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2008 Year In Review and 2009 Plans

After a bit of a holiday blogging/fitness break, I am excited and ready to get back to writing and moving this out of shape body.

Before I move onto my 2009 endurance plans, I thought I’d take a look at my 2008 season and share some of my lessons learned.

The 2008 Numbers

  • Total miles: 1812.42 miles = avg 34.85 miles/week
  • Number of races: 14 races (5k through 50 mile)
  • Seven races at 26 or more miles (This actually surprised me for some reason)

Highlights of the Year

  • Boston marathon
  • Trail ultra racing (5 races)
  • Supporting a friend to a sub four hour White Rock marathon finish

2008 Reflections

In April I completed my first Boston marathon. The truly special part of the experience was completing it with my running buddy Tim. We both trained and qualified at the same race so it was kind of neat to finish our first Boston together even though neither of us had our best day.

2008 was a year with a primary focus on trail running. This was my first full year of playing in the dirt and I loved it. I really enjoyed the mental and physical challenge these races provided while being surrounded by the beauty of nature. The events can make you feel like the most powerful, strong, and fit person in the world and also tiny, frail, and broken…usually all in the same race. I really enjoy this journey. These races further stamped my enjoyment of the long course stuff.

To end my 2008 racing season I ran with a Tim’s wife, Stephanie, in the Dallas White Rock marathon. Her goal was a 3:40 (BQ) and I was hoping I could keep up and provide some support and bad jokes. The conditions for the day were a bit tough and our bodies told us a 3:40 was not going to happen. Even with the gusty winds and some relative heat, we stuck with it and finished under four hours. I believe this was a 45+ minute PR for Stephanie on this course. (Our video journey) Plenty to be proud of.

After the December marathon I was now mentally and physically ready for a holiday break. The last three weeks of the year, I only did some walking and hanging out at the park with Wendy and Griffin before we spent the holidays with our families.

Lessons Hopefully Learned

  1. Three ultra races (50 mile, 50 mile, and 50 km) in three months is too much for my body to handle right now. There was too much tweak management and not enough consistent training between the races. As much as I love to race the longer stuff, I need to definitely spread out the proximity of any 50 mile or greater races.
  2. Trail racing nutrition needs is a much more of an art versus science as compared with road running. The demands on the body are fairly consistent on the road so you can fine tune your needs with a bit of experience. Trail running has such varied demands on the body depending on the course, elevation, etc, that you really need to be extra sensitive to your body’s needs when on the dirt. I am still trying to maintain the consistent energy throughout a trail race but I do know I need a much more intuitive and open approach.
  3. Griffin (my 22 month old son) can run with me in a jogger for a 15km race but no longer. The 20km race finished with a two mile walk with Griffin in one arm and pushing an empty jogger with the other. Great bicep workout though!
  4. Running is fun, time efficient, and can be done nearly anywhere! There isn’t much better if you have limited time available to exercise.

2009 – Now What?

Planning the next year of racing is always a way to jump start my fitness motivation juices and get those shoes laced up once again.

2009 is going to be a year of more consistent training which will mean less ultra running events. I also want to up my average yearly weekly mileage into the 50-60 mile range.

My tentative yearly plan will contain three ultra running events. This will include a tough 50 miler in May, umm (cough) umm possibly an even tougher first 100 miler in September, and a fun 50 miler in December. This spacing should allow enough time to prepare and recover for each event. I really want to be healthy and strong at each event and not walking the tweak-dome line.

I also will include the eight or so Dallas running club events (5km-15km) which will be fun family events for Wendy, Griffin, and myself.

I run my first three miles of the year today! 60 degrees, clear skies…not bad for a January day. Time to get back on the wagon. 170 lbs and squishy!

Attitude (or something)


and a new pair of shoes!

and a new pair of Brooks shoes.

Let the season begin!

What are some of your fitness goals for the year?

Happy training and I wish you an active and healthy new year!

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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