Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 Recap

2008 was a good year for me running-wise, with the exception of a knee injury in the Spring and a 5-week long illness in the fall. Since I started racing in 2005, I know that my "gains" will be less significant as time goes by, so having another year like 2008, with significant PRs at several distances, will be unlikely. While there are still many good things to come in my running career (or so I hope) I'd like to take a moment to reflect back on 2008.

Races & Places
The furthest I traveled for a race this year was the London Marathon in April. Other interesting locations were the Houston Half Marathon, Richmond and Virginia Beach (for the Shamrock marathon and the Rock 'N Roll Half). The other races were all in the Washington DC Metro area.

Shamrock Sportsfest Marathon, March 16, 3:51
Flora London Marathon, April 13,

Training Miles
I ran 1746 miles in 2008. This is exactly 150 miles more than my total from 2007, which was 1596. I had injuries in both years, but the injuries in 2008 sidelined me more than in 2007. The total is less than what I had hoped for (I was going for 2000), but after my injury healed, I ran 1130 miles for the second half of the year. Had I been able to do this for the first part of the year, I would have exceeded my goal.

Highest Mileage Month: 225.5 (December)
Lowest Mileage Month: 39.9 (May)
Highest Weekly Mileage: 56 (December 1-7)
Lowest Weekly Mileage: 0 (A few times due to injury and illness)
Average Training pace: 9:25/mile

In 2007, my highest monthly mileage was 168, and highest weekly mileage was 48.

For the first half of the year, it was one injury after another. But once I got smarter about training, my injuries vanished. Injuries included:
- Pinched Peroneal Nerve in early January
- Strained Tibialis anterior (outer shin muscle) in March, April, and May
- Outer Knee pain, from using the wrong shoe in March and April
- Patellar Tendonitis from April to July
- Virus throughout the entire month of September

Bad Racing Experiences
The worst race of the year (and perhaps my life) was the Rock 'N Roll VA Beach half marathon. I had been coming down with some sort of viral infection, and didn't realize it at the time. It was also 93% humidity and the upper 70's. I would have DNFed if I thought I could get a way back to the finish line. I have never felt so wasted during a race and immediately after. Following this race, I was sick for nearly five weeks.

I also attempted to run a 10K just as I was recovering from being sick, and I ended up really messing it up. It was so bad I didn't even post a blog about it. I felt like shit throughout the entire run, with a time that I was completely ashamed of. Not to mention that the 10K is already the most challenging distance for me.

I set a PR at every distance this year, except for the 10K. And I did not race a 10-miler, so there was no PR to be had. I also ran my first 20K, but I used it as a "marathon pace" training run.

5K: 23:22 (7:31 pace)
4-mile: 30:16 (7:34 pace*)
20K: 1:44:26 (8:25 pace)
1/2 Marathon: 1:48:43 (8:17 pace)
Marathon: 3:51:49 (8:51 pace)

*Course may have been 3.9 miles, but damn, it was hilly!

Running Buddies
Brent and I ran the Shamrock Marathon together (well, not together, but we drove together, etc) and a 10K. It was great to take a trip to Houston to visit one of my best running friends (and best overall friends!) Randi. She ran the full while I did the half. My friends in London, Zoe, Rosa and Charlotte were amazing when I went over there. They totally took care of me. Also a shout out to Lauren who ran the VA Beach half and the Leesburg 20K with me. And then there are the "usual suspects" who I often see at local races.

Also extremely important is my running support network. The Big Cat Race Team (especially George/La Lynx), the "Think Fast" ladies and the "RWOL BQ" girls have been incredible in supporting me.

Randi and me before the Houston Marathon

At a London restaurant after running the marathon with my British friends.

Brent and me before a 10K

Power Songs
5. Fall Out Boy- Beat It
4. Paramore- Misery Business
3. Good Charlotte- I Don't Wanna Be In Love
2. Jason Mraz- The Dynamo of Volition
1. Counting Crows- Cowboys

2008 Races
January- Houston Half Marathon: 1:50:43
March- Shamrock Marathon: 3:51:49
March- Scope It Out 5K: Dropped out, Injured
April- Flora London Marathon: 4:11:57
April- GW Parkway Classic 5K: 23:55
May- Cascades Firechase 10K: 58:30 (injured, training run)
June- Lawyers Have Heart 10K: Too slow to mention!
June- PRR Twilight Festival 4-miler: 35:33 (100-degree heat)
August- Leesburg 20K: 1:44:26
August- VA Beach 1/2 Marathon: 2:03:xx

September- Hartford Marathon: Dropped out, Sick
November- Richmond 1/2 Marathon: 1:48:43
November- Turkey Trot 5K: 23:22
December- Christmas Caper 10K: 49:36
December- Fairfax 4-Miler: 30:16

Nearly all of my races this year have been in extreme weather. I have had horrible luck with weather. The Shamrock marathon was very windy. The London marathon had torrential downpours. The PRR Twilight 4-miler had a 100-degree heat index, and I actually had to walk part of the last mile. The VA Beach half marathon had 93% humidity, and we all know how that turned out. My 10K in December was extremely chilly with a headwind. My 4-miler last night was held during a wind advisory with 20-25 MPH winds, gusting up to about 40 MPH. The best weather was probably during the GW Parkway Classic 5K. But I was injured during that one!

2009 Goals
Basically, my main goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The 1130 miles that I ran from July-December will hopefully get me there when I make my attempt in a few weeks. If not, I may try again in early May, or just wait until the fall.

I'd also like to run 1978 miles, because that was the year I was born.

And most importantly, my goal is to remain injury free.


  1. Sounds like a good year overall. London I bet was fun!

  2. Great recap, girl. Loved the photos, you are so dang photogenic! You are going to rock Arizona, sweetie, can't wait to track your success next weekend.

  3. Hey Racing Stripes. I love your totally geeky stats. Wow, I didn't realize you go everywhere to run PR's!!!

    mirnr from RWOL

  4. I know that my "gains" will be less significant as time goes by....

    Really? hmmm I know I have hindsight since I'm just reading these now, but looking back, aren't you absolutely impressed with yourself? Where you were in 2008 and where you are today? Truly awesome and impressive. I am really enjoying going thru this blog of your history and find it awesome that you have achieved so much!! So proud of you!!!