Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sayin' Goodbye to 2009:
A Review of My Running Year

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am thinking of holding a mini-protest against the calendar! It's bad enough that Christmas came and went faster than my motivation to run after the Honolulu Marathon but in less than 24 hours, I have to say goodbye to a year and a decade? Who approved this craziness? Don't we have the right to catch our collective breaths first after the long glutinous holiday weekend before we are forced to think nostalgic on what we did or failed to do this past year? Shouldn't we have more than a few days to make plans and design realistic goals and resolutions before we're forced to welcome the new year? C'mon, Robert Frost isn't the only one who has "promises to keep"! I too have "miles to go before I sleep"!

Okay, maybe the last little bit is a slight exaggeration. The truth is that I've only got 4 miles to go before I can bid adieu to 2009. Right now, as I'm totally up my mileage for the year, it stands at 2005 and some change. This means, with an additional 4 miles, I will reach my goal of 2009 miles logged for 2009! How awesome is that? And you know what luck would have it, there's a 4 mile "fun run" happening in Central Park on New Year's Eve with fireworks at the start and champagne for water stops out on the course! So guess where I'll be at the stroke of midnight as we welcome in the new decade? Let's just say I'm planning to set an anti-PR at this 4 miler and I won't care one bit if I am the last one in. Just save me some bubbly if you happen to pass me on the way into the finish!

As if you can't tell, despite my sarcasm, I'm truly excited to be participating in a race on New Year's Eve even if said race is only a fun run with a bib and no chip. I can't really think of a better or more fun way to end the year than to do so in a race with other like-minded people. And on top of that, I'll be running this one with my friend MT who ran her first marathon this year and who gave me this as a Christmas present/souvenir this past week:

Needless to say, this picture is going into my coaching resume.

I'm hoping to run into and celebrate with friends and Flyers before and after the race as well, so it promises to be a great night of fun! I am getting giddy with anticipation just thinking about the race. Rumor has it that there'll be many people running in costume for this one. Would I dare to discard the rules of social convention and join in the fun? Hmmm...decisions, decisions...

While you and I have the rest of the day to pontificate on this absurdity, let me take a moment here to review for you my running year. This year was definite fun, awesome, interesting and yet somewhat humbling for me running-wise. I ran my first ever 5K and my first Boston this year. For the first time, I also failed to PR in the NYCM. I ran a total of 20 road races and set 6 PRs in 4 different distances, although none in the marathon. I completed 8 half-marathons (having never ran more than 3 in any previous year) and set PRs 3 separate times. I also accumulated more miles than I ever did before although the average pace for each mile was noticeably slower than the previous year. I succeeded in traveling a bit for my races although I still have not yet gotten close to an age group award. I did not get injured although I flirted with danger multiple times and had severe muscle cramps in two of my three marathons. I celebrated my running by encourage several of my friends and my brother to enter their first race. I also coached a couple of buddies and several bloggers through their first marathon. I've learned that my body isn't a machine and I can't be as good a runner as I think I ought to be each and every day. I learned that the glory of winning doesn't necessitate despising others just starting out and that sometimes the best way to inspire is through no words at all. Finally, I've learned to appreciate my running for all its strength and weaknesses and to have faith, patience and persistence with the journey.

To all my blogger buddies and running friends, whether 2009 was your best year, your worse year, or somewhere in between, I hope you take some time to celebrate the highlights, learn from the mistakes and love and appreciate all you've got around you. Here's to a safe, happy and prosperous new year to all!

Final Report Card for My 2009 Running Goals (as declared here)
1. Run 1499 Miles
- CHECK (2009 for 2009!)
2. Set 4 New PRs
- CHECK (6 PRs)
3. Complete 2 legs of the Laminator Pentathlon - 4M in 24:00; 5M in 30:15; 10K in 39:00; 13.1M in 1:25:00; 26.2M in 3:00
- CHECK (5M in 30:13; 10K in 38:59; 13.1M in 1:24:14)
4. Run 4 races outside New York State
- CHECK (Boston Marathon, Long Branch Half, Lawyers Have Heart 10K , Philadelphia Half , Honolulu Marathon)
5. Run a race in the Bronx and in Brooklyn
- CHECK (Bronx Half, Cherry Tree 10M, Brooklyn Half)
6. Find a new place outside the city for a long (13 miles+) training run.
- CHECK (Palisades Run for 22 miles)
7. Coach, and/or encourage 4 new runners to reach their individual running goals.
- CHECK (2 friends - first marathon, 2 bloggers - first marathon, BQ marathon, my brother - first race ever!)
8. Participate in at least 4 Flyer running club events
- CHECK (LTR Pacer, 3 Bridges Run Leader, More Marathon Volunteer, Marathon Route Ten Mile Run Leader)
9. Run a sub 3 hour marathon
- FAIL (Boo! Closest was Boston in 3:02:21. Double Boo!)

Final Grade: A- [8/9]


carpeviam said...

You've had a positive 2009! Can't wait to follow you through 2010!

You're an inspiration, Doc. Thanks for your thoughts and words throughout this year.


Anonymous said...

wow such a stellar year. youve definitely kept me motivated in 2009 and i have no doubt that youll do the same in 2010.

oh and when did this decade rapidly decide to end? i feel so old because i'm still in the mindset that we're just hitting 2000 now ha!

Julie said...

Hello to the Running Laminator,
I just saw your comment on B.O.B Beth's blog. Wow, congrats on your kick butt milage this past year...very impressive! Also, I just want to mention that you write with such an unique style...I will be reading more of your posts in the future. Happy New Year!

aron said...

you have had a great year and i can't wait to see what 2010 holds for you.

you are such an awesome coach, blogger and runner. thank you for all your support, all your answers and all your advice. you are awesome. happy new year lam!

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

Loved this posting :) I ran a NYE race last night too - I thought of you! There was no bubbly at my race...darn....Happy 2010!

Malecia said...

Happy New Year, Lam! I'm going for a run right this minute.

runner26 said...

take some time to celebrate the highlights, learn from the mistakes and love and appreciate all you've got around you.

well put. you had a great year, imo. So glad to have had the chances to run with you ~ and grateful for all the encouragement, advice, and help you've provided me with this year. Hope the NYE run went well! Happy New Year, Lam!!

lindsay said...

hey '09 was pretty awesome even though you didn't quite hit that sub-3. keep hacking away at it lam!

i do feel like i had inadequate time to reflect on '09 and set goals for '10... i'm still trying to figure it all out. a few days late, oh well :)

Tricia said...

Wow, great year!

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