Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 recap

I always like to reflect at the end of the year on how the past twelve months have played out. It helps me identify things I did well, things I need to improve on and helps me set my goals for the coming year. With that in mind, here’s a brief month by month recap of a year of the Captain’s Log!


Miles- 256


CRC Hangover Run 5k XC (16:33- 2nd)
Winter Flight 8k (26:54- 4th)

Injuries- None of note

The year started off with me eschewing the marathon focus of most of my friends and training to run a fast 5k and 10k in the Spring. I had gotten in about 5 weeks of solid work after recovering from my November 2010 Marathon and was ready to hit the road running on January 1st. I opened up with a solid showing at the CRC hangover run with John Compton showing me a clean set of heels. This was to be the start of a regular pattern for the year ahead! Winter Flight was another solid enough effort (and another thrashing at the hands of John ha ha!)


Miles- 278

Races- None

Injuries- None of note

February was my highest mileage month of the year in spite of its brevity. I avoided racing and got some good training in before the important races in March and April that were going to kick in


Miles- 235


Get Your Rear in Gear 5k (16:14- 1st)
49er Classic 5k (track) (15:31- 4th)
Shamrock 4 Miler (21:19- 3rd)

Injuries- Strained calf after 4 Miler

March was a bittersweet month in many ways. Sweet in that I was able to set a new 5k PR at age 36 and prove that Winter training had gone well and that I was all set to roll at the Richmond 10k in April, bitter in that I followed that Friday evening race with a hard race effort at the first GP race of the Season literally the next morning and paid the price with a slightly strained calf that set me back a few days and ultimately proved costly at Richmond. In hindsight I could have just ‘jogged’ the 4 Miler to get the bonus points for the GP series with minimum effort but at the time that wasn’t really an option with it being the first race of the Series and me having no idea of how the rest of the year was going to pan out. So no real regrets.


Miles- 251


Ukrops 10k (33:02- 20th)
Run For The Money 5k (16:55- 1st)
Museum Mile (4:42- 7th)
Skyline 5k (15:53- 2nd)

Injuries- None of note

This was a month that started pretty badly but finished strongly. I was disappointed with my race in Richmond but it was another awesome race experience there and I will be back in 2012! I was on course to meet my goal time half way through the race but an inexplicable side stitch hampered my run and the week I had been forced to take off in March came back to haunt me. The Run For The Money race was my yearly good running deed of raising $1,000 for the Catawba Lands Conservancy (they may well need to find a replacement winner next year if this race clashes as it typically does with the Racefest 10k which I plan on running this year. The Museum Mile was a fun and novel event that I hope they are able to put on again next year and Skyline was a race where I reaped the benefits of racing aggressively, nearly beating long term nemesis and king of the roads Bob Marchinko for the first ever time in the process. We would meet again later in the year.


Miles- 257


Falafel 5k (16:13- 1st)
Twilight 5k (16:09- 2nd)
Great Harvest Bread (16:20- 2nd)
Run For Peace At Home (16:31- 1st)

Injuries- None of note

Now it was time to start focusing on my next race which was decided to be the USATF Masters 10k track race in July. It was a busy month racing, with a couple of local races that I was able to jog to the start line, pick up the wins and jog home and two more GP races where John Compton again destroyed me. However, safe in the knowledge that he was unlikely to complete enough of the races in order to be a factor in the end of year standings, I was finishing far ahead enough of my other rivals to already start thinking of getting that elusive overall GP victory that I was after.


Miles- 271


Summer Track Series
King Tiger 5k (16:08- 1st)
Summer Breeze 5k (16:06- 1st)

Injuries- None of note

With training focussing towards the track 10k in July, the Summer Track series gave me the opportunity to get plenty of track work in. The highlight a 9:50 2 miler, the low point a horrible 5:01 in the Championship Mile, most of these races were done as part of a larger workout. 2 more solid wins in the Grand Prix Series and overall victory was closer. The second of these also saw me crowned as 'Fastest Male in Mecklenburg' ha ha!


Miles- 265


RFYL 4 Miler (20:51- 2nd)
USATF 10k (33:28- 1st)

Injuries- None of note

A good month! Two weeks out from my goal race I was able to take advantage of a sudden cool down in temps to set my second PR of the year and also beat Robert Marchinko for the first ever time. Then it was on to a hot and humid Cleveland where I became National Masters Track 10k Champion after a good tactical race. Robert was second to make it a CRC 1-2 and I spent three hours immediately after the race trying to produce a sample for a random drugs test!


Miles- 229


Blue Points 5k (16:31- 5th)
Rock N' Run 5k (16:14- 1st)
OrthoCarolina 10k (34:14- 3rd)
Greek Fest 5k (16:24- 2nd)

Injuries- Sick the week before Greek Fest (only illness of year)

With my goal race out of the way and the Carolina temps continuing to rise and rise, I took this time as a chance to chill out a bit, cherry pick some races and generally just ease off a bit. To be fair, my relaxed approach led to some pretty average racing this month but at least my batteries were getting recharged and I could focus on finishing the year strong. Blue Ridge relay loomed...


Miles- 262


Blue Ridge Relay (2nd Team)
Hit The Brixx 10k (33:52- 1st)

Injuries- none of note

Blue Ridge Relay was my favorite race of the year and one of the best running experiences of my life. CRC's epic adventure is recapped here. A week later I was able to recover sufficiently to lead the 10k from gun to tape and virtually seal the Grand Prix. As September came to a close I had my sights set on a final training push for the year towards the Thunder Road Half.


Miles- 65

The mileage says it all. Hopes for the Half were shot as my knee finally gave up on me and I pulled the plug on the year. I jogged around the final Grand Prix race of the Season to clinch victory but otherwise took a few weeks off to get my knee fixed and renew my appetite and start thinking of goals for 2012.


Miles- 214


Fix4TheDay 5k (16:55- 1st)

Injuries- none of note

I gradually upped my mileage through November and reintroduced some speedwork, including the race which I was able to jog from my house to and pick up some shoes in the process :-) The next goal race was selected- Myrtle Beach Half in February 2012.


Miles- 280

Races- none

Injuries- none of note

With 2 runs left in 2011 this month should actually end up being my heaviest mileage month of the year! Concentrating on building my mileage and gradually increasing the intensity of my workouts at the expense of any racing at all, I am hoping I can stay injury free through this training block and be in a good position to attempt a PR at Myrtle in February. My tune up races will be the CRC Winter Classic 8k and Cupids Cup 5k. The post Myrtle plan is to return to Richmond for unfinished business in the 10k and also run the Race Fest 10k before getting ready over the summer for a 4th stab at the Marathon in the Fall. I'm looking forward to representing the 'TrySports' racing team after RFYL chose to discontinue their sponsorship program and also to many runs and workouts with my mates in the Charlotte Running Club!

Happy New Year all!!

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