I completed the rest of the Norwalk Summer Series and ran the New Haven Labor Day 20k. In September I made my annual trip to England to run the Great North Run. This year I added the Robin Hood half marathon to my schedule, which was challenging since I ran it the morning after arriving in England. I ran it pretty well despite the jetlag. The Great North run was the following Sunday and despite feeling a little off I was still able to post a PR.
My major race of the fall was the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA. I was hoping to qualify for Boston in this net downhill race. I planned out my race strategy with the goal of having about 2 minutes in the bank for the last few miles that had a few hills. I was surprised by some of the small uphills that did not show up on the elevation chart, but for the most part is was pretty flat with some nice downhills. I experienced a few of my usual hip and ITB pains at about 15 miles, but was able to push on. At the 20 mile mark I had serious doubts about making it within the 3:50:59 qualifying time, but was able to talk myself through it. I still had 2+ minutes in the bank and I knew that where was no way that I would need all that time for the last 6 miles. I had two uphills ahead of me, but they were both followed by downhills so I didn't think I would need to slow down by that much. Once I got to the hills I was happy for the challenge and knew that I was almost done. I was able to finish the race in just over 3:48 and qualified. I was thrilled! I signed up for Boston the next day! I'm very happy that I signed up early since it filled up by November.
After Steamtown I was right back into taper mode with the New York City marathon coming up in 3 weeks. I got to run this marathon with my best friend, Jill. We had so much fun and really made the most of it. We took lots of pictures and took the time to visit with family and friends along the way. We finished it in 4:14, which was our goal time.
Since then I have greatly reduced my mileage to recover from the marathons. I have been experiencing some hamstring and ITB pain in my left leg for a few months now and can't seem to get it to go away. I will continue to work on my hip and ITB issues as I start to build up mileage for my spring training for Boston.
In 2009 I ran a personal record of 56 races, which included 3 marathons, 5 half marathons, a 25K, and two 30k races! In previous years I tried to make it to 52, but always fell short due to injury. I was able to increase my weekly mileage significantly over the summer when I was training for Steamtown with no injuries. I also incorporated multiple runs several days a week, which felt really good. I also greatly improved my summer running in 2009, which may be as simple as the addition of a running hat. The highlight of the year was qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which is something I never would have dreamed of a few years ago. I ran my first marathon in 2005 with a time of 4:23, the next in 4:21 and then after a fall back with injury was then able to return with a 4:05 in NY in 2008 and a 3:52 in New Jersey earlier this year. This has been a very successful running year for me. I am looking forward to another great year in 2010, which includes the running of the Boston Marathon.
2009 was also a great year for meeting new friends and continuing to develop friendships with existing friends.
5 half marathons
Marathon - took off 17 minutes
Half marathon - took off 17 seconds
20k - took off 7+ minutes
also PRs in 3.5 miler, 7 miler, 9 miler, 11 miler, 5k, 10k
Pam and I warming up at the start of the New Jersey Marathon
New York City Marathon
Jill and I after New York City marathon