Monday, January 2, 2012

A Look Back, A Look Ahead

As far as running goes, 2011 was a struggle for me. A good part of the year involved no running at all. Even when I was able to begin some short runs, I'd bump against the wall frequently, still experiencing residual pain from my heel/Achilles injury, along with some "new" injuries (i.e. old injuries coming back for a visit), like my knee. Rehabbing from my injury has been an amazingly long-term process. It's hard to believe it started in the middle of 2010 — a year and a half ago!

At the beginning of 2011, I posted that the year was going to be about balance. Did I achieve that goal? Partially. I always struggle with not going all-in when I have a desire to improve on something. Keeping many balls in the air is a challenge for me. Even though I was only running 3 times per week later in the year, that became my focus. Consequently, my strength training took a back seat. I even lost my desire to hit the pool, and my training on the bike trainer lacked passion (although...can ANYONE be passionate about riding on the trainer?)

Here's a look at the numbers:

Running - 247
Cycling - 130
Bike Trainer - 145
Swimming - 14 (23,900 yds)
Walking - 102
Schwinn Airdyne - 336

Total cardio hours - 119

Races run - 4 (3 with daughter, 1 solo 5k)

Pushups - 3768 (max:  53)
Pullups - 4500 (max: 18)
Situps - 4022 (max: 40)
Dips - 3227 (max: 38)

Deadlift lbs. - 187,273 (max: 313 lbs.)
Bench Press lbs. - 193,479 (max: 205 lbs.)

I did manage to reach the goal of achieving 6-pack abs early in the year, but as you can see, my mileage was pretty paltry. My weight also fluctuated a lot. I dieted down to 145 lbs. during the abs project. Then, hit the weights (and food) hard and bulked up to 173 within a matter of weeks. As the running returned, the weight started dropping off and I ended the year at about 160 lbs.

I was fortunate enough (and surprised) to be invited back as a Brooks I.D. member in 2012. This will be my third year with them. I'll be shamelessly displaying their running gear at the many races I plan on running this year.

Races, you ask? Yes, even with my limited ability to train, I do have a fairly modest goal in mind. I'd like to break my 5k PR. Since I never ran a road 5k at my peak as a runner (in high school), my PR is rather soft (21:15). If I can manage to build enough of a base and — most importantly for a 5k — speed...then I'll take a shot at it. I'll have to average better than 6:51 per mile in order to do so. Even if I can do no more running than my current 3 runs per week, I should be able to achieve this, assuming I can keep the injuries at bay. As 2010 and 2011 showed, that's a BIG if. I'll be basing my training on a modified FIRST program.

The cross-training on the bike and in the pool will continue, as will the weight training. I plan on resuming my weekly swim very soon. I still plan on participating in a sprint triathlon sometime this year. 

I hesitate to set any numerical goals for 2012, as this injury menace just won't completely go away. Like I mentioned above, I'd like to break my 5k PR. I'd also like to run at least one 5k race per month. 

Even though I currently can't run at the same level as many of my running colleagues, you all inspire me. I wish you all a very successful and happy new year. May you run effortlessly and joyfully.

(Wow, that really sounded cheesy. Did I just write that?)


  1. Good luck in the upcoming year Colin!

  2. Process goals are SO much better than races or times. They also seem oddly correlated with health:)

    Regardless, enjoy 2012 and all it brings. And dang, that's a lot of dips and pullups!!