Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2013 Wrap Up

January is almost over and I have forgotten to create the yearly summary post I intended to publish.  What happened last year?  I guess I really mean to say, "what happened in running last year?"

I got back to racing.  Actually, I got back to a lot of racing:
  • Louisville Lovinthe Hills 50k (7th)
  • Land between the Lakes 60k (10th)
  • Kentucky Derby Marathon (3:04:29) (46th)
  • Run with the Foxes Half Marathon (6th)
  • Sunburst Marathon 
  • Sugar Creek Swim Club Triathlon (Relay Team) 5k Run (17:16) (1st)
  • Jeremy Wright (Flatrock) 5k (18:07) (8th)
  • Mill Race Marathon (3:03:31) (13th)
  • Columbia City Marathon  (11th)

A few of these races went pretty well.  I marked the road races of standard distances with noteworthy improvements in red.  Although the marathons were not perfectly executed both the Kentucky Derby and Mill Race marathons were good shots at running under 3 hours.

3 Time SCSC Triathlon Relay Champions!

I also was happy with my attempts at the SCSC 5k and Jeremy Wright 5k.  Our relay team (Katie swim, friend Arvin bike, myself run) won again at the SCSC Triathlon, and I found that while that course was short, the Jeremy Wright 5k was a little long so I think both efforts would have been around 17:4x on a certified course.  

Made it from Bloomington to Van Buren Elementary with Scott 

Running with Sand Flea, the dog who followed us for 23 miles from Yellowwood to BCSP

I also ran in training and racing distances of a marathon or greater 12 times last year.  This included three 30+ mile point to point runs on trails from Bloomington to Nashville, Van Buren, and Brown County State Park.  Scott Breeden and I finally found the elusive trail connectors in Yellowwood, the Tecumseh Trail and Brown County State Park (and only a little trespassing) to put these routes together nicely.  

Stopping for a snack in BCSP at Hesitation Point

Finally last year I also accomplished two other goals I have had long been considering.  On my 34th birthday I ran 34 (+1) miles from our house in Bloomington to Nashville with my good friend Ted, who was thankfully game to take the day off for this impromptu trail run he had not really prepared for at all.  Despite some predictions that we would get lost or injured, we made it safely and refueled with Big Woods Pizza in downtown Nashville.  That could have been my last run of the year and I would have been happy.

The second run on my goal list was running point to point from Bloomington to Martinsville, mostly by way of Old 37.  This was Scott's birthday run so we ran roughly the mileage of his age as well (less than mine).  

I also ran a point to point marathon route from my parent's house in Millersburg to my uncle Marvin's pig farm on New Year's eve at the start of 2013.  It was slow, but since I had just returned from injury I was happy just to make it and then gorge on party snacks.

While home for Christmas I even got a run in with my youngest sister (Jennifer), as she has cultivated a running habit while teaching in Honduras.

Running with Katie on the Art Loeb Trail in North Carolina

We did travel quite a bit, and I got to do some mountain running in North Carolina and Virgina, as well as Colorado.  I ran beautiful rocky and remote trails on the island of Utila off of the gulf coast of Honduras while visiting my youngest sister during spring break.

Running in Utila

Rocky Utila Beach

Mountain Biking a trail I ran earlier in the day

I finished up the year with some great runs in Colorado including bagging a few peaks near Golden and Boulder and finally experiencing the steepness of the Manitou Incline in Colorado Springs.  I think I am more interested in returning for a completion of the Barr Trail all the way up to Pike's Peak than I was before.

The longest stairway ever . . up the Manitou Incline

Otherwise in training I managed to run 2480 miles for the year.  I ran anywhere from twenty to over 100 miles per week.  Some days I ran to and home from work, during lunch, and after work as well.  I ran in temperatures less than 0 and over 100 degrees in ten different states and in a foreign country.  I ran on roads, trails, railroad tracks, cornfields, no trail at all, up stairs, in airports, in Assembly Hall, in parking garages, and even on Highway 37.  I can't say training was monotonous this year.  I was hoping to get to 2500 miles but this was pretty close considering I cross trained (biking and swimming) primarily for the first two months of the year.

Local GPS tracks of my most frequent routes for 2013

As far as injuries are concerned, I had a few but all were tolerable and I was able run them out.  The list was not too long but included:

  • Lingering abductor hallucis pain in my right foot that dissipated with cross training and occasional long runs in the early spring.
  • A right achilles strain
  • Bursitis lingering in both heels (Strassburg socks helped greatly with this while sleeping, as well as avoiding hard heel counters in shoes)
  • Severe blistering and swelling to my right heel that required two weeks of careful taping and low mileage
  • A shin contusion from falling on a log that left me unable to run for a week
  • A 4th metatarsal bruise that lingered for two months
  • Right hip bursitis and IT band pain that plagued me during October and November
  • A right knee injury to my patellar tendon that started in April and disappeared after two months of routinely stretching my quadriceps and hip flexors.
  • A splinter to my right foot that took me out of commission for a few days and hurt to run on for a week more after I had it surgically removed.

Actually, I guess the list was somewhat long.  I learned plenty about taking care of my body this year and mitigating many different types of minor injury without significant lay off.

What was missing?  I am itching to return the longer 50 mile, 100k, and 100 mile distances in racing.  I have not decided on a strict schedule for 2014 but I think I may target some longer races in the fall.  2014 will be a good year I hope!  I started a running streak of consecutive days in December that is now up to 52 consecutive days of running.  I am somewhat weary of subzero temperatures in Indiana but I have gone outside anyway and only once opted for a treadmill.

Warmer weather is just around the corner I hope!