"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Monday, November 28, 2011

2011 Year in Review

Finishing Pocatello

2011 At-a-Glance:
6 marathons (1 PR)
2 half marathons (1 PR)
2 10ks
1 5k (1 PR)
1 Friends & Family Turkey-Trot (1st place)
256 race miles
1251 total miles (as of Nov 28th) and counting
My first triathlon
Marathon Maniac status (bronze level, later promoted to silver)
Learned to swim 
It was full year of training and racing, with the first marathon coming the first weekend in March and the last race on Thanksgiving day. I'm ready for a little break through the holidays and with that, a chance to reflect on what I've accomplished, what my next challenges are and what I can do in 2012 to reach them.
Most Satisfying: Staying (running-)injury-free the entire year. Multiple marathons and other races weeks apart, the training in between, no more than a day or two of rest and recovery afterwards and no injuries this year. There's a difference between sickness, pain and injury. If you've got the first, you need to be smart (see Exhibit A from October). If you've got the latter you need to stop. If you've got the remaining one you need to suck it up. There was plenty of pain this year (post-Red Rock Canyon marathon comes to mind quickly), but no injuries.There was one week back in April where everyone from my parents to the surgeon thought I had a hernia that needed fixing, but that was from overdoing it during a spin class session(see also HERE, and HERE). I attribute this to another full year eating healthy, getting enough sleep and taking regular rest days at the same time every week (Sunday and Monday, light on Friday). I can still eat even healthier, but I've come along way since January 2010 when I first started making fresh fruit a regular part of my diet.
Best Race Medal: St. George Marathon. Made of sandstone, each of the 7000+ medals were unique. Newport comes in a close 2nd for its unique glass medal.

With Scott Jurek
Most Unexpected: Meeting Scott Jurek at the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll expo. Nicest guy ever.
Me, A, M after St George
Most Enjoyable: Hanging out with my buddy A, and his wife M at the St. George marathon. It was their first marathon and experiencing it with them was awesome. From driving the course the day before (M: "How far have we driven?" A: "About halfway." M: "Only half?!?") to the hanging out at the expo/pasta dinner, to the early morning bus ride, to killing time in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night for a few hours pre-race, to running the first half mile or so all together and then finally to see them cross the finish line together and (after some time) experience the awesomeness that is the feeling of finishing your first marathon. And then to get a phone call the following Monday morning that began with "I can't even walk down the stairs in my house I'm so sore today, so why do I have the urge to sign up and run another one?" He's been bitten (M, not so much).
Tri For Life Triathlon
Most Difficult: Without a doubt, learning to swim. Running was difficult at first too. But there was never any chance of drowning while running. Learning to swim was extremely frustrating and in the days leading up to my first triathlon, a 500 meter swim was about the most awful thing I could think of. And it didn't go all that smoothly on race day either. I didn't swim again until just a few weeks ago, and it was still just as awful as I remembered it. But something happened as I started showing up to the YMCA pre-6am every single day: it got easier. I started swimming 1000 yards every morning. And then on Day 7: a mile. In 44 minutes. Without a struggle. Now I'm swimming a mile a couple of times a week and combining 500 or 1000 yard swims with 5k runs on other days. 
Autumn Leaves 50 miler
Most Questionable: No question about it, the Autumn Leaves 50-miler. When your parents openly question if you can and/or should TRY it, even during the week leading up to the race you start to wonder a little bit if you should. When your wife half-jokingly (give or take a few % points) asks about the value of your life insurance policies and is satisfied with the answer you wonder if you're crazy. And in a quite moment at the starting line, when you're asking yourself "What. Am. I. Doing?" you try to answer the question. But you don't have time to, because the gun goes off and you do the only thing you can do at that point: you run.
Business Left Undone: A sub-4 hour marathon. I've got to get there. 4:07 in Seattle in June and 4:08 in Pocatello in September was as close as I got. In both of those races I was tracking sub-4 until miles 21 and 22, respectively.
Goals for 2012:
1. Sub-4 hour marathon. Stays on the list until it's accomplished.
2. Olympic-distance open-water triathlon.
I may have a few posts here and there in the coming weeks, but probably not too much. There may even be a redesign of this site if I get around to it. But I'll be back at it regularly in January, ready to hit the training hard for what I hope is another great year. If you don't want to miss any posts, be sure to subscribe via email in the box on the left side of the page or become a Google follower. Thanks for reading and staying in touch in whatever way you do (even if it's just stopping in every so often to read). Your support and encouragement means a lot.

1 comment:

Eglefino said...

Sounds like an awesome 2011. You can get sub 4 I know it. And swimming gets easier. Keep it up!