In 2011 I amped up the mileage significantly. I ran my first half marathon in September '11, began to experiment with trail running and by the end of the year hit 500 miles.
So how did 2012 fare?
2012 featured another huge increase in mileage - 1265 miles for the year! Other than a few weeks of downtime due to self-inflicted injuries, I managed to run throughout the entire year. I increased the distance of my long runs substantially and completed two marathons. I spent a lot more time in the woods in 2012. Also, after reading their member's blogs and seeing them at races all year, I finally joined the Westerly Track and Athletic Club. Why suffer alone?
I had a few self-inflicted injuries this year. Rolled ankles, a smashed up big toe and a bad gash on my thigh. Lack of concentration (and running in the dark) was usually the culprit. But nothing kept me off the roads/trails for more than a week or so and everything seems to have healed up. I've been fortunate to not have any recurring mechanical injuries and I mean to keep it that way through a variety of cross training on my off days.
And now, my top five running accomplishments of 2012:
5: Joining the Westerly Athletic & Track Club
A little hokey perhaps but it's true that finding good people people to run with makes a big difference. WTAC has a great group of runners who run all manner of local races. I'm looking forward to hitting the woods with them in 2013.
This was my first race after I injured myself at the Li'l Rhody Runaround. I wasn't sure how I would perform but in the end I ran a 38:13 and smashed the time I was going for. This race gave me a lot of confidence going into next year.
3: Providence Marathon
I got it into my head early this year that I wanted to run a marathon in the spring. The Providence one made sense as it was nearby and flat. Despite my weekly mileage never topping 33 miles, I was able to hit the sub 4 hour goal I was aiming for. I was very satisfied with my first marathon performance.
This was a local 5k in fast, flat Ninigret Park. I really wanted to run a sub 20 minute race and couldn't believe it when I finished in 18:42. A huge PR and a big time confidence boost! I also placed 2nd in my Age Group (the first individual award I've received since running again - another nice ego boost.) This was also a big race for my wife Amanda who ran a sub 30 minute race.
After the Providence Marathon, I started looking for a longer trail race to run in the fall. I didn't feel ready to go for the 50k distance and the NipMuck looked just right. I had planned to be out in the woods for 5 hours based on my Providence time and was thrilled when I finished in 4:12 and 13th place. This was a tough race and the last few miles were brutal but I really enjoyed the mental aspect of running alone in the woods.
Looking forward to 2013, I have several goals in mind:
- I'd like to run the Providence Marathon again - I think a 3:30 time is doable. VDOT has my marathon time (based on my recent Newport 10k) at 2 hours 56 minutes. That sounds insane but I'd be willing to negotiate my goal time.
- I'd like to run a 1:35 half marathon. I'm looking at the Ocean's Run 1/2 in Matunuck in March. We'll see if I can fit it in amongst the awesome South County 4th Season trail series.
- Once spring arrives I want to start running in my Vibrams again. I smashed my big toe in them in August which effectively ended my minimalist experiment for the year. I'd like to take them up again (in daylight from now though!)
- I would definitely like to run the NipMuck marathon again. This will be the 30th running of it and I'd like to outperform my 2012 self.
- Sub 18 minute 5k perhaps?
Thanks to everyone who took time to read my blog this year. I appreciate it!