Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coffee's Year in Review

Well I guess its that time of year that we bloggers do this sort of thing. I'm not one for breaking cliches so I guess I'll do it too. My goals for 2011 were simple. I wanted to 1) Run injury free, 2) PR all distances and 3) Run the Marine Corps Marathon.

I ended 2010 with 942 total miles, and a brand new, shiny marathon medal around my neck. I was invincible. Nothing could stop me. I was the king of the world. I completed a marathon.  Out of my way, the world is my oyster...

I could do ANYTHING

Yeah you heard me. ANYTHING. The rules did not apply to me. So after my first race in 2011 (The Greenville News Run Downtown 5K) I did what any reasonable person who just ran their fastest 5K ever on a 27 degree windy morning. I decided to run 17 more miles to make it an even 20 on the day. Marathoners don't just run a lousy 5K. They come out and PR it then run til their guts fall out, right?

How do you think that turned out?

a) Generally owned the 20 miler
b) Got through it but learned my lesson
c) Had to stop and take a 4 mile limp of shame back to my car because everything on my body hurt.
d) I'm still out there on the trail somewhere.

HINT: Just like on the SAT, take C!

The good news from this 5K (other than the PR) I got to meet a super cool local blogger, and we've become pals this year. Go check out the Palmetto Runner. He's about to run the Goofy Challenge! Yikes. This after already completing his first Ironman 70.3 this year.

My training leading up to the next race in February obviously didn't go that well. I thought I could just cruise through it...I mean it was only a 10 miler. (Reminder: I just completed a marathon wink wink)

Two miles into the race I felt the first twinges of my IT Band acting up. By mile 6 I had been reduced to a limp. This was one of the days I wish I had brought my phone. I wanted somebody to come pick me up. I persevered, and finished the race, but my "run injury free" goal was right out the window for 2011. Perhaps the biggest positive in this injury was that I become a close, personal friend with my foam roller. Sure he made me cry on a daily basis for about 2 weeks, but after that we've been BFF's.

Over the next couple of months I started rehabbing, vowing to come back better, stronger, faster..

We can rebuild him...
During my time off, I suppose I used my nervous energy to start a blog. That endeavor wasn't without its lessons as well. I think I honestly saw other people's blogs and thought, "Hey they have thousands of people following them. I can do that!"

Pfft..uhh yeah...see how that works out rookie.

Blogging is HARD. Coming up with stuff to write (let alone funny or worthwhile) is even harder. Doing it on a weekly/semi-weekly dare I say DAILY basis is just superhuman. I think I expected readers to flock here, and companies to flock here for me to give away their crap. That IS what happens on most of the blogs I read. Neither of which happened, and I think I'm ok with that now. Seems much more freeing to be able to blog when I want to, and not when I feel like I have to. If one day thousands of adoring fans start reading this, great! But if not, my wife says its a good time capsule for my kids to read about me one day. (Hi Kids! Dad loves you!)

Lets see what else...another one of my "informal" goals as I started back running was to run with a group and run some new routes. That was perhaps one of the most fulfilling experiences of the year. It really does help to get through the pain and anguish of a run by being with someone else. Misery DOES love company.

I think pretty much all the rest of the high points running were recorded on the blog this year. Here are a few of my favorites and race recaps, in case you wanted to check them out.

Boston Marathon Live Blog-This was a fun way to spend the morning. I think I'll do this again in 2012. Sure beats workin.
First race back from Injury
My First Trail Race
Spring Water 5K Race-First Age Group Win and current 5K PR
Why we Race-Francis Marion Half Marathon
Marine Corps Marathon Recap
Paris Mountain 20K Recap

The Tale of the Tape
1315 miles this year
4 Pairs of Mizuno Wave Rider 14's (one particularly red pair)
8 Races (3-5K's, 1-10Mi, 1-11K, 1-20K, 1-Half, 1 Full) That's a lot of weird distances
8 months in a row of more than 100 miles per month
Average weekly mileage 25.29 mi.
Zero time spent on a PT Table.
PR's in every distance attempted (even the 10 miler...since it was my first attempt at that distance)
Great experience at the Marine Corps Marathon
By nearly every measure a successful year of meeting goals, and learning about running in general.

Perhaps the biggest lesson I've learned this year...I'm learning now, best summed up in a quote by marathon great Bill Rodgers:

You can't do another marathon until you've forgotten about your last.

Turns out, the Marine Corps Marathon is a fair maiden that is not too easily forgotten. That coupled with shorter days, less sunlight and the cold has made for a rough training cycle as I prepare for the Charleston full in January. My heart is just not in the training for Charleston, and I fear the results will show just that. But I'm committed, and I know that I will learn from the experience. Perhaps if I learn nothing else, it will be to truly HAVE FUN at a race with no time expectations.

Looking forward to 2012...Here are my goals....

  • Two Marathons in the calendar year (January and a Fall Marathon to be named MUCH later)
  • Run Streak-"5K a day in May" Stay Tuned
  • Relay Race-I really would like to do one of these 200 miler relay races. They sound like a great time. Just need to find 11 more people who want to do one.
  • Run injury free
  • Contract with a major running shoe manufacturer
  • World Peace
  • Qualify for the US Olympics in London
The goals get significantly harder as you read them. (Yes me qualifying for the Olympics is harder than attaining World Peace)

One more get my partner and inspiration back out on the road after a lengthy battle with Mr. Achilles
 Best of luck to all of you for a happy and prosperous 2012.