Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Running Year in Review

Miles Run: 4186.1 total miles (1001.4 miles less than last year)
Weeks Over 100 Miles: 15
Biggest Week: 116.9 miles. That's actually pretty lame and I only had a handful of 110 or more.
PRs: Marathon (2:17:16)
Times I Competed: 20, not including being the rabbit for 30k at Indy Monumental
States Raced In: 7 (California, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Colorado, Florida, Texas)
Foreign Countries Raced In: Costa Rica
Days Off: 49.  Somewhat understandable with two injuries but how do people keep these run streaks? Do they ever get sick, injured or just hate running for a day?
Injuries: 2 (Greater Trochanter Syndrome and Patellofemoral Syndrome)
Grade for the Year: D. It would have been an F if I didn't somewhat rally back this past fall.

2014 has come and gone.  I started off the year with great hope and despite feeling like I was ready to destroy the Houston Marathon, it ended up destroying me.  In fact, it's the only race I've done that still haunts me to this day.  I rallied back and ran pretty well at the Gate River 15k, despite not being fit and felt like I was on my way to running very well at USA 20k Champs but a bum hip ended those plans.  Then I was an idiot and came off my injury and ran a marathon a couple of weeks later.  Like an idiot should expect, I got another injury and was out with patellofemoral syndrome right after that race.

This summer, I started what I thought was going to be a build-up for the California International Marathon but even though I was just doing easy jogging, I was getting struggling. big time.  Hoping I wasn't being a pansy in the heat, I took a blood test and ended up having a really bad case of anemia, with my hemoglobin dropping over five points.  That's like hardcore reverse blood doping.  A peripheral blood smear showed I had hemolytic anemia.  A quick Google search freaked me out but then I found out it's relatively common in runners due to the faster red blood cell turnover rate and the pounding on hard surfaces.  I guess it made sense because I jumped right into high mileage after a running break and gaining about 10 pounds and was pounding on the 'crete.

It took a couple of months for that to resolve and in September, I decided to just do some "running traveling" and do a bunch of races while trying to earn some money.  Even though I would just do easy jogging in between the races, I became pretty fit and felt like I was a marathon-specific block away from being in "A" Standard shape. But all of that racing must have wore me out or something because I was dragging butt again before finding out my iron was low.  Not low enough to be anemic or anything, just low enough to have me sucking wind in anything fast and take away all of my motivation to train hard.  So I spent the rest of 2014 being lazy, eating a ton of garbage and waiting for 2015 to finally arrive.

So I won't end this sounding like a Negative Nancy, 2014 was a great year because I was really happy to become part of Newton Elite.  I ran for another company for three years and was looking for something new.  Newton was the only company I contacted because I'm really picky with my shoes and don't want to wear something that I don't really like.  Luckily, it worked out and it's great being part of a tight-knit and very supportive team.  My individual running goals are very important, so it was a bummer of a year but I was most displeased with not being able to run some really fast times for a really great company.

But here's what I'm looking forward to in 2015, running wise:

  • Olympic Trials "A" Standard of 2:15:00.  If I enter a marathon fit, I think I can accomplish it for sure.  But I can't run with poor tactics and have to make a couple tweaks to my training
  • New Half-Marathon PR (current is 63:12). I felt like I was in sub 63:00 shape at the time of Houston and almost switched to the half after missing a lot of training time when I got really sick a few weeks out, but I was much more content with my half PR, than marathon PR.  I'll take a stab at a fast half this spring and then attack it in the fall.  62:59.99 sounds much cooler than 63:12. 
  • Sub 14:00 in the 5k. That was always my big goal in college before mono came for me.  I should be able to do it but haven't jumped into a track 5k in almost three years.  I may go old-school style and attempt this one evening at the local track, all by myself.
  • State Record in the 5k on the Roads (14:13). I absolutely hate 5ks but if I do this, I can also accomplish the above goal.  So Connor Kamm, you need to get in shape (along with me).
  • Have one week where I run more miles than I have pounds. I'm not much of a gimmick guy, but this would be kind of cool…or sad.  I was actually pretty close in my Houston build-up but I enjoyed eating donuts too much then.
  • 5200 miles for the year. For all of the bad mathematicians, that's a 100 mile per week average. 
  • Run more with people. Other than Monday nights, I train 99.99% alone.  I need to meet up with the Nashville crew more than I already do and jump into more runs with the local running club.
  • Do the Little Things: I was doing this really well this past fall, for the first time in my running life and I felt like it was showing in my running.  But once I was done racing, I got lazy.  The little things for me are: healthy eating, sleeping enough, strength stuff, rolling/massages, stretching.
I always thought people who waited until January 1st to start something were dumb.  If you don't have the desire to do it on October 27th (random date), you won't have the desire to keep it up once you have a gimmicky date.  But I'm going to try and prove myself wrong and make 2015 a really great year overall.

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