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Boston JP Morgan, Andy nagelin

Years in Review

I started this post in 2015 to review the past few years from a running perspective. Somehow I never got around to posting the review. Here it is now with the addition of 2016.

Years in Review

I wanted to look at the past few years of running and not just look at the past year. A lot has happened since 2012.

I collected the numbers below using my Garmin 610 GPS watch. I enjoy tracking my runs and seeing when I am improving and when I need to focus a little bit more. In addition to the numbers, here is a narrative of the years in review.

Years in Review – 2012

In 2012 I ran both The Boston and Hartford Marathons. I also ran four half-marathons and did a lot of training. This was the year my running really picked up.

Between 2003, when I began running, and 2010 I had run a few marathons. In 2009 and 2010 I started running 5Ks and had no clue how to run one.

In 2011 I began to race more and missed a 4 hour marathon by 6 seconds. In 2012 things became more focused for me. I ran with the club more often and did the Sunday Long Runs.

Boston marathon 2012, Hereford, BoylstonI ran 20 races in 2012 including the Boston Marathon and the Hartford Marathon. I ran my first trail race, XC race and relay race, The Lake Winnie Relay.

I ran the BAA Distance Medley in 2012 and will never forget watching two runners receive $100,000 checks from the BAA for being the top overall BAA Distance Medley finishers.

I ran all four of the BAA events that year and really branched out in my running.

Years in Review – 2013

In 2013 I did not run Boston and have visions of being in the wrong place at the wrong time if I had. My wife decided we should go to Disney that week as our youngest daughter was graduating from High School that year. While all hell was breaking loose in Boston, I was having Margaritas with a friend in EPCOT.

It is one of those moments in time that I will never forget. The outpouring of concern from everyone who knows me was humbling. Messages and calls from people I had not spoken with in years.

I guess when I pass from this world, people will remember me as a runner. For anyone who knew me in my youth “Runner” is the most unlikely epitaph.

Twin Lights Half, running, gloucesterIt was a relief to run the Twin Lights Half a few weeks after Boston and have it be just another race. Nothing had changed. We were not afraid.

I ran the Baystate Marathon in 2013 and achieved my marathon PR of 3:47:35. I also ran five half-marathons, the Boston Prep 16 miler, Eastern States 20 and many 5K and 10K races.

My miles run, number of runs and speed all went up considerably in 2013. I ran 27 races for a total of 206.3 racing miles, a marker I have not reached since.

Years in Review – 2014

boston marathon, medals
Two marathon runners with their medals

2014 was the highlight of my marathon running career, so far. I ran The Boston Marathon, The Bay of Fundy International Marathon and The Baystate Marathon.

It was the year after for Boston and that race meant so much to all of us. The world was watching and to paraphrase Big Papi, “we took back our fucking city!” We took back our race.

For the first time I attended the BAA marathon seminars and learned a few things. It was great to hear from the BAA leadership that this race would not be a memorial, it would be a celebration.

I never felt a moment of fear during that race.

bay of fundy marathon 2014, Maine running
Daniel, Dan and Andy

I ran really well on a challenging Bay of Fundy International Marathon course a few weeks later in June. I missed a PR but bested my Boston time by 1:36 minutes. That race was special because my sister Susan went with me and we had a remarkable adventure that weekend.

My season was building to the Baystate Marathon in October. I was shooting for a marathon PR and hoping for a BQ. Unfortunately, by the time Baystate rolled around I was burned out and the joy of the run had faded.

I still ran my 2nd best marathon time at 3:49, but was disappointed in my self.

In September of 2014 I turned 50. To celebrate turning 50, I decided to run 50 5ks before I turned 51.

thanksgiving races, first 5k medalFor the last few months of 2014 I was in marathon shape and had no problem running a 5K every weekend. I made good progress towards my goal.

I ran 23 races in 2014 including three marathons.

Years in Review – 2015

In January 2015 I ran the Eastern States 16 Miler, then the Super Sunday 5K on February 1st.

Then the snow started. Snowmageddon. We had a record winter in just six weeks! The snow in the weeks before and after those weeks was just icing on the snow banks.

I didn’t run another race until March 7th! With all of the snow I gave up on the Sunday Long Runs and did most of my training on the treadmill.

When I started racing again in March I realized I was falling behind on my 50 5K goal. In March I ran four races of 5K or more. In June I ran 6 races of 5K or more.

Melrose Running Club, Nutty Irish 5k
Team MRC

I was racing almost every weekend and doing the Club run every Tuesday night. Some weeks I ran Wednesday nights with The Mystics. There were weeks where I raced four times in a week. I didn’t need to do many training runs.

I ran a snow shoe race at a 11:24 pace and showed up late at a 5K and got an “official” pace of 12:10. Those two races contributed to my average speed for 2015 dropping to 6.3 mph.

smuttynose, friends, great bayBy my birthday in September, I had run 51 5K or longer races. That was a fun goal to achieve and one that taught me lessons about planning and determination.

The winter of 2015 was tough for runners. For anyone training for Boston that year it was especially brutal.

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Runs 97 115 123 142 138
Miles 579.92 562.91 977.82* 954.42 883
Time – Hours 89:32 89:26 143 138 147:45
Ave Speed 6.5 6.3 6.8 6.9 6.0
Ave Heart Rate * 163 158 156 161

Years in Review – 2016

Hangover Classic 5K 20152016 started off with the Hangover Classic 5K with my daughter. I was so happy to have her run that race with me. It was tough on her and we had to walk twice.

Early in the year I was just running for fun. Then in February, I got a call from Housing Families in Boston. They had an invitational number for the Boston Marathon if I would fund raise. “Hell Yeah!”

Fortunately I had been running all winter and was in half decent shape. I began to participate in more of our Sunday Long Runs and only ran one 5K before Boston.

Boston 2016 was unique. My wife was on a school trip to Spain and my kids no longer live at home. My oldest daughter saw me on the course, but I never saw her.

I was essentially alone with 100,000 of my closest friends.

I ended up running with my friend Don Keren and we managed to meet up after the race. It was another hot year and the heat took a toll on Don. We took the T north out of Boston and went our separate ways.

I ran the Cambridge Spring Classic 5K the next week at 24:00 even. I was feeling pretty good until one day my left knee began to bother me.

I thought it would go away, like most injuries do. No matter what I tried it would not go away. I ended up going to Physical Therapy for about six months and even saw an orthopedist.

The good news was that nothing was torn or broken and I didn’t have arthritis. The bad news was that they had no definitive diagnosis.

I spent a lot of 2016 in therapy and learned some very helpful exercises. My Orthopedist told me I have flat feet and that my patellas are slightly out of alignment. Neither should have caused my pain, but probably contributed.

My Orthopedist suggested inserts for my running shoes and gave me more exercises. When I next saw my PT, he agreed and gave me more exercises.

My next race was the BAA 10K. My PT said it was okay to run, but the pain kept my pace down to 11:59. That’s more than 3 minutes slower than my marathon pace. My knee hurt, but I completed the race. It was a small shot of confidence.

For July and August I ran only 1 5K per month, and fairly slowly. Then in September things took a turn for the better. I ran a 5K and a 10K and my 5K pace dropped below 8:00 for the first time in five months!

As September rolled into October I began to feel confident again. I was showing up to races rested but out of shape. I began to notice that my un-fatigued legs could outrun my lungs.

For the rest of 2016 all of my 5K road races were under the 8:00 minute pace. I ran the Cambridge Half Marathon in November in under two hours. That was my first “long” race since Boston and helped boost my confidence.

Amazingly I ran more miles at a faster pace in 2016 than I did in 2015.

Here’s to 2017!

Hangover Classic 10K, Melrose Running ClubMy knees still bother me some on occasion and my training has really lagged these past six months or so. I know I will have to be smart about ramping up my training.

Hopefully the exercises I learned in 2016 will enable me to run the way I want to in 2017.

I managed to pack on about 10lbs since my injury, so I have a lot of work to do and I need to do it. I’m too young to surrender already.

Run well my friends! Hope to see you out for a run.

Andy, pub-4167727599129474, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0




2 responses to “Years in Review”

  1. creakyjointsrunning Avatar

    Nice post, Andy! It’s interesting to see how varied one person’s experiences in running can be, year to year! I can relate. I remember when you told me about your 50 @ 50 goal. I think you knew you were going to make it. That was in late spring / summer 2015. It made an impression because it’s a totally awesome thing to do. I’m seeing my orthopedic surgeon about my leg tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

    1. OmniRunner Avatar

      I appreciate your comment! There were times when the 505Ks@50 seemed in doubt. That winter was brutal! Sometimes when I was driving up to Wakefield for my 3rd race of the week it would seem a little insane.
      It is nice to have a goal like that to keep you motivated. 5Ks are short enough that you don’t get too beat up. If I wanted to do a marathon a month I’m sure all of my issues would have taken their toll on me soon in the adventure.
      Good luck with your ortho. Ask lots of questions. Sometimes it takes two or three questions to get the clarity you need.