Monday, January 23, 2012

2011 Goals Scorecard

I've put this off long enough.  And, yes, I am a very generous grader!! (you wouldn't have thought so if you took my class back in my graduate TA days, though, haha!!)  Without further ado, my 2011 goals and how I did:

·                     Get the body healthy, keep the body healthy – Well. Yeah, this one was big. But I think I have put a lot of effort into getting healthy, and while I probably should have taken more time to recover after the mi-year surgery, and we are still working on the knee thing (made big strides, but still much to go), I can honestly say that this is an area that got a LOT of attention this year. And not just the physical part of me, either. I did a lot of soul-searching, with the help of some fairly amazing, insightful and caring friends, and I think for the first time a long while, my mind and emotional health is stronger than it’s been in a long while. That alone earns me an A!
·                     Run a Sub-5:00 Marathon – Hit 5:14 at Cowtown, with the help of my Bubble of Love. It was not a PR day, the announcer warned us of that before we even started. I tried again at Oklahoma City two months later, and that, also, was far from a PR day. It didn’t happen. But I can guarantee you that I gave all I had to give on both those days, so I am giving myself a solid C. I should do pass/fail on this, but I’m not. I didn’t hit 4:XX in 2011, but I know why, and those race experiences, and those lessons, were part of who shaped me into who I am today.  They are a part of me. I can’t call that a failure.  
·                     Run 3 or more 50K Trail Races – DONE!! And I PRed at each one!! (HINT: start off dreadfully slow and it’s not so hard to PR!!) and I had a great time at each one.  I technically ran five 50ks, but only finished three of them. Still, I rocked the hell out of this goal.  A+!
·                     Complete a 50-Mile Race (November) – Nope. Didn’t happen. I was going to go for it, as late as a month before the race date, I had worked toward it. But Wild Hare was not the right place for my 50 mile debut, and November 2011 was not the right time, and my reasons for trying this were not the right ones. This will happen, but I have other things I need to do before then.  There is no rush. There is no pressure.  I have to do it when it only makes sense for me. And when I am doing it for the right reasons.  Incomplete
·                     Become A Marathon Maniac -  Done!! Got the silly little entry level when I bailed on Minneapolis and didn’t finish my 6-pack. And, really, that’s OK.  A.
·                     Complete 100 Pushup Challenge – um, yeah…. Incomplete.  
·                     Complete 200 Situp Challenge – Well, hmmm…. Incomplete.
·                     Run 1600 miles this year – I ran just slightly over 1000 miles for the year, well under the goal. But I didn’t plan on taking 6 weeks off for surgery when I set that goal. I didn’t plan on my family life being in a bit of an upheaval when I set that goal. I also had full intentions of running not one, but TWO fifty-milers. Um, yeah.  A thousand miles ain’t nothing to sneeze at, so even though it’s but 2/3 of my goal, I’m still giving myself a solid B-.
·                     Complete two sprint triathlons this summer (August & September) – These things are apparently much easier when you have a bicycle.  Which my awesome (aggie – forgiven) friends Katie and Kevin set me up with when Katie brought me her bicycle to use all I wanted while she goes to graduate school. They’re also much easier when you know how to swim.  I made little forays into both cycling and swimming this year (DONKEY RIDE! OWS (kinda) at Grapevine) but I didn’t get so far as to actually sign up for any more tris.  That’s OK. I’ll get there again.  I got to cheer a few triathlete friends at their races, and that revved me up for it for sure, but it also reinforced how much training I’ll need before I embark on that journey again. And I’m not quite there yet.  Still got some stuff to handle before I go Tri.  Again, as with the 50-miler, there is no rush, there is no pressure.  This is all fun, people, and I have to do it when the time is right, to be successful at it.  So, here I’m giving myself another Incomplete.  

So, there you go. I am still dwelling on my 2012 goals (besides the big one, which anyone who knows me knows EXACTLY which dragon I'm going to try to slay again this year), so you'll have to wait a little longer for it.  So Frunners and Neighbors, what are YOUR goals for 2012. Leave a comment and inspire me (which means, I might just steal it for myself!!) 

One of my DailyMile goals is to meet and run with as many people as I can. Think I got an A on this one!  

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Thursday 13: Things My Frunners Have Taught Me

I know, 2011 goal scorecard & 2012 goals still need to be done. I'm still percolating on 2012 so give me a minute, will ya?  For today, I wanted to jot down the Important Things My Frunners Have Taught Me. Take a listen, you might learn ya a thing or two too!!

  1. Doesn't matter how fast you go, you just have to get there. Timmy the Turtle
  2. Yes it does matter! It's a RACE!! GO, RUN!!!  Drum
  3. Just keep moving. Tenacity pays off. - Fawn
  4. Yes, you CAN do it. Stop doubting yourself. - Jeremy
  5. You look faster in matching kit - Ninja
  6. There is magic power in lemon water & watermelon. - Derek
  7. Shoes are optional - Sarah
  8. Push beyond your comfort zone. You never know what you'll find there. MK
  9. There is always time for pancakes. Kris
  10. Don't let me lead unless you want to get lost sidetracked take the long way. Everyone
  11. Snacks. Snacks are necessary and required. Cherry AND Shannon
  12. Trail runs are like the Marines, you never leave fallen comrade - Mr K
  13. The devil is in the details - Libby 
And, because I like y'all, I want to give you two more lessons. These are probably the most important of all. And if you remember nothing else from this post, and learn nothing else from me for the whole rest of your life, keep these last two lessons in mind, forever and ever, AMEN: 
  • We may have met because we are runners, but it's not why we're friends. 

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year!

Best way possible to end the year! Surrounded by Frunners!
2011 is done. In the books. Didn't end like I wanted, as I had to drop down to the half distance on both days of the NYDouble, but it was otherwise a ridiculously amazingly perfect weekend. Tons of Frunners, time with the family, time with my closest non-running friends. It was stupendous from beginning to end. Before we get too far into 2012, I did want to do a final recap, so that I have it in one place.  I still have my report card on my 2011 targets to post, but that's going to take some thought. I also haven't quite crystallized much for 2012 beside the A race of the spring at the end of April, so I'm not quite ready for those posts yet.

However, it is illuminating to compare this year's performance against not only last year's but prior years' and see that really, on balance, it was still a pretty acceptable year of running. I have nothing to be ashamed of or feel bad about, even when I think about my half finish time from a year ago being nearly 40 minutes faster than the times I clocked over the weekend. That's just my new reality, and I only can improve from here on out, so that's what the focus will be. The here-and-now, not the used-to-be. Because, as we all witnessed over the weekend, the here and now? Is a pretty damn fun place to live.

So, here goes. Numbers afterward are for comparison, going back to 2007:
    • Total miles for 2011:  1059. Compares to 1469, 901, 894, 1001
    • Average miles/month:  88, 122, 75, 75, 91 
    • Average miles/week: 20.3, 28.1, 17.3, 17.3, 21
    • Highest weekly mileage: 39, 57, 37, 37, 35  
    • Highest month: April 134; September 192; December 102, Sepember 123 
    • Lowest month: June 49, March/May 71, July 50, May 38 
What this tells me is that this year is "disappointing" only in comparison to the monstrous year I had in 2010.  And anyone who knows me well and knew me at that time understands that the kick-ass running in that year did not come without a cost emotionally. Finding balance between running, family and personal relationships was a challenge in 2010, in many ways, so I'm not all that excited to jump back on that train again. And when you add in the considerations of major surgery & layoff, my father's illness and death, helping my mom deal with the aftermath of that (something that continues into 2012, I'm sure), I have to say I'm pretty good with this. Actually, when I think about it a little bit more, I'm pretty damn happy with myself.