Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Best & Worst

A lot of running-related changes in 2007. Almost all very good. I'm happy to be evolving as a runner- keeps it from getting boring. I can honestly say that I was only bored running maybe 3 times since March. After running thousands & thousands of miles, I feel like I reinvented my running this year and have never loved it so much!

Here's a Best & Worst of 2007 list someone sent me that I used as a template:

Best Race: 12 Hour Adventure Trail Race in Triangle, VA. Loop was 6.62 miles long & fairly difficult. I made it 8 laps before the cutoff & was under the impression you could do another lap as long as you started before the 12 hour cutoff. I really wanted to get in 60 miles & was... angry when I was told I was done at 8 laps. I went out and did another lap on my own, finishing 60 miles in 12:35. I cleared it up with the race director later. I really felt like I had a lot more in me after 60. A great feeling. Even better was that I had some moderate blistering which I took care of and that was the only problem at all! Felt fantastic!

The Myrtle Beach Marathon was a little special too. I had been injured for over a year (back/sciatic nerve problem that still hurts some) & just being able to do a marathon in February 2007 felt like an accomplishment even though it was 25 minutes slower than my PR.

Worst Race: Outer Banks Marathon from Kitty Hawk to Manteo, NC. See previous post. After not running on asphalt for so long, my feet & legs were destroyed in this race.

Favorite Training Week: Running Camp at Brevard with my new team. Runs in Pisgah & DuPont Forest.

Highest Weekly Training Mileage: 82. A few others at 75 or more.

Lowest Training Mileage: 0 the week I hurt my foot. Probably something like 18 on a busy week.

Total Yearly Mileage: Around 2,200. I didn't keep a log for a few weeks in there.

Best Route: My wife's from Fort Mill, SC & I never knew there are 34 miles of trails there! I ran a 1/2 marathon there & then moved 7 minutes away when we moved to Charlotte. Having something that close, that long, and with a variety of hills and flat is wonderful. Before moving, my favorites were Gibson Park/PEC & the Salem Lake illegal bike trails.

Worst Route: Since April, I've made a point of seeking out good places to run, so I haven't run many places I didn't like. I guess I'd say a 2-3 hour run at tiny Triad Park, which included going on the same 2/3 mile trail 10 times. Also as New Year's struck, I was running 20 miles in my parents' neighborhood, covering the same ground several times.

Greatest Acheivement: The 12 hour race & simply the renewed love of running.

Biggest Disappointment: Hmm... I really can't think of one. I have had 2 slow marathons, but given the situations in each, I don't think of them as disappointments. I also can't think of a training run or overall trend that was disappointing. I've been pleased with my running, though I have been faster at times.

Longest Injury-Free Stretch: I didn't have a major injury all year, but I felt great from March to July.

Worst Injury: Hit a rock wrong coming down a gravel road lost in Pisgah National Forest. Wearing New Balance 810s with odd places with no outsole (for drainage, I guess- love the feel of the shoe, so I put Shoe Goo over the holes on a newer pair.) & felt like I broke a bone in my foot. Out for 8 days. That was mid-July & I still feel it when I'm barefoot. Doctor said it was just bruised. I'm not sure.

Most Memorable Moment: The solo 5+ hour Appalachian Trail run from 2 days ago ranks up there! See other post. 34 degrees, pouring rain, 60 mph winds on exposed grassy balds, ice on the trail, 4270' of elevation gain... Kinda memorable.

Most Forgettable Moment: I forgot.

Best Run Shared with Someone: 21 mile Sauratown Trail run with Hannah Parks. From Hanging Rock, over Sauratown Mountain and up to Pilot Mountain. Trail barely marked & barely there in places. 90 degrees. Having to drink out of people's hoses when they weren't home.

Best Shoe: I haven't run in them enough, but the Keen Ochocos have treated me right in wet and rocky conditions. Not an everyday shoe though. I've worn the Keen Wasatch Crests around this week to break them in. They may fall into the same category as the Ochocos- heavier duty than I need everyday, but a shoe with a purpose when I run long and on rocky terrain. As mentioned, I love the New Balance 810 if there aren't many rocks around.

Worst Shoe: Only shoe I've run in that I didn't like this year were the Merrell Pursuit Ventilators. Felt tight out of the box. I should've known.

Something I Never Thought I'd Do: So many things... Move to Charlotte to coach & teach. Run 60 miles. Run back to back long runs on a regular basis. Change my idea of a long run from 14 miles & up to "Eh, 4, 5, 6 hours or somethin'." Wear a Camelbak. Use hand-held waterbottles. I used to hate running with anything extra.

Race I Enjoyed Most Watching: West 4A XC Regional. Close second- 2 girls I coached in the Indoor State Meet 3200m, one 2 seconds from winning

Most Important Lesson Learned: Running for me this year has been all about freedom. I haven't worried about training, races, pace, etc., etc., and it's never been as fun. I've run more mileage than ever, done intervals with my team as hard as ever, and it's fallen into place, I just haven't planned it out and it's worked well. Not what I would suggest to my team or anyone else necessarily, but it's worked for me. The pressure to perform isn't there. I used to never run a race unless I thought I would PR. If I didn't, I'd pout about it for weeks. Now, I enjoy doing well, but the measure of that is a lot different than it used to be. My second best race of the year was a 10 miler in the mountains. I finished thinking, "WOW! I really ran as fast as I absolutely could. There wasn't a second where I could've pushed it harder. What a great feeling!" I have no clue what my time was. Didn't matter. In training, I used to plan 4-6 months in advance day-by-day. Now, if I feel like running 2 hours today, 3 hours tomorrow, and intervals with the team the next day, I will. If I feel like taking two days off & running 4 hours the third day, I'll do that.

Thing I'm Looking Forward to Most in 2008: Keep lovin' it. Run at least 90 in a 24 Hour Race. Of course that sets me up for an even 100 miler in 2009.

1 comment:

Janice said...

It sounds like you have a greatly different perspective on running than most people. I still do my suburban 40 minute runs on sidewalks, but my real love is on mountain trails. Good luck in 2008!