The races keep piling up for 2012 in the sidebar. My next race is the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon next month. I'm training with eyes on the prize at the Modesto Marathon in March, though. My birthday falls on a Sunday in 2012 and I debated whether I wanted to do a birthday marathon. In 2007, I ran the Rome Marathon on my 27th birthday and I think that is a pretty tough birthday act to follow. So I decided I wasn't going to run a race on my birthday just for the sake of doing a birthday race.
But then I realized that I would be running my 32nd marathon on my 32nd birthday. That is a pretty sweet deal and I doubt my age and marathon number will ever coincide on my birthday again. My local choices (I suppose I could have gone back to Rome and run the Rome Marathon again) were LA and Modesto. LA was a nice race but nothing I want to do again. Modesto got good reviews and has the perfect recipe for a PR attempt for me: Flat and a relatively small field size. So I'm all signed up and back into training mode.
In November, I joined a Bikram Yoga studio for the year. I'm trying to go 3-4x a week.
This past week (sorry I haven't been doing weekly recaps lately):
Sunday: 8.6 mi, including 3x1600 with 400m recovery @ 7:36, 7:37, 7:25; That last mile repeat is my current training mile PR and my first sub-7:30 mile. For the record, mile repeats suck.
Tuesday: 7 mi @ 9:30 pace, 3x hill sprints
Wednesday: 10 miles including 6 mi @ 8:13 pace; Running in the low 8:00's is starting to get a little easier and I find myself slipping into 7:xx's for a few splits here and there.
Friday: 15.3 miles: 6 mi warm up, 5 mi: 90 sec hard (14x 7:41 pace), 90 sec easy, 2 mi easy, 2 mi hard (8:09 pace); The thing I hands down love the most about my new training plan is the pace work and speed play during long runs. It keeps the run fresh and I get a big confidence boost doing this kind of stuff in the middle of longer runs.
Sat: 2 miles @ 9:54 pace, 3x hill sprints
|Stats from my running log|
This year was a rather bipolar running year for me filled with ups and downs. I had three major injuries which put major dents into my training. But at the same time, I bookended 2011 with marathon PR's at my first and last marathons of the year. I finally ran a sub-4:00 marathon which was my goal for the year. For the first time since I've kept a running log for the year, I did not run more miles than the previous year (I'm pretty sure this is the first year since I've started running in 2001 that I did not set a mileage PR). Yet at the same time I was running faster and stronger than any other year. In November I set official PR's in the marathon and 5K, and unofficial PR's in the 10K, half-marathon, and mile. That is quite a month, right? This year I was also blessed to forge stronger friendships with old runner friends and meet a boatload of new ones. The Bay Area running community certainly took on a life of its own in 2011.
So what am I hoping for in 2012? I am hoping to be in shape to race two marathons so perhaps two ratchets down in my marathon time. I don't have a hard marathon time goal like I did in 2011, but I'm thinking I'll be pleased if I break into the 3:4x's. I really prefer to look at my progress in terms of training runs and I'd love to be running tempo runs in the sub-8:00's by the end of the year. Most important to me is to be injury free in 2012. If I can get that to work out, everything else will eventually follow.