Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: My Year In Running

Can't believe another year has come and gone.

Time certainly does fly, especially when you're having so much fun!

Heading into 2012, I knew I enjoyed and loved running. I just didn't realize how much I loved it!

And never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd be so enamored with the marathon, and not with the race itself but the training as well! Nothing like pushing yourself to the limits ... and beyond!

Before I review how I did on my 2012 goals, I'd like to share some of my highlights.

Still in my infancy as a runner, I could not believe I hit the 2,000- and 3,500-mile marks for my running career ... IN THE SAME YEAR! Only a dedicated runner since April of 2010, I can't believe how far I've come and can't wait where the road takes me.

My bride and I post run.
Getting to run my bride. How exciting is this?!?! Can't tell how awesome it is to have your soul mate as a running buddy. Look forward to many more miles with her.

Along with getting to run with my bride, I got to run with some good friends this summer. It's rare as a sports information director to get together and spend time with friends and colleagues in the profession. So, I relished the opportunity to run with Dave Parsons and Kelcey Zutavern this summer in St. Louis. Had a blast running with them! Such a blast!

Not sure this is a highlight, but I learned how to deal with and work through an injury. I've been blessed to not get sidelined very long with an injury, but being out of running for any length of time can drive a runner batty. Also, never underestimate the power of rest.

And now, let's see how I did on my goals for 2012.

1 - Run 1,500 miles in 2012. The final tally - 1,588. And given I took nearly 3 weeks off due to injury and marathon recovery, it'd be interesting to see how high that number would've gotten. But that's neither here or there. Pleased with the fact I averaged just over 132 miles per month.

2 - Run a full marathon. Done. Twice. Next please.

3 - Complete 5-6 half marathons. This did not happen. I only ran 1 half marathon (which I PR'ed), but little did I know I would fall in love with the marathon. Because of this new love, I decided to run a second full in the fall, leaving no time for me to squeeze in any other half marathons. Marathon training and my work schedule were not on my side in trying to reach this goal.

4 - Run a 5K with my son. This got altered during the year. While my son did not run a 5K, I was able to help my bride to run her first 5K and now she's training for her first 10K! I did (and do) workout with my son, but I've had a time getting him commit enough time and effort to train for a 5K. I want him to run and enjoy it, but I'm not going to force it down his throat. We are becoming a more and more active family, and being fit and having fun doing it are the top priorities.

5 - Run 13.1 miles at least once each month. I really thought this would be easy to do. What a fool I am. I did not realize the toll the body takes in running a marathon. After both of my marathons this year, it took several weeks before I felt able to post a double-digit run. I fell short of running at least one 13.1-mile run in each month, but I had WAY MORE than 12 runs of 13.1 miles or more - again due to marathon training. In my mind, I call this a push. (It's my blog, I'll make the rules. hehe)

6 - 'Tri' something new. Wanted to add something new to my workout routine. I was pretty lax on this goal for much of the year. That is until my injury happened. Being sidelined from running for a couple weeks DURING marathon training, I took to the spin bike. AND I LOVE IT! I've added cycling to my routine as well as strength and core training. It's amazing how there's more to running and simply running. 

7 - More trail running. I got to run the trails a little more in 2012, but not as much as I liked. Of course, I halted all trail running after my spill led to an injury 8-9 weeks out from the 7 Bridges Marathon

8 - Add more states to where I've run. Added Iowa and Texas to the list. I've now run in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, California, Indiana, Idaho, Washington, Iowa and Texas.

9 - Run a distance I've never run before. I did this with a 10-mile race and 2 marathons, but I didn't want to count those because I had already decided to run those distances when I came up with the year's goals. I had hoped to run a 8K or 10K as well as some other distances, but for a variety of reasons, it just didn't happen. Maybe it will in 2013.

10 - Post a 50-mile week. I thought this would not happen, and it didn't in the traditional sense of looking a week starting with either Sunday or Monday. BUT I did post 56-plus miles during a 20-day span! From Sept. 8-14, I ran 56.16 miles with runs of 16.02, 4.26, 5.25, 10.52 and 20.11. 

11 - Record a 175-mile month. Did not happen. I did post 3 monthly totals over 150 with a personal best 156.7 miles in February. Heading into the year, the most I ran in a month was 125.5 miles. In 2012, I recorded 9 months higher than this with 8 months of over 130 miles. Perhaps the 175-mile month will come in 2013.

12 - To enjoy the journey. And I absolutely did! ... and will continue to do so.

All in all, 2012 was a great year of running for me. I reached new highs, hit some rough patches and learned to overcome them. 

So, what was your year in running like? What mountain did you tackle?

Happy running!

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