Sunday, December 20, 2009

2009 Recap: A Craptastic Year of Running

The year is winding to a close, and thankfully it's ending on a good note with healthy, injury-free running, even if it's on a far from intense level. I'll take it for now and enjoy it. And for good reason, because overall 2009 sucked! At least it did until September, and I'm grateful for that turning point. Here's a recap:

January - I returned from a month hiatus because of significant plantar fasciitis issues (which began in August of 2008), only to find out I still had significant plantar fasciitis issues.

February - I started seeing Jamie Raymond for chiropractic and active release therapy work, and he ended up helping me get back on the path to getting over the PF issues. He was awesome and a major contributor to me eventually beating this thing, but healing doesn't happen overnight and the running still stunk. I did manage to get in one 20+ mile run, but limped through it and it was tougher than it should have been.

March - I managed to run a 50K fat ass, coming in DFL, but was just happy to do it. Foot held up okay.

April - Managed a 101 mile week which instilled confidence. PF continues but is at least manageable at this point, but still nagging.

May - Paced at Massanutten 100 (37 mile mountain run for me), and followed it a week later with the Pineland Farms 50-miler. Did the same the year before, and quietly noted to myself that both events seemed much tougher this year. Ugh. Not good.

June - Beginning of the month I began experiencing a nagging pain in the right ankle. Later that month, I DNF'd at the Western States 100 at mile 44 because of said ankle pain, and I also badly tore my left quadricep (likely a result of limping because of the ankle).

July - Ankle diagnosed as stress fracture, which is what I suspected. I was actually quite relieved.

August - Lifted some weights since I couldn't run, but mainly did a lot of fishing.

September - Started running again, experimenting with barefoot and minimal footwear running, which accelerated the healing of the PF. Stress fracture now a non-issue.

October - Gradually ramping up the mileage. By mid-month I declared the PF dead and fortunately it's stayed dead with no zombie reincarnations to speak of. Everything going great!

November - A pretty slack month of running, due to work and grad school being especially busy but also poor time management for training on my part. Ended the month with an informal 10k trail race which was big fun, and I did pretty well. Also got in a 20+ miler which went well.

December - More or less a repeat of November. Not a lot of mileage, but still running healthy and casually. But grad school is now over. For good. I'm graduating! Ah, more time for training coming up. Looking to get in another 20+ miler over Christmas break.

I've said it repeatedly, but I'm just happy to be running with zero injuries again. I think in part I've kept the mileage low the past few months to not risk anything and just enjoy it.

Thanks for reading. I'm surprised that people like to follow this blog. I'm happy some find it entertaining, but in truth, I do it for myself. It's just very useful documenting notes and stats for every run and race I do. But it is nice to know that some of you enjoy checking in every now and then, so thanks! I enjoy reading your blogs as well and find a lot of inspiration in them.

And for anyone who might be interested, I have my 2010 race schedule mapped out and will be posting it soon, as well as a training plan for the winter that involves a lot of cross training with XC skiing.

Happy Running! 2010 is going to be FANTASTIC! I can just sense it.


Sparkplug said...

Jamie, of course we read your blog - you're awesome :-) And I am sure that 2010 will be a great year for you and your running. Look forward to reading and hearing all about it!

Devon said...

You are one of my favorites. Glad things have turned around for you this fall and I look forward to seeing what you put together for 2010. In the grand scheme of things, one bad year is nothing. Here's to healthy running in 2010!

vja said...

Another fan of Maine Runner chiming in. Here's to a great new year!!!

middle.professor said...

Jamie - looks like you'll be starting the new year healthy. Can't wait to read your 2010 recap!

Thomas said...

After that 2009 things are bound to improve for next year. All the best!

Laurel said...

I had one of those Craptastic years of running myself. Oh well, things can only improve for both of us in 2010!!!

Al Nye said...


What would your advice be for the best method of recovery for someone suffering PF?


Jamie said...

Al, I'd highly recommend experimenting with running barefoot and/or minimal footwear like Vibram FFs. I know of quite a few other runners who also have had success with it curing PF. It helped cure mine without a doubt. But start SLOW with it. VERY slow. It is very easy to get stress fractures if you go overboard before the muscles in your feet have a chance to strengthen up and adjust. Best of luck.

And thanks to everyone for the kind words!

Love2Run said...

Healthy is a very good way to start 2010 and I'm sensing a very good year indeed for you. Good running!

amy said...

Congrats on getting back on track and staying injury free. I'm having a craptastic last half of '09 and can't wait to be running again. Although I'm starting to enjoy cycling on rainy 40 degree days. But each time I pass a trailhead I sigh and look dreamily off to the side. Sorry to see you didn't get into MMT. What about Laurel Highlands? I know, it's ONLY 70 miles, but it's a great event and not too far away.