October 14, 2006

It's been a great year!

Next week is my 71st birthday, and I've been reviewing the past year per my blog entries. The past 12 months have been great, and I'm grateful to the Lord for his blessings to me and my family.

One year ago, I did 10 miles for the first time. I felt ok, but my legs were stiff and I felt tired. During the next month, November, 2005, I worked up to 12.8 miles, but I was tired and my legs were quite stiff. I decided to drop back to 10, but before I could do that I had emergency surgery to have my gall bladder removed. December, 2005 was a recovery month from the surgery. After the surgery, I dropped back to 8 miles, and by the end of the month I had worked up to 10 miles.

January, 2006 started well with me doing 10 miles. Then, I caught a bad cold or the flu (not sure which), and that set me back. I ended the month doing 4 miles and working up to 6 miles. February was an eventful month. Thanks to a suggestion from a friend at running.about.com named Randy, I changed my training schedule to have more variety: I now have shorter rest runs, longer medium runs, and even longer long runs. I ended the month with my long run being 10 miles. March was a good growth month, and I ended the month with a long run of 11 miles and a medium run of 9 miles. My speed increased to a pace of 12+ minutes.

April was a continuation of the growth. By months end, my long run was 14 miles, and my medium run was 10 miles. My rest run was 4 miles. May was a continuation of the growth, and my long run reached 15 miles. I also started exploring another canal road. During June, I recognized my body wasn't ready for 15 miles, and I dropped my long run back to 13 miles. I planned to run a half-marathon in August, and I set my long run to be that distance. Earlier in the spring, I had set a goal to run the Boston Marathon in 2010, and during June I changed that goal to be 2011 to take advantage of the lower qualification time due to my being 75 during that year. Also, I switched from the canal road to the Jordan River Parkway for my runs.

July was a training month for the half-marathon. I focused on running faster, I didn't do fartleks or intervals, just a faster pace for my runs. I brought the time for my 13-mile run down from about 3 hours to 2 hours 41 minutes.

August was a taper to the race on August 19. I finished the half marathon in 2:21:16, an unbelievable time for me. That was 20 minutes faster than my best training run. The rest of the month was a recovery from the race and a recovery from a cold. Also, during August (after the race) I switched from mile base runs to time based runs.

September and October have been good months. Before I ran the half marathon, I had added a fourth day on Tuesday and had leveled that day off at 2 miles. During September and October, I brought that day up in miles, and next week it will be 5 miles, and I'll cap it at that distance (same as my Monday run). September and October have been months in which I have increased my speed. I didn't intentionally run faster; I just let my body dictate how fast I went. Next week I'll use my GPS to get a good measurement of my speed.

Yes, the past year has been a good one!

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