My 2012 Running Year in Review
This has been a busy month and a busy year for me. I’ve run sixteen races this year and four races within the past 30 days.
The biggest challenge of the year was running the BAA Half Marathon and the ING Hartford Marathon within six days of each other. When I registered for the two races months ago I thought this would be a fun and interesting challenge. I’ve run several marathons before but having a half-marathon within six days of the marathon would add a new twist.
I thought the closeness of the races would be my biggest challenge and then I got hurt. For six weeks I had to cut way back on my training and did mostly stretching and strength training as prescribed by my physical therapist.
The last race I ran before my injury was The Twin Lights Half Marathon on May 12th. I surprised myself and set a new PR. When I did that I really felt like I was on the right track with my training and I would be able to PR in Hartford and maybe qualify for Boston. Then due to work and sickness I basically stopped training for three weeks and then came back to fast, and got hurt.
I started going to physical therapy about once a week and did all of my exercises as prescribed. I kept running shorter distances, usually no more than 3 miles at a time. My PT was okay with this level of running.
Earlier in the year I had signed up for the BAA Distance Medley. The day before the Boston Marathon I ran their 5K and then on June 24th I ran the BAA 10K. My leg never really hurt while I was running the 10K. There aren’t any hills on this course and I took it very easy just to be safe
In July I ran the VERT Sasquatch 2.4 mile trail race just to try out trail running and for the great party afterwards. I took it very slow again. On August 5th I did the Maine Lobster Fest 10K in Rockland Maine. There were hills and it was hot for this race. I took it easy and survived that one.
On September 8th, I ran a leg of the Lake Winni Relay, 10.8 miles, at an 8:44 pace. This was the fastest and farthest I had run since May. My legs felt strong during the race and I did not have any unusual pain afterwards. This race really helped build my confidence back and told me that I was back on track.
On September 16th I ran The Lone Gull 10K and set a PR. On September 29th I ran the Granara-Skerry 5K and set another PR. I felt confident again and ran these races as hard as I could. After Lake Winnie I wanted to see what I was capable of and how far my rehab had progressed. These races confirmed my progress and further boosted my confidence. I felt like I was ready for my challenge.
At the BAA Half Marathon on October 7th I did not set a PR, but I think I could have. I lined up late and got stuck in a huge crowd where I could not move. When there was room to run I threw everything I had into the race. At the end of the race I felt good about the race and I was pretty sure I had not aggravated my injury. That was key. If I had pulled the piriformis again I would not have had time to recover before my marathon.
The days between the BAA Half and ING Marathon I ran 4 miles Tuesday night and 5K on Thursday. I went to the gym and stretched three days and that was about it. My taper week was also a recovery week. Like most runners would, I spent that time pretty much obsessed with my upcoming marathon.
I tried to manage all of the details for race day, but as anyone who read my race re-cap, several items got out my control. If you would like to read about my stressful marathon check out this link.
I made some mistakes and learned some lessons. That’s all part of the journey. All of the details are available on my re-cap as referenced above. I’m no racing or organization expert but I’m always working on my process. I feel that the three keys to successful racing are
- Getting the miles in
- Physical conditioning/cross training/strength training
- Developing and fine tuning your race routine
I’ll go into my thinking on this on another post. A lot of other runners have written some great articles on this topic.
At this point in time I have pretty much run my schedule for the year It just feels so odd not having anything to train for. I’m going to have to work on my motivation to keep up with my training, to stay motivated. That is the current challenge that I face.
How do you stay motivated when you do not have a race on your schedule?
Run well my friends!