Finishing what I started

A year ago I was panicking as my second Richmond Marathon neared and I was battling an ITB injury. I had a strong year only to see things unravel in the final 2½ months of 2010. 2011, running

After the marathon, I closed out the year at the lowest point since I started running in 2004. Sure I hit 1,000 miles, which was my huge goal for the year, but I had to do it in what felt like such an uncelebratory way. In December, I set a goal for 2011 to end it stronger than I begin it.

And now, all of a sudden, that time is here. I’ve thought about it since I wrote about it. I’ve been trying to figure out what I meant all year – sure it sounded good, but how I hit accomplish this goal is so open-ending.

In some ways, I’ve already accomplished it. In the second half of the year I have set a PR in the 5k twice, the 5 miler and the marathon. I’ve also already ran more miles in the second half of this year than I did in the first 6 months – 412.3 from January through June; 463 since July 1.

I’m finding myself in unchartered terrority with my running – two marathons ended with injury and an overall lack of interest in running. Now with a little more than two months left in the year, I remain excited about running after my third marathon.

It’s time to focus on finishing what I started this year … and last year. In these last two months I want to hit 1,000 miles in a meaningful way. I don’t want to force it just because I’m close to it. I want it to be fun.

I also want to close the year off strong race-wise with a course record at my “home” course – the Bedford Christmas Classic. I enjoyed watching my friends run strong in that race last year, but it hurt me to miss it.

I ease back on my mileage a bit and get rested up before I prepare for the next big training cycle with my fifth Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach in March. But that’s 2012. I have some things to take care of in the next 67 days.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net