Well, I guess it's time to break radio...er...blog silence. After taking 13 weeks completely off running (including nearly 7 weeks in that infernal contraption they call a walking boot) I've been moving around on my own two feet for 9 weeks to end 2011. On one hand, there has been progress. I was pretty out of shape, cardiovascularly, after taking the boot off. I'd gained 12-13 pounds (& lost 3!), some of it muscle, but the legs (especially the left) and my core were pretty weak. I compensated by strengethening the other areas more than usual, and am now back to seeking balance.
One of the things I like about running is the purity of it. Numbers don't lie. I can tell to a nearly exact degree how much work needs to be done to get back in the shape I want to be in, because the clock is painfully honest. I've come a long way in that regard in 9 weeks, but, as far as actually being healthy and able to move forward, I'm right where I left off. My right heel is still swolen & a bit angry, but not enough to seriously hamper training & racing. The left (surgically repaired oh so many years ago) Achilles tendon, though, did not really respond at all to the 13 weeks off. I've been walking a very thin line between being able to run & being on the sideline for all of the two months since my return. I still don't know where to go from here, so it's hard to look forward to 2012 with any kind of clarity or long term goal-setting ability.
I usually end each year with a summary of the previous 12 months. This fall, I grew frustrated enough that I stopped keeping a training log, so my numbers are not exact. It was my goal to run 3,000+ miles & do 5,000+ sets of weights/strength exercises. I'm sure I made it over 2,000 in December, ending 2011 with a 50.2 mile week 52, but obviously taking nearly a third of the year off & buildign back up blew any chance of hitting 3k. I'd also guess I did about 6,000 sets of weights...easy to hit that goal when that's all your doin.
2011 only saw a brief glimpse (& by brief I mean two or three races) of fitness levels acheived in 2010, but it was a good year nonetheless. I absolutely LOVED the Steep Ravine run put on by Coastal Trail Runs. Top 2 course...ever! My best performances came in June (before I got sick) at the Fitch Mountain 3k, where I ran my fastest time in 3 years (9:09) and the Firecracker Mile on July 4th (the day before things started the downward spiral) where I somehow held off the field to run my fastest mile in over a decade at 4:25 & change. I ended up running 23 races, if you include the 3 I've done since Thanksgiving. I ran the Turkey Trot in Nevada City on that day, placing 7th. Then the Red Nosed (really - it was in the teens) 3 mile in south Reno (5th) & the Kaia Resolution Run 3-miler in Sac (1st) in 16:36.
Those were all either fun runs, though, or run as such by me, even though I went hard in each. That leaves me 11/23 for the year, with 3 CRs, 9 runner-up finishes, a 3rd, a 5th, & a 7th. I'm already signed up for runs on 1/22 & 2/5, & am hoping to do a lot more after that. Any bright ideas on how to get the Achilles to cooperate (without me breking the bank), please don't hesitate to comment below. Happy New Year!