TITLE: 2006 Running in Review, A Little Tardy AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: February 04, 2007 10:54 PM DESC: ----- BODY: February 2007 is already here, and I still haven't written up my "running year in review" post, as I did for both 2005 and 2004. This lack or urgency derives in part from a lack of excitement about what I accomplished in 2006, but mostly reflects busyness at work and a persistent low-grade illness of some sort that has kept me off the road for most of 2007 thus far and so has me thinking less about running than I might otherwise. After a couple of years of big increases, last year I saw a decrease in mileage for the year, though not that much of a decline: Even though I had my second biggest year ever in terms of miles on the road, in most other ways it was a less satisfying year than in the past. I started the year well enough but then hit a tough stretch in March and April when my hamstrings and feet caused me grief. I had never dealt with running injuries, whether momentary or chronic, before. This pain was chronic, and only rest can do much for them. This is almost my first year ever when I never PRed a single distance -- not 5K, half marathon, or marathon. I didn't race a single 5K this year, which is a shame, because my summer speed training probably had me in the right shape to do well. My spring of soreness affected my training for the Sturgis Falls half marathon in June. While I missed a PR by a good 4 minutes, I still managed to run my second best time ever at that distance. I felt pretty good going into my marathon training plan, and it went well. But there is no need to recount my experience at the Twin Cities Marathon, which resulted in my worst time ever. I was lucky, perhaps foolhardy, to have finished the race at all. The year ended in a bit of a down note, as I never quite seemed to recover from the marathon, as much mentally as physically. My post-marathon mileage was okay, though -- just no "zip". As I mentioned earlier, 2007 has started slowly. I've been under the weather since January 5(!), and the last two weeks have been the worst of all. The silver lining in not running much these last many weeks may well be that my body and mind have had a chance to rest that I never would have given them otherwise. I think I'll take this opportunity to start again from scratch. Maybe I'll get my "zip" back, both in speed and mindset. (Another silver lining may be the natural excuse it gives me for not running during our recent cold snap. Last night, we reached -15 degrees F., and tonight we'll get down to -17. The highs aren't making it to 0 degrees, either. Truth be told, though, I like being able to say that I've run in such conditions!) -----