2012 was a very memorable running year for me. Memorable for me with training for and completing my first marathon, but also for my logging my most yearly miles ever (1500.5) and making it through without major injury.
I started 2012 off with a run streak I had started on Thanksgiving Day 2011, and continued it until April 7th, a streak of 136 days. Not awe-inspiring, but it really got me focused on my running. It set the stage for what was to come.
On New Year's Say 2012, I ran my first race, a 5K in Reston. I didn't PR (26:20), after PR'ing my 2 previous 5K's in November, and was wondering if my streak had something to so with it. I was training for the Rock & Roll USA Half Marathon, and my concern was if training for a half and keeping a run streak going was counter-productive.
But in early March, 2 weeks before R&R, I ran the Reston Ten Miler, and logged a PR of 1:29:03, my first substantial distance with a pace under 9:00/mile. This was very encouraging to me, and I was expecting good things in DC on March 17th. But that was not to be, as I struggled in the late stages and came in with a 2:01:13. Not my best half, but also not my worst. I stopped my streak 3 weeks later, and focused on the Ashburn Village 10K on April 22. I hadn't run a 10K since New Year's Eve 2010, so I was curious to see how I would do. This was kind of a tough course, but I finished in 53:03, 93 seconds better than my previous 10K best, and almost 4 minutes faster than I had run the course 2 years prior.
In May I started adding twice-weekly bike training sessions to my 5-day running, and it seemed to help. Marathon training started on June 16th, and biking, I believe, gave my legs a break from the pounding while strengthening my quads in the process. On August 19th, in the middle of Marine Corps Marathon training, I ran my first 20K in Leesburg, and used it as a training run. I ran the 12.4 miles in 1:54:12, not my fastest, but very helpful, as I ran the last 3 or so miles at below 9:00 pace.
I ran almost 173 miles in September alone, due to the fact that I logged my first 20 mile training run that month, along with two-10 milers, two-14 milers, and two-16-milers. I followed up a big September with a 22-mile training run to start October, and then it was taper time until MCM. Without rehashing the details, I can say that it was a great experience, I amazed myself at what I was able to do, and I'm not doing another 26.2 for a while.
I finished out the year strong, PR'ing both a 5K on Thanksgiving (25:04) and a 10K on New Year's Eve (52:35). I ran 9 races - 3 5K's, 2 10K's, and a 10 miler, 20K, half-marathon, and full marathon. A little bit of everything. Of those 7 races in which I had previous PR's (i.e., not the 20K and marathon), I set new PR's in 5 of them. All in all, a very satisfying year for me.
Going forward, in 2013, my focus is going to be on getting faster as I slowly get closer to age 50. My goals will be: to run at least 3 Ten Milers, with the initial goal being an 8:45 pace; to run a 5K in under 25 minutes (I have to shave 4 seconds off my time); and to run a 10K in under 52 minutes (a 35-second improvement needed). Another sub-2:00 half-marathon is also an achievement I'd like to hit. I'd also like to run 1650 miles this year, a 10% increase over 2012. I am also committed to adding some weight training to my repertoire, and to pull the bike out again when it gets light in the early mornings (I won't ride when it's dark).
Let me know your goals!!