A lot of my blog buddies have been posting philosophical reflective type posts since it’s the New Year and all, so I thought I’d toss my own reflections out there.

In 2008, I ran my first marathon – poorly.  I logged about 1200 miles (at least since I started logging my runs in March), I ran my first 10K – quite well.  I cheered my daughter on in her first season in Cross Country.  I earned a Ph.D.  I read Jack Daniels’ Running Formula.  I started training seriously.  I logged 60 miles in one week – several times.

All in all, it was pretty good and I know I’m well prepared for my upcoming half marathon in January.  With any luck, my return to Disney will redeem my poor performance last year and prove that I learned something from the experience.  Actually, I don’t need the proof.  I know I learned something from the experience.  That poor performance, far from discouraging me from running actually proved to me that I am a runner.  That’s because distance running and all endurance sports I think are exercises in managing discomfort.  The fact that I was able to complete a full marathon when my knee hurt me from the first step proved to me that I was capable of managing great discomfort.  Though it took me 5 1/2 hours to drag my sorry ass across that finish line, I knew that if I could push myself through 5 1/2 hours of pain, I was capable of pushing greater speeds for long distances.  The cool thing is that I have.

In the first chapter of Daniels Running Formula, he identifies four key ingredients to success in distance running:

1)  Inherent ability (genetics)

2)  Motivation

3)  Opportunity

4)  Direction

When I look at myself in the mirror, I cannot deny that I look like a runner.  The more I run, the more I believe that I’m built to be a runner.  I cannot use a lack of inherent ability as an excuse.  The marathon experience proved to me that I am motivated.  My lifestyle certainly affords me the opportunity to suceed in running and I hope I’m giving myself the proper direction – though I’m always open to change.

So, I guess it’s a good time to lay out some goals for 2009.  Here they are in no real order:

1)  Break 1 hour, 40 minutes in the half marathon

2)  Break 20 minutes in the 5K

3)  Break 18 minutes in the 5K (okay, those 2 were in a particular order)

4)  Win my age group in a race and then…

5)  Win a race (this one might be a stretch, but there a some small races I’ve got a shot at I think)

6)  Launch digitalrunning.com.  (I’ve got to get it out there and let the community help me mold it)

7)  Log 100 miles in a week

Tentatively, I’ll be running another full marathon in early 2010, and I’m planning on running it fast.  My weekly training mileage will need to reach triple digits in 2009.   So, with the first of many deep breaths of 2009, I tuck these goals into my head and wish you all a very happy and successful New Year – whatever your goals may be.

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