RECAP: Best of 2019
In January I started weekly physical therapy at Mobility Fit. Stacey helped me overcome Achilles tendinitis and improved my running form. She coaches track at Valley View High School and I told her at the start of my treatment that I didn’t think I would ever race a half marathon again.
In February I ran the Frostbite 5-Miler in 28:25 (5:41/M) and finished 10th overall. I was running every other day which gave my Achilles tendons a chance to heal. I averaged 22 miles/week from January through March and I was beginning to run pain free.
In March I ran the St. Patrick’s 5K in 17:14 (5:34/M) and I finished behind Kyle Lach for the second race in a row. Kyle ran for the University of Dayton and I took the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach and recruited Kyle to become one of my training partners.
In April I ran a low-key half marathon as a long run. I started out conservatively and finished in 1:21:35 (6:13/M). I was running 35 miles/week along with weekly physical therapy. I ended April with a 58:07 (5:49/M) 4th-place finish at the Cleveland Ten-Miler.
In May I raced the Lou Cox Memorial
5K 3M. This was my first race in the Vaporfly 4%. There is no doubt this shoe has helped my performance. The shoe is lightweight, comfortable, and highly cushioned. My days of racing in paper-thin flats are over.
In June I ran the Crossroads 5K and validated my increasing fitness. The following week I injured my right foot and couldn’t run for three weeks. I rode the stationary bike every morning hard for 60 minutes and most evenings I aqua jogged for 60-90 minutes at the YMCA or at my in-law’s pool. I was very disciplined with my cross-training and this helped me stay focused on my goals.
I resumed running on July 4th and later resumed bi-weekly physical therapy with Stacey as well. These sessions provided structure to my schedule and forced me to continue addressing my weaknesses. At the end of July I took a leap of faith and asked Tom Schwartz to coach me. Tom’s immediate and positive response is something I’ll never forget. Thanks Coach!
In August I began my first full month of Tom’s training. This required me to change a lot of things. My mileage increased and I was running every day. I lost weight, although not intentionally. My body slowly adapted to the training and I worked hard to reduce my likelihood of injury by running on soft, natural surfaces whenever possible.
In September I ran the River Run Half and the Air Force 10K. You can read about them here and here. I tried to do too much at the River Run Half and ended up straining my left hamstring badly. It was definitely a low point but fortunately I was able to work through it and continued to run, although my pace was much slower and I had to constantly manage the injury to make sure it wasn’t getting any worse.
In October I raced the Army Ten Miler. I had experience with the race and now had the fitness as well. I had a solid run and remained focused on my goal at Indy. I felt excited that I finished the race with no injuries and I knew I had a bigger performance in me.
In November I achieved my goal of breaking 70 minutes in the half. I was prepared to run in the cold and wind. I quickly found the 2:18:59 marathon pace group and enjoyed running with them for the first seven miles. I went through 10K in 32:56 and I thought I could break 69 minutes but the headwind on the way back eventually wore me down.
In December I resumed training with my focus turned to the spring racing season. Tom gave me my schedule for the winter and I am committed to following it with the same focus and determination as I showed this fall. My goal is to smash my ten-mile PR at the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in April. I want to compete at a high level and run in races that will challenge me as well as excite me.
Thank you for following me along this journey. Feel free to email any thoughts or questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s to running fast in 2020 together!