Half Marathon Trainers


HMT: 2012 in review! (Read 413 times)

    It's a little early to start this discussion, as there are still a good 30+ days of running to get in before 2012 is in the books completely but I figured we have a bunch of new HMTs right now and the "year in review" posts are a great way to get to know people.


    In this group we have had folks achieve some real challenging goals and nail some pretty impressive times in races.

    We have had others (ahem... including me) who may not exactly be looking back on 2012 as a good vintage when it comes to running.

    So how was your running year?

    • Best racing day? (may not be your best time)
    • Most memorable day running?
    • What challenges did you overcome?
    • 2012 Goals...set and met.... or maybe missed?
    • Was there a "money" workout for you this year?  A workout that made a difference?
    • Memorable days running?  The beauty of nature. The odd event.
    • Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you?

    For those new to the group you can find the 2011 thread here.


    Welcome to December y'all!


    PS. Usually we have this as a separate thread but it's December 1, we have a bunch of threads on the go and I figure we can live with "December" and "Year in Review" in one place.


    MTA - Separate December thread now here

    2017 Goals
    1) Run more than 231 miles
    2) Be ready for  HM in the spring

      Thanks for kicking this off Matt. Definitely one of my favorite threads (even if it was pretty short) last year. I'm sure this year's crew will fill it out a little more.


      So, first, I'll probably use this as my farewell and thanks to the HMT group for 2013. My plans for 2013 are (for now) going to be 100% focused on shorter stuff - specifically 5k and mile. I don't have a HM planned. That written, I've found this group to be one of the most supportive, open / honest, non-snarky but not overkill I love you hugs and rainbowses sub-groups on RA. So, for that, thanks. It's been fun this year sharing races, training tips, insights etc. Special thanks to Andy for picking up the calendar and supporting the intrepid racers threads. Good stuff. 


      Also, even thought there's a full month left in 2012, probably good time for assessment. No more races planned this year for me, and feels like a little ankle thing coming on, so Dec will probably include a little downtime anyway.


      So, to answer the questions:


      Best racing day: Hands down, that mile in August. Hard to imagine it will get better than that race. 


      Most memorable day running: Probably Baystate marathon this year, mostly because of the PAIN, and meeting all the RA'ers that day.


      Challenges overcome: thankfully, no biggies this year. Sometimes, this stuff is easy.


      2012 goals met/set: PR'd mile, 5k, half and full, but only met my goal on the HM (1:25). Missed on the others by a few seconds on the 5k, and a few minutes on the M. Mileage goal crushed. That has been nice.


      So, that's about it. Even though I only ran the one half (and way back in April), I liked you guys a lot, and stayed a HMT for that reason. And training for the half at the start of the year is what really jumpstarted 2012 for me, and it just kept rolling into the best running year I've had yet. 


      So thanks guys. Keep it going. I'll probably still lurk and offer insights (if I have them). 

      Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
      We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

        Thanks for starting us off Matt!


        Kevin, I am sorry to hear you plan to leave the group in searc of shorter and faster races- drop in every now and again.


        MY November ended with a good run yesterday. I had planned a long slow run but was in the -3C weather with a few snowflakes falling my hands and face were cold so to generate a bit of heat I put on some pace. About an hour and 12k into the run I actually passed a kid about 12 years old on a bicycle. He looked at me in disbelief, as if to say "What is this old geezer doing out running in the cold?" A great moment.


        Best race: I only did two this year, but the 10k in October was pretty good, I ran faster than I expected off very limited training and felt I probably could have done slightly better if I had taken more of a chance at the end of the race. My wife and a friend came out to cheer me on, so it was a good day.


        Goals by and large were not met, I ran very low miles and inconsistently, and continue to do easy runs at too fast a pace. I made a poor effort in the only 5k I ran, but did a decent time trial for the distance. I also tried a 400M for the first time ever, though unofficial distance and timing by Garmin.


        Looking forward to the new year.

        PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                            10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.


          For me, from a running perspective 2012 has not been one for the record books. Injuries and work took me away from running and I pretty much bombed on all my goals. That said it's still had its bright spots:


          Best racing day - I've not raced much this year, 1 Full (next weekend), 2 Halfs, a 5k and a Sprint Triathlon. The 5k was fun as I ran it with my wife and it was a 5k PR for her. However from a purely selfish perspective the best racing day for me in 2012 would have to be the Sprint triathlon in September. Little to no training, first triathlon and I had a blast. Great fun - If I could afford the bike (I borrowed one for this race) I may even do another next year! Smile

          Most memorable day running - I'm going to stretch the definition on this one a little. I didn't run on the most memorable running day of this year, I ran my Tri the next day. The day before my Tri was memorable because it was the kids Triathlon. My oldest, who turned 7 in August, took on a summer challenge this year. If he did some math, reading, writing, running each week, learned to tie his laces and completed an end of summer "race" he'd get a reward. Well he did it all; every weekend we'd run/walk with the distances getting longer and longer and by the end of the summer he was running a mile without stopping. I had figured we'd find a kids 1 mile fun run to round out the summer but we ended up with these triathlon entries and he said he'd do it. The biggest deal for me on this was that USAT are really strict about not helping the kids in the race at all. So we turn up early, it's hissing it down with rain, set up his bike and clothes in transition and then I drop my shivering 7 year old off amidst about 200 other kids at the side of an outdoor pool with nothing but a pair of bike shorts and some goggles! He gets in, he swims (50m), he's in transition, he does it all himself (including tying his laces!), he cycles (3mi), back through transition and still in the rain finishes off with the run (0.5mi). The smile on his face when he crossed the line was priceless. I will never forget it but the picture that will always be in my mind from that day is this one. My 'lil guy doing it on his own! Most memorable day by far!



          ... enough of the sappy kid stuff..... on with the post!!


          What challenges did you overcome? Meh. Injuries. ITBS which I now know how to recognize early on, control and prevent. The one that's held me back this year has been the Glute Med strain. I picked it up on a easy run one Saturday in Feb and has been a constant presence. I thought that my v. low mileage summer had put it to rest completely but if I am honest, now that I have ramped my mileage back up, I can feel it's not right. May need some PT in early 2013.


          2012 Goals...set and met.... or maybe missed? Complete bust here for me. Like Steph, when she posted in the November thread, I like to set stretch goals so I had:

          1) Run 1243 Miles (2000km) - I am probably not going to reach half this. My adjusted comeback goal was to not let 2012 be my worst mileage year ever.... I'm only 11 miles short of that goal so it should be in the bag next week. Safe to say though. Big mileage, 2012 ain't!

          2) Run 100 Miles a month... every month - Dead by end of Feb. Thinking about this a little more; Consistency is just not my thing. I am eternally envious of HappyFeat and don't know how she does it but I have responsed really well to peaks and troughs of a training plan that builds from a base. Problem right now is my "base" is zero miles/month! Will have to rethink the strategy next year!

          3) Break 1:50 in a HM (PR 1:52:19) - this one bugs me. I was set of the back end of marathon training and an OK Jan. This one will carry over, next year 1:50... you're mine!
          4) Break 4:00 in a Marathon (PR 4:20:39) - Bah ha ha ha ha!!!!! Fool!


          Was there a "money" workout for you this year?  A workout that made a difference? Not really. My sub 3 hour 18 miler a few weeks ago convinced me that I can get round this marathon. That's probably the one I'd pick.


          Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you?

          13.1 is the distance I love. I still think the full marathon is stupid Wink And I still think I'll get bullied in to doing another one next year! 13.1 is a distance I think I can continue to improve at without having to up training to 80 miles a week! I only did 2 this year... next year I hope to do more... but not 12 MT!

          I am an HMT, as I have oft said before, because of the people in this group. I agree with Kevin 100% (and will be sorry to see him drop to "lurker" status) that this is the most supportive place I visit on t'interweb bar none. When I was "out" over the summer several folks reached out to find out if I was OK/alive and to encourage me to come back - that meant a bunch to me and I am sorry I didn't mention it to those folks at the time (you know who you are!). I run in a large part due to the support, accountability & encouragement of this group. Thank you all.

          2017 Goals
          1) Run more than 231 miles
          2) Be ready for  HM in the spring

            (I normally lurk in this forum group, but I decided to type today.  As others have said, this forum is different than many others.)



            FWIW, I can appreciate MattJ's best racing day and most memorable day.  I was there as a spectator for both of them, and leant him my bike (which he still has, and will have access to in 2013 for future training and triathlon races if he chooses).  My son raced with his son on that cold and wet morning.


            Best racing day -  I only raced 1 race this year, and even if I raced 50+ races this year, that 1 race would definitely still be my "best racing day".  On May 19, I finished and enjoyed a full Ironman.  I did what I didn't know was possible for me to do.  My summary of the race in my race report has this: 


            Years ago, this was a sport reserved for crazy people. 

            A few years ago, it was a dream. 

            A couple years ago, it was a possibility. 

            A few weeks ago, it was a probability.

            This week, and forever, it is a reality.

            I am an Ironman. 

            I have climbed my Everest!

            Regardless of the time it took me and whether or not I could have gone faster, it was the best racing day of my life.


            Most memorable day running - I have short term memory.  Today, I had an opportunity to run 12 miles with a great local friend that reminded me of why I originally began to enjoy running.  We got to talk about politics, races, kids, religion, and everything else you could imagine talking about in an hour and 40 minute run.  Years ago, we'd do those runs without ever racing.  It was fun.  Over the past few years, we didn't have that opportunity as often, and I seldom run with him.  Today, though, I got to have a very enjoyable run with one of my best friends. (have I told you that I have short term memory).


            What challenges did you overcome? - I was fortunate enough not to have any injuries this year, so I was able to get out and do what I could do.  However, since I also bike and swim, my most challenging workout happens to be a bike ride I did in late January.  It was cold and very windy, and my toes froze.  I ended out stopping at a Subway to 'cry', complain, and figure out how the heck I was going to get home alive.  While sitting there, I remembered I had zip lock bags with peanut butter in a pocket, and I ate the sandwiches and put the zip lock bags over my toes so that I could stay warm enough to ride home.  What was supposed to be a 100 mile bike ride ended out be about 50, and was the most torturous ride of the year.


            2012 Goals...set and met.... or maybe missed? - This year, I'm accomplishing my goals.

            For 2012, I set only 2 goals:

            #1: Do what I can do

            #2. Finish and enjoy a full Ironman

            My #1 goal never gets accomplished (finished) until the first day of the next year, but I'm "doing what I can do" today.


            Was there a "money" workout for you this year?  A workout that made a difference? - While training for my Ironman, I did a triple brick, which consists of 3 bike / run combinations in the same day.  My workout was separated by about an hour to 2 hours of relaxing and eating.  Total activity for the day was 90 miles biking and 9 miles running divided evenly over about 9 hours.  Fun stuff!

            Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you? -  I like the half marathon distance because, for me, it's possible to make last minute decisions to enter and enjoy a run.  In the past, I've raced them, but I've also paced others to their goals.  I enjoy the half distance (even though I don't race often)

            2017 Goals:

            #1: Do what I can do (200+ training days, 200+ aerobic hours). 

            #2: Race shape (1/2 marathon, 2 half Ironmans, marathon)

            #3: Prepare for 2018


            Not a dude

              Best racing day?


              I have two best days - for two very different reasons.


              The first was back in September when I ran alongside my beau in his first ever 5k. I had already been running for a little while and it was easy for me to complete the distance at his pace, so I was able to keep him encouraged and moving and I was so proud of him for not walking a single step. Here we are crossing the finish line:



              The second awesome racing day was November 18, 2012 when I finished the Route 66 Half Marathon, meeting my goal of 2:15 with a 2:15:56 finish time. My mother also finished the half that day. It was a great atmosphere with lots of support and there were tears when I crossed that finish line. It was a life-changing moment for me that I will not soon forget.


              Most memorable day running?


              Aside from those two fantastic race days I just mentioned, I think my best day running was my first 12 mile long run when I knew I could finish that half marathon and I finished that run feeling exhilarated and strong, having run it with significant negative splits.

              What challenges did you overcome?


              I started running the day I smoked my last cigarette, April 7, 2012. Running helped me cope with nicotine withdrawals and kept me focused on my goal to lead a healthier lifestyle. I started out on couch to 5k, but ended up with pes anserinus tendonitis early on and pushed through to week 4 when I finally had to take two weeks off to rest. I did the elliptical during that time to keep my cardio fitness up and then abandoned C25K completely once my knee was better. Two weeks after I came back from my rest break, I ran my first ever 3 mile run. The following weekend I ran my first 5k race in a time of 34:30. I ran two more 5ks in June, with each being better than the first I had done although the exact times escape my memory.


              Feeling encouraged by my progress, I decided to sign up for the half marathon way back at the end of June when my longest run to date was only 4 miles. Yeah, I was probably nuts, but I knew I could do it...the only question was...how well? And THEN in July I got pneumonia, which sidelined me for two weeks and I had to come back slowly due to my lungs needing to recover. That was not at all pleasant and freaked me out because it was a huge setback. I had some other issues with hip pain and tendonitis in my toes in August and September that forced some unscheduled rest days, but I kept going. At the end of September things finally started to come together, but it has been a bumpy ride to get here! I'm proud of myself for pushing through and doing all that I have done so far.

              2012 Goals...set and met.... or maybe missed?


              I have met all of my goals for this year so far. The first goal I set was to finish my first 5k under 35 minutes - done. The second was to finish my first 10k between 1:06 and 1:08 - done. The third was to finish my first half marathon at a time that was at least average relative to my peers. With 2:25:56, I finished in the top 1/3 of my AG. My last goal was to go sub-30 in a 5k, which I did with a 29:10 at a turkey trot just 4 days after my half marathon. I have one more goal for this year:  going 28(and change) in a 5k - and I will try for that this Saturday,

              Was there a "money" workout for you this year?  A workout that made a difference?


              I already mentioned by first 12 mile long run as being pivotal for me in training for my first half marathon, but I really think ALL of my long runs really turned the page for me. My last truly long run was intended to be 13 miles two weeks out from the race, but I was short on time due to family stuff and it ended up being 11.48 of the best miles I had run to date. That run gave me the confidence to go for the goal of 2:15 instead of a more conservative 2:20.

              Memorable days running?  The beauty of nature. The odd event.

              The races and long runs were easily the most memorable. I would rather forget running in the summer as it was a miserable experience, but as soon as the temps cooled down it was like magic. Seeing the leaves change and being able to breathe cool, crisp air in the mornings is simply wonderful.

              Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you?

              I don't have a lot of experience racing at this point, but I really loved the half marathon distance. It gave me the ability to settle in to my pace, but still push my limits. Crossing the finish line was a huge accomplishment and I have not felt that way after any other race. I'll see how I feel after my second half  in April and then (probably) my first full next fall. I'm still learning a lot about who I am as a runner and my preferences for any given distance will likely change as I gain more experience.

              Climbing Mt Ruapehu

                Sitting here sick at home from work. Good chance to read everyones reviews. Nice work all. My only goal for the year was achieved, and have been living in a dream world ever since. One of my proudest moments running the 75km Hillary trail with my twin girls. Just last week a story including them in our national trail running magazine. Proud! What will next year bring!?!


                My only road Half Marathon was rubbish. Didn't prepare, didn't perform and my worst time by 10 minutes.  But really this year I don't care.  Next year I need some stronger goals in this area! My best Half Marathon overall was when i ran the Wild turkey Half Marathon course a couple of months back in 3:26 (yes I know that is a very slow time on a road course!!). Although this would have put me 2nd to last in the actual race I was extremely proud. Extremely steep technical and muddy trail which for once I seemed to "own" instead of "being owned"



                Personal Race Records:

                M 3:52:48 (Auckland 2011), HM 1:38:16 (Taupo 2010), 10km 45:05 (Sir Barry 2010), 5km 20:21 (How Pak 5km 2010)


                2012 Goals:
                Run the 75km Hillary Trail in a day (done 10/3/2012)


                  Hi, all.  I'm still new to the group, but these year-end reviews have been great to read!


                  2012 has been a banner year for me!  Having started running with the C25K program in Spring 2011, 2012 was my first full year of running.  A few highlights have been:


                  • Ran my first marathon in November (race report here, if anyone's interested);
                  • Ran my first sub-20 5K in June (did it again in August)(original 2012 goal was a sub-22, which I hit in January);
                  • Improved my HM PR from 1:49:02 from Nov. 2011 to 1:30:59 in Oct. 2012 (original 2012 goal was sub-1:40, which I hit in March);
                  • Completely obliterated my 2012 mileage goal: original goal was 1200 miles; I'm on pace for 2500+
                  • Each of my 9 races in 2012 has been a PR (5K, HM, HM, 5K, 5K, 10K, 5K, HM, FM)
                  • Won my first AG awards (won my AG in 5K's in April and August)


                  Best racing day: Probably the Publix Georgia Half Marathon back in March.  I had been using the Ryan Hall Half Marathon plan to get me a sub-1:40 half, and in my goal half in February, I had come up 21 seconds short.  I was already registered for the Publix Half in March, but I had not considered it a goal half because of the more difficult course.  But with a month between the two races, I was able to get in some additional quality training, and I was ready to make another run at my goal.  It ended up being an unseasonably hot and humid day in Atlanta on race day, yet I ended up blowing away my goal with a 1:37:43.



                  Challenges: No injuries, thankfully!  The biggest challenge was time management.  If I was going to run a marathon this year, I knew I needed to run more.  Running after work just wasn't going to cut it because it would interfere with family time too much (get out of work at 7, run for 2 hours, get home at 10 - DW would NOT be happy).  So, I ended up becoming a predawn runner.  That was the only way I was going to be able to get in the mileage Pfitz 18/70 called for.  Needing to be back home by 5:45 in the morning to get ready for work and get the kids to school, I had to learn to get up and out the door however early was necessary to fit the miles in on a given day.  Sometimes, that was 4:45 (for a 5 mi recovery run).  Sometimes, it was 3:20 (for a 15 mi MLR).  It could be tough on those days that I didn't get to bed until midnight (long time night owl here), but I didn't give myself a choice.  The mindset had to be, "Get the run done now because you know you won't be able to do it later!"  It helped that I was also able to increase the distance I could run on an empty stomach (up to 17 miles during the cycle), which let me get a little more sleep.  Consistency became habit, and it's actually just routine now.



                  "Money" workout: 6 X 1000's were great workouts for me, as were the multiple 13-15 mile progressive MLR's in Pfitz.  There was also a ladder workout in the Ryan Hall Half Marathon Plan that I was fond of (2mi @10K pace; 2 X 1mi @5K pace; 2 X 800 @faster than 5K pace)



                  Why am I an HMT?  The half marathon distance was the distance that really got me hooked on racing.  My first 5K after finishing C25K in 2011 was OK, but the training and the race experience for my first half was so much better.  I ended up sub-2 on a hilly course.  Less than a month after my first half, I ran my second, getting me down to sub-1:50.  Less than a month after that, I ran my third (just narrowly missed a PR on a much hillier course).  After those three HM's in 2011, 2012 was going to be the year of the HM for me, until I hit my goal early in the year and decided to run a full (though I still did run three HM's).  While I'm gearing up now for marathon #2 in March, the half distance will remain one of my favorites, and I will be focusing on a goal half or two in the Spring and Fall.

                    Vino I remember well the photos you posted of the Hillary Trail- an epic adventure for the three of you.

                    Love the finish photo, Flippy, both of you airborne and in perfect synch.

                    Full Ironman- Wow!

                    Rainmaker, nice marathon time.

                    PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                        10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.




                      C'mon now there our only 10 days left so this can;t be premature anymore! Wink


                      How was your 2012? Let us know!


                      If nobody else posts here I will be forced to start the "Happy New Year 2013 goals thread" already! Clown

                      2017 Goals
                      1) Run more than 231 miles
                      2) Be ready for  HM in the spring

                        I'll probably still lurk and offer insights (if I have them). 

                         You better! We'll miss you.


                        OK Matt - here's my reportCool  First off - why HMT? Well for one thing it has you at its heart. Secondly, this group is a safe place to discuss training ideas and has a great Scout Leader in MT.  I appreciate Vino sharing his videos with us - his twins are so inspiring! In fact, reading everyone's race reports is inspiring and motivating. I always get a lot out of reading everyone's contributions.


                        How was my running year? It was great!  A memorable year overall. I ran my fastest HM ever! I ran 9 races (most shorter than HM), which is the most racing in a single year for me. I was introduced to the soul-reviving benefits of trail running and had more opportunities to get out in to the mountains than in the last several years.


                        Challenges: I started the year off with a bad arch strain in January, followed by an ankle sprain in May, but didn't try to run through the pain. For once, I was more conservative and it paid off with faster recoveries.

                        2012 goals met: I entered and completed a trail race series including 5K 10K 12K and HM (thrilling!)
                        I worked toward a 2-hour HM and accomplished that before I thought I was ready (unbelievable).

                        I improved my 12K PB by a minute.

                        Most important goal was to learn to listen to my body and adjust my planned runs if needed. This put my 35 MPW goal by the wayside, but was a worthwhile endeavor and I benefited hugely.
                        Mileage goal of 1500 miles was met about a month ago. It will be the second year I've run this much and it feels great!

                        Money workout: For me, that has been the Wednesday night 8-miler, turned Tempo Run. It gave me the confidence that I could complete the weekend LR and the 10K and 12K races I entered...and it made me faster.

                        Go as long as you can, and then take another step.

                           You better! We'll miss you.




                          Proof I'm still lurking.


                          Nice year!!!!

                          Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                          We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                          Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                            So how was your running year?

                            • Best racing day? (may not be your best time) My first half in Nov 2009 when I saw the clock was still under 3hrs as I made last turn and finished in 2:55!
                            • Most memorable day running? My first 5k in Oct 2008 6 months after my 3/15/2008 heart attack
                            • What challenges did you overcome? Two bad knees, bad left calf, heart disease, overweight, old as sxxt, even older now! LO
                            • 2012 Goals...set and met.... or maybe missed? missed them all, although I did pull it back together and finish the Decker Challenge after spiraling deep into PTSD issues
                            • Was there a "money" workout for you this year?  A workout that made a difference?
                            • Memorable days running?  The beauty of nature. The odd event. Running with Baxter an 8lb Yorkie and therapy/PTSD service dog alone and with a 5k training group this fall in neighborhoods I wasn't familiar with. Plus it helped pull me out of the depths of PTSD - I needed to have something to focus on
                            • Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you? I'm not cleared for full marathon and probably will never be. That said not sure I want to spend 6-7 hrs on my feet that it would take for me to finish.

                            bob e v
                            2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                            Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                            Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                            History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

                              I am not going to run much for the rest of the year, so now is probably a good time for review.


                              2012 Goals...set and met.... or maybe missed?

                              1. sub-20 minute 5k
                                This was the first goal to be accomplished in 2012. I ran a 19:24 on January 21st. In August I ran another 5k, this time in 18:26. On Thanksgiving day I ran another 5k in 17:33. Three 5ks and 3 PRs. Then in December I ran a 5k with my dog in 17:54. I will never have another year with such huge gains, but it sure was fun.
                              2. sub-90 minute half-marathon
                                This was the first heartbreak of 2012. I ran a 1:30:29 on February 11th. I knew there had to be another 30 seconds out on that course somewhere, but I just couldn't find them. I also ran that race with a nagging injury that turned to a stress fracture shortly after the race. That kept me on the sidelines for the Spring so I didn't have another attempt until November. I was determined to hit this goal and was able to clock a 1:22:16 on November 10th (more on that in a minute).
                              3. marathon in under 3:30 3:00
                                At the start of 2012 I set my sights on a Spring marathon in under 3:30 with an A goal at 3:15. Unfortunately the stress fracture meant that my Spring marathon was a DNS. As I resumed my training and started to see quick improvements in speed, I changed the goal to a sub-3. This is the one goal that I didn't hit. I ran a 3:22 at Rocket City and now have something to prove for 2013.

                              What challenges did you overcome?
                              The stress fracture in the Spring was an obvious challenge. As I was coming back from that injury I felt like I was constantly tending to potential injuries. I had to cut a 22 miler short at the half-way mark due to a sudden pain in my achilies. That was scary, but after a few days I was fine. There was a toe that may have been broken that I had to give some time. There was the IT band that flared up from time to time. There was the hectic work schedule and my wife going back to work.


                              It feels like there are constantly challenges. This year, I have gotten better at managing those challenges. The stress fracture taught me the importance of not letting a little challenge escalate into a large one. It is okay to leave a little in the tank or not "run through it" as long as it helps in the long-term.


                              Was there a "money" workout for you this year? A workout that made a difference?
                              There is a long-interval workout that I did multiple times in 2012 and it will continue to serve as a REALLY HARD workout and measure of my improvement. The goal of the workout is that everything before the last interval is designed to get you tired; the last interval is 40 minutes at marathon pace and should feel about as hard as the last 40 minutes of a marathon.


                              I did this workout in late Summer and covered 18 miles. The same workout in the late Fall totaled 20 miles and had more consistent pacing (no fade). I am already looking forward to doing this workout again in the Spring.

                              • warm up
                              • 20 min @ MP
                              • 2 x 10 min @ tempo
                              • 15 min easy
                              • 2 x 10 min @ tempo
                              • 40 min @ MP
                              • cool down

                              Best racing day?
                              On November 10th I lined up at the start of the Nashville Half-Marathon. I knew that I was going to blow 1:30 out of the water. I was confident I could run under 1:25 and in the back of my mind I knew that a 1:19 would qualify me for NYC. I had spent the past week trying to visualize how this race would go, but there were variables I didn't know how to predict.


                              There could be some fast guys that show up and run under 1:15. In that case I would have to determine quickly if we were going out faster than I could sustain and let them go. My goal would then be to try and cement first in my age group (only the first in each age would receive an award). There could be some other runners around my level and we could battle it out for the full 13.1 miles. In that case I would try to break them on couple of specific hills that I was very familiar with late in the race. This would be the only scenario where I could get close to 1:19. The other scenario which was possible would be that the race was mine from the start. I didn't really know how to visualize this since it has never happened. This isn't typically a fast race and there was another popular race in town on the same day, so I knew it was a possibility. Two out of three scenarios could end with me breaking the tape at the end.


                              Looking around the start (and over the list of names at packet pickup) I didn't see anyone who I knew would beat me. There were some fast looking guys who could have come in from out of town, but none of the local stars were there. Unfortunately that didn't limit the scenarios. I was lined up at the front and looking at the pace car and guys on the bikes. I felt ready and was just trying to stay calm as we went through the National anthem and pre-race instructions. The gun went off and we were on our way.


                              The first two miles were mostly uphill so I didn't want to start too quick. I stayed disciplined and didn't run straight to the front of the pack. I let the field play out in front of me so that I could see the players. By the time we hit the first mile I knew we weren't going out fast so the first scenario was out. I was running side-by-side with another runner who looked pretty fit. We were starting to pass the few people ahead of us and by 1.5 miles we were sharing the lead. There were a couple of little hills before we turned to a long downhill stretch, so I decided to hold the pace instead of the effort to feel out this other runner.


                              As I rounded the turn to the downhill section I found myself alone. It was just me and the guys on the bikes. HOLY SHIT!!! I was feeling completely under control and the race was now mine to lose. There could be a hunter back there, so I took the next two downhill miles about 30 seconds faster. As I started to put distance between myself and the rest of the runners, some of the guys on bikes peeled off to guide others. I never looked back until a hairpin turn just before mile 6. I had enough of a lead that I could take it easy and if someone caught up then I would have another gear or two left.


                              Miles 6-11 were an out and back. Miles 6 - 8.5 were lonely and a little moring, but that meant that from 8.5 - 11 I was running past the rest of the field. This was helpful for the first quarter mile as I got to scope the competition. The rest of the time it was AWESOME as it felt like 1300 other runners cheering for me as the leader. I just kind of zoned out with a smile on my face enjoying the moment. By mile 11 I started to realize that I had this race in the bag. I just had two more hills to go and then a gentle downhill finish down Broadway (our biggest street downtown). At mile 12 I realized that if there was anyone hunting me down they would be putting it all out there, so I sped up just in case.


                              There was no tape to break, but I was the first one across the line. I have never won a race before. To get to win a race after having the lead for 11 miles was an amazing experience. It was fun to congratulate the 2nd and 3rd place finishers as I have seen so many elites do. It wasn't a particularly fast half-marathon as far as races go, but it was fast enough that day. I now have a title to defend and next year I will be ready to go faster.


                              It wasn't just my best racing day of 2012. It was the best racing day of my life!


                              Memorable days running? The beauty of nature. The odd event.

                              • Yesterday we had an impromptu marathon with over 1,000 participants in Nashville (I only ran 20). It was a completely grass-roots show of support for Newtown after last week's school shooting. It was a really cool thing to be a part of.
                              • There was a track workout in the cold rain that was miserable until it was over. Then it felt amazing.
                              • My dad rode his bike on a couple of my long runs. He carried fluids for me and we were able to talk about all kinds of things. It was also fun dropping him on a couple of the hills Smile
                              • My wife and I had a few runs this year. I hope we can do more in the future.

                              Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you?

                              A 5k is over too quickly. A marathon seems to be more about nutrition and hydration than racing. A half-marathon is a test of speed, endurance, and grit.


                              Goals for 2013:

                              1. Qualify for Boston (< 3:10 marathon)
                              2. Qualify for NYC (< 1:19 half-marathon)
                              3. Run a 5k in 16Tight lippedx
                              4. Increase mileage (would like a nice block of 70mpw)



                              Nashville, TN


                                Without properly following the format properly.....


                                Mileage just slightly better than last year, which was a very low year.( On a positive note the trend is in the right direction).

                                Best racing day- my recent 10k, great event and I ran reasonably well.

                                Goals were all missed, only raced twice, did not train consistently, did not get within 6lbs of race weight all year.

                                Memorable day- running with my son on trails in the fall- ferns, streams, mossy tree trunks, peace and quiet.

                                PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                                    10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.