Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review

ORN: 7 miles total, 5x1 mile intervals, ave 8:37

On the last day of the year, a few reflections on the year in running.

Races. Short races were a real positive this year, while 3 of the 4 marathons were disappointing. A 5K PR, a solid half-marathon in heat and humidity and a flat out sprint in a 2 miler were fun. The marathon remains a commanding teacher. Its lesson this year: weather matters, so follow the new training pattern.

Training. The rhythm of three 5 mile training runs during each week and one race-oriented weekend run seems to work well for me and is sustainable. I was very pleased to come to grips with an approach to Heart Rate training in the late summer. Now, if I could only get all my gadgets to work together!! Guessing I’ll be in the market for a new Garmin sometime this year.

Distance. I finished the year with 1,228 miles. I was surprised when I ran the chart below. It tells the succinct story of this era of my running.

In May 2004, a job change substituted a 75 minute daily commute for a 5 minute drive. I plugged running into that gap. It was October before I found a pair of shoes that worked well and off we went. I ran my first half marathon in December 2004 and carried on with more HMs in 2005. In 2006, I ran my first two marathons. And, boom…after a PR of 4:21 at Portland, I had a nasty bout with both IT Bands inflaming. 2007 was a retrenching time; new shoes, adopting the Run/Walk approach and gradually building back. Since then, I’ve been almost completely injury-free. The look of this gradual annual mileage pick up is encouraging.

Weight. I have not mentioned in this space (and will only do it once, so here it is) a major event for me. In mid-April, I decided I was carrying too much weight, as I hit 205 pounds. With terrific help from my nephew, running pal and good friend John, we completely rebuilt my eating habits and got on a steady drop in weight, hitting my target of 176 pounds in early August. Since that time, I’ve kept the weight in the 175-178 pound range, even through the holidays. I feel terrific! And I have noted running is easier, my shoes last longer, I feel lighter on my not-so-tiny feet. I have embraced a new way to eat. Who’d a thunk I’d ever see a treat as being a big spinach salad on a Saturday afternoon after a long run?

Demise of the Running Blogosphere. The only real disappointment for me this year was how much quality blogging about running disappeared. Truly, this was the year the blogosphere migrated to Facebook. I get this somewhat…a simple status update is quicker on FB. But the good thinking, the careful thought, the insights and perspectives flowed through longer writing on blogs. And it is just plain disappearing. I’m keeping this blog going; I find it helps as a diary of things I want to capture. And I truly appreciate anyone who reads it and finds it helpful or funny or somehow interesting. I just miss the fuller interaction we had a couple years ago.

Overall, I found myself this year more and more grateful. Grateful for each day of health. Grateful to run. Grateful for a wonderful wife and fascinating kids (and now fascinating grandkids). Grateful for a comfortable roof over my head. Grateful for an interesting job. None of these things are entitlements. They are all gifts. And I need to hold each with an open hand and a generous heart.

Tomorrow, I’ll post on 2011 plans. Some fun stuff to continue.



Karen said...

Your mileage is very impressive, Joe. There's nothing like a visual to show the consistency and dedication you have demonstrated. Nice goin'

Darrell said...

That is some nice sustained continuous improvement on the mileage chart. Too bad our economy hasn't been tracking that way, too.

I do miss my blog friends, so many have disappeared. It is tough to maintain those relationships without the blog. Facebook definitely fits our ADD tendencies. I initially tried to keep running off the FB page but it has definitely spilled over. It's hard to keep something that is such a part of who I am underwraps on FB.

I'm almost ashamed that I need to be reminded to be grateful for some of those things you mention. Too often they seem like a burden but they each make life richer in its own way.

Happy New Year and look forward to the planning. I know that's almost your favorite part.

IronWaddler said...

Great 2010. Happy 2011 ,Joe!

Wes said...

Happy New Year Joe!! Holy crap!! 178 pounds. You are taller than me no? I'm going to have to get serz :-)

Let's keep this blogging thing alive, eh? Facebook is fine for immediate gratification...

I highly recommend the Fitzgerald book, Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel. You would love it.

Here's to having a great 2011!

Sarah said...

Congrats on the weight loss! I think I noticed a while back that you looked a lot thinner in some of your pics. That's awesome.

We've lamented before the decline of the running blogosphere. Thank you for keeping up the blog and for all your support! Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2011!

David said...

I admire your mielage, your weight loss, your racing prowess and your blogging. I especially commiserate with you over the demise of bloggers. I'm still here and will keep going for many of your same reasons.
Happy New Year!