Since I have nothing else to write about I might as well change my mind and review 2009 after all. As mentioned, it was a rather disappointing year from a running perspective; 2008 had ended with a whole panel of fresh, shiny, new personal bests (only the ultra one had survived), and when I ran 10 miles in 63 minutes at the beginning of January I thought another spectacular year might be ahead of me. In reality, it was pretty much downhill from then on. Looking back, I was probably overtrained from the summer on, though that did not stop me from running very well in the Dingle marathon, but that was pretty much the only other highlight. Getting sick put an end to any idea of a good Dublin marathon, and that was that. The fact that I took a minute off my 10K time (in 2 chunks) wasn't that much of an achievement – that time had been fairly soft to start with.
My big goal for 2009 had been to run a sub-3 marathon. I miserably failed in that. In fact, I didn't even PR.
So, the numbers for 2009 are as follows:
- 3319 miles (less than 2008 because I cut down for the last 2 months)
- 2 PRs (or 3 if you count the 2 10Ks as separate ones)
- 3:12 in Dingle on one of the hottest days of the year is probably at least as good as a 3:05 in Dublin – from that point of view I did my best marathon to date
- injuries: 0
- sickness: 2
At the moment I'm operating on a significantly lower mileage base than usual. I'm really not sure if that's a good idea, but it's part of the ongoing try-and-error part of training. Last summer I decided to push the mileage into higher figures to see what would happen. This time I want to do plenty of long runs in preparation for the Connemara Ultra, but with plenty of recovery in-between, which is why the total mileage is lower than during my marathon training.
As for 2010, I did draw up a list of goals. Ordered by decreasing importance, they are:
- finish a 50 mile race
- lower my PR over 39 miles (5:40 at present)
- don't get injured
- write shorter blog posts
- at least one PR over a lower distance, ideally either a sub-18 5K or sub-38 10K
Actually the last one isn't that important. I just want to avoid becoming one-paced with all the ultra training.
After the 21 miler on Tuesday, I took it much easier yesterday with only 4 slow miles. Then I got the phone call telling me that tomorrow's race was off, and decided to do a but of fast running today. There is a dirt track in Kilbogget Park, and I did 4 laps hoping to get under 6 minutes but failed by a whisker, posting a 6:00. I can blame the 21 miler or the biting cold wind, but mostly the fact that I can't push myself particularly hard when I'm running on my own. Considering that my first mile in the 4-mile race 5 days ago had been 5:39 (albeit slightly net downhill), I should be able to run significantly faster if I had to. I did 2 more 400s at slightly faster pace, then the legs already had enough and HOK beckoned. I didn't want to overdo things, and 400s are of limited use for an ultra runner anyway.
- 30 Dec
- 4 miles, 33:09, 8:17 pace, HR 139
- 31 Dec
- 7 miles, 50:53, 7:16 pace, HR 156
incl. 1 mile @ 6:00, 2x400 at 87, 86
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!