2011 Year In Review...

Wow, what a year!  Honestly it has been one of the best years I've had in a long time and much of that can either directly or indirectly be traced back to my running.  This will likely be a long post (shocking, I know) but I want to do this year the justice it deserves before moving on to 2012 tomorrow.

On Jan 1, 2011 I was in the midst of training for my first marathon ever and that day I ran 14 miles, the longest run I had ever done at that point!  I was shocked at the time by how good it felt, I commented on my Garmin activity that I felt like I could have easily run another 2-3 miles.  That was a great sign of how this year was going to go.  Today on Dec 31, 2011 I ran my final training run for my 3rd full marathon (5th race of at least marathon distance), the Louisiana Marathon, with a 20.67 mile run in 49+ mph wind gusts. I never dreamed I'd be bookending a year with distances like that!!  It wasn't all great, but it was all worth it.  Let's start with some stats.  I ran a total of 1,280.8 miles (787.71 on roads, 27.7 on trails and 465.39 on treadmills).  This total mileage is 180.61% of my 2010 mileage (709.16 total).  In 2011 I ran 180.23 miles in races.  That is an average of 3.51 miles per day; not bad considering I didn't run for almost 8 weeks with an injury!  I not only finished my first full marathon, I finished 2 full marathons and 2 ultras, including 1marathon and 2 ultras in 62 days (9/11-11/12) to qualify for the Marathon Maniacs.

I made a TON of great new running friends thanks to Facebook, DailyMile and the several running groups I joined this year including (in the order I joined them) the Good Guys Vs Bad Girls group (Now HCR Running), the Olathe Running Club, Team Red White & Blue, and the Marathon Maniacs.  I wish I could list all of the amazing and inspirational people I've met but it would be nearly impossible to list all of them.  You know who you are, and I hope you know that you have ALL helped me accomplish the things I did this year.

I also had my first major running injury (see, I told you it wasn't all great).  I had a stress fracture of the second metatarsal of my right foot that I finally discovered in April (5 miles into a half marathon) even though it had actually occurred long before that.  That led to the discovery of my peripheral neuropathy.  Basically I do not feel sensation (pain) in my hands and feet like I should, which is why I had a stress fracture and didn't know it.  That kept me out of running for almost 8 weeks.  I also discovered that I have asthma.  Well, I should say the doctors finally agreed, I've been thinking I did for about 3 or 4 years now.  This came up after I was having serious breathing issues once the weather got colder this winter.  My doctor gave me a twice a day inhaler and an emergency inhaler and these seem to have kept it under control so far and kept me out on the roads!

I also started running in Vibram Five Finger Bikilas.  I've never liked big, cushy shoes so these seemed like a natural step for me.  I've now run 884.74 miles in them, including all of the races listed below except the Napa Valley Marathon.  I was slowly working into them when we found out about the stress fracture (no, the fracture was NOT related to the VFFs).  The one good thing about the stress fracture is that it gave me a chance to work into the VFFs slowly as one should do since I had to work my way back from 8 weeks off anyway.  They solved so many f my little aches from running (ITB issues, sore knees and hips after long runs, etc).  I recommend them highly, but if you do try them work into them slowly and don't judge whether or not you like them until after at least 6 or 7 runs in them.  It takes time for your body to adjust.

Here is the list of my races and the results from 2010:
  1. 3/6- The Napa Valley Marathon (my first full marathon), Napa, CA- 26.39 miles in 4:36:20
  2. 3/19- Aggieville St. Pat's Fun Run (my first race on the K-State campus), Manhattan, KS- 1.99 miles in 15:09
  3. 3/19- Aggieville St. Pat's 10k (my first 10k), Manhattan, KS- 6.22 miles in 55:56
  4. 4/16- Wickedly Fast Half Marathon (my first DNF), Olathe, KS- 5.03 miles in 54:10; dropped out due to stress fracture
  5. 6/18- Trail Nerds Summer Intro Run (my first trail run and first trail race), KC, KS- 2.47 miles in 29:32
  6. 7/4- Freedom Run 10k, Lenexa, KS- 6.17 miles in 55:03
  7. 7/23- Prairie Punisher Duathlon (my first multi-sport event), Gardner, KS- 6.16 miles running in 1:06:57 (two runs of 5k each) and 21.44 miles cycling in 1:31:13
  8. 8/13- Deanna Rose Farmstead Stampede 5k, Overland Park, KS- 3.09 miles in 25:10
  9. 8/28- North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon, KC, MO- 13.32 miles in 2:06:00
  10. 9/3- North Shore Trail Run, Lawrence, KS- 8.28 miles in 1:52:52
  11. 9/11- Patriots' Run Duration Race (my first ultra), Olathe, KS- 27.74 in 7:31:35
  12. 9/25- Omaha Half Marathon, Omaha, NE- 13.14 miles in 2:02:45
  13. 10/8- Jared Coones Pumpkin Run 5k, Olathe, KS- 3.11 miles in 25:15
  14. 10/30- Blue Springs 50k (my first 50k), Independence, MO- 30.78 miles in 7:00:28
  15. 11/12- Pilgrim Pacer Marathon (final race to qualify for Maniacs), Lenexa, KS- 26.34 miles in 5:00:09
It was a year that went above and beyond expectations in SO many ways!  I have huge goals and plans for 2012 and it will take a ton of work to accomplish them, but for tonight I get to simply sit back and enjoy the memory of such a great year filled with great accomplishments and amazing people.  Cheers to you all as we usher out 2011 and welcome in 2012.  Whether 2011 was great for you or a tough year, I hope you are happy and I hope 2012 brings bigger and better things to each and every one of you.  Thanks for following my journey.


  1. Saw your link to this on the Maniacs page on Facebook ... clicked over not knowing you're a Wildcat so your pic was a great surprise ... I graduated from KSU in '98, jealous to see you running races in Manhattan!

    Quick little bit of advice on what you're doing ... you're increasing your mileage, racing a lot, and for the distances of the races you're running you're not running a lot of miles. The only reason everything you wrote was screaming at me was the sfx. It's clear you love running races (as do I ... I've run 96 marathons, four ultras and maybe 30 or 40 races shorter than 26.2 in the past six years). Try to get your weekly mileage up to at least 40+ a week on a consistent basis and you'll reduce your risk of injury. I followed the 10% rule building my mileage from 20ish to over 100 and I've never suffered a running injury that kept me from running. You love to race and the best way to continue to be able to race is to stay healthy!

    Hope this isn't coming off wrong ... honestly I'm just trying to help a fellow Wildcat. Keep it up ... congrats on running your first marathons!


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