Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 reflections

Looks like everyone is doing a 2010 recap, and I hate to be the odd man out!

Well, despite ending 2010 on a sour note with an injury 2010 was without a doubt the best year of running I’ve had. A few numbers and then a brief summary:

4022 miles run. I was hoping to average over 80 miles per week (4160) and was on track for that through the first couple of weeks in December. However, ending the year with 23 miles in the last 21 days brought be back down under that average a little bit. The last few weeks aside, there is no doubt in my mind that the consistent decent volume combined with lots of tempo and strength work allowed me to take my fitness to a new level in 2010.

22 road races, the most for me in a year. Not counting USATF-NE Grand Prix races, I ran 18 races, winning 14, 2 2nd place finishes, a 3rd, and a 4th. I ended up 10th in the Grand Prix but was only able to run in 4 of the 7 races.

Set 18 PRs for the year, counting indoor stuff early in the year. Managed to set a few course records at some smaller races, but still kind of fun to do.

Looking back on 2010, I think the ball got rolling on a chance encounter with Al Bernier in December of 2009. He came along on a Sunday run in Portsmouth after a fresh snow that took us through a bunch of trails and along the beach. We talked about the indoor mile he had run the day before and I became curious about what I might be able to run for a mile. So the next weekend I ended up at the BU mini meet with Al and Diana to give it a try. Not knowing what I was doing, I lined up at the finish line on the 200M track and Al had to tell me that the start line was 9 meters back, where he was lined up. That first race was a blast and I decided to run as much of an indoor season as I could. I started working out indoors at UNH with a few guys and ran a couple more miles, as well as a couple of 3Ks and a 5K, recording times at each distance that I was fairly pleased with, 4:26, 8:35, and 14:56.

Somewhere in there Al suggested I join CMS and I didn’t hesitate to accept the offer. I immediately got very excited about running with a team for the summer and it turned out to be a great decision. CMS is definitely the right fit for me and I get very excited a few weeks before every team event. As much as I enjoy running well, it is great to see your teammates running well also, and I got quite a kick out of Gorman frothing towards the line at Bedford in the 12K, where Fyffe smashed the course record as well. JJ dropping the hammer over the last 5K at New Bedford and the Polar Express rolling along with 6 finishers within 70 seconds in the half marathon, there were just a lot of great experiences though the summer and I’m already looking forward to next year.

On the local scene, I did a few spring tune up races and then started the Seacoast Road Race series in Dover for the Footbridge 5K. Mahoney was still with Whirlaway at the time but we had a fun group and I managed to win with a course record (new course) and beat John Mentzer for the first time, which I was convinced was a fluke but still a sign that I was making progress with my fitness. The next SRRS race was Redhook and another tough field with JJ and Ben Jenkins as well as John to do battle with again. I went out too hard in something like 4:42 and John passed me a little after 2 miles and I thought I was toast but managed to convince myself to see how hard I could go before I dropped and was able to squeak out the win. That was a big race for me because it gave me a chance to keep fighting after I thought I was beat and I learned what emptying the tank really feels like.

Carter was born the week before Market Square Day and I didn’t run the three days before the race and then blew up after going out too hard with Pat Moulton. Mentzer spanked me here and Kevin Tilton ran a great race. I had been hoping to run well here but sometimes things just happen. There was a great CMS crew though, and we had a nice cool down out towards Newcastle Island.

After having to miss a couple more SRRS races I decided to bag the series. I had decided that the Seacoast Half Marathon was my focus for the fall and I didn’t want to get caught up in 5K and 10K races that would take me away from the training plan I was committing to. I did run a couple of 5Ks during the build up and ran PRs both times despite not cutting back on mileage those week. These two races were really encouraging for me and helped break up the training cycle a little bit. In hindsight I’m glad I did this because I was really happy with the half marathon and I know it is because I stuck to the training plan. I am a little bummed that I didn’t get to race John more this summer though, because he is a great competitor and I know he was looking forward to a few more races as well. Hopefully 2011 will allow us to get on the line together a few more times.

I should have shut it down immediately after the half marathon and had told myself I was going to, but for some reason I didn’t. I think I knew I was in great shape and didn’t give enough consideration to the last year of consistent hard training that my body had endured without complaining. I just pushed the limit a little too far and learned that I’m not impervious to injury. For much of the summer I trained through little soreness and small annoying stuff, convincing myself that most of it was in my head. I was feeling this soreness in my abs for the last 6 weeks of my half marathon training but ignored it. It was worst after workouts and then would get a bit better after a couple of recovery days. More warning signs that I ignored.

Looking ahead to 2011, the first thing I need to do is let this thing heal. When injured, it can be tough to think beyond the injury and all seems gloomy, but I know that if treated properly, this will pass. I just have to stop looking at my calendar and wait for it to come. In the meantime I’ve noticed that riding a bike doesn’t seem to bother me so I’ll start biking a little bit to try and get my blood pumping at least a little bit. Right now I feel like I’m totally out of shape. Luckily, I have guys like Dan Hocking and Mark Miller to look at. Guys who have had substantial injuries and were able to return to competitive shape.

I don’t really have time goals established for 2011, but I really don’t see any reason why I can’t set PRs at every distance.

Until I get healthy, I’m having fun spending a little more time with the family. Having more energy is fun. I’m not falling asleep right after dinner right now, and Camden has lots of new toys from Christmas that he likes me to play with him. I’ll also continue to goof around with little Wiles Studios films to keep myself and maybe others entertained. We got a new iMac for Christmas so it is easy to do with iMovie.

1 comment:

KG said...

great recap to a great year...let's go get 'em at the GPS this year...nice movies too