Overall, 2012 was a year full of accomplishments and fun. My only stated goals for the year were:
- Run 2,000 miles. ü Completed 2,179 miles. I never tracked my yearly mileage before, but this was certainly my most by far.
- Run a spring and fall marathon. ü Ran Cox Providence Marathon in the spring and Nipmuck Trail Marathon in the fall.
- Running a sub-3 hour marathon! [Cox Providence Marathon, 2:59:20]. I didn't know if I would ever get there, but I can cross this one off the bucket list now. I was on Cloud Nine for days if not weeks after this.
- Running my first ever trail marathon. [Nipmuck Trail Marathon, 3:50:51] The Nipmuck was quite the challenge for me, but I persevered and finished it. Although I ran solo, it was good having both Seth and Mike C there before and after for needed morale support.
- My first ever age group win in a triathlon. [Block Island Triathlon, 1:18:13] My slow swim and mid-pack bicycling usually means I don't even place, but this race gave me a distinct advantage - an usually long run for a sprint triathlon of 4 miles and entirely on the beach. It was a challenge and thrill to sprint and pass a competitor in the last 100 yards on the beach, and it wasn't until after that I learned he was the leader for my age group. That trophy sits prominently on my bureau.
- 5K PR: As I'm not getting any younger (see Muddy's "much, much older" running friend comments!), I really didn't know if I would ever beat my 5K PR of 17:51. At the Schonning 5K this year, I ran 17:49. I thought it could have been a fluke, but then I went on to lower it twice more to where it stands now: 17:38.
- Running the Blessing with my son. Just an immensely proud "Dad moment" to run side-by-side with 12-year Matthew and see him excel in this 10-mile race.
- WTAC team running. This includes not only racing as a team and with our new singlets, but all the runs I got to do with running friends Jonny, Muddy, Mike B, Mike C, Mike G, Seth, and Tom. I started running long weekend runs with Jonny and Muddy in late 2011, and it continues to expand. There was many a day I didn't want to get out of bed, but once I got out there with you guys, there was not a single day that I regretted.
- More trail runs. Prior to late 2011, I ran one trail run a year: the Li'l Rhody. Now in addition to various races and group runs on trails, I often find myself seeking out solo trail runs and exploration. I've done so much exploring in Westerly trails this year that I finally joined the Westerly Land Trust and am loving the volunteer work there as well.
2012 low points:
- Missing a PR in the mile. [PR from 2010 Bottone Track Mile: 5:10, 2012 time: 5:11] People were supportive and pointed out that it was 86 degrees after all and that I pretty much ran the heat all to myself, but for some reason I was really disappointed by this one. All the more reason to work on it in 2013!
- Shin splints. I have been relatively injury free in my 9 year running career, but the first few months of 2012 had me intermittently in pain. Looking back, I upped the miles too quickly and dropped the shoe weight too much. Live and learn.
- Run 2,200 miles. Only a modest increase from 2012, but enough to keep me honest and get out there running.
- PR in every distance I attempt. This is ambitious, but in 2012 I PR'd in every distance except the mile, and if not now the time to be ambitious, when?
- Half Ironman in 2013 as a precursor to a full in 2014. Continuing the ambitious here. Attempted and completed my first and only Half Ironman in 2011, and it felt like it near killed me. Time to get back up on that saddle, literally. Hopefully I can rope Mike B into the same race.
- 50K Trail Race. Another one I'll want to do with another WTAC'er.
- Keep it fun. This is my most important goal. If I'm not having fun out there, why do it? For example, this year I ran the most races ever (38 not counting fun runs), and by fall I was starting to burn out from back-to-back races every single weekend the entire late summer and fall season. It wasn't until I nixed one of my planned races and went on a fun long trail run on Narragansett Trail with Muddy and Jonny that I realized what I was missing.