and it was a good year to say the least. I set out the year with four goals and reached all but one. (The last remaining will be crossed off the list in the coming months, however.)

I've got a long list of goals for 2012. But before I share those with you, I want to take a moment to look back at the year that was 2011.

As I stated, I had four goals for 2011. The first was to run 750 miles during the year. Well, I kinda blew past that just a wee bit as I finished with 1,257.48 miles!

The CRO himself - Bart Yasso - and myself
at the Go! St. Louis Expo
I'm not sure what exactly happened, but something just clicked around May. I just started running more and more and more. A good part of it was getting involved with a local running group - the Falls Road Runners. During the summer months, I met up with a 3-4 others during the week and run 5 or so miles. On the weekends, we'd meet for our long runs, anything from 8 to 15 miles. There were also mid-week speed workouts at the track. Having others to run with really started to push me more and more to see what I could do.

My competitive side really came out too. I wasn't challenging anyone else but myself. In April, I posted my first 100-mile month ever. After falling short in May - thanks to an injury, I pushed myself to hit a 100 every month and to try to set a new high every time. I ended the year having posted eight 100-mile months, finishing the year off with a high of 125.5 miles in December. So, just by doing that, the goal of 750 did not have a chance.

Me along with some of my fellow SIDs at the CoSIDA 5K
My second goal was to run a mile at 9:06. I've never been the swiftest of foot, but that was the time I posted once when I was a mere child of 9 or 10. Yet, as I got back into running, my time regularly hovered around the 10-, 11-minute mark. So, I worked at improving my speed, and before long, I was able to do better than a 9:06 mile. In fact, I posted a time of 26:34 in the first 5K I'd run in 20-plus years for an average time of 8:34 per mile! I even posted a 7:30 mile during some speed drills.

Today, my mile splits usually range from 9:30-10:10 during my long runs. I figure as I build endurance, those times will continue to improve.

Next on the list was to complete another half marathon. Not only did I do this once, but four times in 2011. I even posted a streak of three half marathons in seven weeks to qualify me to become a Half Fanatic. In addition, I reached my goal of breaking the 2:15 barrier, doing so three times with a PR of 2:09:42!

The kids and I after the Secret City Half.
The final goal on the list was to run my first full marathon. Did not happen in 2011. Honestly, I don't think I was ready to run one, and it was better for me in the long run to run the three half marathons in seven weeks because it really tested my training, strength and endurance. Having accomplished that, I now feel more than ready to tackle a full marathon - which I will on April 1, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn.

On top of this, I was able to run in five different states this year - Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia and Florida. Ran on the beaches of Florida, the streets of St. Louis and the hills of Tennessee and Kentucky.

More importantly, I've met some amazing runners - in person and online through Twitter, Facebook, DailyMile and this blog of course. I was fortunate enough to chat with the CRO himself, Bart Yasso. I really enjoyed running along my colleagues in the sports information profession at the CoSIDA 5K. Our profession is not the healthiest by any stretch of the imagination, so it was great to have nearly 100 of us running 3.1 miles on the beach in Florida.

Yet, the highlight of the year was running the Secret City Half with my kids! Nothing like getting to run with your children. In fact, Jayson and I are training to run a 5K together this spring. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to this.

It's been an amazing year, for sure. Can't wait to see what 2012 has in store!

Happy running!

2 comments:

  1. Congrats on a great year Jay! You will crush the marathon in 2012 no doubt!

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  2. Thanks, Mike! It's pretty neat to see how far I've come in such a short time. Guess I'm really taking to this running thing :)

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