2010 was a pretty good year for me and running. While I didn't run any PR's in any distance that I can think of, I did run quite a few sub 4 marathons and I placed in a few different races unexpectedly.
Here are a few quick numbers from 2010:
1601 - Number if miles I ran in 2010
15 - Number of 20+ mile runs throughout the year
12 - Number or 100+ mile months
8 - Number of Marathons Completed in 2010
27 - Total Number of Marathons completed to date
3 - Number of new States with marathons completed: Georgia, North Dakota & Tennessee
January was an OK month with only 1 major race, the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Gold Medal Challenge. Both Paul and I did this on January 23 & 24. The Gold Medal Challenge was a half marathon on Saturday followed by a Full Marathon on Sunday at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, WI. The Gold Medal Challenge was inspired by the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge. I ended up running the half marathon in 1:54:53 and then ran out of energy in the full marathon finishing in 4:23:48. But I did run slightly faster in the full than last year.
February saw me running no race but preparing myself for the first weekend in March where another marathon was to be run.
March started out with the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon in Albany, GA. Mike travelled with me down to Georgia where we met up with Paul. The goal was a sub 4 hour marathon. Cool weather was welcomed but after an unscheduled restroom break at mile 8, I found myself 2 minutes off pace at the half (2:02). I slowly picked it up and caught the 4 hour pace group just after mile 18 and kept up my pace. The last 2 miles is where I started to struggle but I held on to finish in 3:58:51.
On March 27th, I ran my 3rd consecutive Trailbreaker Marathon in Waukesha, WI as a long run, not a race. The race director had wanted some of my suggestions on how to improve the race so I was curious what he did. Some improvements were made like more mile markers (though they were off some) and a medal. I ended up doing my 26.2 mile long run on a somewhat difficult course in 4:16:09. It is really only difficult for 7 miles in the middle but then you have to still run 9 miles back.
I ran 2 races in April, a 5K and another training run marathon. On March 17th, I ran Gary's Gallop 5K, a race put on by a friend of mine. It is a little difficult of a course for a 5K but I was able to run a 20:33 just missing 3rd in my age group.
One week later, on March 24, I ran the Jailbreak Marathon in Wautoma, WI. There were only 36 total runners in the full marathon and it was raining at the start. 2 miles later, the rain stopped and I ended up running with a few people most of the way. I ran well finishing in 4:06:13, not bad for a training run.
I ran 3 races in May starting with the Lake Geneva 5K, part of the marathon festivities of races. This was an extremely difficult 5K with 3 hills over 150 feet each. I raced pretty good and finished in 5th overall in 22:27. As you can see by the time, it was a difficult course, but fun.
May 21 & 22 was the Fargo Marathon & 5K. Mike and I drove the 9 hours to Fargo together for the races. I was aiming for a good time in this marathon but I did the 5K the day before as well because it was a run 2 races, get 3 medals thing. I ran the 5K extremely easy in 27:56. That night at the dinner, I was able to meet and talk to Dean Karnazes some. He is the guy who ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Cool guy. The marathon started out for 7 miles in the rain followed by 6 miles of good weather. the sun then came out and it got pretty warm and humid and then the last 5 miles were extremely windy. the race ended inside the Fargo Dome which was cool and very helpful since it was so windy. I finished in 4:00:16. 17 measly seconds off breaking 4 hours which was one of my goals. I was OK with it though.
1 week later, I ran the Maifest 10K in Door County, WI. I was doing well until about 4 1/2 miles when my legs suddenly remembered I ran a marathon the week before. I still finished in 46:03 so that was good.
The end of May was also the sign up deadline for the 2nd annual WELS Kids Marathon which I am the director for. This year there were 397 kids signed up to run 26.2 miles while reading 26 books or 26 hours over the summer.
June & July
I ran no races in June or July except for a 5K with my daughter, her first ever 5K, but I did use this time to build up miles and train hard. On July 4th, I ran the 4th Fest 5K in Waterford, WI with my oldest daughter Melissa. She ran/walked it in 37 minutes beating her goal of breaking 40 minutes. She did great! I ended up totalling 210 miles for July, a new 1 month high for me.
I cut my miles back in early August as I wanted to test myself in a Half Marathon in August. I ran the Full Moon Half Marathon with Paul and Greg in Sheboygan, WI which was an evening race and a pretty cool race. The race started at about 6:30 and was rolling small hills. I went out at 8:00 pace for the 7 miles and then was able to really pick it up as I felt really good. I finished the last 5K in something like 22:00 and ran the half in 1:41:09 good for 3rd in my age group. I have never placed in a half marathon before so that was really cool. It was almost dark when I was able to finish so running at almost night was a lot of fun.
August 28th was the final mile of the WELS Kids Marathon. All 3 of my girls ran in the marathon and earned their medals. There is such a cool and awesome feeling watching all those kids finish their marathons and giving them a high 5. So many smiles that day!
I didn't race again in September, instead I trained hard running 183 miles over lots of hills preparing myself for the fall marathons and the Monkey coming. I even did 1 very hill 26.3 miles training run.
October was a really good month for running. 1 week before the Grand Rapids Marathon, I took my oldest daughter to a 5K to celebrate the completion of her first year in Cross Country. We ran the Root River Run 5K. I helped pace her and she ran a 28:13, a 9 minute PR!!!! She was so happy and even won her age group. There were not many runners in the race so I ended up taking 2nd in my age group as well.
October 17th was the Grand Rapids Marathon with Mike and Paul. Like 3 years earlier in Grand rapids, we had almost perfect weather, for me at least. Cool and dry with not too much wind. My goal was to beat my time of 3:43 from 3 years ago so I ran with the 3:44 pace group until I ran ahead of them after mile 21. I suffered a little over the last 2 miles as the pace group passed me but I kept them in sight and finished in 3:45:03. I was happy with this time.
2 weeks later was the Haunted Hustle Marathon in Middleton, WI. I drove the course ahead of time so I knew there were some challenging hills in the first half so revised my plan and just tried to go for sub 4. Through the half, I was at 3:57 and running steady. Good thing I had a garmin on as the mile markers were way off during the race. At mile 20, I started to have some tired legs. Somehow by mile 23, I fought them off and was determined to break 4 hours. A lot of runners were dressed in costumes in this racer] since it was Halloween weekend so when a nice lady passed me at mile 25 in a bumble bee costume, I knew I needed to pick it up. I did and finished in 3:56:31. This was the first time I was ever able to run 2 consecutive sub 4 hour marathons. Again, I was happy with this time.
The final race of the year was scheduled in November and one that I had anticipated since I signed up for it on August 1st and it sold out in only 32 minutes. Mike and I travelled to Nashville, TN for the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon which was on November 21st. Only a little over 200 runner get to run this race and this was by far the most difficult marathon course I have ever run. The race has lots and lots of large hills and has over 3500 feet of elevation gain and loss throughout the race. But it is put on by a good group of people who know how to make you suffer yet have a great time doing it. I ended up running easy for the first half and then trying to just maintain the second half. I did negative split the course by a couple minutes and finished in 4:28:37. I was also able to meet for the first time a blog friend I have had for a couple years. Melanie from Life is a Marathon also ran the race with a few of her friends. It was a lot of fun to finally meet someone whom I knew for a long time via only the Internet and emails. She is a great lady and also writes a really good blog!
I ran 161 miles in December with no races. I guess the goal here was to achieve the 1600 mile total for the year so I mixed it with short runs in the cold and snow, and longer runs at the Pettit Center.
All in all, a good year. Could it have been better? Sure, but I'll take this kind of year anytime. I hope you all had a great year running (or in any other area) as well.
I will try to write my 2011 Year in Preview Post real soon as it begins with a real bang! And by bang, I mean 3 marathons in January including 2 this coming weekend back to back. Crazy? Yes. Insane? Sure! Fun? Absolutely!!!!