Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: The Year In Pictures

Well friends, yet another year of running has come to a close, and this is a great time to look back on all that has happened in the last year.  I could sit here and type up a table of statistics and make up some pie charts for you (which actually sounds like a lot of fun to my engineering brain), but I know you'd all rather watch paint dry.  So instead, I'm going to look back on 2011 in true SLAP style: pictorially.

I logged a total 1,932 miles in 2011.  (That's over 500 miles more than I ran in 2010!)  And every one of those 1,932 miles had a purpose.  Some of the miles were fast, many of them were slow.  Some of them were race miles, most of them were training miles.  Some of them were logged on my own, and some of them were logged with friends.  But every mile made me a stronger runner in some way.

So without further ado, let's look at some of the highlights of those 1,932 miles!

The first event of 2011 was the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon in January, where I PR'd with a time of 4:53, finally breaking the 5-hour barrier.  After that, I told myself I wouldn't run anymore marathons in 2011.  Turns out I lied to myself.

In April, I ran under an assumed identity, along with several fellow FASTies (who ran under their real names) at the Lincoln Presidential Half-Marathon...  and Honest Abe didn't seem to care about my fraudulent behavior. 

My BFF, Shelley, and I had a blast at Flying Pig weekend in Cincinnati, where we ran the 5k, 10k, and half-marathon events...  just for fun!  We also ate a lot of cupcakes.

In Indianapolis, I broke 2 hours in the half-marathon for the first time.    I began contemplating a very aggressive  fall marathon goal of under 4:00, despite having told myself in January that I wasn't running anymore marathons in 2011.

In the stifling heat/humidity of July, Kristi and I tackled the super-hilly, super-fun Bix 7 race.   And we took full advantage of the post-race food and frosty beverages.

In August, I forgot to bring my running shoes to a race weekend in Madison...  so I ran the half-marathon in $15 Walmart sneakers.  My friends Becky and Kristi teased me mercilessly.  I deserved it.

At the Pekin Marigold Festival 5k, I set my third 5k PR for the year and took home a 1st place trophy.

At the Fox Valley races in September, it was PR-city for several FASTies, including Katie, Kristi, and me in the half-marathon.  And as a completely unexpected  bonus, I took home a 3rd place trophy too!

Of all of the wonderful races I ran in 2011, Milwaukee's Lakefront Marathon in October was the pièce de résistance.  It was both the most difficult and most rewarding event of the year.   And the post-race beer was outstanding.

Shelley and I ran all the way from the USA to Canada in the Niagara Falls International Marathon.  It was Shelley's first marathon ever, and my first marathon in another country.  How come every time I run with Shelley, I'm wearing a tutu?

And there you have it...  just a few of the most memorable miles of 2011.  What will 2012 bring?  Only time will tell, but I have a feeling there will be many more memorable miles to come.  Happy New Year from SLAP!

Peace. Love. Train.

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