Thursday, December 30, 2010
This is post # 101 and my final one for 2010. I thought I’d close out the year looking ahead at the year 2011. I’m excited to start a new year and know it will bring some great things. As I did last year, I’ve thought about some goals and accomplishments I’d like to make in my running career this next year. I ended up accomplishing 10 of my 12 goals this year. Not too shabby. I would’ve liked to accomplish them all but that’s not always possible. Needless to say, the two I didn’t accomplish will not be on the list this year. The first was “stay injury free”. I would love for that to happen but I had too many injuries this year for that to be a credible goal. I’ll try my best. The 2nd, “convince my wife to run a half marathon”….umm, she’s 6 months pregnant. I’ll learn to fly before that happens. She’s doing great with her walking but running just isn’t her favorite thing. She did do a 5K this year, did a great job, and I was very proud of her. But that was probably the beginning and end of her running career. So those two don’t make the list. But I have 11 other goals for this new year. I’ll put them to the side again and keep up with when and if they get accomplished. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Finish both Disney races – As you know if you’ve kept up with this blog at all, I’ve been hurting. I’ve been sick and/or injured during the last month or two and haven’t been running my normal amount. I am not in my normal shape either. There is some definite worry about these two races coming up in about a week. I just want to finish them. I have very little doubt that I’ll be ok with the half. It’s the full I’m more worried about. I feel pretty confident I can finish them. But it’s a definite goal.
2. Set a PR – I don’t care if it’s a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon, but I’d like to set a PR this year. I think it’s always good to push yourself and I don’t feel like I’ve done that in a while. Like I said above, I’ve been sick or injured for the last month and want to get back into pushing myself. I think it will do me good to go for a new PR this year. I don’t think it will be at Disney, in fact I’m pretty sure of it. But some time in 2011, hopefully.
3. Run a half marathon (besides Disney) – I really enjoy the half marathon distance and so I’d like to do another one this year besides Disney. And I’d prefer it to be one I’ve never done before. I have no idea when or where. Maybe Spring or early Fall.
4. Run a marathon I haven’t done before – Obviously I’m doing the Disney marathon in 2011, but I’d like to do one more. Most likely in the Fall and I’d like it to be something I haven’t done. So Chicago and Memphis are out. Maybe Huntsville or Chickamauga Battlefield. Something close. I can’t spend a lot on travel. We’ll see. I like to push towards a marathon.
5. Volunteer at the Nashville Marathon – For the first time in 4 years, I won’t be running Nashville and I’m kindof glad. I have loved the Nashville races. It will always be my first half and full marathon and I’m glad it’s that way. It’s my hometown. It should be my first races. But I’m ready to take a break. I think it would be great this year to volunteer instead. The volunteers have helped so much each year and I’d like to be a part of that. I’m not sure if this one will work with timing of our new baby. He’s due just a few weeks before this race, but if possible, I’ll try to help out this year. Maybe even get my older sons to help out too.
6. Run a 5K or two - I also enjoy this distance. I’m not sure if I can run faster than my PR (19:46) but I can try. I’ll probably do some of the same ones I did last year. Wouldn’t mind finding a new one or two as well. We’ll see.
7. Run another 10K – I really had a good time at my first ever 10K this year. And I ended up doing about as well as I could’ve hoped. I’m not sure if I’ll do the same one again, but I’d like to either do that one or another one.
8. Run 1300 miles – This was my goal this year. I thought about raising it, but with only doing one marathon (after Disney), I may not have as many high weeks this year. I barely made 1300 miles this year because of injury. I’m going to end up around 1360 or so. I think it will be good to keep this amount the same for 2011.
9. Keep my weight in the 150’s – I have no idea what I weight right now. Our house in in shambles (remodeling) and our scale is put away. I got sick about 2 weeks ago and lost 10 pounds. I was in the 140’s after that. But then with the holidays, I’ve eaten a little more than normal and have gained some. I think I’m still in the 150’s but it’s probably the high end. I like to say there and with my running, I usually can fairly easy. I’d like to keep this goal again for the new year.
10. Run a race or two with Carter – I enjoyed so much running the two 5K’s with Carter in 2010. We’d like to do it again this year. Maybe pick up a new race or two or do the same. Whatever. He’s interested in picking it back up again so I’m game. It’s a great thing to run with my son.
11. Have another successful season of coaching high school Cross Country – I know that’s kindof a general goal and hard to measure. I thought about setting it more specific (recruit more, place ?? in state, etc.) but I don’t want to set my sights too high during only my 2nd year. That’s not to say that I won’t have secret expectation that I’ll want to meet, especially once I see the talent on my team. But I just want another great year like I had this year. It won’t start until late July, but I’m already excited about it.
So there they are. My top 11 goals for the new year. We’ll see if I can go 100% this year. I need these goals to keep my motivation up. I love running and am nowhere close to wanting to give it up or even slow down yet. Another unwritten goal for the new year will be to keep up with this blog better. I’d like to post at least 5 times a month. A few weeks ago, I debated giving it up, but after giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I do enjoy blogging and plan to keep it up for better or worse.
This will be my last post of 2010. Happy New Year to everyone. Hope your 2011 is a great year where you meet all your goals as well. If you don’t accomplish anything else, remember…...
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Only a couple days left. 2010 is almost over. It’s hard to believe. It’s been a great year, a year full of memories. Since it’s nearly done, I figured I’d take a look back as I did last year and list the best of the best. If I had to name the best moment of 2010 it would hands-down be finding out that I’ve got a 3rd son on the way in April. It was the best surprise I’ve ever received. However, that’s not running –related and since this is a running blog, I thought I’d once again list my top 10 running moments of 2010. So here they are:
10. Talking with Dick Beardsley – I’ll admit that before this year started, I had heard of Dick Beardsley but didn’t know a whole lot about him. But when I found out I was going to get to chat with him while co-hosting the Runners Round Table, I did some research. I was amazed and impressed with his accomplishments. He’s one of the modern greats and it was a huge honor to get to talk with him. We were scheduled to talk about his running camps which we did, but we had some extra time and I even got the chance to ask him a personal question about my Cross Country team. That was a special moments to get advice from someone so well known and special in the running world. I really enjoyed that interview.
9. Registering for the Goofy Challenge 2011 – I know this was just punching buttons on the computer, but at the same time, it was fulfilling a dream I’ve had for a long time. I’ve been wanting to run Disney for a while now, basically ever since I heard about it. And the fact that I finally decided (and got approval from the family) to run the Goofy Challenge was very exciting. I’m leaving in just over a week and I can’t believe it’s almost here.
8. Huff ‘N Puff 15K Relay – I got to run my first ever relay this year. I hadn’t run a relay since high school track. I enjoyed running this 15K relay with my friends , Nate and Andrea. I appreciate them asking me, but wasn’t sure what to expect. It ended up being a really fun getaway and race. Ending up first in our age bracket wasn’t too bad either. I ran my 2nd best 5K ever that day.
7. Memorial Day 5K – This was the 2nd of two races I got to run with my son, Carter. But it was his best one. He ran a 26:01 that day which was much better than either of us expected. We hadn’t gotten to train for this one like we did his first one but he still ran his best. And he got FIRST in his age group which was very exciting. I was so proud of him that day and it was so special to run it with him.
6. Purity Dairies 5K – This was the 1st 5K that Carter ran and we had no idea what to expect. We had trained pretty well for this one and it was a great race. He ended up getting 26:23 and coming in third in his age group. He got a medal which he was so excited about as were his very proud parents. One of the best parts of that day was when we crossed the finish line, he looked at me and said, “Dad, can we do that again?” He didn’t care about being tired or needing water, he wanted to run again. I knew then that he was a natural and it made me a very proud dad.
5. Chick ‘Fil-A 10K – This was my first ever 10K. One of my goals this year had been to run my first one and I chose this race. I was a little nervous about how I would do. I had some pain in the weeks prior and was worried that I wouldn’t do well. But I ended up feeling great, running a great time and placing 2nd in my age group. This landed me free chicken sandwiches for a year. We’ve used several of the sandwiches already and each time it reminds me of this great day.
4. Zoo Run 5K – This was my earliest race of 2010 way back in January. I ran so much better than I ever thought I would. I guess I just felt really good that day, but I ran hard and didn’t let up. I ended up with a 19:46 which is my best 5K ever. I got first for my age group and a nice gift-certificate prize. I enjoyed this race and would love to do it again this year but it might be a little close to the Disney races to have enough recover time.
3. Nashville Half Marathon – I was excited about doing this race. This was one of my biggest goals of 2010 – to PR in the half marathon. This would be my one and only chance. I was also excited about going back to the half. I had run the full Nashville in 2009 and had missed the easier and more fun half. I did end up PRing with a 1:33 but it came at a price as I had to visit medical for a while at the end. It made for a good story but I felt pretty bad during the last mile. It’s still a great moment all things considering.
2. Coaching my first ever high school Cross Country season – I got a dream job this year when I was promoted to high school coach at the school where I teach. I had coached middle school cross country for 11 years and loved it, but I was ready to advance to the next level where the competition advances greatly. I had a great season and loved working with these kids. They worked so hard and made me extremely proud. I cannot wait for next season.
1. Chicago Marathon – This had been another dream for a while. One of the ultimate marathons. I was so excited to make it my fall marathon for this year and had a blast. It ended up being a tough race and I didn’t feel exactly like I’d hoped, but I still PR’ed with a 3:34. The trip itself was so much fun and I enjoyed touring the city with this run. It was just an overall great experience and one I will never forget.
So there they are – my top 10 running moments of 2010. Here’s hoping the 2011 will bring some great ones. They may be toned down a bit as I’m not going quite as big after Disney with our son on the way. But I still plan to do some new things. I’ll try to post one more time before the year ends about my goals for the new year. 2010 was a great year where I accomplished a lot of goals and had a running year I won’t soon forget.
By the way – this is my 100th post on this blog. Happy 100! Here’s to 100 more…..maybe.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I'm starting to get excited. It's been hard to get in the mood because I've got so much else going on. From home remodel to baby to Christmas, I haven't had much time to even think about Disney. But today I got the "Final Race Instructions" email. It has the link to print out my waiver for my races. I'll print those tomorrow. But getting that email really helped to sink in that I'm about to go to Disney and run two races in the "Goofy Challenge". And I get to run those races through the parks. That's the most exciting part. I've always loved Disney, but have really gotten into it since I married my crazy, Disney wife. She's obsessed and has gotten me obsessed in our 11 years of marriage. We love going and hate when there is a year we can't go. She and the boys don't get to go in 2011 and I hate that for them. We are planning to go back as a family in 2012. But I get to go in 16 days.
Just a recap of my plans: I will fly out on Friday morning. I've got the first flight out. I'll probably go straight to my hotel, the Pop Century. I've never stayed there before and I'm excited to try out a new place. After I get settled in (I may not be able to check in yet) I'm going straight to the Wide World of Sports to register for the races. I was able to qualify for one of the first corrals. I can't remember which one at the moment. Friday night I will just get a good dinner and relax at the hotel. I'll probably turn in early so I can get up bright and early for the half-marathon. The half is Saturday morning beginning at Epcot, running to Magic Kingdom and back. I'm planning to use this as just a warm-up run for the marathon. I'm not planning on pushing either race but I'm especially not going to push this one. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize my marathon the next day. I'm not sure what I'll do Saturday after the half. My parents are coming down to Orlando as well to visit old friends and watch my races. They've offered to take me to a park one day and I may take them up on it for Saturday. I should be done with the race fairly early and should be able to get to a park quickly. I still want to turn in early that night but a little time at the park would be fun. Sunday will be another early morning for the marathon. This race also begins at Epcot and goes to Magic Kingdom, then Animal Kingdom, then Hollywood Studios and back to Epcot. I'm planning to go back to the hotel and rest on Sunday. I'm sure I'll be worn out. I'll try to get out Sunday evening and have another nice celebration dinner. Monday, I'm going back to the park since I get in free!! All marathoners get in free on Monday. I haven't decided which park I'm going to. Maybe Epcot. It's got a lot of options and is probably my favorite park. I have a late flight out Monday evening so I won't get to stay at the park all day but it'll still be fun. I'll fly home Monday evening and watch my Auburn Tigers play in the National Championship that evening. What a great day that will be!
I've still got some nervousness in the back of my mind due to my injury and having run VERY little the last few weeks. But I'm just going to trust my base and do the best I can. I'm definitely not trying to set any PR's or run hard in either race. My goal will be to finish each race in a decent time. I'd love to finish the half in around 2 hours and the full close to 4, but we'll see. I'm just excited to be running through the parks and getting to see everything the Disney races have to offer. Plus, I hope to meet a few running friends while I'm there.
Anyways, can't wait and I think I'll really get excited after the holidays are over. I wish my family could be there with me but it just works best for them to cheer me on at home. I look forward to posting about it on here. It's gonna be a great experience. A once in a lifetime....
If I don't post again before Saturday, hope everyone has a great Christmas and Happy New Year. I plan on posting before the year is up about goals and plans for 2011.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I ran this morning. 6 miles. But I ran. That's the key. And I have no pain. Well, let me rephrase.....I have no pain in my hurt leg. I have pain. A little. Not bad. Mainly breathing pain. Getting back into running pain. But it's amazing how much I've missed it and how good it feels to run again. I actually did a trial run yesterday. 3 miles. It felt great. The only thing that "hurt" was breathing, but I chalk that up to the cold weather (below freezing) and the fact that I haven't run in almost 2 weeks. But I was so happy that I didn't feel any pain in my left leg. So I decided to double it this morning and try a "long run". When you haven't run in 2 weeks, 6 miles is a long run. So I got up this morning and got ready. It felt a little weird. I haven't gotten up to do a long run on a Sunday in 3 weeks. It was 20 degrees outside. I'll say it again....I like running in the cold after the first mile, but man it's cold when you first go outside. It's the only thing that makes me hesitate doing the morning runs. But after the first half-mile or so, it felt good this morning. I ran 6 miles in around 48:30 so about 8:05 per mile. That's great again considering how long it's been. I'm still going to take it easy the next few days and not go crazy. There is a little tightness in my 'hurt' left leg as I sit here and type this, but it doesn't hurt like it did. Still, I think it best to get back in it very gradually.
By the way, I haven't officially announced on here that our third child on the way is a third son. We're very excited to have three boys. His name will be Griffin Wallace Thweatt. At our last visit (when we found out it was a boy), we mainly just wanted to hear that he was healthy and growing normally and we got that. That was all we really cared about. Our boys are getting really excited and can't wait to meet their new brother. I can't wait either, but at the same time, I don't want to rush it along. Since this is the third (and final) child, I want to enjoy every second of it.
Finally, I've been debating what to do with this blog during the next year, 2011. There is a part of me that wants to shut it down and I've seriously considered doing so. I'm just not as motivated to write as I used to be. Plus, since we have a child on the way, we're remodeling our house, and we're very busy, I don't have any races planned for the new year except Disney. I'm sure I'll plan some local ones, but I'm not planning on traveling anywhere in 2011 for a race. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed keeping up with this and sharing my running stories. I'm just not sure how many readers I have and if it's worth it. I'm afraid I'll run out of things to talk about. So I'm still debating it. I'm not sure what I'll do with it.
I am very excited about Disney and I plan on writing about that this week. No time this morning. I also want to set some goals for 2011 so that's another post before the year ends. I'll write again this week at some point. Hope everyone has a good week and is getting excited about the holiday season.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Pain, pain go away. Come again another day. Actually, don't come back. It won't go away. My "shin splint," which I don't think is a shin splint at all, is still there. It's been three weeks and I still have pain. It is better, but it's still there. I have been running VERY sporadically the last couple of weeks to try and heal but I'm not there yet. I ran last Thursday (a week ago) three miles and it was fine, but the next day, my leg hurt a lot. I tried again Tuesday night of this week and ran 4 miles. It hurt a good deal between miles 2-3 but after that, the pain went away. However, it hurt some yesterday. Today, it's better. I talked to a runner friend of mine and told her I thought I might have a stress fracture. She agreed that it sounds like that.
Here's the scary part, I have the Goofy Challenge in less than a month. Not just a marathon, but a half the day before. A marathon and a half. In less than a month. What do I do? I asked her if I should just run through the pain and keep training or stop altogether to let it heal and risk losing my training. It's a tough decision. Will I be able to do a marathon in a half having only run a long distance of 14 miles this time around? I did run a marathon in October. She suggested I take time off and wing it at Disney. I'm not trying to get a PR at Disney. It's Disney so I was planning on having fun with it anyways, but I did want to finish both races. So needless to say, I'm worried. I think I will take this week and next week off and see how I feel. I may then try a short run around Dec. 19 or so. I guess I just won't do a super long run before these races at Disney and pray that my prior training will come back to me. I don't want to go to a doctor for fear he'll tell me not to run or put me in a boot. I'm going to Disney. I paid too much for this trip and running the Goofy has been my dream for years. I'm going and I'm running, even if I have to crawl. I'm also slightly worried about my weight. I tend to eat a lot here around the holidays and running is the only thing that keeps me fit. I'm going to have to watch it.
I HATE not running. My four miles really felt great Tuesday night. I was right back in it and aside from a little leg pain, the rest felt good. I can't wait to be back in it when this crazy leg heals. (And a special note to a certain MB - it's not my feet. My feet are fine. And I don't run too much. But I appreciate your concern)
I'll talk more as Disney approaches. It'll be here soon. I have confidence that this will all work out. Just a slight obstacle in the way.