TITLE: 2005 Running in Review AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: January 15, 2006 11:15 AM DESC: ----- BODY: Our weather this winter has been a collection of extremes. The first couple of weeks of December dumped nearly 20" of snow on us. And it was cold. The next three weeks were 100% cloudy -- as gray and downhearted as it could be. Now, the last couple of weeks have been unseasonably warm, and we've seen the sun almost every day for the last week or so. The result was that I spent a lot of time inside on the track during December but lately have been back outdoors enjoying an un-January on the roads. This morning, I took in a nice 12-miler, my second Sunday 12-miler in row after five or six weeks of shorter long runs. After one hour, my mind said, ah, this is a great January run. After one hour and five minutes, my legs said, yeah, but didn't you run eight fast miles on Friday? I finished off the run with no thought of speed, just basking in a bright sun. Last year, I summarized my 2004 running when I broke 1900 miles on the second to last outing of the year. I finished the year at 1907 miles, up from 1281.8 miles in 2003. That blog entry suggested that I would probably not be able to increase my mileage by even 300 miles in 2005. My running log backs me up, but... In 2005, I ran 2137.7 miles. Almost 100 miles of this increase came over the first three months of the year, when I ran consistently in the mid- to upper-30 mile per week range. After that, the increase in mileage seems to have been spread pretty evenly. My shoe locker bears the evidence of all these miles, too. I went through four pairs of shoes, and have two active pairs in use right now. My wife is beginning to wonder what I plan to do with all these shoes... The year was good for my times, too. I PRed in the 5K twice, first in June (20:50), and again in December (20:44). I also lowered my best time in the half-marathon to 1:34. My 2005 marathon didn't go as well as I had hoped, but I did improve on my debut marathon time. More miles. Faster times. Plenty of enjoyment. A good year. I do not yet feel really strong and powerful on the road yet, and my weekly track times are still a bit slower than I've grown accustomed to. But I am getting the itch to run longer miles again, and the the prospect of beginning to train for a marathon again sounds palatable. Where shall I run this fall? Twin Cities, for personal vindication? New York, for a "big event"? Another Chicago, still my gold standard for marathons? Perhaps Des Moines again, for a flat fast course that might buoy my spirits? -----