4,356.8 miles later, 2012 is over. There were many highs and several lows. For a recap...
First full year being a parent
Being a dad is hard and time consuming but is very rewarding. I can't describe what it truly means to me but this was by far my favorite moment of the year.
Back to the track
My last official track race before this year was at the University of Arkansas in 2005. I ended up running 8:21 for 3k, which I was happy with because it was my first race in several weeks and it was rainy and really windy. I loved the track more than anything else but over the years, have become a much bigger fan of the roads. I ended up running two 5000s on the track this year, in 14:26 and 14:13. They weren't what I wanted but it motivated me to attack some fast times on the track in 2013.
Good finish at the US Championships
While my time and individual performance wasn't what I wanted, I was really happy with my overall place and the ability level of some of the guys I beat. I finished ahead of many 2:15 and faster marathoners and was the only one of two people in the top 20 who didn't run in the Olympic Marathon Trials this past January (other one was Tim Ritchie, who made this race his half marathon debut).
Another year with Saucony
This was my second year being a Saucony Hurricane. They've taken care of all my running shoe and apparel needs and keep me a happy runner. The Grid Type A5's are my favorite shoe and I've been running in the Kinvara's since the first edition, before I started running with Saucony. They are a great company with even better product.
This was my first year being a Powerbar Team Elite athlete, which I was really happy to get chosen for. In high school, I used to eat a Powerbar before every race (banana was my favorite flavor) and now, I am back on that tradition (switched over to Wild Berry). It's easy on the stomach, fills you up and gives you the proper fuel to get ready to compete. Because of Powerbar's support, I also gave up my homemade ghetto recovery drink, which has made my kitchen cleaner and my wife happier. No more mixing salt, kool-aid mix, lemon juice, dextrose, whey protein and I can't even remember what else. Now, I just take Ironman Restore after my runs. It has all of those ingredients ready to go, along with maltodextrin, which is better for you post-exercise.
Able to add new things in training
To improve in running and pretty much anything, you need to add a stimulus to your body. If you keep on doing the same stuff all of the time, your body will become too efficient at it and then stop improving. Because of that, I always try to add something new in training, whether it's a new kind of speed workout, more mileage, etc. The biggest change I made this year is fast long runs, where I will run 18-20 miles at 90-95% of marathon pace. This workout helps teach my body to use fats as fuel more efficiently and are really beneficial for the marathon. In the past, I felt like I wasn't ready for these types of runs, but now my body is able to tolerate and benefit from them.
This past May, one of my best high school friends got married. Anytime two people begin a new life together, it's a great occasion!
Hood to Coast Relay
This race has been on my bucket list since high school. Having a chance to run this race as a member of the Knoxville Track Club was an awesome experience. I've always wanted to live out West and this experience only strengthened that desire. One of these days I'll drag the family out that way!
Seeing the US distance runners compete well at the Olympics
Usually the United States gets pummeled in the distance events at the Olympics, but this year, they performed very well. Galen Rupp won a silver in the 10k and Leo Manzano won a silver in the 1500m with several other US athletes barely missing medals. London showed that we are getting a lot stronger in distance running and are a force to contend with.
Well, technically I came down with this in 2011 but it wiped out a lot of time in 2012. I was hoping to run really well at the Mississippi Blues Marathon but my knee had other plans.
When training for the Columbus Marathon, this guy decided to flare up a month out from the race. I had to miss a lot of quality training and not only did I miss Columbus, I have to delay running the Boston Marathon another year because the time period from Houston to Boston is too short. Thanks a lot achilles/heel (well, technically, my weak right glute).
Too much politics
First there was all the Facebook election drama and after Sandy Hook happened, rather than focus on remembering the victims, a lot of people wanted to turn it into a gun control debate. People need to take the political signs out of their butts and figure out how to work together to solve issues.