As 2011 is getting started, I thought I would take a belated look back on 2010 and my accomplishments as a runner. In the past, I have reviewed the year as a motorsports fan but as the focus of my blog has shifted from that of a race fan to more of a focus on beer and racing, it only seems appropriate.
In 2010, I started the year having come off a successful marathon run in October 2009 finishing 30 minutes faster than my previous marathon with a new, sub 4 hour PR for 26.2 miles. In February, I again ran the Krispy Kreme Challenge sick but with no intention of challenging to eat the 12 donuts this time. I had planned to run the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon the following week but that was a failure on two accounts. I was sick as a dog and the race was snowed out. Even without the snow, I had decided the day before to skip the race at my Doctor's orders. Not a good way to start the year running but looking back, it was more an end to an otherwise successful year or 2009 season of running.
Moving on into March, without any for certain plans for the year, I ran the St Patrick's Day Run Green 8k in Raleigh. It was a race I was ill prepared for but none the less, I finished and had kicked off the running year earlier than ever. Two weeks later, I ran the Old Town Draught House 5 miler Beerrun in Greensboro with a decent finish and two pints of local craft brew included. My participation and blog post on this race led to my being interviewed by the Draft Magazine Beerrunner which was published on their site.
April was intentionally a slow month for me with no races as I needed to recover from my cold that lasted all winter. This was probably due to running outside in the cold - something my Doctor has since told me to give up. My health made a recovery in time for me to compete with my team that I had organized to compete in the Doughman Durham - a charity event that is the only relay eating quadrathon in the world. Together with my team of 3 friends, we finished the eat-bike-eat-run-swim-eat-run-eat-run event in 12th place overall out of 70+ teams. Our enjoyment was short lived though as we were disqualified the following day for a traffic violation committed by myself. To this day, the facts and my dispute of them have never been addressed by race organizers however in the end, we had a blast competing and hope the event continues in Durham. While I cannot commit to organizing and registering a team again, I would love to race on another team that would have me.
June kicked off a very short triathlon season for Michelle and I as we both ran the Smile Train Triathlon again in Wake Forest. We both improved our overall finish times from 2009 despite being slower on the swim and run. The course was the same, the heat was the same but our training of those two disciplines in April-June was not as dedicated as 2009. Despite swallowing an entire beetle during my ride, I was able to improve on my time enough to PR the sprint tri distance.
In early June, we had spent a week on vacation in the Outer Banks and I ran every morning on the beach. While I have never been a beach runner, it seemed like it would be no problem since the sand is hard packed and mostly flat. I wore my running shoes with socks and expected it would be a great idea. My shortest run was 3 miles, my longest was 6 miles and during one of my runs on the 3rd or 4th day - I experienced a sudden, very painful inflammation in my left (my good) knee. The pain went away and didn't affect me the rest of June or July.
For July, Michelle and I ran the Historic Beaufort Road Race. She did the 5k while I ran the 10k (6.2 miles) just narrowly missing my 10K PR set in 2003 by about 90 sec. I already plan on running this fun, hot event again in July 2011.
Late July and August is when marathon training really gets going for me. My races for the fall would be the new Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon and the Richmond Marathon. With only 3 weeks between the 2 fall events, I had to be ready to go on my long runs in the first weeks of October. August was also very important because we were going on vacation out west in late September which would leave me little time for training. But than August became a nightmare.
The knee pain I had experienced in June came back with a vengeance. It was brutal and it wasn't going away. After several orthopedist visits, I learned it was caused by inflammation of my patella tendon and I would need to rehab my knee than add dynamic stretching and a foam roller to my pre and post run activity. Because of my knee, my training and mileage in August and September suffered greatly. There were two 8 day periods where I did not even run. In San Francisco, my knee hurt so bad the first 5 days we were there, I could not even run 3 steps. Luckily, walking and bicycling was fine so I was able to get around with Michelle as we explored the city and sampled many beers along the way. Moving on to Seattle, I ran the Fremont Brew Ha-Ha 5k while we were there and surprisingly, finished with a strong 23:25, 7:33/mile pace. Again, I narrowly missed a 5k PR that I set in 2006 by just 19 seconds.
The Brew Ha-Ha really boosted my spirits as I entered October, aka long run season. My runs got progressively better and my knee pain was going away as the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon approached. A friend and I started the race together, a redemption for our missing the other Myrtle Beach Half in February. Again, the finish was a second PR for me in 2010 with a time of 1:46:21 at a 8:06/mile pace. I had finally cracked my PR for the half that I set at Virginia Beach in 2007. I had wanted a sub 1:50 13.1 for three years.
With little time to go, I focused on running and keeping my knee pain free for Richmond. Race day came quite quickly as Michelle and I made the quick trip to town just the evening before. The second half of the race was a massive struggle for me just as I expected given my limited training running beyond 18 miles in 2010. In the end, I finished under 4 hours and only missing beating my 2009 marathon PR by less than 90 sec. Considering the ups and downs of the season, I was happy.
As the holidays rolled around, I decided to add one more race for the year, the Ridgewood Turkey Trot in Raleigh on Thanksgiving Day. Despite the cool weather, I joined about 3000 other people for NC's biggest Turkey Trot and finished with another 2010 PR. My 8k miler time was 38:32 with a 7:45/mile pace - a fantastic way to end the year.
For the year, I ran 10 races with 3 PRs, narrowly missing 3 more PRs. I logged 642 miles running and 378 miles biking. In October alone, I logged 100 miles running.
On top of running and competing in 2010, I also organized and lead two more Bike 2 Beer tours in Raleigh and Durham. Together with friends, we visited 3 craft beer breweries, 2 brewpubs and countless bars by bike logging nearly 50 miles between the two events. Michelle also led her own abbreviated all girl Halloween Bike 2 Beer tour again visiting our buddies at Big Boss Brewery as well as several craft beer bars in Raleigh. In San Francisco, we took our own Bike 2 Beer tour around the city, logging over 20 miles of hills and visited 2 brewpubs along the way.
Now that 2011 is here, I'm not sure what lies ahead but I would venture a guess that the year will include more travel, half marathons, PRs, beerrunning, Bike 2 Beer tours, auto racing and lots of dynamic stretching.