I kicked off last year with the Fairfax 4 Miler - my first day of running in almost 8 months - on New Years Eve. (Yes, I know New Years Eve was in 2009, hush, I make the rules). We filled our water bottles with vodka (not a good idea, it makes you very slow) and headed out into the pouring sleet for a very definite personal worst.
12/31/2009 - Fairfax 4 Miler - 51:51
Next up was the rescheduled Love the Run You're With 5K. I'd been very slowly returning to running and just wanted to break 35 minutes and not feel any lingering stress fracture pain in my foot. It was also the poet's first race.
2/28/2010 - LTRYW 5K - 33:17
Excited by how good I felt in this race, I started to stack things up (this is called foreshadowing). I ran my first-post-injury 6.5 mile run in Bloomington, IN, about a week before the 4 Courts 4 Miler. I wasn't trying to race this one, just running for the free beer. This hill is a bitch on the way back.
3/13/2010 - 4 Courts 4 Miler - 44:31
I had shoulder surgery a few weeks later, and made the devastating decision to try and train for the CB10M in about 6 days time. I signed up for the Crystal City 5K's but only managed to run one of them (with a MASSIVELY swollen right arm post-surgery), limping from IT band pain the entire way.
I launched into a self-designed, and then PT-designed rehab program after this race which last several months. My next race back was a sprint triathlon - the 14.08.
After a moderately successful walk/run during the tri, I signed up for a 5K to see how things were going. I was also getting pretty close to the end of my patience with injury. I picked the Crystal City Twilighter 5K on one of the hottest nights of the summer. I struggled the whole way.
After running this 5K, some running friends decided to put together a meet-up at a 5K the following weekend. I decided, over a pre-race beer the night before, to go after my PR. Miracles abound - I PR'd.
Cycling took over for a few weeks as I got myself ready for the Reston Century, an unplanned 107 miles.
Inspired by my recent PR, I tried to walk/run 4 miles on the treadmill a few weeks later, and everything fell apart. I got myself scheduled for surgery and hunkered down into recovery. My first trip back out was for the Great Pumpkin Ride (44M), a day that started off freezing and ended up incredibly pleasant.
As I worked my way through recovery, I decided to sign up to walk/run some road races, if for no other reason than to get off the treadmill for a while. No times goals, just listening to my body. And these were all great races - time spent running with friends, enjoying being outside again.
Due to all the swimming I was doing during rehab, I signed myself up for the swim leg of a triathlon relay. It was a great getting-over-my-fears kind of experience for me, and prepared me for hopefully many more open water swims. Maybe with less panicking and backstroke.
And finally, my goal comeback race, the Jingle All The Way 10K. Desperately trying to balance not coming back too soon and wanting to run strong. The result? A massive PR.
What's up for next year? That's another post altogether (thank goodness, this one is long enough). Happy Holidays!