Saturday, January 02, 2010

Recap of 2009 - Looking ahead for 2010

Happy 2010. Well, I have not been back here to post weekly as I have planned. Nevertheless, I am pleased to report that I rang out 2009 pretty successfully and am right on track for my next running goal.

First, here is a brief set of highlights of my running from 2009:

- Total miles: 2,800 (53.6 miles/week average). This was a substantial increase from the 2,262 miles that I ran in 2008. God has blessed me. I was not injured at all in 2009 and I was able to live my life pretty much the way I wanted to while getting in the runs. This includes a whopping 296 miles in the month of December, which I hope puts me on track to shatter my marathon PR in March.

- Despite the huge PR in annual mileage, I am a marathon runner and all of my training was centered around the long run. Thus, my total race count for 2009 was a paltry eight; down from 11 last year. However, I ran 8 strong races and PR'd in 6 of them. You might say that I like to make them count.

- I ran four marathons which included my first ever two sub-3's races. I ran wonderful marathons in the great cities of Austin, Boston, San Francisco and my current hometown of Chicago. My average time was 3:01:42 for these four marathons.

- Outside of the marathon, I set major PR's in the 1/2 marathon, the 10-miler and the 5k, in which I finally broke 19 minutes.

Now, what is in store for 2010?

As I posted in late November, I am being very careful about making running commitments for 2010. I have a second child due in April and I need to be sure that my running does not interfere with my value of being a dedicated parent and husband. I also have career goals and realize that running 10 hours per week does have an impact on my work-life balance.

The number one goal I have in 2010 is to run a sub 2:55 at my next marathon, which is confirmed to be on March 7th, 2010 in Little Rock, AR. I am now registered and gunning for this goal. Achieving this time will get me guaranteed entry into the 2011 NYC Marathon, which is one I still aspire to run.

Outside of this goal, I am not sure what to set. My other planned goal was to complete the Naperville Triathlon on August 8th, which will require me to learn how to swim and ride my crappy Schwinn. However, I am slightly reluctant since I do not want to put pressure on my family as I train. Maybe this is a short enough event that I can just show up and do it?

Someone asked me recently about how the running group that I started in my town is going. I have to be honest and say that things started out strong but became challenging late in the summer/early fall timeframe. I realized that I wanted to put my training first; and not necessarily spend time on the planning and organization required for the club, which seemingly was not as effective as I had hoped.

At this point, I still do want to play a role in organizing runners in my community. However, I do not want to be the sole leader for doing so. I also am trying to be encouraging of newer, beginning runners; without sacrificing the time necessary to achieve my own goals. I learned that this is much harder to do that it initially sounds.

I will end by saying that I am very proud to be the runner that I am; as well as that I am very gratified by how running has shaped me over the past nine years since that first marathon. I have been blessed with a few talents in life, a couple of which are a bias toward planning and discipline to do what I commit to do. These skills, and to a far, far lesser degree my physical ability, have allowed me to run in a way that has exceeded my wildest expectations.