I ended my 2010 where I started it - Baltimore. Although it wasn't really a race (until halfway through when Mike "Zero" and I realized that there were two Santa's in front of us) - I did "participate" in the Celtic Solstice 5 miler in Baltimore today. Going to Baltimore feels sort of like seeing an ex-girlfriend these days - you feel a little awkward, you remember the good times more than the bad, and you are a little disappointed that they seem to be doing so well without you. As an extra treat - Ryan announced his award for me this year - which was the "Lebron James, Taking his talents to South Beach Award". Ryan obviously hasn't spent much time in Winchester.
My first race of 2010 wasn't really a race either - it was a modified tempo run. I got 3rd at the Al Lewis 10 miler in a snow filled Rock Creek Park - running a 58:10. In February I was posting poetically about the great Snowpocalypse of 2010. February also included a huge victory for Falls Road at the Club Challenge 10 miler in Columbia, MD. I was 4th place in an unexpected 54:08.
In March I ran a couple 5k's - the Kelly Shamrock 5k (15:42 - 4th place) and I had a lot of fun running against some college kids at the Maryland Invitational (15:36 - 5th place). In April I said hello to Winchester and ran probably my most surprising race in many years. Going into Cherry Blossom I wasn't sure what I was going to do - I had put in some good training that winter and spring - but, I was feeling a little out of things since our move two weeks earlier to Winchester. Like most of my most successful races - I went out conservatively. I felt stronger and stronger as I went - eventually running a post 30-year-old PR for me 52:47 and 29th place.
May brought my first race in Winchester - Apple Blossom 10k. Apple Blossom is an event like nothing I've ever seen before. The events are spread out over a week - Kendra and I decided to go all in - we went to the Queen's coronation (daughter of the governor), fire truck parade, Jimmy Buffet cover band concert (with brief appearance by grand marshal Val Kilmer), and the big parade. Yes - there are two parades with lots of queens and princesses. In the middle of all this madness they put on a decent 10k race. It was the end of my spring season and I was a little burnt out - I managed a 33:10 and 9th place. At the end of the month I ran a finger tingling awful 4:40 in the Runners Retreat sponsored Loudon Street Mile - my first race that I ran in a Runners Retreat singlet (which is what led to my Lebron James award).
I took off June from racing as I started to put in some serious miles in preparation for Chicago. At the beginning of July I ran another race in Winchester - the Liberty 5k - getting blown away in the first 100 meters by about 20 teenagers - but, using my wily veteran tactics to come away with 3rd place in 16:15. I also made my way to the Northern lower peninsula of Michigan for the Great Lakes Relay - my second time running this 10 person 3 day relay across the state. It was a lot of fun - kind of like camp for adults.
In August I ran the Leesburg 20k - wanting to run marathon pace - I ran the time I had hoped, but it wasn't comfortable (4th place - 1:09:12). August was crazy hot (actually June and July weren't much better). I have few regrets in running - but running the Drake Well Marathon at the end of a hot summer and high mileage was probably not smart. But on the other hand - it was a lot of fun. I ended up winning this race in Titusville, PA. Winning is always fun - but this was even more fun because the last half was out and back - so, I got to hear encouragement and give encouragement to all the other runners (less than 100 people finished). I ran about 10 minutes faster than what would have been prudent (2:45:33) and jumped in the car for the long drive home. One week later I reported in my blog that "it's a week later and I haven't been able to shake some soreness in my gluts and hamstrings." The title of my next post was "The Lost Week". I went from running 100 mile weeks to hardly being able to make it a few blocks.
By the middle of September I discovered the miracle drug of ibuprofen. It seemed to help clear things up and I ran a near pain free Philly Distance R&R half marathon. I ran it in marathon pace (1:14:46) - but, I felt pretty decent. The date I'd been eyeing for close to a year (10/10/10) was not a good one for me - but the pain was inspirational in at least one way. I ran pretty well through 15k, but as my group slowly started to leave me, my hamstring got worse, the sun started to beat down, and I felt some intestinal distress - I decided it was time to shut it down. I still finished - but over 20 minutes slower than planned (2:52). I wasn't the only one who had a tough day - many guys who trained hard throughout the summer didn't even make it to the line - it could have been worse (I guess).
November was a month of recovery - I started seeing a chiropractor which helped somewhat - but, four months after the initial injury I still feel some pain in my right glute/hamstring. In December I provided a warm body for Runners Retreat at the USATF Club Championship - running out of shape against some of the best post-collegiate runners in the country isn't a good thing to do if you're looking for an ego boost.
January starts something new - training for a triathalon. I have no idea what the heck I'm doing - but, I guess that's part of the adventure.