Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Saying Goodbye to 2008:
Reviewing My Year In Running (Part II)

Coming home after spending a long weekend in New Hampshire with extended family (20+ under one roof!), I finally bit the bullet this week, and signed up for a gym membership. Not only so, but I also ended the temporary restraining order I imposed on my running shoes and got back out to the park again. I know I originally posted that there’d be “no running ‘til new year” but once I figured out that the Boston Marathon is but 16 weeks away from this past Monday, I really had no choice but to get back on the horse and start training. (More on this to come later this week…) But strangely enough, a funny thing happened on my first post-recovery run. I was expecting myself to be slightly sluggish after the 3 week layoff, but after a long stretch and some tentative first steps, I was running again comfortably and effortlessly at my NYCM goal pace. And the more I ran, the faster the pace became. I wasn’t sure if it was just the pure excitement of running again or if it was the way my legs chose to show their appreciation for my recovery break, but it became really difficult to control my speed. I felt really good the whole way through…up to the very last step of the last mile. I finished 6.1 miles at 6:55 pace and felt completely wonderful. It wasn’t until I got home and looked back at my training log that I realized that I hadn’t run that pace for that long a distance since the weeks before NYCM! Wow! What started as a nice easy comeback run became one of the best training runs I’ve had all year!

Speaking of which, I’m ready to delve into the second part of my review of 2008. Instead of evaluating my accomplishments on the road in terms of PRs or race times (which I did in Part I), let’s see how the year stacked up in terms of what I set out to do way back in the very first post of 2008. If you remember (and you can check here if you don’t) I wrote down a list of 8 goals I wanted to achieve this past year – my running resolutions. In July, I took advantage of the All-Star break in baseball to compose a midsummer review of these running goals. I gave myself a 50 out of a possible 80 points in that evaluation – which I was content with at that point. With that as the backdrop, let’s revisit those goals and see how my running year finished out in the final analysis.

Final Review of Running Resolutions for 2008
Goal 1: Run 3 marathons in 2008.
Completed? Yes – SFM, NYCM, LVM
Grade: 10
Comment: Ran as many this year as I did the last 3 years combined!

Goal 2: Log at least 1333 miles for 2008.
Completed? Yes – Logged 1366 miles for 2008.
Grade: 10
Comment: Had some catching up to do after having only 10 miles on 3/1 due to injury.

Goal 3: Established PRs in at least 3 distances.
Completed? Yes – Had PRs in all 5 race distances – 4M, 5M, 10K, Half, Full.
Grade: 10
Comment: Ten PRs in all this year. Never expected that. Simply wow!

Goal 4: Run in 3 road races outside of New York.
Completed? Yes – NJ Half, SFM, LVM
Grade: 10
Comment: Good I got to travel; bad I never made it to CT to run a race.

Goal 5: Participate in 3 road races that I’ve never ran before.
Completed? Yes – Need for Speed relay, Newport Half, GC Turkey Trot
Grade: 10
Comment: Each of these was so fun in their own way…and I didn’t even have to repeat any from the last category.

Goal 6: Run a road race with 3 new people.
Completed? Yes – NY Flyers (any of them), sRod, my friend EW…etc
Grade: 10
Comment: Ran with a lot of new people this year, more than I ever expected I would…only hoping there’s more to come.

Goal 7: Coach 3 new runners to run well in their distance events.
Completed? Yes – Frayed Laces (BQ), RB, MW
Grade: 10
Comment: Paying it forward! (Read this if you don’t know what I mean.)

Goal 8: Run a marathon in under 3:05.
Completed? Yes – NYCM (3:02:20)
Grade: 10
Comment: Reached my A+ goal for this race.

Total Score: 80 points out of 80 points
Final Analysis: A Perfect Score! Some will say that my goals were too soft; I’d like to think that I was just that awesome this year! Who knows. Only thing I can say is that I truly enjoyed my ride—so if I’m still dreaming, please don’t wake me up (at least not until after Boston)!

Happy New Year to everyone!


Anonymous said...

Way to set goals and accomplish them. You had a wonderful 2008.

I am so jealous that you had a great first run back after a nice break! Good for you. It took me 3 runs to feel "normal."

I can't wait to see what 2009 has in store for you.

Happy New Year's.

Run For Life said...

Great job, I hope the new year treats you as well as this one! :)

J said...

Happy New Year! Sounds like you first run back from resting was good! And you reached all your goals for 2008! I hope that 2009 holds even better things for you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a great 2008 season. Being my first time stopping by your blog and seeing what you've done in the past three years, 2009 has great aspirations.

Happy New Year and a safe and injury free 2009!

The Happy Runner said...

Too soft? No way. No one could say that! It looks like you set goals that would challenge you, yet were attainable through hard work. You put in the work and you reached your goals. Yep, awesome year!

Glad to hear the first run back was so smooth. Hope that's a sign for the rest of your Boston training.

Happy new year!

wmd said...

Great job setting and making those goals... now you have to set 9 new ones for 2009, right?

I will be setting my goals and looking at the year ahead in the next day or two... I hope 09 is a great one for all of us!

Marie said...

Congrats on meeting all your goals! I find I often run better after some time off too.

X-Country2 said...

I love how so many of these weren't about time. You really did have a great year. Good luck in 2009!

Andrew is getting fit said...

What a fantastic year indeed.

Cowboy Hazel said...

Congrats on a great year! And, best of luck to you in '09. I'm sure you'll do great (again).

Meg said...

Congrats! You had a FANTASTIC running year!!

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