This year was my first year of real trail running. I had never run more than 13.1 miles at once before 2009. After really enjoying shorter trail runs, I decided to try my first ultra. And second, and third, and fourth! I also travelled to race this year and I had a lot of fun with that. I only squeezed in a few triathlons, but I think this year I did better on quality of triathlons instead of quantity. The great thing about training and racing is the people you meet. After 2+ years in Kansas City, I finally met some great friends and training partners. All of those weekend long runs and rides, morning speed work sessions, and night runs would be much less fun if I was always by myself.
Here's a few highlights from 2009:
- First ultra: Psycho Wyco 50k in Feb
- First 40 mi race: Free State in April
- First full 70.3 finish: Boise in June
- First AG podium: Danskin Sprint Triathlon in September (3rd place AG, overall 36/1700+!!)
- First 50 mi race: Heartland in October (9:20, 2nd female, 8th overall)
- First time withdrawing from a race due to injury: KC 1/2 Marathon
I had my first real injury in 2009 - a sustained bout with plantar fasciitis which started in August and peaked during Heartland. That meant after the 50 miler, I had another first - injury forced rest period. No running for a month! I was going to run the Kansas City 1/2 marathon, but gave up my bib number since I was still limping from Heartland. Not all firsts are good ones. But I did get to see my friend KM in her first Boston qualifying run!
Overall, 2009 was a good year. I maintained a decent biking base and have put in a lot of maintenance time on the trainer this fall. I increased my running base, which really paid off at the Danskin Triathlon. That was the first race where I felt I actually put together a solid race and it showed. (The $4200 Trek Madone also helped) Heartland would have been much more enjoyable if I had dressed warmer and if I didn't have PF. But given the circumstances and my injury, I'm very proud of my time at that race.
As fun as it is to look back, I'm more excited about looking ahead. I feel like this is the first year where I have actually shown improvements and it makes me excited to see if I can go faster. Unfortunately, I may have to back off of ultras until I get my foot completely healed. So far in 2010, I'm pacing a friend for 20 miles in a 100 mile race and travelling to New Orleans for another 70.3 to try to go under 6 hours. I'm also hoping to set a new 1/2 marathon PR this spring. My Vibrams are on their way so next year, I can add barefoot running to my list of firsts. I definitely want to keep travelling to race and may start looking for trail runs in exotic locations. If 2009 was my year of going farther, I'm hoping to make 2010 my year for going faster.