Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Running Year in Review

The end of 2009 marked the end of my first full year of training-
-time logged running: 170 hours
-time logged aqua-running: 9 hours
-time logged strength: 65 hours
-time logged core: 55 hours

-kms logged during training: 1573 kms
This includes a 3 month period starting in June of low mileage due to my runners knee injury
-kms logged during racing: 28 kms

Races and Thoughts...
# of Planned Races: 7
# of Races Run: 4

-January, Richmond 10km, set a PR of 52 min., 5:12 /km pace
I ran this race in a snow storm on snow covered streets. I learned alot about perceived effort as I struggled to get traction and also maintain my goal pace. I finished 4th in age group as I race the girl who got third for the last 500m but was not able to catch her.

-May, Kingston 5km, set a PR of 22:50 min., 4:35/km pace
This was the first race where I ran sub 5 min per km. I was passed at 3km by a lady in my age group(Stacey) so I latched onto her and raced her to the finish hoping we were racing for a medal. As it turned out we were racing for 4th place. The end of this race marked the beginning of my runners knee injury and 3 months of rehab, low mileage on my legs and the introduction of aqua-running and rowing into my weekly routine.

-June, July and August
I missed planned races of Beethoven 8km and Wolf Island 5km due to my injury and I began blogging and a comic called Ultra Running Guy. Taking time off from training was hard during the first weeks of no/low running. I began trying to run 20 min. stints without my knee complaining. If that went well then I would add 5 min. to the next run for a couple of runs then drop back down to 20 minutes. There were so many times when I thought I was better just to have the knee start complaining again. Derrick in his infinite wisdom/frustration decided it was time for drastic measures and got me aqua-running 2x's a week. I took every workout as it came and was surprisingly calm and hopeful that all would turn out well during this time. I was so lucky to have a concerned and dedicated coach who customized every workout based on my progress or lack there of. I have come to realize that we are only as strong as our weakest part. Who cares if my right leg can go forever if my left leg is limping and struggling along. Dr. Greg Leeman helped me to understand the importance of muscle balance for runners. One strong or weak muscle can throw all the corresponding muscles off balance causing havoc to the mechanism which in my case was the knee. Injury other then that caused by trauma can be a sign that something needs to change. Muscles need to me strengthened or running form needs to be adjusted. In the end I strengthened my muscles and adjusted my form and was able to come back as strong or stronger then I was before the injury.

-September, Sandbanks 5km, set a PR of 22:35, 4:31/km pace
This was my first race after having rehabbed all summer. I had fallen a week before the race and received 7 stitches for the effort. Luckily I recovered quickly and the day of the race had me feeling very chipper. I ran a very fast 3km and then just tried to hold on for the last 2km. I learned that going out fast is a gamble. Sometimes you can hold on, sometimes you crash and burn.

-October, Sydenham 8km, set a PR of 37:13, 4:40/km pace
This was my home race put on by Spafford Health and Adventure(Derrick & Sara) for the past 4 years. I went out slow for this race but found the distance of 8km to be a challenge at the intended pace and fell short of my goal time. I had the opportunity to race beside a gutsy lady who's perseverance often replays in my head during the hardest parts of my workouts. I find myself saying "What would Kim do now? Would she quit? No she would push harder," so that is what I do. I learned that complaining about a race after it is run is useless and just makes you look like a big cry baby. Unfortunately you cannot rerun a race so if you don't want to be disappointed at the end of it all then the time to do something about it is while you are racing.

-December, Clearwater, FL, Say No To Drugs 5km
All of my training for the year was a build up to this event. It was to be the final race of 2009 and a way to celebrate all of my training, hard work and overcoming my injury. I was all ready to go and wound up like a spring when I was hit with a virus that would just not let go. This then led to an ear infection and in the end there would be no earth shattering final run of 2009. I did keep working out during this time when up to it and found a race to run 2 weeks later in the New Year on Jan. 2nd.

There is so much more to say about my first full year of training other then my race times. I put in approx. 170 hours of running training as compared to the 2 hr 15sec. I spent racing. When I look back what I remember is the almost daily routine(5-6 days a week) of heading out the door for the days run. Going for my daily run meant time for myself be it a 1 hour interval / tempo workout, a recovery run or a long run. What I love about time planned workouts is that no matter how fast or slow you run them the time is constant and dependable and never changing. An hours run is an hours run. That time belonged to me and nothing could rush it or take it away. I loved every minute I spent running this year and can't wait to do it all over again in 2010.

I want to thank everyone who supported my running dreams this year. All of your words of encouragement, congratulations and support have been greatly appreciated. I hope you all have a great year of running in 2010 and I look forward to following and sharing in your running dreams with you.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year,

2010 Race
-January 2nd, Cape Coral, FL, 5 km, set a PR of 21:35, 4:18/km pace
It was quite cold for Florida with a temp. of 39 F and gusting winds down at the beach. For the first time I ran even splits and felt strong for the entire race. I found myself being inspired by the lead woman Lisa as she passed me heading back on the course looking so strong and graceful. It was not an earth shattering effort of a race on my part but I learned that I don't have to go out fast to run a fast race. What a great way to start out 2010. The dream continues. Stay tuned : )


Sara Montgomery said...

EJ, You ran a smart race and set another big PB! Congratulations!! It's very exciting watching your progress.

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

Hi Sara,
It was nice not to crash and burn. I kept waiting for the wheels to fall off but the legs just kept cruising along and then I was finished. It felt safe but good.
Happy New Year to you.

Jane Newman-Ralph said...

A little bird told me you won your age group and were 3rd over all.
Thank goodness for grandchildren, they keep you informed
Congratulations I am proud of you. Mum

Sank said...

Grats on a great year. Thank you also for reading my blog and your comments and encouragement.
Good luck in '10.

Kimberley said...

Hey EJ,
Congrats on an awesome 2009 race year! Looks like you are starting 2010 on an excellent note. Well done yesterday in the Dion Frontenace Snowshoe race! Wow, you were incredibly fast. You were strong throughout the entire race and you deserved to win 3rd overall female. I'm so thrilled for you. It was fun racing with you again.
Congrats again. Please thank your Mom from the Bohns for all her help.

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

Hey Kim great to see you and David again. Thanks for leading me out on the course. Very smart of you to take it easy on your knee after your fall for this one and you still won Masters Female. Anyhow I am trying to get my Mom's(Sherpa Jane) video from the race posted here. Good Luck to you and David in Vermont. BTW did your back straps stay up during the race. Perhaps if you are going to wear the strap high on the back of your Razors(in the groove at the ankle) you might need a longer strap so enough velcro is engaged. Just a thought.