Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 year in review

The final stats read as follows:
Distance= 2,092 miles (PR). Average Weekly GPA: 3.03 (PR)
Average weekly mileage: 41. Highest: 55. Lowest: 24.
Weeks lost due to injury: ZERO (4th time in the last 5 years that I avoided a major injury)
12 races: 5 local, 6 overnight trips, 1 fly away.
Best race: Statue 2 Statue. Worst race: Peavine.
Best times:
400: Did not run
Mile: 5:19 (adult PR)
5K: 19:21 (adult PR)
10K: 40:28 PR
Half: 1:31:02 PR
Full: Did not run
Month by month highlights:

January: Bad vibes from 2010 seemed to carry over as I entered the year with a nasty sinus infection. Trained fairly well for the remainder of the month and would be ready to go for my first round of racing.

February: Better than expected showing at the Mercedes half (1:34:02) followed by a PR 2 weeks later in Chattanooga (1:32:49). Chromium dependency re-appeared. ARRGH!

March: New 10K PR in Atlanta (40:55) followed by a mediocre local 5K (20:01) with worsening chemical instability as the month progressed.

April- Statue 2 Statue 15K in 64:15 with my fastest finishing kick ever, added more speedwork and a couple decent time trials but still unstable.

May- Took care of a low grade oral infection that was a contributing factor to my instability. Traveled to Coeur D'Alene to visit states #47 and 48. Finished in 1:33:25 on a course that was "a bit long."

June-August- Extremely unstable. For much of the summer, I was either red hot or ice cold, very little in between. I did set an unofficial 10K PR of 40:28 and ran a sub-32 for 8K but could not get it done on race day. I was horrible at Peavine and average in a local 5K (19:45).

September- Things began to improve this month. Set adult PRs in the 5K (19:21) and the Mile (5:19). Sharply reduced consumption of sugared drinks and was much more stable for the remainder of the year.

October- 2 straight half marathon PRs in Montgomery (1:31:32) and Columbus (1:31:02).

November- Mini slump at an inopportune time. White River half was a downer (1:33:34).

December- Shifted gears to marathon mode and trained very well until Christmas but succumbed to a respiratory infection at the end of the year.

Final thoughts:
A "pretty good" year overall. My training focused on the 10K and Half Marathon distances and that is where I showed the greatest improvements. I remain frustratingly close to my lifetime goals in the 5K,10K and Half. Based on some of my workouts, I believe that I had it in me multiple times but just could not get all the stars to align on race day. If you are within 5 seconds/mile of your goals, you are indeed capable. I am there at every distance except the marathon.

Looking ahead:
First, I've got to get over this respiratory infection which should be gone in 3-5 days. Then, it's yet another attempt at that elusive sub-1:30 half on a blazing fast course in Austin, TX. 2 weeks later, I will run the full here in Birmingham. It's not my goal race and haven't trained properly for the distance but I can certainly expect to put a big dent in my current PR. After that point, it will be mid-February and I'll take 7-10 days off then shift gears to heavy speed work. At 31 years of age, it's pretty much now or never if I want to get that 59.9 in the 400. I figure that I still have another 3-5 years of potential improvement at the longer distances before age begins to slow me down. Plenty of time to reach my lifetime goals. I'll still continue my "drive for 25" half/full marathon states. Texas will be #13. Top tier options include Louisville, KY, Denver, CO and Indianapolis, IN. Oh yeah, as of now, I no longer need Thym-Adren pills. Only a medical report can determine if this freedom is permanent or temporary as it was in 2010.

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