So, what do I have to show for my 2008 running efforts?
Well, for starters, anyone who knows me or meets me know is keenly aware that I am a "runner". My family has internalized my training routine (which tries to minimize disruptions to the schedule except for Sunday mornings).
I set a few PR's this year, though in mostly disappointing fashion, believing that I was in shape to run faster than I did at virtually every distance. I paid dearly for an April 2008 5K time of 19:49, since I did not adjust my training schedule afterwards and ran myself into chronic and painful hip problems which hampered my May marathon buildup and recovery. I still shaved 15 minutes off of my debut marathon time, but it was far less than I had hoped.
Chicago 2008 brought me a new marathon PR (again in the heat), but 3:40 remains a far cry from my running white whale, the elusive 3:20 Boston qualifying time. I will not be taking part in the Boston Marathon as a 40 year-old, since I'll need to try again in May and/or in the fall. I managed a respectable sub-1:36 half-marathon in early November, on windy, hilly course. That was probably my best race of the year. I banged out a sub-27:00 4-miler on Thanksgiving Day, but wasn't happy with my pacing, going out too fast and fading in the second half.
So, in terms of race performances, there were some bright spots, but I think I'll look back on this year more as a base-building period marked by learning how to deal with injuries. I've managed my most consistent period of higher mileage running (ever!) since my last injury in June and seem to be able to withstand more mileage and a bit more intensity than ever before.
So, with 2009 just a blink away, I should probably write down some running goals:
- Over 2009 miles in 2009
- 5K - take a stab at sub-19:00
- 10K - flirt with sub-41:00
- HM - approach 1:30:00
- Marathon - qualify for Boston (!) with a sub-3:20:00
Other ideas (not goals) would include running more trail races, consider running an ultra-marathon (probably something to do in the fall if I do qualify for Boston in the spring) and possibly re-connecting with my running club, in terms of training and racing. However, as long as I remain so focused on the marathon distance and all that marathon training involves, I'll have to put other running-related matters on the back-burner.
Oh, and thanks to an RWOL mileage challenge, I have run nearly 60 miles in the last 6 days, and hope to end up with an 8-day personal mileage record by the time December 31st ends.
Happy New Year, dear readers (both of you). Here's to great accomplishments in our running and beyond in 2009.