I've been enjoying reading the other year end blogs, and I'm excited to get to finally write mine. 2010 was by far my best year of running. After years of running as a part time hobby, I felt like I became a real runner the past twelve months. The consistent training and increased weekly mileage helped. But it was finally putting together a great race and exceeding my expectations that really boosted my confidence.
I had a couple of disappointing races early on - two 5K's over 20 minutes, and the 10 mile Blessing of the Fleet over 70 minutes (70:58). I felt like I was a better runner than that, and I was beginning to think that was as good as I would get. In September, I ran my 2nd Pisgah Mountain 23K Trail Race. I had a plan after my experience the prior year and I was able to carry it out. In the process I improved 19 minutes, ran sub 2 hours, and finished 5th overall. This was the race I needed. In October, I ran a strong 5K on a hilly course and set a 37 second PR - 19:33 - finally under 20 minutes. Then in November, the one race I know I will be running every year, the Lil' Rhody Runaround 8 mile trail race, I set a 4:16 PR and finished in the top 20 at 54:02. I thought I had an ambitious goal of going sub 56 and was completely surprised that I could average 6:45 pace on this decently challenging course.
This past year I learned alot about what works for me training-wise. My body can comfortably handle 50 mile weeks. It's just a matter of timing. My best weeks are when I can run all five days on my lunch break at work. I have a hard time running at home. It's just not a priority for me. I really enjoy family time, and at the same time, it is very exhausting. The decision between choosing a quick afternoon run and taking a catnap or brewing some coffee usually doesn't lead to the run. I don't think this will change for me and I'm able to accept it. Vacations and holidays are especially lackluster for mileage. But my training during the week continues to get better and better. I'm able to put in long runs, fast runs, tempo work, hill work, and the occasional speed workout. I get a good mix, mostly on feel, and think that I continue to get faster overall.
I've been thinking about goals for 2011 and here's what I've come up with:
1. 2,000 miles (40 miles per week) - most weeks I should be able to run 40 to 50 miles. There will be a few under 40, and maybe a couple under 30, but I think I can get the average at 40 for the year.
2. sub 19 minute 5K - I feel that I can make the leap this year to 18.
3. sub 1:30 half marathon - I think that I could do this tomorrow, but the fact is that I've never run a race at this distance, and if I did, I know I would want to be under this time.
4. try this local trail triathlon
5. do the Elijah tribute as described by my brother Glenn here
Possible or Possibly Silly
1. run a trail marathon or 50K - I'd like to see how I would do at this distance - maybe do the Pisgah 50K
2. finish ahead of Bentley just once in a race - this could be the year!
3. start a company running team
4. win that new local triathlon - why not? - I know the trails - I have decent mtn biking experience and can run - need to work on swimming - maybe no one fast will enter it?
5. get Nick Cash to follow my blog
1. enter an interesting race somewhere and make a mini family vacation out of it - maybe in Maine - I've got a couple in mind.
2. new local epic trail runs
3. find new places around me to run
4. stay mentally healthy - keep anxiety in check
5. keep running fun
Okay, time to work on these goals....