2009 wasn't too bad of a year. There are some things I wish had gone better, but on the whole, I was more consistent than years past.
The numbers aren't staggering, as my career best mileage was around 2700 miles, but I didn't really have any long layoffs as a result of injuries or burnout. I took a good amount of time away from serious training after Bay State, but I needed it and I think it will pay off in the long run.
I got to run in some great races thorughout the year. Some highlights:
-3k PR (9:03) by 1 sec at Dartmouth Relays. Nothing special, but good to blow out the pipes in the middle of the winter.
-win at Sandwich Sidehiller snowshoe race. Great course with a lot of snow. Great battle with Double J right to the finish. Felt good to get a win after getting my butt handed to me in the indoor track races.
-7 Sisters was an interesting race that I hope to go back and do again. Very technical with a lot of up and down. Lesson learned: it' s not easy to run away from three ultras guys on a course like that.
-great battle with Ryan Carrara at Wachusett. The new up/down course was fun. Especially running all out on the downhill fireroads trying to make up the gap on Ryan.
-Mt. Washington didn't go the way I had hoped, but the atmosphere around the race is always great. It's great to get to run with my friends and the best mountain runners in the country in my backyard.
-Had a redeeming race at Cranmore. Didn't climb well, but held my own and then some on the downs on the home course. My first top 10 at the USATF Championships in a long time in a loaded field.
-Pikes Peak was a great experience. Was hoping for a faster time, but 8th place in a solid field for a flatlander ain't bad.
-The Pemi Loop 31.5 mile run wasn't an official race, but was one hell of a hard effort. I'll never forget running 6:20's on the Wilderness Trail with Ben Nephew to break the record by seconds.
-The Ollie 4.91 miler is not my favorite race, but was pretty close to a PR. One of the best efforts I had all year.
-Topsfield XC. Good, old fashioned cross country.
-Bay State Marathon. Jogging in the last 7 miles at 7:30 pace wasn't fun, but a PR was good. 2:41 is nothing to write home about, but it beats a 2:53. It will be a long time before I run another road marathon though.
My main goal for 2010 is to have fun with running. In the past I've gotten so caught up in results and expectations that I lost site of the parts of running that I love. I know not every workout or run is going to be fun, but most of the time it should be.
A new goal for me for the coming year is to make my running have a positive impact on other people. I've always tried to help out at races, mentor, and answer running questions to help give back to the sport that has given me so much, but I would like to use my running to raise money for charity or bring attention to a good cause.
I'm not going to get to specific with race goals yet, as I don't know what they are. I'd obviously like to finish in the top 6 at Washington, but I'm going to assess my fitness as the winter and spring goes along to see what is realistic. You've got to set you goals high, but not so high that you can't reach them.