Monday, September 26, 2011

Running in 2011 so far…

At the start of 2011, I set a New Year’s resolution or goal for expanding my new found favorite activity of running. The goal was to run 1000 miles in 2011. At the time it seemed like a pretty lofty goal: average just less than 19.25 miles a week, every week for a year. Then I read about how other runners were shooting for 2011 miles in 2011 (over 38.5 miles a week) and my 1000 mile goal didn't seem like such a big deal. However I am new to running and I want to keep my goals realistic and not overtake my obligations to family and work.

Fast forward to the close of September 2011: I’m currently at 832.25 miles which puts me way ahead schedule, if I look at my total runs for the past 365 days I’m at 992 miles. My resolution that I made back in January should be attainable if I can just keep myself motivated though Autumn in the cold, wet, gray Pacific Northwest. Clearly the amount of running I am doing has dramatically increased since I took up the activity back at the start of 2010. The distances that I can run has also increased from 5K, to 10K, to 1/2 marathon, to full marathon, to 50K ultra-marathon, to 93 miles around Mount Rainier over 3 days.

What hasn’t improved as much is my pace; I did have a few faster paced races in 2011, but nothing close to my little brother Alex is capable of. Then when I get to the marathon distances my pace becomes really slow; the Boston Marathon is not anything that I see myself as ever qualifying for unless I can keep my current pace into my mid 60s. However, I think I’m okay with this. At 40 I know I’ll never be a fast runner, but I do like exploring how far and long I can run, and that exploration should make 2012 an interesting year for my runs.

As I look forward to the rest of 2012 here is what I have left on the agenda:

  • I have Portland Marathon in less than 2 weeks my goal for that is to complete it in under 4 hours. No big deal except that my only two marathon experiences were both over 4:45, and last year when I did the Portland Marathon I limped the last several miles.
  • Three weeks after that I have the Salty's Half Marathon. This should be a fun, flat, fast half that will be a super small group (it's limited to just 100 participants).
  •  Then four weeks after that I have the Seattle Half Marathon. Last year I did this pretty much "off the couch". I was pretty apprehensive about this, since it's at the end of November (not a time known for nice dry warm weather in Seattle), and my physician had forbidden me from doing the full (his brother had ended up in the hospital with hypothermia while doing the Seattle Marathon). When I did it, it was a really fun half marathon. Depending on how I'm feeling as the date gets closer and depending on what the rules allow, I might upgrade to the full (just don't tell my doctor).

Then that's it for 2011. For 2012, I think I want to up the game a bit and do more ultras!

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