Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 Year In Review


2008 was, by the numbers, my most succesful year since before I had Achilles surgery back in July of 2001. I'd been able to build up my fitness, endurance, and sometimes even my speed for nearly 11 months in 2007, with only a couple short breaks, and by last fall, was feeling about as close to "normal" or "healthy" as I'll ever see. I caught the marathon bug, and ran in four of 'em (three competitively) between October and March, with a 2:42 pr coming on that last one in Napa. For some odd reason, the fondest memories seem to come from the races in wine country. Hmmmmm. And Bend...but I wasn't able to race there in '08. Maybe next year. He he he.
I treated many of the shorter races like speed workouts, and therefore was able to race 23 times, although I was only able to train via running for 8 months out of (i believe it's still) 12. I tried to run all the Gold Country Grand Prix races one last time, and came close, running in 10 of 12 events. Sadly, my favorite of them all, the Salmon Run, is no longer. But my other favorites, the Daffodil Run, and Run Through the Colors, have quite a following, and I'm sure they'll be around for years to come.
Admitedly, many of my races were of the small, homegrown variety, so my numbers are skewed a little (to my liking), but this was a succesful year by nearly all accounts.
23 races
17 wins
10 course records (9 on established courses) & one slowest winning time in the event's history
a 7 race and a 5 race win streak
a 13 race GP win streak from 6/07-11/08
still undefeated (within my age group) after 3 years of grand prix races.
I was more concerned, as are most runners, with racing myself, as opposed to others, so i took more from the fact that my times were reasonably close to what they used to be than I did in places. After not running under 17 minutes (on an accurate course) for seven years, I was able to run a 5k in 16:25, 16:26, and 16:29 this year-all at 4,500 feet. My best 10k was slower, but was on a hilly course (34:50). I was a little over a minute off my 8k pr (25:59), running 27:18 @sea level. And as I was new to these distances, ran pr's in the marathon and 30k.
The hardest race was easily the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey. I'd already received word that I had a partially torn right Achilles tendon (either since last September-when it started hurting, or the beginning of May-when it started hurting worse). Between that, struggles with cramps, and fatigue due to the crazy schedule, my third and final leg may have been the hardest run I've ever done. But...a course record set with several friends will smooth over the physical pain!
With a little bit of luck, I was able to climb back into a tie for the overall points lead in the grand prix, after the last race. Silver lining on a day that I was thoroughly disgusted with how I ran.
I'm hoping to get up on Mt. Rose to snowshoe a couple times this winter. I've been on a complete break from running since 12/7, although I didn't run much in November either. The right side/hip/back is still painful, possibly due to the Achilles on that side. Since there isn't a more direct line of treatment, rest is the only thing on the table, so I'll be off til February (although I'm planning on sneaking in a couple easy short runs next month). There are a couple unique races on the planner for 2009, including climbing 52 flights of stairs in San Fransisco on March 28th, (and swimming from Alcatraz to SF (already signed up) in July) in what will hopefully be my return to racing in 2009. As my wife has noticed, I'll probably blog about beer more than running over these next couple months, and in the unlikely event that you actually want to read more of my ramblings (I'll save the blogging for the mass participant taste-offs and truly exceptional beers), I've rated well over 300 beers on beerpal.com under slowrunner77 (imagine that!), and am having quite a bit of fun, so there are no plans to stop any time soon. I've probably drank three times that many in my 10 legal (and a couple underage) years. Here's to a happy and healthy 2009!!

1 comment:

SnowLeopard said...

Wow Chris! I know you won a lot of races, but to see it all gathered in a year's-end statistical entry, it looks WAY more impressive! I really hope that taking some time off will give your body a chance to heal and come back in tip-top shape for 2009. I'll be rooting for ya~ :)