All said and done, 2011 was probably my most accomplished year in athletics, specifically running. I ran the year prior, but I did much more in 2011 than in 2010. 2011 was rough in terms of weather and running outside, so I took to swimming. Little did I know that swimming would propel me a level forward from a running standpoint once Spring weather broke. I started running in the spring of 2011 after a tough winter and my stamina and speed were at levels that I’d never thought I was capable of achieving. So, the results with 2010 numbers in parentheses for comparison…
Overall, I ran 609.77 miles (445.5). It took me 78 hours, 19 minutes and 48 seconds (64:13:12.) My average speed was 7.8 MPH (6.9). I burned an estimated 90,190 calories (67,308) over the course of 124 activities (118). The max distance I ran all year was 13.1 miles (twice) (8.37 miles in 2010) and my average distance for the year was 4.92 miles per run (3.78.)
I ran tons of races this year as well. A few highlights.
I ran a five miler in Mentor in September and really outdid myself in terms of pace as I completed the race with splits under 7 minutes per mile. 6:47 to be exact. I ran my first mile in 6:30 to get off to a good start, paced myself in the next three miles and sprinted the last mile in with a speed of 6:37.
One of the craziest races was the Potato Stomp 9 miler in Mantua. It was an UGLY September morning and started to pour about halfway through the race. Then the lightning kicked up, but we were halfway through the course and there was nothing to do but try to finish fast. In the torrential downpour, I was not only soaked and cold, but my shoes were filled with water and it killed my iPod. Despite all this, I ran the 9 miler in 1:04:05 for a 7:07 average. Considering how wet I was and everything else, I was elated to have such a good time. I also passed about five or six people in the last two miles as I had splits of 7:05 and 6:49 to finish really really strong.
In a two-day span in September, I ran two races. I won my age group running the Shaker Lakes 5k in 19:57. It was probably a bit short, but I still finished in under 20 minutes, technically, so I’ll take it. 🙂 The next day, I decided to go out and run a five miler which I finished in 35 minutes for a 7 minute per mile average. I was pretty proud of that time considering I did it in back-to-back days with the best knife sharpener.
The best by far was my half marathon. In the Towpath Marathon event, I ran a half marathon despite having a bad cold. Despite those odds, I ran my 13.1 mile race in 1:35:36 for a 7:19 min/mi average pace. This is despite hitting the wall about mile 10 and running the last three miles with splits closer to 8:00.
Those are the highlights. It was a great year and I had lots of fun. I survived a painful foot injury in November without too much problem and I am looking forward to doing even better in 2012. Life might get in the way of doing as many races, but hopefully I can get my mileage going. And who knows? Maybe I’ll do something crazy like a marathon this year.