Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Look Back At 2012

Note: In early January I started writing this post and was about 3/4 finished with it when I kind of left it. I know it's now April, but there are a bunch of things I want to write about and it only makes sense for me to finish this post that I started 3 months ago.

This is supposed to be me looking back at 2012.
This was taken right after I finished the Dirty German which was the highlight of the year.
Well, another year has passed by and it's time to look back at 2012 and see how I did. I'm going to spend this whole post looking back at 2012 and then dedicate a separate post to my 2013 goals. Let's get started! Where else to start but the very numerous and lofty goals I laid out for my self at the beginning of the year. Let's see how I did:

2012 Goals

Easy:5K PR • Half PR 1:36:28 • Marathon PR • Longest running streak 141 days •Highest weekly mileage 70.3 • Highest monthly mileage 243.3 • Highest yearly mileage 1828 • under 160 lb
Medium:sub 20 5k • sub 1:35 half • sub 3:20 marathon • 60 mile week • 2000 mile year •50K ultra • under 155 lb
Hard:sub 19:30 5k • sub 1:32 half • sub 3:15 marathon • 70 mile week 70.3 • 50 mile ultra Dirty German!!! • under 150 lb
Crazy Hard:sub 19:00 5k • sub 1:30 half • BQ

I had 3 general categories of goals. Times, Weight, and Running Distances/Consistency.


Unfortunately, I did not do as well as I hoped in the first two categories. In fact I completely failed in the weight department. Even though  I did slip under 160lb for a week, I decided I wouldn't count it if I didn't stay under for a month, or more importantly, end the year under that weight. Instead, I ended the year at my highest weight. This is a big point of failure that I aim going to address in the new year.

Last 16 months showing my peak fitness in February
Aside from my weight goals, I had very high expectations for my race PRs, and I understand where I was coming from. I came in to 2012 running 40 mile weeks in December and in pretty darn good shape. I figured I just would continue to increase mileage and my fitness would continue to increase. And for the first couple months, that's exactly what happened. In February I reached my peak fitness and although for the next couple months I continued to run high mileage, in preparation for my 50 miler, I changed my training to have less speed. And that's when I realized that running fast times at shorter distances was not going to go perfectly with training for my first ultra. Something had to give, and I decided that the ultra was the bigger deal. But I still managed to eek out a pretty respectable new PR for the half marathon in April.


But enough about the disappointments of 2012. Now lets get to the goals I did meet. Aside from not running 2000 miles last year, I met every single weekly mile goal as well as running every single day for 141 days in a row. I am very proud of that. And it's not like I was just running a mile or two every day. My average for those 141 days was 7.1 miles.

And even though I did not run 2000 miles, I did run 1828 which was over 200 miles more than the previous year.

Of course my biggest accomplishment of last year was the Dirty German. That was one of those amazing experiences that I envisioned, planned and then actually followed through with. And that's just the training I'm talking about. The event itself was one of the most wonderful experiences and sharing it with my family and friends made it that much more memorable. I'm not going to go into any more detail about it here again since I already talked about it at length, but even now looking back 8 months ago, it makes me very happy.


As much as running is mostly a solitary experience for me, I was so happy to take part in two events with my friends. The first was this summer's River to Sea Relay which was just one of those things where so much went wrong with injury leading up to it, but then on the day of the race, everyone came through and it was a super awesome experience. Seeing my friends, especially the ones that don't normally run as much, improve so much and conquer this thing was so sweet. I felt like maybe I had a small hand in getting them to be a bit more fit which makes me happy.

The other event was the Marine Corps Marathon with Andy. Even though in some ways I was a bit disappointed with my personal performance, the whole experience from the training, to going down to DC and spending a little time with Andy, Jenn and the kids, to the expo, to the race, trumped my result. I was so happy to do it and be there for Andy's first!

In Summary

So overall, despite not meeting a lot of the goals I laid out, I am very happy with how the year went. I made some great memories that I will be thinking about for the rest of my life, and I have some areas where I need to work on for this year. Speaking of this year, it's time for me to lay out my goals for 2013, I mean it is April already!

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