One good thing that I can say for 2012 is that at last I finally finished Leadville. That was my baseline goal and so I can be satisfied with that. On the downside however, my running has not gone as well these past couple of years as I had hoped. For about five years from 2006 - 2010, I was running very well, very often and winning a lot of the time. Part of it is probably just age and injury and part of it is motivation. But I had really hoped to be running better this year.
For seven previous years, I have started off the year right with a win at Athens-Big Fork Trail Marathon and often the course record. But this year I skipped A-BF to focus on the Houston Marathon a week later. Unfortunately, my sciatica really hurt and would continue bothering me from January to May. So I really did not have any good races throughout the late winter and early spring.
Finally, I began to feel better in June as I ramped up my training for Leadville and by July I was in great shape. One of my best races of the year was the Full Moon 50K in July. I ran it at a hard training pace and ran 4:15 or so and it felt easy! I was really encouraged by that. So, next came Leadville and although I finished, I did struggle from the 50K point on. I have ran well for a 100 miles but the altitude for this flatlander really made me struggle. But at least I got that buckle.
After Leadville, there was kind of a let down in motivation. I skipped the Arkansas Traveler mainly because I just didn't feel like running another 100. I struggled for 2nd place at Dogwood Canyon 50K as the heat really took it's toll. I did have one final good run and a 1st place finish at Lovit Trail Marathon and that really helped salvage some of the year.
So what do I have to look forward to next year? Well, if this sciatica/piriformis issue is not resolved, probably about the same thing. It is very frustrating. But I hope to do well at the usual races included A-BF, White Rock 50K, Sylamore 50K, Little Rock Marathon (3:05 pacer), and then Boston Marathon (hopefully a PR there). Some friends of mine and I are even planning a trip to the Green Bay Marathon in May! That would be fun.
I hope to run the Bighorn 100 mile run in June and after that, the year is pretty open. Maybe the Traveler, maybe Dogwood Canyon or even Pumpkin Holler. I've also been interested in doing some different races in the fall but we will see.
Most important, I hope to be more injury free but as I write this, my sciatic is killing me just from sitting in this chair.