Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Breaking a Record, Plus 2012 in Review
On Saturday, I ran my 1000th mile of 2012! Yes, I did a little happy dance.
I was originally planning for this to be a solo run, but I have friends who wanted to be with me for this so I changed my plan and I'm glad I did. After Friday's events (that I really don't want to discuss publicly because it just pisses me off and makes me cry) being surrounded by 4 runner-chicks hootin' and hollerin' on the dark bike path when my watch read 3.2 miles was exactly what I needed.
I came so close to making this goal in 2011. I had 980 miles in mid-December and strained my calf. Sure, I could have run the 20 miles to reach my goal, but that would have prolonged healing. I knew that marathon training for Cleveland would be starting in January and had to make a choice: reach that coveted 1000 mile goal? Or start training on time and healthy? I chose the latter. It was a hard one because I was so close, but in the end I know I made the right decision.
A year in review
2012 has been a big year for me. I did things this year that I had no idea I was capable of. I stepped out of my comfort zone and it was amazing. During this year, I ran two half marathons, one marathon, one 5K, one Ragnar Relay and one 4 miler. Two of those races were PRs. (Read all of the race recaps here: ORRRC Half, Cleveland Marathon, Dash for Donation 5K, Columbus Half, Ragnar Relay Books 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Holiday Run 4 Miler.)
Of course I can't talk about 2012 without mentioning "the injury". The hip flexor strain that played a part in the downer that was the Cleveland Marathon and kept me from running for 2 months after. It sucked, but with the help of time and a physical therapist, I survived and came back stronger.
I've learned that sometimes the race isn't as important as injury recovery. After 7 months of considering the situation (hindsight is 20/20), I'm not sure running Cleveland was worth the entire summer of no running. At the time, I didn't know that the day was going to be 90 degrees and I didn't know that my hip flexor was going to take 2 months to heal. If it had been cooler on race day and I'd been able to PR, would the 2 months off have been worth it? Probably.
If I'm ever faced with a similar situation in the future, would I race anyway? Maybe. Maybe not. It's a calculated risk, but this experience would be in the back of my mind and I'd weigh the glory of the race against 2 months off before making my decision.
A few good things came from this awful injury (leave it to me to find the silver lining). I found that I love cycling almost as much as running. Almost. I also found that I love volunteering for races. The race atmosphere is exciting, energizing and addicting, whether I'm racing or not. Since I can't afford the fees to run every race, I can still take a part in the races and support those who are running.
2012 was a pretty great year; I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be even better.
A Look Ahead
So far for 2013, I have 2 half marathons on the schedule. CapCity and the ORRRC Half, both are in the spring. There are a few other races on my radar, but I haven't officially (read: financially) committed to them yet.
My next big half marathon goal is to take 10 minutes off of my current PR half marathon time. Yep, I'm looking for a sub-2 hour half marathon. I realize that it's a lot of time to trim off. It may not happen in 2013, and I'm ok with that, but it will happen. I'll be working hard until it does.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to drool over my training plans that will keep me busy for the next 5 months....
Do you make annual mileage goals for yourself? I didn't in 2011, and when I realized how close I was, I was bummed that I barely missed it.
How do you feel about 2012? Was it a successful year for you? Even with my hip flexor injury, 2012 was pretty darn great.