Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009: The Year in Review

At the end of 2008 I laid out some goals for this year. Let's see how I did:

Stay healthy through the winter so I can run the New Jersey Marathon on May 3.
CHECK! Aside from a minor calf strain 4 weeks before the marathon I did stay healthy, no other injuries or illnesses to speak of. My training went very well. I started doing winter speedwork with the Nike pacers and got to race day feeling strong and confident.

I would like to race more.
CHECK! In 2008 I ran no more than 5 or 6 races. This year I ran 8. All but the Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 miler were non-NYRR races. A secondary goal was to run more local run races, so CHECK to that as well. I set new PRs  in the first 4 races that I ran: Fair Lawn Sunrise Rotary 1st Day 5k (22:46, 1/1/09), Prospect Park Track Club Cherry Tree 10 Miler (1:19:50, 2/22/09), New Jersey Marathon (3:52:54, 5/3/09), and the Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 miler (36:55, 6/28/09). In September I bested my 10 PR by 2 seconds at the South Nyack 10 miler (1:19:48, 9/13/09).

Continue to focus on nutrition and overall good health.
CHECK! With the help Mrs. Ansky, RD I practiced better eating habits (the occasional bowl ice cream included). I learned what foods work for me before a race or long-run (whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter) and for recovery (oatmeal, choclate milk, omlets).

Get faster
PUSH. I did set 4 new PRs this year but...I didn't run a sub-1:50 half or a sub 3:50 full. I'm hoping that I'll be able to accomplish both in 2010.

Other Highlights and Lowlights of 2009
Excluding the PRs, the highlight of 2009 was my run to Yankee Stadium. I decided to have some fun on that Sunday in August. Rather than going with my buddies in the car, I traveled to the Stadium on foot and met them in the parking lot.

The other highlight was meeting some amazing new people.At first we were all like minded runners writing about our running in and around New York City.We only knew each other in the virtual world, Blogspot, Wordpress, Facebook, and Twitter. Then we decided to meet up in person, at Nike Speed, at races, and then at Tweet-up runs. Now, we are not only fellow runners, we are also friends.

The big lowlight of 2009 was my fractured rib. I missed about 6 weeks of running and had to drop out of my fall half-marathon. I learned a lot during that time. I was beyond frustrated that I couldn't run but my time off the roads allowed me to help others accomplish their goals. Trea was training for her first half marathon during this time and she was very nervous about being to finish what she started. This was a way for me to stay involved in the running community while not running myself. BTW...Trea ROCKED her first half marathon, finishing in 2:00:xx.

Lesson Learned
I learned to listen to my body this year. During the year, I lost my mojo and had the summertime blues. Both times, running just wasn't fun. I was going through the motions and felt like my running had no purpose. I took a week off both time to re-focus.

I also took a week off while on vacation with my family. I wanted to enjoy the time with my family and not worried about getting my miles in. Bottom line, it's OK to take a week off. Nothing will happen.

So there you have it. 2009 certainly wasn't perfect, it had its highs and lows. The important thing is, I'm ending 2009 on a high note. It took me a while to fully recover from my rib injury but I'm finally feeling strong heading into 2010.

Thank you all for reading and commenting on the blog. Best wishes for a Happy Holiday season. 2010 should be a safe, prosperous, and healthy year for all of us.

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