On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Running Resolutions

Hahahahahahaha, you thought this was going to be one of those New Year's resolution posts, didn't you?  The ones that are everywhere you look right now, where I promise you that this year I'm going to run at least 5 times a week every week totaling 2011 miles for the year and lose 40 pounds and run a sub-4 hour marathon.

Nope.  I don't really do resolutions.  What's the point?  If you want to change your behavior, do it now.  The arbitrary nature of starting a new program with the new year is just basically a way of procrastinating.  I mean, ultimately, no matter what Lindsay Lohan tweets, the Gregorian calendar that we use doesn't mean that you get a "fresh start" on 1 January because the year happens to change over.

Take your fresh start now.  Whenever now is.

So, no resolutions here.  But, since I can't resist some navel-gazing, how about my year in races?

I started the new year off in January with the NYRR Emerald Nuts 4m fun run, which wasn't so fun for me.  In February, I was ecstatic to do the Empire State Building Run Up.  It was... hard.  In March, I did the NYC Half Marathon for the first and last time.  I'd do it again if I could avoid the lottery or get in for free.  April saw me running through the Lincoln Tunnel, and May brought both a trail half (the North Face Endurance Challenge) and a new half PR(the Brooklyn Half Marathon) - not set at the same event, not by a long shot.  In June I realized a goal I've had for quite some time and got to the top of Mount Washington... slowly.  I DNF'd a half marathon in July, which turned out to be a harbinger of stupid shin splints that plagued me during August, causing me to DNS the Bronx Half Marathon. (I did do a 5k in August, though, over the Brooklyn Bridge.)  By September, I was back to running too many races, including a 14.2m training run, an 18m tune-up, and the Fifth Avenue Mile, where I set a (default) mile PR.  All of this racing was of course just the build up for marathon season, which I hit full force in October - sort of, or maybe marathon season hit me.  I certainly am the one who seems worse for the wear.  Either way, I did the Chicago Marathon in October and both the NYCM and the Flying Monkey Marathon in November.  I swear I didn't mean to run three marathons in two months.  It just sort of happened.  I mostly took it easy through December, running one 15k race.  Well, sort of two races.  I did the New Year's Eve race again, but you'll have to wait a day or two to hear about that.

Take home message:  too many races.  If I were, say, to be a total hypocrite and completely go back on all of the anti-resolution ranting I did at the top of this post, I might (might) suggest that a good resolution for me this year would be to do less racing.  No more safety pins and bibs and anxiety.  I mean, unless it's a really good race.


  1. Less Racing...Hmmmm...Somehow I just don't buy that... ;)

  2. It may not have been the most successful year you were hoping for, but it is I think the most interesting list of races I've seen that anyone ran. That is so cool!

  3. How did I not know there was such a thing as the Lincoln Tunnel 5k?