In looking back, 2011 was a great year. I got in a lot of good training, made some major paradigm shifts and ran some great races. Without further ado…
Mileage hit a new high this year with 2245.8 miles compared to 1900.7 last year, an increase of 345.1 miles. The additional mileage came mostly in the second half of the year and my legs handled it well. Monthly breakdown is below:
- Jan: 157 miles
- Feb: 160 miles
- Mar: 185 miles
- Apr: 212 miles
- May: 131 miles
- Jun: 177 miles
- Jul: 190 miles
- Aug: 218 miles
- Sep: 244 miles
- Oct: 246 miles
- Nov: 150 miles
- Dec: 176 miles
You can see in the months of May and November my mileage dipped. This was due to the taper and recovery of the two marathons I ran in 2011.
In 2010 I started my transition to a more natural stride by focusing more on a mid-foot to forefoot strike. I was a pretty consistent heel striker prior to this, particularly during my slower runs and this contributed to some knee issues. My journey gained some momentum when Mizuno decided to change the design of my go-to training shoe, their ‘Wave Riders’.
I started wearing the Wave Riders with version 8 and faithfully wore them for the next five years. The design hardly changed over the years and I loved the feel and responsiveness of the shoe. Then in late 2010 the 14s came out and the shoe felt completely different. At first I though it was my imagination, that the shoe just needed to be broken in a little or that since I was running in midwinter that the cold made the shoe feel stiffer. I was rotating these in with the older 13s and after a month or so of runs and some online research my worse fears were confirmed…my favorite shoe was no more. I haven’t purchased a pair of Mizunos since, not out of spite but because it gave me the opportunity to look at other options (are you listening shoe companies? There’s a lesson here).
My shoe search, along with reading ‘Born to Run’, lead me to fully embrace the minimalist shoe movement. My plan was to first work to get to a zero drop shoe and then move to some barefoot training. Most running shoes have a 12 millimeter (mm) raised heel which according to some experts can lead to injury. In June of 2011 I started with the Saucony Kinvara which has only a 4 mm heel. I worked those in with the Wave Riders I still had until September when I also started running in zero drop Altra Instincts. From that point on I was exclusively training in the Instincts and Kinvaras in preparation for the Philly Marathon in November. I also purchased a pair of Bikila Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs) in October and initially wore those around the house and while walking around town. I didn’t want to make any radical changes in my training prior to the marathon so I held off on using those for training runs. About three weeks after Philly I started wearing the VFFs on the last mile of my runs. I’m going to go slow with the VFFs and see how my legs respond but so far it’s been really positive. More on this in future posts.
I had a solid number of PRs this year and my times continue to come down:
- Polar Bear Run Walk for Autism 5k, 2/20/11, time: 19:11 (PR), 18th overall, 3rd in age group
- Citizens Bank Caesar Rodney Half Marathon, 3/27/11, time: 1:33:44 (PR)
- Unite Half Marathon (flood shortened to 9.6 miles), 4/17/11, time: 1:03:31 (PR), 67th overall, 2nd in age group.
- Delaware Marathon, 5/15/11, time: 3:17:41 (PR, Boston Qualifier), 36th overall, 5th in age group
- USATF Mid Atlantic Masters Championship 5k, 6/11/11, time: 19:31, 3rd overall, 1st in age group (Gold).
- Annual Westside Health 10k, 6/18/11, time: 41:26, 3rd overall, 2nd in age group
- His and Hers 10k, 9/18/11, time: 40:29 (PR), 3rd overall, 1st in age group.
- Hershey Half Marathon, 10/16/11, 1:26:36 (PR), 40th overall, 7th in age group
- Run the Bridge 10K, 11/6/11, 39:00 (PR), 42nd overall, 7th in age group
- Philadelphia Marathon, 11/20/11, 3:09:20 (PR, Boston Qualifier)
Looking forward into 2012:
Getting under 3 hours in Boston is my first goal of 2012 and to be honest I’m not looking past that goal wise. I planning my races and training to continue to improve in the marathon and shorter distances. With Boston being my ‘A’ race for the spring I’m also planning on running the Haddonfield Adrenilin 5k and Caesar Rodney Half Marathon in March. My fall ‘A’ race is the NYC marathon in November. I ran NYC back in 1987 so it will be special to go back and experience that race again.
In 2012 I’m also racing for the Moorestown Distance Running Project so I’ll be competing in as many USATF Grand Prix Circuit races as my training and racing schedule will tolerate. I’m really excited to see what 2012 brings.