Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Year in Review

2013 will certainly go down as a great year - both for running and in life.  While the days, weeks, and months seemed to fly by, a lot happened over the course of that time.  Taking a look back allows for a review of  the year and a chance to decide what's next for 2014.  Here's a brief look back:

January - March: Training was in full force for the Shamrock marathon, where I set my eyes on a new PR.  During that time, I reached new mileage highs, topping out in the low 70s for a few weeks.  Never did I think I'd be able to handle that kind of volume, but I proved myself capable of it through consistent training and a gradual build up over time.  Many of those long runs were joined by an awesome crew of running buddies.  Seriously don't know how I would have gotten through all of the training without the company.
The best running buddies
With Shamrock in sight, I relentlessly checked the weather - partially because I have always been obsessed with the weather as I get closer to any race, but more so because the outlook was less than ideal.  Despite by best mind tricks and anti-bad weather dances, the weather man did not change his forecast and we were dealt with 20-30 mph headwinds for the race.  However, I ran a strong race resulting in a PR and met some cool people along the way.  Nothing to complain about there!
Leading our unofficial pace crew

April - May: With my race in the books, it was time to focus on Rebecca, who was training for the Nike Women's Half.  I spent a number of weekends logging some stroller miles with her on her long runs.  To this day, her longest run of that training cycle remains our longest stroller run - 13 miles.
The view from the stroller
 As expected, Rebecca rocked her race and threw down a 30+ minute PR!  Watching the crew I coached all run great races was such a fun experience.  Sometimes life as a coach/sherpa can be even more rewarding than racing yourself.  This was one of those days.
The support crew
With Rebecca's race in the past, it was time to hop back into focus on another goal race of mine - the Brooklyn Half.  Fresh off Shamrock, I wanted to race the half distance to set a PR, but I wasn't quite ready to go all in on the training front yet.  And while I didn't train for it quite as well, I still managed to PR in the distance. 

June - August: After a few weeks of downtime following Brooklyn, it was time to get back into the swing of things with training for the NYC Marathon.  To my shock and amazement, I managed to get into the race through the lottery after trying for a number of years.  I was both excited for another go at the marathon distance, but also intimidated by the huge spectacle of the race.  As a result, I got caught up in the minutia of it all and felt stuck in my training.  However, I resolved it all by just taking things one day at a time and by focusing on the little things to get me through.

It was also during this time than Jamie reached out to me about being included in an article about running blogs in an upcoming edition of Run Washington.  I happily accepted and couldn't wait to get my copy when it was finally published.  Have a read - lots of great blogs to read from!

September - November: With NYC nearing, I raced the Perfect 10 Miler as a tune up and fitness indicator of where I was before heading into the final few weeks of training.  Similar to those races before, it resulted in another PR and clear sign that I was ready to rock NYC.

Jess and I crushing the hilly 10 miler course
Before I knew it, it was time to race NYC, so we made the trip up and I embraced the whole experience.  And despite similar weather conditions as Shamrock (ie terrible winds), I made the best of the race and PR'd again at the marathon, while meeting some more fun people along the way.

My favorite shoe and my favorite marathon
December: While there were no planned races (yet), my training has continued, since I am working on the foundation for a Spring race.  During this time, I realized that I'd come painfully close (but likely short) to 2500 miles on the year.  Well in the closing weeks, I noticed that I happened to be running a few more miles than planned.  And slowly, I got it in my head that I had a shot at getting to 2500.  With 180 miles over the last three weeks of the year, I managed to squeeze by 2500 to finish at 2503.  This set a new lifetime high by approximately 500 miles.  And while I don't place much emphasis on raw mileage numbers, I know that this included tons of quality miles in there.  Most of those miles were spread over two marathon cycles, which always included speedwork and tempos.

This month also brought me a first - my first time being featured in an article through Active.com (also written by Jamie), an online resource I've been reading for years since I started runner.  It was pretty cool to see the final product and I couldn't be more proud.

So what is my takeaway from 2013?  Consistency is the name of the game.  Always has been and will hopefully continue to be in 2014.  I don't have many specific goals for 2014 other than to enjoy running as much as possible and keep inspiring others to do the same, whether through coaching, writing, and/or doing.  If I do that, then I can pretty much guarantee success everywhere else.  And in order for that to happen, I just need to keep running and set the example.  And I'll do just that - for 2014 and beyond.

2 comments:

Tai_Fung said...

2013 was a well-deserved tour de force for you Adam! Many sincere congrats. :)

Lisa J. said...

You had an awesome year! I have learned a lot from you this year, glad I signed up for the PR distance training program. Really looking forward to seeing your progress in 2014. There is a lot to be said for people who work hard at both running and life in general and have good results. You are an inspiration to us common people!

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