Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 in Retrospect

2013 may go down as the year where my training to racing ratio was the most unbalanced towards training. The last race I ran was a 10K in February. Yep, that's nearly a year ago. I honestly didn't realize that it had been that long until I typed those words just now. We went through a few too many life changes this year to piece together anything close to a regular training schedule. I just can't bring myself to wake up early any given morning, Google for a local event with race day registration, and then run it. I have to fight for a good night's sleep and against stress on the starting line enough as it is. Entering a race without training specifically for it (or as part of a build up to another race) just isn't the way that I like to go about it.
That's me at about the halfway point of my last race

You're right: it's really not that big of deal. It's not like running is my job, and since no one knows me at the races anyway, no one even expects me to run fast. I even really prefer to wing it a lot of the time in my life, but when it comes to racing, I probably take it a little too seriously for the level of runner that I am. Still, I wouldn't say that this has been a bad year for my running.

While I may not have raced, I did run quite a bit. My paces haven't been what they were along that flat Pennsylvania levee, and a lot of it wasn't a formal workout. Don't tell them that I said this, but I've actually come to enjoy these mountain roads (except for on speed work days, still working on that one). Hills used to be a big problem. Now, at least normal sized ones just aren't. I topped 1,111 miles for the year. I didn't have a stated goal for this, but it has inspired me to set one for 2014: 1,500 miles (roughly 29 miles a week).

I found a group of guys to run with as many as three times a week, something that I didn't really think I cared about until a few months into it. I've also come to really appreciate exploring a good trail, which we seem to have buckets of around here, thankfully. Besides getting acquainted with my new, and now usual routes, I got to run in San Francisco and got a taste for what it's like to be a city runner (not as bad as I imagined, actually). I also won (yes, outright won) a 5K back in February. It's a fun story that maybe I'll tell sometime, but in short, it was cold, snowy, and the race had a low turnout, of course.

Anyway, here's looking forward to 2014.