Thursday, April 26, 2012

Looking Back

Yesterday I did my last run before the miniMarathon this Saturday, so I thought I'd take some time and reflect back on my year so far.

This year, I've really tried to stick to my training plan. Since I've added swimming and biking on top of the running, I didn't always get every run in, but I definitely got more in this year than I did last year.

Side note -- I'm amazed at how much the cross-training has helped keep my previous injuries at bay. Aside from the very first runs this year, the only knee issue I've had is when my knees were tight after I didn't run for a few days.

As best I can tell, here are my running totals for the year so far:
(note that my treadmill numbers are a little fuzzy, so only the mileage is included)

Distance: 187 miles
Calories: 18,693 (just from the Garmin, so probably closer to 25,000 total... just from running!)
Time: 21.5 hours (again, from the Garmin... closer to 30 hours total!)

All that training is really paying off, too.

Remember the goal I established way back in week 1 -- to PR all four races this year?

So far, I'm 3 for 3.

Anthem 5K
2010 - 34:59 (11:17/mile)
2011 - 25:45 (8:18/mile)
2012 - 24:14 (7:49/mile)

Rhodes City Run 10K
2010 - 59:39 (9:37/mile)
2011 - 57:47 (9:19/mile)
2012 - 51:53 (8:22/mile)

Papa John's 10 Miler
2010 - 1:56:05 (11:36/mile)
2011 - 1:43:22 (10:20/mile)
2012 - 1:26:04 (8:36/mile)

To complete the challenge, I'll need to finish this year's mini in under 2 hours and 20 minutes.

2010 - 3:00:42 (13:47/mile)
2011 - 2:20:18 (10:42/mile)

Barring any major setbacks on race day, I shouldn't have any trouble meeting that goal, or my other goal to finish the race in under 2 hours.

Based on my race times so far this year, this calculator from estimates that I can finish a half-marathon somewhere between 1:51:00 and 1:55:00.

I think the biggest thing that amazes me is how far I've come in such a short amount of time.

When we started running, I did it just so Jennifer wasn't out there doing it alone. I was never athletic growing up, but I think some part of me always wanted to be. So somewhat reluctantly (but not completely), I started the Couch to 5K program with her. I don't think we finished the program the first time we did it, but we ran our first 5K together in the Fall of 2009.

Either late 2009 or early 2010 she decided she was going to do a series of races called the Triple Crown of Running, and then run the miniMarathon. I forget my exact words, but I'm sure I used the phrases "you're crazy" and "have fun with that!"

Always determined, she stuck to her guns (and eventually I came around) and we got back on the Couch to 5K horse with a little more seriousness in 2010. I figured if I sat on the couch while she was out there running (getting skinny and sexy), she'd meet some other runner dude and drop my lazy ass.

I wasn't about to let that happen.

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't take things as seriously as she did, and I wound up injured more than a few times. Even last year after I should have known better, I was down the second week into training with injuries.

But the important thing is that we did it. We set a goal, we trained hard (even when we didn't feel like it), and we accomplished something we didn't think we could.

Now that I'm a little deeper into the sport, I do think I have somewhat of a natural ability for it. I'm certainly not the fastest out there, but I know I can work at it and get faster.

But you never would have convinced my former self of that -- not so long ago I was 65 pounds heavier and more unhealthy than I ever hope to be again.

Thanksgiving 2004
Just before I met Jennifer

It's crazy to think that only two years ago I could barely run for a minute or two at a time. Now, I can go out and run for an hour like it's nothing.

All it took to change that was making a few small choices each day to fit my training in.

People get into racing for many different reasons. Mine were to be healthy, to challenge myself, and to experience something new with my wife.

I feel like training and racing have brought out the best in me. Going for a run helps me clear my head so I can take on the challenges of life, and so I'm able to focus better for work. It doesn't really make sense, but I definitely have more energy when I'm actively training than when I skip my workouts.

This has been a really exciting year so far. I still can't quite believe I've completed two triathlons already! (Full recaps here and here.)

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me.

Keeping up with this blog is just extra motivation to get my workouts in, and to really push myself.

I've gotten a lot of feedback that I'm encouraging others to go out for a run, or go to the gym, and I love that! I guess I like showing that regular people can do anything they want, as long as they want it bad enough.

I'm not sure exactly where I'm going from here, but I have a feeling this is just the start of many more years of racing. I'm eager to improve my swimming and biking so that I'm more competitive in my age group in triathlons, and I think I'd like to start training for an Olympic-distance tri soon.

And last year I had no desire to seriously take on a marathon, but now I think that's something I'd like to do.

Just to be able to look back one day and say I've done it.

So stay tuned for more race reports throughout the year, for more updates on how my training is going, and for more sweet ass pics of me like this:

Thanks for reading!


  1. You truly inspire me and motivate me everyday! I am so proud of you and all of your amazing accomplishments!

  2. So awesome! I'll be waiting to hear if you beat your time at the mini! :)


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