Thursday, January 17, 2013

2012: The Running Year in Review

Better late than never, right?  

My motto for 2012 was "Revenge!"  By the goals I'd outlined for myself, it was a total failure.  I deferred from both of the long races I'd signed up for (Shamrock Marathon in March and Atlantic City Half in October) and refrained from running for most of January, October, and November.  Injuries were really the name of the game in 2012.  

Because of that, I don't want to go month-by-month like I have in both of the other two year-in-review type posts I've done.  Instead, I'm going to borrow a format that my lovely wife, Chris at, used for a post.   

Best Race Experience
TowneBank Shamrock 8K -- J&A Racing does a great job with the Shamrock series of races in Virginia Beach.  I ran the marathon in 2011, and deferred and ran the 8K in 2012.  I think a lot of time it's (Whatever) MARATHON and oh, there's another race, too.  At Shamrock, 8K runners get really nice long-sleeve shirts, medals, and their own post-race beer party.  They really do a great job of giving all the runners the same fun experience (fun during the race itself may vary).  Not only does J&A put on a good event, the 8K course is scenic, flat, and fast and I ran the hell of it: 41:40, a PR by over a minute.  I was disappointed that I wasn't running the marathon, but still had a great time at this race and in Virginia Beach.  

Best Run of the Year
Hershey 10K -- this was a humid, miserable kind of day and definitely wasn't one of the more enjoyable races I've run (because of the weather and because I went way too fast out of the gate, it wasn't a bad event).  What it was was a 10K PR by over 5 minutes.  52:33.  I have no idea where this came from. If this time is to be believed, it's probably the best run I've ever had. I started too fast, up with the people that actually are REALLY fast, died,  and recovered to have a negative split that put me at the 8K mark below my PR time from Shamrock. This is a pretty huge outlier for me from any other 10K or 6 miles I've ever run, or the course was mismeasured.  Either way, I wouldn't be surprised if I never touch this PR.

Worst Race Experience of the Year
Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint -- I broke my damn tailbone on a *&#@ing Slip 'n' Slide.  Let's move on.

Worst Run of the Year in Which I Didn't Break my Tailbone
Had to be the September run on the rail trail at which point I just couldn't deny any longer that I couldn't run my through injury. Injuries happen.  What's inexcusable is how I let it put me in a tailspin that lasted the rest of the year.  In January 2012 my shin problems caused me to take some time off, I worked my butt off to get ready to be back on the roads.  In the fall, I quit.

Best Piece of New Gear

Best Piece of Running Advice I Received
I didn't always do a good job of taking it, but various people, mostly Chris, in one way or another told me to relax and not focus so much on what type of distance I wasn't running,, and just do my best.  

Worst Piece of Running Advice I Received
"Go ahead, have another beer."

If I Could Sum Up this Year in a Word, What Would it Be?

What, if Anything, Have I Learned?
2012 feels like a failure to me, and since it seems like I'm going to have to bow out of the Shamrock Half (more on that later in the week) and with no Fall marathon likely this year just due to schedule, 2013 seems like another year of unfulfilled revenge.  But instead of writing it off as a failure, I need to take a step back.  I missed my long races in 2012, but I destroyed my short races, with new PRs in the 5K, 8K, and 10K. I accomplished something.  I may not run any halfs or fulls this year, but instead of feeling like less of a runner, for what I won't accomplish this year, I just am trying to appreciate the training runs and races I can run right now for their own sake.   

I've still run 2 half marathons and 2 fulls.  I may feel like less of a runner right now, but those accomplishments aren't taken away from me because I'm not in shape right now.  (In fact, I had the fleeting idea of a "26.2" tat, but that probably won't happen!  I don't mind needles...but why subject myself to that much unnecessary needling?).  I need to get my shin problems better managed, and yeah, I need to lose some weight, build some endurance and just in general get myself back in shape.  But I think most of all, I just need to change my perspective to try to get back the enjoyment of running.  If I can have a better mental approach, and enjoy running more this year than I did last, it'll be a good running year whether I hit my race goals or not.


  1. Nice entry! And you're right. Change your perspective. Change your expectations. Revel in the positives you ARE able to accomplish and they will motivate you to tackle bigger things. You will get back to those longer races. I have faith!

  2. YOU ROCK - and not just because your wife told me to tell you on facebook! LOL!

    Love that mugshot pic from the Spartan Sprint. Sure hope that wasn't a Sharpie used on your forehead!

  3. Thank you both. Chris, next time tell people on Facebook to send me $20. ;-)

  4. Perhaps I am the only reader that notices, but you really like playing around with the tagline for your blog, don't you?

    As my daddy use to tell me when I was young, when you fall off the bike, you just gotta get back on.

    1. I do. I've been spending too much time kicking myself over distances I couldn't run and not enough time running the distances I could run and doing what I needed to do to get back, so this tagline seemed appropriate.

  5. You and I seemed a little in the same boat in 2012 (only I had no PRs) - just frustrating, but with a sprinkle of good things. Life just gets in the way sometimes - unfortunately, we aren't paid athletes (dammit!). I hope 2013 brings you lots of happy and healthy miles. Maybe focus on some faster shorter distances where you get to run FAST?!?!
    Happy 2013, Brian!