Thursday, November 8, 2012

Two Years & Still Enjoying the Ride

It's hard to believe that another year has passed. It seems like only yesterday that I wrote about my one year running anniversary

Coincidentally, I had my annual physical this morning, and to my pleasant surprise, I weighed almost 10 pounds less than I thought I did. Although it's possible this scale was not calibrated correctly, I was still very pleased by this information. Thankfully, everything else seemed normal for someone my age. 

I don't think I look any different from last year. The best comparison I could come up with was the Staten Island finishing photo last year (left) vs. this year (right). I just realized that I'm wearing the exact same shirt - it just looks a little different because of the lighting. 

I hit the 3,000 mile lifetime mark sometime in October as well. From January - October of last year, I averaged about 25mpw, and from January - October of this year, I averaged about 35mpw. 

Looking back at last year's entry, I realized that I accomplished several of my goals. Here is what they were, along with whether they were fulfilled or not

Year 2 Goals
1) Run my first marathon - ideally under 4:30 but I'll take making the NY Times - not accomplished due to cancellation - will hopefully be accomplished in 2013 (first marathon in March, and making the NY Times after NYCM 2013)
2) Beat my 2011 PRs - I beat my 2011 PRs for the HM, 10K & 4 miler, and will beat my 5K PR in December by default since it's so old
3) Run 1,500 miles for the year - done as of the end of October
4) Increase base mileage - I ran 1,298.04 miles during my first year, and 1,781.58 during my second year, so I can safely say that this was accomplished
5) Get an AG rating of 60% in at least one race this year - Did so for the 4 mile & HM distance, and barely missed it for the 10K distance
6) Get a NYRR bib time of 7:xx - My bib time became 7:52 as of April's 4 miler
7) Eat healthier and actually keep an accurate food log. I started to do that this year but I fell off track and never quite got back on - Didn't really happen

The following is basically the same as last year...

Long Term Goals
1) Sub-4 hour marathon on the way to...
2) BQ eventually....maybe....
3) Do the Clam Chowder Challenge in Cape Cod

I think the most disappointing part of this past year was not being able to say that I finished my first marathon just days before my two year anniversary, but like I discussed in my previous entry, things happen for a reason, and that the past 16 weeks will only be helpful in ensuring my success in March. 

I also learned (or reaffirmed) several things this year...

Lessons Learned
1) Don't be afraid to be a tourist in your own city, within reason of course. Establishing new running routes can be fun!
2) Although running with friends is fun, running long distances by yourself builds mental toughness far quicker
3) Life & Running doesn't always go as planned. Do what you can to make up for it, but risking injury is never worth it.
4) Getting out the door is always the hardest part of any run, especially when it's a warm bed vs. freezing temperatures. 
5) Make lots of running friends both through your local running club and online, as long as you're careful about it. Believe me, close friends and family, as much as they love you, will be completely bored after about two minutes of running conversation. You have to have someone to obsess with over every minute detail of the sport!
6) Apparently, fashion is just as important in the running world as it is in the professional world, and that some colors are faster than others. 
7) Find your ideal number of races and don't pressure yourself to do more than you're comfortable with. I've gotten to the point where I don't like signing up for events just to do the distance unless it has a purpose within a structured training plan, such as doing an MP pace half-marathon during marathon training. 

I don't have all of my goals for year three of running set in stone, but I do have a few ideas so far...

1) Run my first marathon, and get a sub-4 hour time
2) A sub-50 minute 10K
3) Run 1750 miles in 2013
4) Make sure that my enjoyment of running doesn't decrease, and that I don't pressure myself into doing anything that I do not really want to do. 

I would like to thank all of my family, friends & my running community for being there for me this year. You are all important to me, and each and every one of you contributed to my running success, whether it be through advice, encouragement, or just lending an ear. And now, here is one last picture as a token of my appreciation...

In case you didn't already think I was crazy,
I had just finished a half-marathon in a snowstorm
when I took this picture. But I think that most of
you already knew that

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