Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Year of the Marathon in Review

All of my 2010 medals hanging on the curtain rod
(Just realized that missing from the line-up are: Texas and WDW 2011 medals
I will try to get a complete photo but not sure they will all fit!)

So it feels like just yesterday I was perusing with a pencil in-hand and a calendar of the year jotting down potential races. After which, I sat down and wrote this post. Remember that? Can you believe the whole year has come and gone?!

The journey has seen 16 marathons in 12 months, 2x(3 marathons in a 4 week period), 4x(2 marathons one week apart), 1x(back to back marathons), and 2x(marathon PR's). Wowza.

I have learned a lot about my body this year. I am quite familiar with what the later miles of the marathon feels like both mentally and physically. I've come to understand how multiple marathons close together affect my pace. I'm in much better tune with my body and have a fairly good idea about how I'm feeling translates into a time and what effort level I need to give to produce a certain result. I have also realized that your body can do fairly extraordinary things.

My fastest marathon time was 4:01 and the slowest of the bunch was 5:26. I just did the math and I averaged 4:22 over the course of the last 16 marathons (which, I might point out, is 262 minutes). I find this utterly amazing since less than a month before The Year of the Marathon started, 4:22 was actually faster than my PR at the time. For you math people, the median was 4:39:30 which feels fairly representative of the results I was seeing overall.

One of the main things I wanted to find out over the course of the year was whether or not multiple marathoning would make me stronger. Obviously it helped my running as I dropped my PR 13 minutes over the course of the year. But I also went through some periods where my legs were very fatigued. BUT, I had my best performance after the worse period of fatigue so you could argue that I came out stronger. Overall, I'm leaning towards the idea that it made me a stronger runner both mentally and physically.

I highly doubt I will ever run more than 16 marathons in a 12 month period again. I'm glad I did it once to see what it was like and to know I can do it, but I think I've gotten it out of my system. I will not, however, shy away from back to back weeks or double type deals down the road. I still do not plan to join Marathon Maniacs or actively pursue or join the 50 States Club.

Next up, what is in store for 2011? I still haven't figured it all out, but will gather some thoughts on it soon.

Check out Runner's Rambles for a chance to win an entry to one of the San Francisco Marathon events!


Marci said...

What an amazing year you had, I think you proved multiple marathoning can improve speed and endurance. Love your display of medals!

bunnygirl said...

You had a great year and I'm glad it didn't burn you out. Nice medals! Do you have a favorite swag item?

Nicole said...

you are a freaking rockstar! i'm so proud of you! :) :)

Average A said...

You are so awesome!! Obviously you accomplished something mind-boggling last year, but seeing it all in writing really makes me see it in a more tangible light. And i'm not talking about that killer medal display. This breakdown is great.

And way to slip in Aron's giveaway -- I'm proud of you for actually attempting to win this. :P

You are so inspiring!

Mica said...

Your year blows my mind. I am so impressed by your perseverances and by all the reflections that you have made about this journey.

If I may ask, what kind of commitment was this financially? It seems like race fees and the travel would be quite a chunk of money.

(Also, Harrison would like to know why you're not going to apply for Maniacs. I tried to explain it, but I'm not really sure.)

Marlene said...

What a year! I definitely remember that post and it must be quite a feeling to look back now at all you've done. I don't have a doubt that you are stronger in every way after this endeavor.

And I LOVE the curtain rod idea! GENIUS!! *stealing*

Forward Foot Strides said...

WOW WOW WOW. That's all I can really say! That and the curtain rod is the best idea ever.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Get a longer curtain rod!

What a year! Been fun to be on the sidelines and watch and hear.

2011? Ask Mario. Mario knows all!

Aron said...

SUCH an incredible year. I bet you had no idea it would end up like that :) congrats!!!

and thanks for the link :)