Another year, another decade gone (that is two complete decades for me, for those of you counting). 2009 was a great year for me. I had success in old and new passions and made wonderful memories.
Every December, my dad writes a Christmas letter about our family. He began doing this in 1981 and we have all the letters, 1981-2009, in a binder. This binder is placed on our coffee table around the holidays and it gives a chance for us to read about what was going on in our past lives. Family and friends that receive this letter often tell my dad that they look forward to it every year. While I do not have my own family to write about, yet, I will use this blog for my own reflection in the spirit of recording the past year’s events.
To be honest, the year started out rather unnoteworthy. Indoor track I set no new PRs and for the first time failed to score at a Big Sky track championship, placing 9th in the 5000 and something like 13th in the 3000. I then decided to red shirt the outdoor season, for various reasons. I came up short in the steeplechase as well with a 9:14.94, not being able to best my time set in 2008 of 9:09. In the 5000, I improved my time by the same margin Usain Bolt improved his world record in the 100m, 0.11 seconds.
After my short outdoor season, I enjoyed doing some other activities in addition to running. I began swimming, began biking and hiked most of Mt. Humphreys. I then turned my focus to triathlons and put in some really high volume days including a run/swim/bike day with 3 hours and 50 minutes of exercise.
I was my brother’s best man at his wedding on May 30th and spent a few days in Napa Valley wine country. At the end of June I competed in my first Olympic distance triathlon and the Breath of Life triathlon in Ventura. I placed 8th overall and 2nd in my age group and had a lot of fun doing it.
For the first time in a while I feel like I have a huge upside in a sport, something I haven’t felt since I was probably a frehsman in high school. No doubt there are more triathlons in my future.
For the 4th of July my parents, my girlfriend Tina and I met Gina and Andrew, the newlyweds, in Lake Tahoe. The fireworks show was spectacular. Shortly after arriving back home, the fun and games were over and I got an internship at ITT Aerospace Controls in Valencia. I got my first taste of working 9 hour days, 4-5 days/week. Somewhere in there I managed to get in some serious running volume, including my first ever 100-mile week in singles. The hard work I put in during July and August laid a solid foundation for me to build a great cross country season.
And a great cross country season it was. I led my first cross country race since 2002, earned All-Conference honors at the Big Sky Championships, was the 3rd best 5th man in the country and joined my teammates on the podium — reaching my goal of placing top 100.
Each race I wrote a detailed race report (some are linked above), all of which I have reread countless times. I am very glad I decided to start this blog this year because I now have an archive of my race experiences. Every time I read about one of those races, I am taken back to that day and I can relive the race. As the years go by, I think this archive will become more and more valuable to me. You can read everything about my 2009 cross country season here.
For the second year in a row, I feel like I have raised the bar in my running and have experienced great success. I now have only one season of cross country and two seasons of indoor and outdoor track left. After finishing those seasons, I may never compete for a team, or even individually, at such a high level again. With this in mind, I plan to continue to enjoy my remaining eligibility and work hard to reach my full potential in running.
I hope you all enjoyed 2009 as much as I did. I plan to have a goal-setting post about 2010 within a few days. Until then, Have a Happy New Year!