Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Review of 2008

ORN: 5.2 miles, 52:18, R3/W1, 10:04/mile

The drive home from Huntsville, Alabama a little over a year ago was a long one and not just because of 9+ hours in the car. My much-anticipated run in the Rocket City Marathon had gone very badly and I beat myself up quite a bit on the first half of that drive. I finally did start to think more proactively, and published my thoughts at the time here.

Therefore, it was a treat to reflect on 2008 during this morning’s simple 5 miler.

Modifying my general running goal to “Run the Best Race Conditions Allow” really was huge, more than I even anticipated. I went into each of the nine races I ran this year with a rational plan, based on my conditioning and understanding of the weather. In all but one case, I executed the plan; my serious bonk in the US Air Force Marathon was a wonderful teacher, despite the major errors I made there.

The other key element for 2008 was to make races more frequent so I would not pin particular hopes too highly on any one of them. This went wonderfully. Timing shifted such that I ran 5 half marathons in 9 weeks in the spring…what a hoot that was. Three marathons fell onto the schedule for the fall and I felt like I am now just starting to scratch the surface of what this distance can teach. Then, sandwiched between, was an amazing 6 hour trail run on July 5, covering 27.5 miles of humid Indiana woodland. That race was a treat…and I may well do it again next summer.

The log shows 1,116 miles for the year. Not a lot of miles; lower than both my 2005 and 2006 totals. But I did it injury-free with more races and more fun. Not a bad combo.

It was a good year and I’m very thankful to have the time and the health to keep on running. I’m incredibly thankful for this wonderful “virtual community” of distance runners. Your friendship and interest means so much to me!! I wish the very best for 2009 to you and yours as we all persevere.


John said...

It was a great 2008 for running, Joe, and I'm grateful for all you've taught me this year. I had exactly zero miles at this time last year, but was anticipating big things.. I got all I'd expected, and much more.

We'll race again in 2009 somewhere.. a half, full, ultra, or Ironman. Here's to a healthy ITB!


IronWaddler said...

You had a great 2008 the was planned well and alot of thought put into it. Everyday is a success when you are able to gain something and apply it. You have shown that.

Good luck in 2009!

Your friend,

Wes said...

It was a great year. We learned so much. Happy New Year, Joe!! Hope 2009 is wonderful for you :-)

Darrell said...

What a difference 365 days can make. Looking ahead that far sometimes seems impossible, but looking back it goes so fast.

I'm looking forward to more good stuff in 2009!

Backofpack said...

You had a great running year Joe, and a great family year too, with the safe return of your son. Hope 2009 has many wonderful things in store for you and the family!

Bob A said...

1116 miles with more races and being injury-free adds up to a really good year. Hey, you're running and that's something most folks don't (and can't) do.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a good year to me, Joe! I remember when you started the goal of running the best race that conditions would allow and I think it worked very well for you. I enjoyed following along in 2008 and I am excited about doing the same in 2009. Happy New Year!