Has a whole year flown by already? I swear, it seems like just yesterday I was writing 2011′s recap and making some new goals for 2012. In the latter post, I vowed to “train smarter. Not harder, not more, but smarter.“
A year ago I was still really struggling with the effects of the articular cartilage tear under my knee cap: inflammation, pain, etc. I was working so hard just to get back to the point where I could just run. After consistent PT, courses of Prednisone, ice baths, and yes, the occasional setback, my body has gotten stronger and my knee has improved to the point where running is a regular part of my life again. At the end of 2011, I was dedicated to active recovery and building up my mileage again while allowing my knee joint to adjust and recover. I can say that one year later, at the end of 2012, I just run when I feel like it with no real need for any “recovery” or downtime. Not sure how long this reprieve will last, but it is quite amazing how the body can heal it self to a certain extent. We’re not talking weeks for that to happen, but months and months and years. So here’s what happened in the past year in terms of training and racing
I changed up my training, which resulted in a half marathon PR
I created a consistent ice bath routine
I had a nasty reaction to an Orthovisc injection that left me out of the running game for a few weeks
I truly realized the drug-like qualities of running after returning from injury
I rebounded after said Orthovisc reaction
I kicked up my swimming a bit during my knee recovery and told my swimming story
My twin sister and I decided to run the Alexandria Half Marathon together; she wrote a series of guest posts titled “Back in the Saddle”: #1 (Returning to Running), #2 (On the Road Again), #3 (Prepping the Part), #4 (The Final Countdown)
I actually ran sans technology every now and then!
I attempted to incorporate more consistent hill training…and failed.
I decided to have a “Kenyan Summer”
I ran into a bear–literally–while on a long run
I had the absolute best running weather ever while on a mini-vaca at home in Michigan
I ran with…gasp…a hangover
…only to have my body completely cramp up on me day of the race
On the race front, I did actually run most of the races I signed up for, with the exception of a few (the Glass City Marathon in April and the RnR Las Vegas Half in the beginning of December–hey I had just come back from Vegas!). After my initial bout with the flu/cold, the year started out AMAZING, with one really big PR. Then my running suffered a bit from the hot summer weather (I now know for sure that I am not ok with running in the heat!). It rebounded a bit in the fall with a 10k and 20mile race and then peaked with my comeback marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon. While I didn’t do as well as I would have liked on the day of the MCM, I still got my body/knee back to running a marathon, which was one of my explicitly stated goals on my “New Year, New Races” post.
I started the year off in January with the Frostbite 15k in Richmond. The chilly race truly lived up to its name
I killed–absolutely killed–my half marathon PR at the Colonial Half Marathon in February. Oh yea, I also won a 3rd place AG medal
I was majorly sleep deprived, but ran the Irish Spring 10k anyways on St. Patty’s day in March. The marine training course kicked my butt.
I decided to run the West Virginia Strawberry Festival One-Miler instead of the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg. I won first place in my age group, but that’s not saying much haha.
I finally got a chance to run with my twin sis at the Alexandria Half Marathon. I suffered some pretty bad heat exhaustion–my first clue that I have difficulty running in hot, humid weather–and was lucky just to have finished.
I knew it just wasn’t summer unless I did a triathlon. With no training whatsoever, I finally got Ruby out of her storage, and raced the I Love the Tavern Tri (22.6). It was really fun!
I bonked during the hot-as-hell Fourth of July Waynesboro Summer Extravaganza 10k.
Although I was upping my mileage during my summer marathon training, I decided to keep with the 10k race theme in August and race the OrthoCarolina 10k Classic with my friend Julia. It was actually a really fun race…much better than my previous 10k in Waynesboro
I had a moderately good first 20-mile training run of the season at the Return of the Penguins 20 miler. Only problem: It was a trail race and I wasn’t used to running on gravel.
I decided to go ahead and run the Virginia 10miler even though I had the flu. Bad idea.
I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, which I still haven’t done a proper recap for yet. Suffice to say, I had a tough day that day. I got blasted with strong, cold winds the whole course (as a result of the incoming Hurricane Sandy) and my stomach completely cramped up on me around mile 12. Despite my difficulties, I finished and the MCM constituted a major comeback from my knee injury to marathon running!
There you have it folks, 2012 in running. I’m really looking forward to 2013 and since I got into the NYC Half, I think it may be the year of the half marathon for me!
This recap obviously doesn’t touch on all the wonderful, fun social things I did all year, including wine tasting, charity polo matches, al fresco dinners, weddings, traveling, and celebrating the big 3-0 in Vegas. I’ll be back this weekend before the New Year to recap how I went on a Living Spree in 2012.
How was 2012 for you in terms of running/racing/fitness? Highlights? Lowlights?