Originally posted on: December 31, 2014
2014 is now a memory and although I didn’t accomplish everything that I wanted - I accomplished a lot this year.
The biggest things that I learned this year:
- If you give your time, effort or love, give it freely - expect nothing in return for your efforts and you will not be disappointed or have expectations that are unmet.
- Learn to say no and mean it.
- Live and enjoy the life you have.
I finally accepted that I am retired and embraced the things that it allows me to do, instead of fighting the preconceived notions that many others have of what it is and what I should be doing. It was not easy, because of the social conditioning that we seem to have that makes being "retired" such a negative thing in our society.
As I am learning - It is not. Being retired has many more advantages that you just do not realize until you accept that you are. So that is one of my biggest accomplishments this year. Will I always be retired, I don't know, you never know, but I plan to enjoy it until I am not.
- 2014 Miles: 1,845
- Best Month: January - 200.1 miles
- Longest Run: 15.1 miles -- twice 1/12/14 & 4/11/14
- Longest Running Streak: 41 Days
- Fastest Times
- 5K: 22:28
- 5.0: 37:29
- 10K: 54:19
- Half: 1:45:50
Injuries took their toll on my conditioning and speed (well age might have a little to do with that too), so I didn’t make any of my speed or total mileage goals - I missed that by 169 miles, so I got pretty close. Also I finally figured out that I am not much of a marathoner and that my strengths are in the shorter distances.
In June, I started running with Bennie and created a monster. He has become a great running partner and believe it or not a Coach. Coach Bennie has gotten me to run more and better than I have in years. There is something about running with him that has just been “right” and you know what, I re-discovered the joyful part of running…well the joy in running fast, being out of breath and then having to stop and bend over to get it back.
He never complains, except when I am going on a run without him - he thinks that just because I am running, he is supposed to also - after all he is my coach and protector. Bennie is a running machine and all heart.
I raced a bit this year and am finally getting a handle on that damn thing called race anxiety. I won a 5K outright, finished first in another (read about them here and here) and took my age group a couple more times, so I did pretty well locally. However, in bigger races I was strictly middle of the pack.
Thomas College Terrier 5K - 10-26-14 - Awards Ceremony.3
Both wins were amazing experiences for different reasons and no, it was not because I had blazing fast times in either race. It was more that I actually showed up at the race and competed against the other runners who showed up for that race - you can’t do anything more than that.
Unfortunately, 2014 was like so many other years, I lost significant time and had my running limited by injuries. This year’s most notable injuries were:
Left Hamstring - which caused me to miss most of May, spend a lot of money in June for treatment and finally, just sucking it up and running with varying levels of discomfort the rest of the year.
Left Achilles - This was still an issue from May 2013, when I partially tore it during a 5K race. They say it takes 12-18 months to recover from something like this completely and I sure didn't heal any faster than that. It didn’t really start feeling right until late in the year and every so often it still bothers more than it should.
Yeah, there were also lots and lots of niggles and little pain-in-the ass things that resolved themselves without anything more than some time and/or rest. All runners go through this stuff, so these were just part of the deal.
Still I would love to be able to run pain-free, for six to twelve months to see what it is like and what I could actually still do.
Yeah, running shoes are a negative in many ways for me. I always seem to give them too much credit when things are going well and too much blame when the injury bug hits or when I am running poorly - yet again.
Just a few of the shoes I have laying around the house and yes Bennie was going "What are you doing now?"
Below are the shoes that made it more than 100 miles in 2014:
- Pearl Izumi N2 Road - 1/18/14 — 339.8
- Pearl Izumi N1 Trails - 1/13/14 — 264.3
- Pearl Izumi N1 Roads 8/16/14 — 217.4
- Skechers GoRun Ride 2 - 5/19/14 — 184.4
- Pearl Izumi N2 Road - 12/26/14 — 179.5 in 2014 - 213.6 total
- Brooks Cascadia 8 - 11/1/14 — 115.1
- Skechers GoMeb2 6/28/14 — 104.3
- Brooks Launch 4/9/14 — 101.4
I tried way too many pairs and the worst part -- I never found any shoes that I really loved this year, even with trying so many shoes. I can see me getting back to a couple of brands that worked well for me in the past and sticking to those choices in 2015. The brand experimenting or going after the "next great shoe", that will be the newest greatest shoe ever has to stop.
I have moved to Strava as my primary online running log and am mostly happy with the results, enough that decided to move to the pro version.
Strava - Back Cove Stats 12-17-14
As much as I like the ease of importing my GPS watch data to Strava and how it documents the runs, I will still keep using my Spreadsheet - it remains my official running log and the data there is completely mine.
2014 was my best year of running since my knee surgery in 2011.
I learned (the hard way as usual) that you cannot do everything well and have to make choices, focus on the choices and train correctly for those choices, instead of training for 2-3 different things at the same time. It just doesn’t work too well and for me always seems to end up badly.
I also learned a lot about what works for me and what doesn't gear-wize (running shoes, GPS watches, smart phone apps, clothing, socks, etc.) and since I do not have to experiment or search as much for gear to see if it works for me as much, I have more time to focus on just running.
Speaking of focusing on the running - I have learned that training and racing long distances is not a strength of mine, I get injured way too often. I do better and am more motivated when I am running/training and racing shorter distances. In my One Goal to Rule Them All post, I talk a lot more about this.
I am thankful to all the runners that I have met in person and online in 2014. I have made new friendships and acquaintances that will last beyond simply running, so that is a good thing.
Running with Sam W, in New Hampshire
I hope that your 2014 was as great as mine was and that you are ready to step into the arena in 2015.
Here is to seeing you all on the other side of midnight.
Coach Bennie, my secret weapon