My 3rd full year of running is now in the books, and by looking back on previous years' data in my running log, I can see dramatic progress in my skills.
In 2011, I ran 1018.8 miles at an average pace of 9:39 per mile. Compared to 2010, I ran 1074.6 miles at a 9:42 pace. The decrease in mileage was due to my suffering a calf strain 2 miles into the Herndon Festival 5K in June (I still PR'd that race, that's how well I was running). I only logged 37 miles in June, coming off a 99-mile month of May. But I healed nicely and haven't had a recurrence, possibly due to running with calf compression sleeves since the injury.
My highlight of 2011 was first and foremost, breaking the 2-hour mark (1:59:09) for the first time in the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach in March. I trained very well for that race, and combined with the flat course and cool temperatures, it made for a perfect day. I also set 3 PR's in the 5K last year, my final one being a 25:59 on Thanksgiving Day at the Virginia Run Turkey Trot.
But what what really made the year special was completing the Runners World Holiday Run Streak, whose purpose was to run at least 1 mile from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day. I ran 143.2 miles over the course of those 39 days, with an average pace of 9:30 per mile. And the big news was...I didn't hurt myself! I'm renowned for overdoing it and getting injured, but I ran smart for those 39 days, ran easy on the days when I usually didn't run, ran easier on my usual "easy" days, and took my tempo and interval runs at a slightly faster pace. I liked the streak so much that I'm continuing to "streak" through the new year; I'm currently on Day 44. My goal is to make it to at least St. Patrick's Day (115 days), wich also happens to be the date of the Rock & Roll USA Half Marathon in Washington, DC, which I'll be running this year.
My goals for 2012 are fairly simple: stay injury-free by running smart; PR the half marathon in March; PR the Broad Street Run 10-miler in May; and log 1,250 miles for the year. Oh, and there's also this little thing about completing a full marathon in the Fall. I was leaning towards Philly in November, but now I am considering the Marine Corps Marathon in DC in October. I'd also like to 'run' whichever marathon I choose, also. Nothing against walkers, but for my personal satisfaction, I don't want to 'walk' for one step in that race.
So there is is, in a nutshell - I've been running since September 1, 2008, and I absolutely love it. I can't imagine not doing this before. And to think, I had to get out of the Navy in 1988 because I couldn't pass part of the PT test, which was to run 1.5 miles in under 18 minutes. Of course, being 275 pounds at the time probably was part of it, but looking back, I couldn't run 1.5 miles at 23 years old, and now, at 46, I'm getting ready to run a marathon. Life works in strange ways, doesn't it?