With the new year now into full swing I figured like many, I should recap my last years running accomplishments.
I was hoping that the amongst other things the least I could do was to at least learn from the previous years mistakes.
So what were the mistakes? Running too many races and not being properly prepared to run that many miles. I had signed up for my first 100 miler (Burning River) and had to back out at the last minute when I realized that injuries had prevented me from running 10k, never mind 100 miles. It took me a long time to get over that and realize what I needed to do to train properly. Late in 2010 I was one of the first to sign up for Burning River and wasn't ready to ramp up the mileage until the new year. All my focus for 2011 would be on Burning River with no back to back Marathons and unnecessary races. I started running 2 long runs per weekend in January with Theo. We would both be doing the Green Jewel 50k in Ohio, for Theo his first.
Training in Barrie in January can be tough at the best of times, but in 2011 it was extremely hard. Many a long run was run in sloppy, deep snowy conditions and in some cases cut shorter than planned. Regardless we went to Green Jewel and had good runs in difficult conditions. Heavy rain the week before had created s lot of flooding, which had mostly cleared up by race time. At least we didn't have to deal with snow, at least until we drove home. That was a miserable drive.
Another "fun run" was Seaton Trail. The equivalent to a Nor'easter blew through after a week of rain and created more difficult conditions for this 52k race (which turned out to be about 56k), heavy rains and high winds welcomed runners. I almost quit at half way, but soldiered on. Only 31 finishers in the 52k and 3 in the 50 miler should give you an idea of how bad it was.
A training run to Wasaga Beach and back (50 miles) went off really well, despite the rain.
The weather was much better for Sulphur Springs, but there was still a lot of mud on the course, but just enough to make it fun. I had attempted the 50 mile here last year, but as an omen of what was to come I dropped at about 35 miles. This year was totally different, as I finished feeling good, finishing the last loop strongly.
Creemore has become an annual event and as usual was very warm and humid, but a decent race.
Prior to actually running Burning River I went down with Roger and did 2 of the scheduled training runs, which I would recommend to anyone planning on doing BR100. I also went down to Vermont for the Vermont 100 to crew and pace Catherine, a great weekend and a good experience, unfortunately Catherine didn't complete the race. getting pull off the course at about 56 miles.
Burning River was a great success, I finished and felt great. It just set the seeds for me wanting to do more of the same.
After a trip to England to help Victoria move (which helped enforce a 2 week recovery with no running).
Once back I helped our team in the Simcoe Shores relay. Much more fun actually being able to run this year, but it felt very hard.
In September I tried to get into the North Coast 24 hour race, but tried to late and it was sold out. I thought it would be interesting to see how far I could run in 24 hours on a fairly flat course. More to come on that one!
I signed up for Vulture Bait which I had been planning on doing for a number of years, but it always conflicted with other races. The race turned out to be a hidden gem, great course, but horrible weather, which seemed to be a reoccurring theme for the year.
A last minute sign up for the Borden half marathon (WTF, a half?), at which I surprised myself by how well I did.
I finished the year by starting a strength training program to try and overcome some of the injuries caused by some muscle weakness here and there. Physical Therapy and ART has had some positive affects on my injuries.
Overall the year has finished very positively on the running/injury front. I have also signed up for Vermont 100, North Coast 24 hr (with time to spare this year) and lately I just signed up for Green Jewel again. There are a lot of other possibilities too, especially the OUS series races. Its looking up for a good year.
March 5, Green Jewel 50k - 4:48 22nd place out of 100
April 16, Seaton Trail 54k - 6:47, 18th out of 31 finishers
May 28, Sulphur Springs 50 miles - 9:29, 18th out of 63
July 2, Creemore Vertical Challenge 50k - 5:24, 20th out of 89
July 30- 31, Burning River 100 Mile - 24:38:56, 49th out of 310
Oct 15, Vulture Bait 50 - 5:06, 30th out of 89
Oct 23, Borden Half Marathon - 1:35, 17th out of 239
Total distance ran in 2011 - 3685 km's
Highest weekly mileage - 171 km's
Highest monthly mileage - 420 km's
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