Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 25 - December 31

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 3:01:29 Distance: 21.21 mi. Vertical: 1,424 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:00:30 Distance: 7.07 mi. Vertical: 475 ft.

2011 has wrapped up and I'm proud to say that I feel accomplished. For the past six years I've either been riding the injured bus or not running (purely because I didn't want to), but this year all of that changed. I don't know whether I've just never taken too much note of my yearly progressions or if each day I'm getting a clear understanding of the beauty of hindsight. My thoughts are organizing themselves unselfishly and I'm relating my day-to-day experiences with thoughts and ideas of what I want to accomplish in the future. The year brought to fruition my need to get back into running, and I have. This year (2012), I'd like to make some progress toward getting my foot-speed back all the while keeping my new-found love of the mountains and vertically inclined miles at the forefront of training.

Oddly, I feel like I'm paralleling a high school athlete. 2011 was (past tense, now. Kind of strange.) my Freshman year, and I had some success. No records, no wins, but a steady ascent up the overall finishers ladder. 2012 is (present tense. Whoa, even stranger) my Sophomore year and I'm starting to smell the blood in the water. I'm hungry for the win, for the speed, but I'm still going to be more cautious than aggressive. I've got a few races on the chalkboard, but nothing written in permanent marker, yet. Hilton Head Half Marathon is looking more and more like my first race of 2012. All you Georgia and South Carolina followers and friends be sure to be there or at least around for some training runs mid-February.

There's nothing more satisfying than running the numbers. Truthfully, getting to look back on the year so easily is why I enjoy a GPS-enabled watch (Garmin 405 & Garmin 610). I'm sure that statement is going to open the doorway for the, "GPS isn't accurate" cult. I wonder if they partner with the 'shoes hurt people' cult? This really isn't making me any friends. Don't take offense, folks.

Month (2011)TimeDistance (mi.)Vertical (ft)
February24:46:43167.8618,935Sweetheart Half-Marathon
March11:33:3174.068,540Thrill in the Hills Half-Marathon
April10:46:1359.994,468Sweetwater 50k
July20:41:49121.1517,805Cougar Mtn. 10-miler
October29:02:11171.5628,666Cougar Mtn. 50k

As you can see, for about four months of 2011 I wasn't running very much. March and April due to a strange Achilles 'injury' that left me unable to wear even socks it was so tender. No tear, no swelling, no bruising. Just an unbelievably sensitive to the touch spot. In May I tackled moving 3,000 miles Northwest from Atlanta, Georgia to Seattle, Washington and running was placed on the 'not so important' priority list, and June was a "I'm thinking about training again" month. Hindsight, I should have picked the running up in May, but that can't be changed. Aside from location, my running took a turn for the vertical. Check out the Vertical column: <Georgia> Jan - Apr, 56,129 ft. <Washington> Jul -Oct,  124,739 ft. a difference of 68,610. Now, I think it's valid to say that things are bit skewed because of the injury in Georgia; however, even if I maintained January's total vertical gain through April, an estimated total of 96,744 ft., there's still a difference of 27,995 ft. Clearly a marked change. This change has proven to be the catalyst I needed to fuel the fire within.

2012 should be a great year. Like I said earlier, I don't have too many things planned. I do want to keep running consistently for the sake of just running. Everything else: races, adventures, etc., should just fall into place. Happy Trails

Here are a few of my favorite pics/vids from 2011: (leave some comments if you agree/disagree)
"A full moon over Joshua Tree"

Two days fresh into my big move from Georgia to Washington. Yeah, I've never seen this much snow in my life, and clearly this is evident. Jeans, short sleeves, and an ice ax (why did I even own this in Georgia?)

Poulsbo, WA. "Almost Famous 2"
Somewhere on the Lake Washington Trail...just too funny .

Heading up Bandera Mountain

Kendall Katwalk