Thursday, December 31, 2009

finishing 2009 and starting 2010


2009 was an amazing year for rob-the-runner. i did come into the year with big expectations. coming into 2009, i was only 101 days into my return-to-runner endeavor. though i only ran for a portion of 2008, i was very inspired by seeing my body reform and tasting of some fairly efficient moments. my biggest dream for 2009 was getting myself into marathoning shape, and well down the road to getting myself into ulramarathoning shape. i also had dreams related to my efficiency, i.e., hopes of a sub-5 mile and a boston-qualifying marathon performance.

january 2009: 192 running miles

i started the year off very hungry to consume miles and miles of running. my longest run in 2008 was 12 miles, and my longest run ever was a 22 mile run back in 1989. 11 days into 2009, i logged a very enjoyable 22.5 mile trail run and absolutely loved it. the hunger to cover the marathon distance, and even beyond, was stirred in me even more.

february 2009: 124 running miles

i came into february excited about my first 2009 event being on the calendar. scott griffith and i had registered for a very challenging trail running event located in Kansas. the “psycho wyco run toto run trail run” offered three choices: 10-miler, 20-miler, or 50k. we choose the 10-miler. both the weekend adventure and the event adventure were an absolute blast. [my event-report: here]

7 days before the “psycho wyco” i experienced my first injury. the injury was a straining of my left groin muscle. i avoided running for a few days and picked up a pair of compression shorts as a preventative measure. i had this injury reemerge on me a few times throughout 2009, and it appears that i will now be a permanent compression short wearer.

on 02.26.2009 i experienced my second injury. in the midst of a 12-mile run on horse trails i felt something like a snap in my left tibia. i finished the run hoping it was just some kind of muscle injury that i could rest and ice. throughout that day it became increasingly evident to me that i had incurred some kind of bone injury. i did my best to treat the injury like a stress fracture. i was intending to participate in the “little rock half-marathon” on 3.15.2009, so i was not interested in visiting a professional and having someone advice me not to participate.

i ended february committed to cross train as much as possible in order to let my tibia heal and to not lose the fitness i had worked so hard to regain.

march 2009: 37 running miles

due to the tibia injury, my march log included plenty of roller-skiing miles, swimming miles, biking miles, walking miles, and elliptical hours. none of it compared to running, but i do believe i successfully avoided losing any fitness during the month.

the highlight of the month was my “little rock half-marathon” weekend. i got to spend the weekend with steve hibbs who is a great friend i grew up with, but had not seen since 1993. steve was a huge part of the inspiration that got me back into running. he is the youngest person to complete marathons in all 50 states and on all seven continents. it was a great weekend of visiting and i was also very pleased with my first half-marathon experience. [my event-report: here]

april 2009: 120 running miles

when i was in little rock, i met a few “marathon maniacs” (including steve). following that weekend i found myself wanting to be a member of the club. this desire lead me to register for the inaugural “frisco fifty” 50k. i was already registered for the “flying pig marathon” in may, and if i could do both the “frisco” and the “pig” i would fulfill the criteria necessary to join the “maniacs”.

coming into the “frisco fifty”, my longest run was 22.5 miles. going 31.05 miles was looking like a real challenge. the event was a real humbling experience. the biggest highlight for me was discovering my new identity: skinny bear. [my event-report: here]

may 2009: 183.5 running miles

may was a blast of a month. i had a awesome experience at the “flying pig marathon” [my event-report: here], and i travelled to minnesota where i got to visit with friends and participate in the inaugural “minneapolis marathon”. [my event-report: here].

june 2009: 206 running miles

with no events on the calendar for june, i enjoyed cutting loose and running in harmony with my heart.

july 2009: 342.5 running miles

july was a bit of a continuation of june, i.e., no events on the calendar and plenty of expressing the desire of my heart.

in mid-july it became apparent that i had another bone injury in my left tibia. i continued to run for a few days hoping that the injury would heal in the midst of me continuing to run. finally at the end of july i decided it would be wise to give my tibia an opportunity to heal. i had one ultramarathon and three marathons on the calendar for the fall, and i didn’t want to start the fall marathoning season in pain.

august 2009: 29 running miles

august was another cross training month. i did discover when i attempted to return to some running miles, that i prefer a minimalist shoe over a motion-control shoe. motion-control shoes irritate my tibia. maybe someday in the future i will run primarily in vibram fivefingers, presently i am running primarily in the nike free everyday model (soon to be nike free 7.0 version 2).

september 2009: 187 running miles

september was the beginning of my fall marathoning season and i was super excited to participate in some events after not doing any events for 3 months. the “patriots’ run” on 09.11 was an amazing experience, that included me increasing my long run best to 50 miles. [my event-report: here]

at the end of september, robin and i travelled with scott and susan to omaha for an awesome weekend. i managed to get bumped into by a police car and run a marathon p.r. without wearing a watch. [my event-report: here]

october 2009: 231 running miles

in october i had a breakthrough marathoning experience at the “des moines marathon”. i managed to slice 15 minutes and 19 seconds off my marathon p.r. i also enjoyed hanging out with steve hibbs again. [my event-report: here]

the weekend after “des moines”, i jumped into a local 10k event and managed to get some hardware for placing second in my age division. [my event-report: here]

november 2009: 318 running miles

november was a very enjoyable month of running that included participating in the “run to the lights” 5k [my event-report: here], marathoning muling for my great friend scott griffith at the “route 66 marathon” [my event-report: here], and racing the “gobblers run” 5k with my family in north carolina. [my event-report: here].

december 2009: 171 running miles

i came into the month of december chewing up running miles like an animal. for the week of 11.30 to 12.06 i logged 120 miles, which was my biggest week of all time. things slowed down after that. some tenderness emerged in my left knee and with the craziness of preparing for and traveling for christmas, i found myself participating in a 9 day hibernation period.

2009 running miles: 2,141
2009 roller-skiing miles: 382
2009 walking miles: 205
2009 biking miles: 76
2009 swimming miles: 6


i am very excited about the possibilities of 2010. i see 2010 as being primarily about rob-the-runner, not rob-the-racer. the temptation to obsess about efficiency has lost its appeal. no-need-for-speed is likely a mantra that i will be employing often in 2010. i have no intentions of attempting to run a boston-qualifying marathon this year. when it comes to participating in events, i find myself primarily attracted to ultramarathons. coming into 2009 i was dreaming of doing the marathoning in 50 states thing, coming into 2010 the dream has changed to doing the ultramarathoning in 50 states thing.

hopefully this year i will get at least one taste of a 100 mile event (possibly i will get more than one taste). i am imagining that 100 mile events will be adventures that really resonate with me, maybe coming into 2011 i will know if my imaginations are accurate.

i am not going to make a goal of being injury-free in 2010. i would love to not see any injuries in 2010, but i am also aware that my body still has some adjusting to do before it will be compatible with running in harmony with all that is in my heart.
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