"It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg Lemond

Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 in review

OK OK I am a little late writing this post.  In fact its been quite a while since I posted ANYTHING.  sorry about that (for anyone who might actually read this).
Thanks Greg Sadler!

Soon I will post my hesitant race schedule for 2012, but first, a look back on 2011.

Thanks Will Snyder!
With the end of 2011, I had to opportunity to look back at my adventures from this year.  A short summary of this year would be "amazing" or "fulfilling" but that would be a rather boring blog post.  Maybe the best way to describe this year would actually be "consistent".  Importantly, I began to get comfortable running whenever the opportunity presented itself.  Long lunch break?  - Go for a run.  Superbowl on TV? - Jump on the treadmill and watch time fly by.  Finished your lab work at 9pm? - Put on the headlamp and go for a run.  Dont feel like driving to work? - Run to the lab instead.  I think a lot of people would call these types of miles junk miles, but to me they are as important as the long runs and the occasional track workout.  Why?  because they keep me motivated, excited, feeling good, and most of all, increase my base mileage.

I haven't been running that long.  I was NOT a runner in high school, and in college the only running I did was when the keg was almost empty and a line was forming (haha, no really).  When tallying up my total mileage for 2011 I found I had run 4,453.5 miles.  I am not exactly sure how many days I took off, but I would estimate 35-45 days of rest over the year.  Usually 3-5 days a month, although sometimes more, and never less than 3.  Last year (2010) I ran 2,592 miles.  The year before that (2009) 1,556 miles and in 2008 only 1,499 miles!  So I guess I feel like I made huge strides this year.  Before 2011, anytime I hit 100 miles in a week - Bam, injured.  Through the use of a HR monitor and perhaps just acclimating to higher mileage, this year I became much more comfortable running 100 + miles in a week.  This year I ended up with some minor injuries, some bad IT band tightness during the winter, a stress fracture in a metatarsel, and what I think was some tendinitis in my shin.  Somehow I ran through all of it, but never pushed too hard, and never raced through an injury.

Also accomplishments I am very happy about:  Breaking 8 hours in the 50 mile (Woodstock) and running my first and second 100 mile races.  What once seemed an impossible challenge (running 50 miles), now seems like a respectable long race.  And Oil Creek still seems like a dream.  Did I really feel that good for that long during a 100 mile run?  Surreal.  Can I ever hope to experience that feeling again or was it a once in a lifetime experience?  Only time will tell, but with the discovery of the Potowatomi, Chain of Lakes, and other great trail systems within a 1-2 hour drive, I feel like my training has the potential to reach new heights.
Trail running weekend campout thing

Somehow I also got lucky and scored a magazine centerfold and my muddy legs made it onto the cover of ultrarunning magazine - very cool.  All that stuff was great, but I think more than ever, I am finding the Ultrarunning community to be a huge source of inspiration.  This year I met more new running friends than I have time to run with.  The Fort Wayne ultrarunners have been great and accepted me into their lot, having me into their homes, allowing for some fun group runs and a facebook pages full of ultrarunning jibber jabber and chatter.  Maybe that is one of the things I love the most about ultrarunning - the people who run do it purely out of enjoyment of the sport, and it makes them great people to hang out with.  I know a lot of my running friends accomplished a lot in 2011 as well, and I am very proud of all of them.

The crew keeps on growing
Looking back always results in looking forward.  What does 2012 hold?  I cannot imagine how it could be as exciting and fulfilling as 2011, but I am sure somehow, running for hours on end will leave me satisfied.  I am lucky to have had a (relatively) injury free 2011, and I hope that 2012 treats me as kindly.


  1. congrats man on the great year and thanks for the info. I saw that cover pic and thought it was photoshopped. Is that you on the cover?!

  2. Rob - yup thats me. and no photoshop necesary. the mud was thick and sludge-like. it reminded me of brownie batter.

  3. You had a stellar year last year, and I'm thrilled to have got to run alongside you more than a few times. Last year was fresh, new and fantastic for me too. It's great to hear others had the same experience, albeit different in the details. Let's make 2012 ever better!