This topic has been on my mind alot the last couple of weeks. Both Christine and I had fall marathons that did not live up to our expectations in terms of our results. Everyone has their own opinion of what is a good race result and many of the blogs we read include A, B and C race goals. If you meet the A goal, obviously you reached what you considered your maximum race day potential and are celebrating a great run. It is hard to have every race be a "goal" race unless you race just a couple times a year. Most recreational runners run races periodically throughout the year and some we know run a race every week.
To have a successful year of running, expectations need to be realistic based on your ability and amount of time and effort you put into training. Each of us has time commitments that can impede a running /training plan. There are definitely tradeoffs that are made to have a great race. This year, I missed some fun evenings out and you probably did too before a special goal race.
Now how do I access my year of racing? I'm going to break it down into the highs and lows!
The low: The Marine Corps Marathon was my less than stellar race this year. To say I was disappointed in myself would be an understatement. I did not do the proper research ahead of race day to understand the course crowding, and when you are running a huge race like MCM, you need to be prepared. As one of Tom's coworkers used to say, Proper preparation prevents pi**poor performance. I missed the boat on this one. My physical training was great, but the race planning was terrible!
The highs: Getting a marathon PR at the Dopey Challenge was probably one of the biggest moments of the year for Christine and me. We had such a blast during that race and to do it together was just fantastic. My biggest high had to be my race here at home, the Quintiles Marathon where I was paced by a teammate to my Boston Qualifying time. Megan did a tremendous job and I will be thinking fondly of her next April as I toe the starting line in Hopkinton for my biggest race ever. One of my favorite races of the year was in Myrtle Beach when I got to return the favor and paced my friend Mitzie to her first half marathon finish. We had an absolute blast and she ran a great race!
Last of all, this year was a huge success due to many of our running friends and relatives, including many of you who read our blog. While PRs and Age Group awards are wonderful, the experience of running races with a group of friends or relatives is the best feeling of all.
How did your year go? How do you measure running success?