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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Posted Jan 02 2011 11:10pm
A couple of days ago, I gave you all a blow-by-blow month-by-month account of how 2010 went for me in terms of running. To be sure, there were things I did which I am quite proud of (4 mile PR, sub-3 marathon, inspiring parents/brother to take up running) and other things I did which I am decidedly NOT (marathon DNS in NJM, medical DNF in 4-miler, no half marathon/10K PR). Nevertheless, if I were to be completely objective and disregard my emotional attachment to speed and faster times, I'd have to say that 2010 was overall a successful running year because I finally discovered how to embrace running as a lifestyle and not just a hobbie and/or a sport. I (finally) learned that performance gains on the road doesn't necessarily come in a perfect sequential order. I learned that taking a step back, or two or even a DNF or DNS, is sometimes necessary to prevent unnecessary physical damage and allow the body to heal quicker and stronger. I learned about the importance of social running and of moderation and of active recovery. I learned how to inspire others by allowing others to inspire me with their struggles, their dedication and their triumphs regardless of speed, sex, race or background. I learned how to be an active member of the running community while still remaining true to my identity. In short, I became a more complete runner, not just in any individual pursuit, but as it relates to my life, my family, my friends, and the virtually running world.

Before I close the chapter on last year, let's take a look at how I fared in my ten 2010 running goals as set forth last January 2nd . (Feel free to cover your eyes 'cause I know it ain't pretty...)

Ten Running Goals for 2010
  1. I will enter my first ever triathlon, ultramarathon, or overnight relay race - CHECK [ Ragnar NY - It was a really fun time. May I have another please...]
  2. Train two newbies for their first long distance race - CHECK [ Madame E in Philly Marathon and My brother in 15K - There were others...but less epic.]
  3. Sub 3 - CHECK [ Chicago Marathon - 2:59:55 - Need I say more?]
  4. PR in 4 races - FAIL [Only 3 PRs - 5K , 4M , Marathon - Sigh.]
  5. Finish Pentathlon (missing sub 24min 5K, sub 3hr Marathon) - CHECK [I had forgotten about this quirky wannabe running quest I had designed myself...glad to have completed it even if unintentionally]
  6. Six out-of-town races - FAIL [Only did 4. Yes, I seriously need to get out more!]
  7. Volunteer to be 7-min pacer for LTR - FAIL [Stuck to my safe 7:30 pace on both occasions. No excuses.]
  8. Run in 8 different city parks - CHECK [Not that you should care, but the list includes Riverside, Central, Morningside, Flushing Meadows, Kissena, Cunningham, Forest and the exotic Balboa Park in San Diego]
  9. Run in 9 different race distances - FAIL [Did 5K, 4M, 5M, 10K, 10M, 13.1M, 26.2, but neglected 1M, 15K. So many races, so little time.]
  10. Run 2010 miles - CHECK [Ran 2304 miles. For those scoring at home that's 44 mpw on average!]
Final Grade - C+; 6/10 Goals completed (At least I passed! Barely...)

Meh, so last year wasn't exactly the best for me. I think we already know that. Maybe if I actually took the time to look at my goals from time to time, I could've done a better job. Anyway, moving on. Because I'm a bit narcissistic and frustrated that I barely missed out on some of my 2010 goals, I'm requesting a do-over on the items I missed and adding some newer challenges to the mix for my list of running goals for 2011. I'm not sure how many of these I will get done by year's end, but I'm throwing them all out there just to keep myself honest and accountable and because that's we all do on January 2nd. Right? Here goes.

Eleven Running Goals for 2011
  1. Complete one (or two) ultramarathons.
  2. Cut 2 minutes off my NYCM PR - in other words - sub 3 in NYCM
  3. Coach 3 new runners to first half marathon or longer.
  4. PRs in 4 races - including 10k and the half marathon.
  5. Run 2500 miles.
  6. Compete in 6 out-of-town races.
  7. Volunteer for 7-min/mi pacer for LTR.
  8. Complete at least one 80 mile training week.
  9. Finish 9 different race distances goal from 2010 - Run 1M, 15K race
  10. Do 10 different trail runs (majority of the run has to be on a trail!)
  11. Run at least a mile with 11 different friends/family...individually
So what do you all think? Too challenging? Piece of cake? All I know is: Stick around, my dear friends! 2011 is going to be an interesting year. Oy...I mean Yay!
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