living in the now

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Farewell 2012

Ohio snow 2012 In my somewhat year in review the other day, I think I missed expressing how great of a year of running it was.

Through all the ups and downs that come with running, this 365-day span has been the best in 9 full years of running.

It was the most consistent year I've ever had. I close off the year at 1,157 miles -- 117 miles farther than last year. Five months had 80 or more miles and five months had 100+ miles. Longtime PRs fell in the 10k, 10-miler and half marathon despite rarely being happy with how "fast" I felt (or didn't feel).

I spent today's 4-mile run doing a lot of reflecting on this year. I thought about those PRs and the personal best mileage, but I found myself just being grateful for being able to run. In a way, that feels like the theme of this year.

I'm looking forward to what next year will bring. I'm approaching 2013 with a lot of goals that will set me up for what I think will be an even better and more satisfying year of running.

For now, it's time to celebrate the end of 2012.

2012: The good, bad & ugly

I've run nearly 1,200 miles this year -- far and away the most miles in a 12-month span for me. What's behind those miles, though, are a bunch of stories -- some (really) good moments, a fair share of (really) bad moments, and quite a few that were simply ugly. I've thought about all those moments and decided to do a "year in review" of sorts with "winners" of each of those categories and linking to a few older posts along the way.

The Good.

Record mileage with no major injuries is almost the biggest highlight for me. Getting a 10k PR in May is also up there as one of the big moments. PRs aside, the entire race weekend at the Runner's World Festival in October was huge.

Nothing, though, can top that feeling in March when I set a new mark at the Shamrock Half Marathon. While I didn't get my sub-1:40, nearly everything fell into place that day for my best race experience to date.

Shamrock Half Marathon medal

The bad.

While 2012 was mostly good, the bad moments were definitely forgettable.

This comes down to a toss up between the Cleveland Half Marathon in May and the Richmond Marathon in November. Miserable weather impacted Cleveland; exhaustion likely caused a miserable day for Richmond.

Richmond, though, had more elements that I could have controlled, so that wins out as the biggest "bad" of the year.

2012 Richmond Marathon bib

The ugly.

Here was my debate -- do I go literal or figurative? Richmond was ugly. The weather in Cleveland was ugly.

But blood is also ugly, and way back in January I had an awesome experience in the Frozen Toe 10k in Roanoke. That awesomeness included blood.

Blood always wins.

Frozen Toe 10k

August reflections

I feel like I’ve been in a constant state of being too hard on myself or questioning everything for most of this year. I did some of that this month, but in my state of constant honesty, I think I should stress the positive. The 31 days of this month have been really good. I just haven’t talked about it much.

Besides my fall and failed plan at a core streak, I’ve put together a month that saw 120 miles. Highlights from the past month include:

Several speed sessions Aug. 7: 2-mile tempo in 16:42 Aug. 15: 5k tempo in 8:16 pace Aug. 23: 4 x 800 repeats in 3:40, 3:48, 3:34 and 3:41. Aug. 29: 5k tempo in 8:14 pace

My pace for tempo runs is coming in a little faster than I'd like, but it's hard for me to dial it back. I need to do longer tempo runs and more speed work to really hone in on my goal pace, which is closer to 8:30 miles. The 800s, though, are right where they should be if you ask Bart Yasso.

Lynchburg Half Race number, #runchat

Half marathon at marathon goal pace It's tough to really say I "paced" the Lynchburg Half Marathon since it had a giant hill that slowed me down, but overall I'm still happy with how things went that day.

Signing up for the Runner's World Half Marathon There is so much more to that weekend that I'm looking forward to beyond me running the half and our #RunChat meetup. I need to save that for another post though as it deserves it own space.

I'm excited about what's ahead in September as I hit my peak marathon training mileage. My long runs have been so good in the past few weeks that I've had to hold myself back just a bit to not spike my mileage.

I'd love to lose some weight, but I'm at that point in training that I can't worry about that. As long as I continue working on my core and remain consistent with my training, I'll be in the best shape of my life come November 10.

2012 halftime report

I never imagined at the beginning of this year that my biggest highlight would be personal with my relocation to the Richmond area. While I haven't been happy with my career in a while, moving to another part of Virginia wasn't something I was looking to do. Here on the last day of the first half of the year, I'm happy with how things are falling into place with the move. With that comes a return of satisfaction with my running.

This month has been weird -- I feel like I've neglected running and haven't been able to do many of the things Coach Caleb has lined up for me. Despite that, I closed out the month with a 10-mile run this morning and a little more than 90 miles for the month. My Relay for Life run at the beginning of the month certainly helped me hit that mark.

Here are the main things that stand out for me for the first half of this year:

PRs The Shamrock Half Marathon feels so long ago, but it still stands out as my top highlight of the year.  Shattering my 10k PR in Carytown is a close second.

Humbled The Cleveland Half Marathon experience was miserable. It was so bad that I almost signed up for next year's race to get some redemption. I didn't though. Instead I've used that race as a learning experience and feel much better prepared for changing weather conditions than I have before.

The "other" experiences My first race of the year -- a bloody Frozen Toe 10k -- is probably my favorite racing experience so far. A close second is the Blue Ridge Half Marathon.

More miles I haven't focused on many specific numbers this year, but I'm closing off the first half of the year with more than 550 miles. I'm just 15 miles shy of 1,200 miles since July 1, 2011.

What's ahead I've been thinking a lot this month about getting beyond this month. I'm eager to get to "official" Richmond Marathon training with a coach outlining my plans. It's a brand new experience training like this. I do need to find an in between race though, but I have to actually do some searching first.