Monday, January 2, 2012

Final Numbers and Top Five Bests of 2011

With 2011 coming to an end, I was thinking about this past year's numbers and experiences. I finished the year with a total of 4766 miles (91.6 per week) and a few minutes over 540 hours (6:48 per mile). During the summer before Chicago, I put together 13 consecutive 100+ mile weeks with 4 weeks at 485 miles and I had PR's in the 5k (15:08), 10k (30:33), and the marathon (2:22:05). This was by far my most successful year in terms of miles and PRs but most importantly, I think it was the best year of experiences. Here are what I consider to be the most memorable moments, in terms of running, of the year:

5. Classic 10k- 7th place, 30:51
This race always, for as long as I can remember, has had great depth in terms of competition. Finishing 7th and running under 31 minutes is a testament to that. My goal was to finish under 31 minutes and I ended up running 18 seconds faster than the previous year.

4. Pony Express 15+ mile- 1st 1:27:48
I didn't plan on running this race until a few days before and looking back on it now, maybe it wasn't the right thing to do before Chicago. The race has hosted some great runners in the past, though I don't think they had put the same effort into the race that I did. Either way, I broke the course record by almost six minutes and ran sub six minute miles on dirt at 9000ft.

3. Evergreen 10k- 4th place, 30:33
The race was the Colorado State Championships for the USATF Grand Prix this summer and it brought out some great competition. I was really excited to see how close I was to the 1st and 2nd place finishers; at the beginning of the year, I never thought I would be able to run this fast. It was, again, an 18 second PR and only a couple of weeks after running sub 31 at the Classic.

2. Eugene Marathon- 1st place, 2:22:05
While growing up, I always dreamed of running on Hayward Field's track. I never thought I would win a marathon while doing it. It was such a great feeling to run into the stadium and onto the track. Even though I really wanted to run sub 2:19, I was on pace until mile 22, it still didn't take anything away from winning a marathon in Tracktown USA. It was also great to be able to spend a week in Oregon and see all of the running history that Eugene had to offer. (We even got a tour around Eugene Running Company from owner Bob Coll. He had great pieces of running history.)

1. Watching My Kids Run
This summer, the kids joined the Mercury Track Club here in Pueblo. It was their first taste of competitive running and it was awesome to see how excited they were to compete. Kylah qualified for USATF Junior Olympic Nationals in both the 800m and 1500m. She finished 10th overall in the 1500m with a time of 6:20.14. While Malachi didn't qualify for Nationals, he was able to qualify for the Regional meet. He came up a little short but he ran a really tough race. A few weeks after Regionals he ran Run 4 Trails 5k in 22:26 and finished second overall. As a family, we finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th. The kids followed up track with a successful cross country season. Kylah, again, qualified for Nationals by finishing second at the regional meet. We opted out of taking her. Because the kids loved running, we were able to go on long family runs on the weekends that we will remember for ever.

I just hope 2012 brings some great new experiences!