4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

Flat Marathon – no thank you

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This thought has been hanging with me for awhile, but thanks to two recent blog postings I came across, I was reminded to write about it.

My best marathons have come on hilly courses, NOT flat ones.  What?  Doesn’t make sense, you say?  If you think about it, it kind of does make sense, because on a hilly course, the flats, uphills and downhills make great use of a variety of muscles over time, spreading the damage, so to say.  Others have recently proffered their explanations:

  1. Laura / Absolut(ly) Fit / 50 x 25 – you know, the first youngest female to run a marathon in all 50 states?  Yes, in her recent post on how to recover quickly from a marathon (great post by the way), she devoted a couple of paragraphs on her thoughts regarding hilly vs flat marathons.
  2. Georgia Marathon Blog – my next marathon is the Georgia Marathon, and on their website they have a TOTALLY AWESOME BLOG that consists of a variety of (presumably) regular running people who write great posts on distance running.  How cool is that?  Other marathons should take note and copy… Anyway, a recent posting on that blog provided some additional insights on exactly the same topic!

In looking at my own history, some of my very best marathons were quite hilly:

  1. Big Sur 2005 – Has a very hilly reputation, lots of big hills, and a monster hill in the middle of the race.  It was my 7th marathon, and can you guess what I did?  That’s right, a PR! 4:37:37.  This PR would stand for almost 4 years, through a few more marathons, lasting until:
  2. Austin 2009 – Not nearly as hilly as Big Sur, but definitely a hilly course.  I had an unbelievable (for me) PR of 4:22:16,  The nice thing about this hilly race is that the last 6-7 miles are downhill, and in that particular year, those last miles had a tailwind.  While that combination of factors allowed me to cruise to that amazing PR, I believe it was the hilliness of the course that kept me relatively fresh at the end of the race.
  3. First Light 2011 – While not necessarily billed as a hilly marathon, this race is interesting because the first 10 miles are pancake flat, and then miles 10-21 are very, very hilly, and then the last 6 miles are pancake flat.  I treated the first 10 miles as a warm up, and then attacked the hills, and honestly, this was the only marathon I ever ran where I didn’t feel like I hit the wall.  My finish of 4:37:10 was far beyond what I thought I was capable of that day.

Of course, there are other factors that go into a successful race, like the training leading into it, and the weather on race day.  Maybe it is coincidence that those 3 races I mentioned are the ones I feel are my best marathons, and were the hilliest ones I ever ran.

Also interesting to consider is my half marathon PR history, where FOUR TIMES my PR was set on the old Brooklyn Half Marathon course, the one that started in Coney Island and spent the first 8 miles on the boardwalk and on flat Ocean Parkway, and ending with 5 brutal miles twice around Prospect Park with LOTS of hills.  Yes, every time I ran that race between 1999 and 2008 (4 times), I set a new PR on that very hilly course.

While several of the worst marathons I ever ran were of the flat variety, interestingly enough, the weather was not cooperative for any of them: New Jersey 2002 (cold, windy and rainy day), Chicago Marathon 2010 (super hot),  Providence Rhode Races 2010 (super hot)

Another thought is perhaps I’ve always trained harder when I knew I had a hilly marathon coming up?  Possible, I suppose, but I usually approach my marathon trainings in much the same way.  Yes, my small sample of races certainly isn’t definitive, and perhaps many of my flat races were done in less than favorable conditions, but like I said, my best races have been on hilly courses and my worst on flat courses.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

My next marathon is the Georgia Marathon on March 18, which I hear is a hilly course. 🙂

Written by SCL

January 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm

2011 Highlights – Part 2

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As you all know, I’m not so great at posting here anymore.  My we’ve come a long way (and in the wrong direction) since I posted for 28 days straight leading up to the 10-10-10 Chicago Marathon!

Anyway, this post concludes the ‘highlights’ I wanted to point out regarding 2011.  Find Part 1 here.  Upon further reflection, this post is not so much about anything in particular I did in 2011, and so the ‘highlight’ title is a bit of a lie, as this is more a celebration of January running (for me), and my inverted bell curve of running over the last 13 years.

Below you will see my total miles per month, from the years 1999-2011, covering 13 years.

  • Jan – 798.6
  • Feb – 706.1
  • March – 631.7
  • April – 659.7
  • May – 517.7
  • June – 316.1
  • July – 433.8
  • Aug – 532.4
  • Sept – 692.7
  • Oct – 706.4
  • Nov – 682.7
  • Dec – 730.7

What is striking about this is that I ‘peak’ in Jan in mileage, generally decline through June, and then start another steady increase, peaking again in Dec.

For one, it is clear backup for the statement I keep repeating to anyone who might listen, namely, “I hate running in the hot weather!”  What more proof do you need?

For two, it is a clear indication of the other statement I keep repeating to anyone who might listen, namely, “January is the month I always renew my love for running.”  Partially it is the clean slate of a new year, and partially it is probably due to my birthday, which occurs early in Jan, but whatever the reason, January is the month I most consistently run.  I can only count two years where January was my highest total month of the year, so it is not that January is always my biggest month, however, it is my most consistent month, and every year is among the top few months in total miles.  Since 2005 (past 7 years), January is at least in the top 4 monthly mileage for the year.

If you look at the numbers above, the inverted bell curve is quite clear.  However, it is not perfect.  My goal for 2012 is simple.  March must have at least 28 more miles than April, and November must have at least 24 more miles than October.  If I can accomplish both of those, and keep the other months in their relative places, then I will have attained perfection!

 

Written by SCL

January 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Speed training and cold weather

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This is the week of the year that I am always the most excited about running.  The start of the new year always invigorates me to do more and better, despite the cold temperatures.  Therefore, I typically sign up for speed work in Jan.  In fact, and this will be the subject of my next planned blog post, January is the month of the year in which I’ve logged the most cumulative miles, at least over the last 13 years of my running log…

I love my Excel running log, and sometimes I can get lost in it.  Tonight is the first session of the NYRR speed training class that I’ll be taking, which runs for the next 10 weeks.  My log tells me that this will be my 20th NYRR speed class session since 1/1/1999, and my 11th time taking the session in Jan out of the last 13 years!  I skipped 2011 because I was a bit burned out after training for a Jan marathon.  I’m not quite sure why I skipped 2003.  It most like was due to injury (?) as 2003 was my lowest running year on record with 123.2 miles.  I think that was the year I had a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that year that took months to heal.  Or was it the year I had patellar tendinitis?  Who knows anymore…

Anyway, my interest today was in the weather.  I can’t help myself, as a recovering numbers AND weather geek!  It has been interesting to see so many people comment on Twitter on both the exceptionally warm weather we had over New Years (highs in the low 50s), and the exceptionally cold weather we are having today, 20s and dropping. 

I took a look at the weather conditions for the first day of the Jan speed session I attended over the years, and was not so surprised to find it is pretty evenly split between cold, normal and hot:

  1. 1-4-00 – 55 – rain
  2. 1-2-01 – 21/2
  3. 1-8-02 – 34 / 26
  4. 1-6-04 – 28 / 22
  5. 1-4-05 – 48
  6. 1-3-06 – 35 – fr rain
  7. 1-4-07 – 55
  8. 1-8-08 – 57
  9. 1-6-09 – 31 / 25 – fr rain
  10. 1-5-10 – 27 / 15

Four times over 45 degrees, three times under 30 degrees, and three right in the 30s.  Tonite will certainly compete for coldest yet, as the temperatures might get below 21, but it is not very windy and so the wind chill should stay above the 2 degrees it was in 2001.

Written by SCL

January 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

2011 Highlights – Part 1

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Hi, it’s me!  Been a long time since I posted anything of substance.  Now that we are at year-end, figured I’d try to put some updates out here.  Isn’t that what all the cool kids are doing these days?

In this post, rather than bore you with lists of details of what I did, didn’t do, and want to do, I’m highlighting a particular accomplishment I am very proud of, which is participating in 16 races.  Yes, on the face, that’s a nice accomplishment, and something I’m happy about, but even more importantly, only one of those races (Brooklyn Half Marathon) was organized by New York Road Runners.  While they once were a staple of the race scene for me, times have certainly changed and I am just not interested in their races, for a number of reasons many of you are aware of, such as fewer races on the calendar, huge numbers of participants, race caps which creates inflated demand, among others.

For me, races are so much fun, and the motivation for all the training I do during the year.  Without races to look forward to, my training would most certainly dip significantly.  I know we all refer to them as ‘races’, but the reality is that I’m not a ‘racer’.  I’m out there to have fun, complete the distance, and depending on where I am with my training that day, if the result is a fast time or a PR, that’s just icing on the cake.

I (sort of) managed only a single running PR this year, which was at a 4 mile race by Long Island Road Runners on 3/6 which I completed in 34:03.  I say sort of because my old PR, set in Central Park on 4/9/2000, was in the days before we had chip timing.  My official time in that race in 2000 was 34:23, but the fact is that it took me 22 seconds to cross the start line that day, which I recorded on my Timex.  My net time was therefore 34:01, but in those days, net time was not officially measured.

EDIT: Sorry, after double checking some more, I see I also set a PR at the unusual 8k distance, which I had only raced once before, way back in 1998!

Here are my 2011 races, and where applicable, the host:

  1. 1/9 – First Light Marathon
  2. 2/12 – Cupid’s Chase 5k NYC
  3. 3/6 – LIRRC 5 Miler (Long Island Road Runner Club)
  4. 3/27 – March Madness Biathlon (New York Triathlon Club)
  5. 4/2 – 13.1 New York
  6. 4/10 – Tough Mudder PA
  7. 5/1 – Flying Pig Marathon
  8. 5/15 – Red Bank Triathlon (Sandy Hookers)
  9. 5/21 – Brooklyn Half Marathon (New York Road Runners)
  10. 7/27 – Fla-Vor-Ice 5k (NYC Runs)
  11. 9/10 – East River Park 5k (NYC Runs)
  12. 9/11 – War at the Shore Triathlon (Sandy Hookers)
  13. 9/18 – Yonkers Half Marathon (NYC Runs)
  14. 10/25 – Roosevelt Island 5k (NYC Runs)
  15. 11/27 – Duck Run 8k (Long Island Road Runners Club)
  16. 12/10 – Rehoboth Beach Marathon

I really spread things out, with three marathons, four 5ks, two triathlons, a duathlon, and numerous ‘small’ events, which I find I enjoy much more than the behemoth NYRR events.

16 races in the year equals my total from 2001, and is my 2nd highest yearly race total ever.  The prize for most races in a year is awarded to the year 2000, when I ran 20 races.  Of those 20 races, 19 were organized by New York Road Runners.  I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that currently runs 19 NYRR races in a year due to some of the reasons already mentioned, but I’m sure it was quite common in the past.

I’m really happy to see NYC Runs emerge as another option here in NYC.  I ran 4 of their races last year, and expect to run even more of them in the coming year.

In 2012, I already got my first race out of the way earlier today, and am looking forward to planning out another jam packed schedule.

For more info on my career race history, check out my Race Results page!

Written by SCL

January 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Posted in Reflections

HRM

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Yesterday I ran a 5k race in East River Park, finishing in 29:56.  I typically run 5k’s quite a bit faster, but I’ll take it, and am satisfied considering I’m still returning from injury.  Today I raced the War at the Shore triathlon at Long Branch, NJ.  It was a ton of fun, but really difficult because the ocean (swim) was roaring today, and I had to deal with rain and winds on the bike and run.  I finished in 2:20:26, which I’m satisfied with, and served as a great tune up for Ironman 70.3 Pocono Mountains, which is in 3 weeks.

As nice as these races were, I was more satisfied by what my watch told me my heart rate was during those efforts.  You see, ever since the Flying Pig Marathon on May 1, my watch / heart rate monitor was telling me that was heart rate was sometimes dangerously high.  I was seeing HR spikes during my workouts that were abnormally high.  It would spike at a high number and then go down to a normal number, for no obvious reason at all.  I was pretty sure it was on the fritz because sometimes the watch would report 200+ when I wasn’t even running, it would sometimes show a very high number when I ran at an easy conversational pace, and because my own personal test of my pulse during workouts did not agree with my watch was telling me.

It took me so long to confirm the non-issue because at first I was injured and stopped running, and second I was in a little bit of denial because when I started running again, I knew I was out of shape, and it was the summertime where my HR tends to be higher.  In the beginning, before it kept getting worse and worse, I thought that what the watch was telling me was reality.  Lastly, I balked at buying a replacement strap for my watch because it costs over $50, and I just didn’t want to spend the money.

In my first effort at debunking the watch, I ran on the treadmill at my gym, where the equipment contains HRM’s.  However, once your pace goes over 4 MPH, the machine stops telling you your HR – I guess a safety feature.  In my second attempt, I actually Read The Manual for my watch, and it said you should run the strap through the wash if it seemed it was not reporting accurate numbers.  So, I did that, and then it would report normal numbers for the first part of my workout, before spiking high again.

Finally, with a half ironman triathlon coming up in a few weeks, I knew I needed to bite the bullet and just buy a new one to confirm for once and for all if I had a problem that warranted seeing my doctor.  So I did buy a new one, and it arrived on Friday.  During my races on Sat and Sun, my heart rate showed very normal and consistent numbers with no high spikes at all, and so I am now satisfied in seeing that I have nothing at all to worry about.

In reflection, I think I figured out what happened here.  On April 10th, I participated in the Tough Mudder, and let’s just say that both my watch and heart rate strap got down and dirty and ended up with a lot of caked in mud that day.  I suppose I damaged it permanently, as in my workouts soon after, I can see these odd spikes that were not happening earlier.

Anyway, I’m happy that I have a clean bill of heart rate health, and while I will continue to keep a close eye on this possible issue, I think I’m fully in the clear.

Written by SCL

September 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Posted in Reflections

Still here…

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Hey, I’m still here, just haven’t been motivated to write in my blog through injuries I had in the spring and summer. 

I had a very busy winter and spring of training and racing, and after a marathon, half marathon and olympic distance triathlon within a 4 week period in May, I needed a break.  In short, I had hip and groin issues, primarily caused by glutes that ‘stopped firing’.  I’ve been working with a personal trainer and am just now starting to get back to being healthy again.  Summary of the last 4 months:

  • May – 61.2 running; 59.8 biking
  • June – 0 running; 14 biking
  • July – 18.4 running; 40.8 biking
  • August – 39.5 running; 84.4 biking

My runs are a good 60 seconds per mile slower than my typical training pace, but that is OK.  I suspect I won’t be back to full form until I start speed workouts in the winter time, and I hope to be back in PR shape by the springtime.  In my past experience, when injured, it takes a good 12 to up to 24 months to get back to full strength where I feel like I’m capable of PR’s.

The impetus to get back on some sort of track now is that I have the Poconos 70.3 race quickly coming up on Oct 2.  I registered for the race early, and it is quite expensive, so I really want to get it done rather than defer.  While my longest run so far is only 5.7 miles, my longest bike ride only 27 miles, and with no time in the pool in the last 3 months, I know this will not be the race that I was hoping for, but I do think I’ll be able to get it done, and within the 8 hour cutoff.  My biggest fear is not being able to finish the swim before the swim cutoff time, but I think and hope the swim is down current in the Delaware River, which would be a big help.

In the next couple of weeks, I have some big tune up races I’m really looking forward to:

  • 9/10 – a 5k race in my ‘home park’, East River Park.  NYCRUNS is holding a race with East River Park Track Club and I can’t wait to participate.  My running log says that I’ve run in the park 265 times since 1999, and NEVER in a race.  Hopefully all the Irene flood waters will have receded by then. 
  • 9/11 – War at the Shore in Long Branch – middle distance triathlon.  Relatively short Ocean swim, with a bike and run that is close to olympic distance.
  • 9/18 – Yonkers Half Marathon – I plan to ride my bike to the race so that I’ll get a good brick workout done

Then in October, the town where I have my weekend house, Little Silver NJ, and the neighboring town, Shrewsbury, both have small 5ks I hope to be able to run in.  I’m also hoping to convince my 15 year-old to join at least one of them…

I found that being injured was actually not so awful.  First, I Hate (note the capital H) running in the summer and this was a great excuse to take a break in the hottest months of June and July.  Second, it was refreshing not to have to get up early on the weekends for races or training runs/rides, and make my family sacrifice their plans around my races.  Was great to be home more often for my kids.

I’m on the prowl for upcoming marathons.  While I’m not registered yet, I have my eye on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on Dec 10, which would be my 10th state!  For the spring, I’m tentatively looking at either of Georgia Marathon, Eugene Marathon, or Fargo Marathon – would appreciate any feedback or thoughts on those races.

Anyway, that is my update, and I hope to post more often than every 4 months going forward!

Written by SCL

September 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Construction disappointments

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I recently was looking at my blog entries from last year, and came across this positive gem, which included descriptions of several construction projects along my routes that had been making great progress or were completed.

Unfortunately, 2 of those projects, a year later, are still not done.  These are the expansion of the sidewalk down at the bottom part of the East River Greenway, approaching South Ferry, and the reconstruction of the promenade just south of the South Street Seaport.  These both seemed so close to completion last year, I cannot believe a year later we are still waiting.

I understand there are so many construction projects underway in the city, and construction of parks probably gets a lower priority, but just disappointing that we had to go the entire summer last year without enjoying them, and who knows how much longer it will take this year to get them done.  And on top of those, the promenade construction in East River Park continues at a snails pace.  Maybe this will be the year that gets finished up…

Written by SCL

April 8, 2011 at 10:55 am

Posted in Reflections

Patience, Grasshopper, plus updates

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http://www.reference.com/motif/Science/patience-grasshopper

While I’ve had a good start to the year in many respects, this is supposed to be the year of the bike for me, and I have not been on my bike once!  I sometimes start to get antsy about it, but in reality, the year is long, and the weather will improve, and before I know it, I’ll have no excuse not to ride my bike a few times a week.  So I will sit back and be patient about it…

Same goes for swimming.  I’ve committed to the Red Bank Tri on May 15, and know I need to get in the pool soon to start to get ready for the swim portion, but I just haven’t felt the motivation yet, or the clock ticking loud enough yet, for me to actually get in the pool.  And I’m OK with that.

On the plus side, I’ve been to the gym to lift weights 5 times in the last 4 weeks, although my left shoulder is hurting at the moment probably due to said lifting.  So, you see, there are always trade-offs 🙂  My running has been on fire, with a great First Light Marathon, and high mileage (for me) months in Jan and so far in Feb.  Running is part of how I stay sane with the snow, icy, rainy and cold weather we’ve had this year.  According to my New York Times, we are 2 degrees below average for the year so far, and had 2 inches more rain than is normal.  However, I have not let these conditions stop me from running, and that allows me to feel like I’m getting good work in, while I bide my time for better weather.

I did have thoughts of getting out on my bike, but frozen toes (and other extremities) were scaring me.  I went so far as to go to JackRabbit and buy toe covers, but the sizing was way too small and I don’t have bike shoes, which is how they are sized, so I returned them.  I realized I was trying to force things, and have decided to just slow it down, and wait it out. 

In other news

  • I impulsively purchased Runmeter this week.  Their latest version integrates the GPS technology on the iPhone with Twitter and Dailymile!  So now when I go for a run, my Twitter and Dailymile friends get a notification and can click the map to see my progress.  So cool.  I know Runkeeper has the live map and feed to Twitter, but it is the Dailymile connection that is key to me.  I’ve used it twice and enjoyed it.  Not only were my vital stats read to me on the run, but so were a few Twitter and Dailymile responses.  The only problem is that GPS can be quite wonky in New York City, but I know that and so won’t lose sleep over it.  I can fix the true distance after the fact anyway.
  • I’m excited to be running a non NYRR 5k race in Manhattan tomorrow morning!  Namely the Cupid’s Chase 5k in Riverside Park.  I’m probably not running Coogan’s this year (silent NYRR protest) and so I’m glad I’ve got another option.
  • A week from now, I’ll be headed off on an awesome family vacation to London and Paris – really hoping to get some runs done in those cities…

Enjoy the weekend and good luck to those racing!

Written by SCL

February 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Reflections

Running Mantra

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One more thing about the First Light Marathon.  I successfully employed a running mantra!

On the trip out, I read the Feb ’11 issue of Runners World.  Superb issue, by the way.  Enjoyed it cover to cover, including all of the features.  One of the articles was on using running mantras to get through running efforts.  While I didn’t take the effort to create my own mantra, and the article did not talk specifically talk about using a song as a mantra, I decided to make one from one of the songs that had made it to the top of my running playlist, Galvanize, by the Chemical Brothers.

Michelle turned me onto this song last year, and I had put it on my primary running playlist.  Since it is a relative newcomer to that list, it has become one of my go-to songs of late.  As I was reflecting on the article, I realized that the key lyric, “Don’t hold back”, and it’s really catchy and rhythmic spot in the song, including the secondary lyric “The time has come to push the button” would serve as the perfect mantra.

I think it worked!  I did not run with my music, but I did have my phone with me, and Galvanize was the last thing I listened to just before the starting gun (they literally started the race with a pistol) went off.  This helped to keep the song fresh in my mind, and in the middle to late stages of the race, especially on the uphills, I went back to those 3 words (Don’t hold back), and that section of the song.  It really propelled me on that day!

I realize this may not be exactly what Runners World was thinking about, but I do recommend you download that song, put it on your running playlist, and use it to propel you on your next big effort!

Written by SCL

January 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Reflections

2010 Year in Review

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Where do I begin?  It is so hard to succinctly summarize all that happened in the past year, and not make it so long that people stop reading before they get to April!  While certainly not brief, I summarized as much as possible.  I completely understand if you don’t make it to the end 🙂

In many ways, this was a spectacular year, but there were definitely some disappointments mixed in.  My main goal for the year was 1000 run miles and have 1500 run and bike miles combined.  I easily beat those down.  I’m really not obsessed with hitting targets, but I do think it is a great way to measure progress, and my progress is good!  I knew 1000 miles on the run was very attainable due to the simple fact that I would be training for 3 marathons during the year.  That would ensure three sets of high mileage months.  In the end, I had 1071.4 miles on the run.  The bike is another story and I have a hard time gauging what an appropriate goal would be.  I pulled 500 miles out of the air as a goal, and ended up with 565.7 miles!  Combined, I had 1637.1 miles in total!

I participated in 15 races.  Generally speaking, the ones from April through September were disappointing, and the ones Jan-March and Oct-Dec were well-done and satisfying.  This is primarily due to my inability to run well in the summer and the heat and humidity.  This is the biggest thing I’d like to change in regards to my running, but I can’t seem to get myself to perform well in the warmer months.

My marathons were both disappointing.  I technically have excuses for both of them (hot weather), but the results were not what I wanted.  It is all about setting the correct expectations though, and I really think that mentally I’m OK with not setting a goal of 4:30 in the marathon going forward.  As it was stated in the Phineas and Ferb episode my kid was watching this morning, “the joy is in the journey.”  That really struck a chord with me.  It is not so much the results in the race that matter to me.  Sure, a PR or excellent race is welcome, and will make me feel good, but the true joy for me is in the process of preparing for the race.  It is the training to get my body to perform the effort needed.  It is the planning of the trip to an out of town race.  It is the anticipation leading up to the race.  It is being a part of the race, toeing the start line.  These are the things that make me happy, and not so much that I finished in 4:29 vs 4:49, etc.  I’ll cover my plans for 2011 in a separate post, but you’ll see from some of my plans, that it is more about participating and less about the time I finish with.

That said, I had many proud achievements in the year, the best of which were:

  1. Consistent running throughout the year.  I ran a minimum of 70 miles each month of the year, and had 4 months of over 100 miles.  It may not seem like a lot to some of you, but for me, these are really high numbers.  Every week I feel the challenge of work and home tugging at me and pulling me away from some of my running and biking exploits.  I had a lot of change in my job this year, which only added a lot of stress and additional time required, but I was able to find a balance and at a minimum hit a number equivalent to 15+ miles per week, or 3 runs.  A very fine minimum if you ask me!
  2. New Jersey State triathlon – the water was too hot for wetsuits, and I swam the entire 1500 meters without it.  It took me a looong time (about 50 minutes), but I did not stop to rest on a buoy one time, and kept having to tell the lifeguards on the course that I was fine.  In that race, I had a flat tire on the bike, costing me 14 minutes of time, but I didn’t let that deter me.  The day was super hot and humid, and I was wilting on the run, but so was everyone else.   I placed much higher in the run than I expected, and to give you an indication of how hard it was, over half the field race slower than 10 min per mile pace!  The time was irrelevant that day.  It was about perseverance, and pushing through to the end.
  3. Participating in fewer NYRR events – of the 15 events I participated in during the year, only 6 of them were run by NYRR!  They have become too big for me and I much prefer to run in smaller events, even outside the city if possible.  They don’t need me to be successful, and I’m happy to participate in just the few events I love each year.  Of course, part of this reduction is natural in my increase in bike and triathlon events, but I still went out of my way to enter non-NYRR run races in NYC, like 13.1 New York and PPTC Cherry Tree and Turkey Trot events
  4. Social running – I am anti-social by nature, and I don’t generally look to meet up with others.  I still much prefer to run on my own.  However, I really had some great meetups with new friends I’ve met on Dailymile and Twitter.  One such highlight was a bike ride to Piermont in late October with Daniel, Jen and Michelle.  I also met up with Sharon for the first 8 miles of my most recent 21 mile long run, and came out a few times to run with Josh and his speed crew in Central Park.
  5. Marathons and Triathlons – results not withstanding, am very proud I added 2 new states to my totals in 2010.  I now have run 13 marathons, in 7 states, and will add 2 more (First Light in Mobile AL on 1/9, and Flying Pig in Cincinnati OH on 5/1) in the coming months.  I am also proud that I completed 3 triathlons in 2010 and I have found that participating in those races is what gives me the most satisfaction as an athlete.  Unfortunately tri’s are more complicated to plan and more expensive to join, so I could never hope to race more than 2 or 3 per year, but it is my new athletic passion.
  6. Getting over Shingles – On a business trip to Nairobi in May, I came down with Shingles.  It was very uncomfortable and difficult, but I believe it is my active lifestyle that reduced the pain and eased my recovery.  In total, I lost 3 weeks of training, and missed a triathlon because of it.  As soon as I was well again, I reeled off 15 days of running in a row to get back on track!
  7. Blogging 28 straight days prior to the Chicago Marathon – See them here:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

List of races and performance:

  1. 1/9 – Fred Lebow 5m – 43:15
  2. 1/24 – Manhattan Half Marathon – 1:58:54
  3. 2/21 – Cherry Tree 10m – 1:29:19 (PR)
  4. 3/7 – Coogan’s 5k – 24:27 (PR)
  5. 3/28 – March Madness Biathlon – 1:22:49 (PR)
  6. 4/3 – 13.1 New York – 2:01:52
  7. 5/2 – Providence Rhode Races Marathon – 4:46:29
  8. 5/22 – Brooklyn Half Marathon – 2:04:50
  9. 7/11 – Long Branch Tri Series Long Course – 2:54:57
  10. 7/25 – New Jersey State Olympic Triathlon – 3:51:55
  11. 9/19 – New York City Marathon Tune-Up 18m – 3:15:54
  12. 10/3 – Red Bank Triathlon – 2:23:02
  13. 10/10 – Chicago Marathon – 4:53:15
  14. 11/25 – PPTC Turkey Trot 5m – 42:17
  15. 12/5 – Joe Kleinerman 10k – 53:27

Thanks for all of your interest and support in 2010!!!

See my prior year end reviews here: 2009 2008

Written by SCL

January 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Reflections