Its the very last day of 2011 - it was a year of many ups and downs for sure. Running-wise, I'm happy to let the door close hard on this year.
January 1, 2011 marked a 10 minute "test run", as I was recovering from a torn quad that happened in the fall of 2010. All of those hours of rehabbing on the trainer paid off, as I felt both strong, and pain-free. Of course, instead of coming back and being smart, I ran the Derry 16-miler only 2 weeks after those first steps, which has the below course profile. Yeah, wicked smart.
I obviously had a terrible showing, crashed and burned, and put myself in a terrible mental space. I passed on running a spring half marathon, as I was in serious training for Big Sur Marathon.
On May 1, 2011, I flew across the country and ran the second slowest marathon of my life (anyone sensing a trend to this year yet??). Since part of Highway 1 fell into the Pacific Ocean early in the spring, they changed the course to make it an out and back. On what remained of Highway 1. The course was crazy hard, it was warm, and had lost the race mentally before I even toed the line. However, I checked the race off my bucket list, and still had a crazy fun weekend in Monterey!
I had 5 months to put together some decent training for Chicago, with this little Half Ironman thrown in the middle. In my mind, that meant volume. If I could run a million miles a week, bike a little and throw in some open water swims, I could do it all! Yep, that'll do it!
I beat the snot out of myself over the next couple of months, culminating with my worst "race" of the year in the form of a 25K in early September. It came exactly ONE weekend before my 70.3 and about a month before Chicago. I threw the white flag and realized I needed some serious triage to even START Chicago, nevermind finish. It was too little, too late, but I needed to get smart. Stat.
But first, The Pumpkinman 70.3. By far the best day (athletically) of the year. It was unquestionably the best race of the year - I loved every minute of those 6 hours. It made me want Ironman more than ever.
One month later, I toed the line for the Chicago Marathon. I had put my broken body together enough to attempt a sub-4 and stop the marathon slowing slide. It just wasn't to be - it was hot, and my body didn't have it on that day. I crossed that finish line disappointed, but hungry for 2012.
I closed on 2011 with a 5K that went better than expected. It was the product of some new training, and made me REALLY excited for what 2012 holds in store.
2011 taught me a lot about myself, all of which I can carry over into 2012. I've already made a lot of progress, and I'm looking forward to turning over the calendar tomorrow.
Happy New Year Friends!