Friday, December 28, 2012

Year in review

Another year is behind me, my fifth as a runner. It was a big year off the pavement for me as I obtained my personal training and running coach certifications and turned my career attention to something I really enjoy for a change. And when I did put on some shoes to go run, things went pretty well.

I'll be around 1770 miles for the year, a couple hundred more than I logged last year. What did I get for those miles? Let's start with looking at how I did in reaching the goals I set a year ago:
  • Run the New Year's Day marathon to complete the New Year's Double. Yes, I did run this race. Not well, mind you (4:15:51), but I ran it.
  • Finish Rouge-Orleans alive. Didn't happen. Well, I lived, obviously, but I didn't finish the race. I stepped in a hole at about mile 15 that mildly sprained my ankle. It wasn't enough to end my race right there; rather, the swelling oh-so-slowly built up over the next many hours until I reached the point where I could hardly walk. Fifty miles after the misstep, I dropped.
  • Break 19:00 at Dash Down Greenville. Not even close. The injury sidelined me for a couple of weeks and pretty much nixed any fast running I would have done in the 5 weeks between R-O and DDG. I managed only a 20:03.
  • PR at Boston. It was in the upper 80s that day. I didn't even try.
  • Run 6 marathons in 16 days in the fall to hit level 6 of Maniacs. This was pretty much in pencil to begin with, but when I couldn't make the logistics work, I scrapped it.
  • Go sub-24 at Old Dominion 100 or Cajun Coyote 100. This one gets an asterisk. I had an outside chance at getting there at Old Dominion, but I hadn't practiced power-walking or, more importantly, fighting through emotional low points. It got dark, I got to the hard part of the course (mile 75), and I quit. I opted to run Heartland instead of Cajun Coyote and got my sub-24 finish.
So, I guess you could say I missed most of my goals, but there were extenuating circumstances for some of them. The year was more of a success than not, certainly. Some superlatives:

SCORECARD: 3 5Ks, 2 10Ks, 2 15Ks, 1 20K, 2 half marathons, 1 30K, 1 20-mile, 4 marathons, 2 50Ks, 1 8-hour, 1 100 -- 431.22 race miles (about a marathon longer than last year, plus 140.45 miles in 2 DNFs) 
PRs: 10K (40:30), 15K (1:02:51), half marathon (1:29:13), 8-hour (43.7 miles), 50 miles (unofficial, 9:19 split at Heartland), 100 miles (23:12:36). I was glad to finally bring the 10K time down closer to where it should be, but I think there is still a little fat to trim.
RUN OF THE YEAR: DRC Half. After 16 half marathons, I thought I'd done most all I could at that distance. The DRC course is not particularly easy and I was going into the race with an annoyance in my left foot, so I wanted to just chase the 1:30 pacers for as far as I could. By the halfway point, they were behind me, and I ended up shaving 38 seconds off my PR (on a day that several friends took minutes off of theirs).
DUD OF THE YEAR: 4 Pines 4 Ways 50K. I was probably a little worn out from running Boston and Big Sur in the preceding month and set my expectations too high, but I really should have done better than 5:15 on this rather tame grass course..
EVENT OF THE YEAR: Heartland 100. Kind of a layup choice in this category, but this really was the best production on my calendar. Great communication from the race directors and truly superior aid station support from the volunteers. Someone asked me last week if I would recommend this race and I was probably less enthusiastic than I should have been. For a first-timer, this is a perfect choice.
NON-EVENT OF THE YEAR: 8-Hour Run from the Ducks. You can't have kids counting laps. You just can't.
HOTEL OF THE YEAR: Park Plaza, Boston. If you're running Boston, you need to make your arrangements through Golden Adventures and stay at this place. The rooms themselves are nothing special but the location (near the finish line, the subway and many restaurants) is unbeatable.
BIG GOALS FOR NEXT YEAR: 3:10 at Houston. Sub-24 at Rocky Raccoon. 19:00 at Dash Down Greenville. 40:00 in a 10K. Break any ultra PR. 200 miles at the Ultracentric 72-hour.


  1. Exceptional year, Brian! Congrats! I can't wait to see what 2013 holds for you.