Category Archives: 2012 Miles

Year in Running 2012

Here it is, the ever popular “My Year in Running” post that’s been strewn about the blogging world these past few weeks. Yes, it’s just as cliché as resolutions and pictures of oatmeal, but I figured I’d partake.

I pieced together my “categories” for the year from a variety of sources, please feel free to use.

2012 was an interesting one.

Not perfect. Not awful. Not necessarily everything I wanted.

But in many ways, I feel like I hit both ends of the running spectrum this year. And by that, I mean I barrelled head-first into both the lowest of lows and highest of highs in my running—all within the course of a single year.

Fortunately, the highs have been happening more frequently, and it seems as if I was able to take a little more from the low points that simply a battered body and bruised ego.

Let’s have a looksie back in time though:

Best Race

Chicago Marathon.

Perhaps my favorite race tee yet.

I actually had a hard time answering this question, which makes me smile. The tail end of this year has been full of some good racing in terms of PRs and experiences. However, at the end of it all, I think Chicago takes the “best race” cake for the year. Among an assortment of reasons I loved this race (the crowds, the course, the atmosphere, etc.) I truly felt that it was the best executed race I’ve ever run, considering the circumstances. I went in without expectations and without a goal time, but merely to run well, finish well, and have fun. All those goals were met, along with a new marathon PR and a feeling that I am capable of going back into battle with the marathon beast.

And speaking of that beast…

 

Worst Race:

Tacoma City Marathon.

Lies. All lies.

Lies. All lies.

I mean, there isn’t much explanation needed. If for some reason you’ve been spared the details of this race, go ahead and click the link above. Just a lot of misery around this one, I have a hard time keeping this on my marathon list. I learned a lot of lessons here, which I suppose is a good thing, and another good thing is that I will (hopefully) never hit this low of a low again during a marathon.

PSA: Don’t go for a big reach goal on a hard course. And if you do, don’t be stupid like me and refuse to slow down/stop if your body’s given up.

I still have a bit of resentment about this race, but the best thing about bad experiences is that sometimes they teach us more than the good ones.

 

Race Tallies:

5ks: 3

10ks: 0, unless you count the 4th of July Mimosa 10k 🙂

half-marathons: 2 (soon to be 3!)

marathons: 2

 

Biggest PR:

Seattle Half-Marathon

image (3)

In a very unexpected move, I beat my previous half-marathon time by over 5 minutes—which was both very surprising and very encouraging. I still have a hard time believing that this race actually happened and how in the world I was able to hold that a sub 8 pace for longer than I ever have before.

Now, I’m on the cusp of one final half before the year is out, and I’m wondering if I should hang my hat on my 1:40 finish, or dig a little deeper.

We’ll see.

 

Best Run:

I love a lot of my runs, and I don’t have a very keen memory for the specifics, however there was one run that comes to mind that was somewhat exceptional.

And ironically, it was in Tacoma, training for the aforementioned dreadful TCM.

I went down to Tacoma for a 20 miler to get a feel for the hills that would come into play on race day. While the run itself may not have exactly prepped me for what was the come, it was a perfect day of running. Challening, scenic, encouraging, and done at the tail end of knee bursitis—with not a pain to be felt the whole time.

I love the big 20 milers in marathon training, and this one was especially encouraging.

 

Highest Weekly Mileage:

57 miles, Chicago training week #8

 

Lowest Weekly Mileage:

0! Injuries suck.

 

Here is where I resurrect my goal from way back when to run 2012 miles this year. Admittedly, I got lazy, stopped keeping track, and it became too hard to recount. Also, I got hurt a few times which derailed my progress. If I were to guesstimate, I think I will probably finish off the year within the 1800 range or so. Maybe next year…I have started being better about my training log!

LESSONS

I learned a lot this year. About running, about racing, about resting. I do think I’m finally coming to terms with the balancing act of pushing my limits and reeling in the reigns.

I used to think that you were either one or the other– a champion or a slug. But I’ve come to realize that my running and my competitive spirit don’t make me any better or worse than any “normal” person out there. And the days where I’d rather stay in pajamas and alternate between napping and watching tv don’t make me any less of an athlete. The two can coexist…and in fact, they need each other in order to stay live.

The other most important thing I think I’ve learned, which is what I’ll be carrying big time into 2013, is that we are wholly and entirely in control of our capabilities. I used to think that there was a cap to success—a certain quota, if you will. Once that milestone or limitation was filled, that would be the end of it.

However, I’m realizing that there isn’t a finite number of success available. Just because those people have run BQs or have already mastered 50ks doesn’t mean that there’s any less potential available for anyone else who wants those things. An achievement isn’t any less significant or impressive if someone else has already completed it. Good for them, yea, but remember…good for YOU.

It’s all relative, and once we’re able to bat away comparison and take a look at our own playbook, we’ll realize that even the most wild of dreams can be ours.

And wild dreams I do have…starting with a very focused, disciplined BQ-or-Bust journey in the beginning of February.

Now it’s your turn! Best and Worst Races? Biggest PR? Proudest Accomplishment? How did your 2012 look?

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Hills, 2012 Miles Update, and Pancakes

Hello!

I don’t have anything monumental or ground-breaking to say today (because, you know, the rest of my posts are essentially scholarly journal-worthy), however I thought I’d drop in for a quick update on some goals that have been discussed before.

To start off, on Tuesday I made a vow to add some hill training into my routine in order to train for my {new} marathon course in Tacoma. Actually, I don’t really think I vowed that—but I did in my head, and now I’m admitting it, which means I’m accountable.

But it’s okay! Because I am adding hills!

Exhibit A: Today’s run…

Look! Hills!

I realize that might be crazy hard to read, but the elevation change is there—I promise. There is a nice 6 mile loop near our house that goes something like this: Flat, down, down down, flat, flat, flat, flat, then up, up, up, up. Isn’t my topography narration pro? This should probably be a science blog. Anyways, here is a visual:

This probably means a whole lot to you, I know.

In order to get my semi-long-run miles for the day (12) in and include some up-and-down hill action, I decided to do this loop twice.

And let me just say, adding 350 feet of climbing TWICE into a 12 mile run makes the whole experience a lot more—interesting—than my normal candy route of out and back on beach-front, flat path heaven. The first loop I kept thinking “Oh great, I get to do this all again,” and so that was a little distracting, however the second loop was glorious and actually a bit faster than the first. I finished in 1:43:30, meaning just below 8:40 average/mile.

Note: If you’re wondering why I never post splits, it’s because I don’t own a Garmin, and I haven’t decided yet if I want one. Currently, I record my “splits” and pace and min/mile using a lot of mental math and number memorization. The way I knew that the second uphill run was faster than the first was because I played the same song both times up, and the second time I was further up the hill when the song ended. Again, so pro. But creativity points, perhaps?

And because I know you’re dying to know…yes the song was Defying Gravity, and yes it was awesome.

A Garmin someday… I do have a birthday in less than a month, don’t I? 😉

Anyways, although that pace isn’t ideal, I was happy with it—particularly because it took into account the probable 10 min/mile trudge I was racking up on those big hills.

Good news is that I know Tacoma doesn’t have climbs nearly this steep for this long, so if I just keep thinking a “hilly course” includes some of these monsters, maybe marathon day won’t be quiet so daunting?

 

Moving on, I realized recently that I hadn’t been updating or keeping track of my 2012 miles since the whole knee debacle started. I panicked a little, thinking there was no way I would be able to come up with my most recent number, but thanks to some memory skillz and past blog posts, I came to a final tally.

Miles Run in 2012: 538.7

Percentage of 2012 Goal Completed: 26.77%

Percentage of Year Over: 26.22%

Success still! Even though I definitely lost some of my progress when I was busy resting instead of running, I’m glad that I had accumulated enough cushion to make up for lost time. Again, this goal is more of a “just for fun” thing, so I’m not completely engrossed with making it happen, but it’s kinda cool to keep track of mileage build up.

This mileage tally also indicated that I need to buy some new shoes. I’m nearing 500 miles on these ones I’m wearing now, and so I’m due for some upgrading.

And finally, I leave you with this beauty of a breakfast-for-dinner created by BF and myself last night:

If you cover pancakes with enough strawberries, all the syrup you have already put on them is cancelled out. Fact.

I realize I’ve been talking about pancakes a lot recently (i.e. in reference to the Eugene Marathon, photos of weekend happenings, etc.) and it’s a little strange because I actually don’t love pancakes that much. I mean, I love all food, and pancakes are delicious, but I am not nearly as passionate about them as my blog has been showcasing recently. They are not, for example, equivalent to peanut butter or Cadbury Mini Eggs, both of which I could easily write long poems about every day.

However, apparently both BF and I are on a pancake kick, and we really can’t get enough. The shapes you are seeing portray various inside jokes between the two of us, and none of them—surprisingly—are inappropriate. Shocking, really, if you know our humor. There’s still more batches to be made though…

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Friday Favorites tomorrow! See you then, and if you don’t mind sharing:

What pancake shape is your favorite? Is there a design you’ve made that you’re particularly proud of?