My first post here may be my final post of the year. After reading the blogs of many other sloggin' bloggers, I have decided that keeping a running journal online will help keep me on track to achieve my ultrarunning goals in 2009 and beyond. And since I will not be running anymore in 2008, due to an Achilles tendon that is a little bit vexed with me, I have decided to use my time to prepare for what I hope to be an exceptional next year.
2008 had its share of great runs and good runs, memorable moments and enforced downtime. The always incredible and metronomic Deanna and I ran two marathons in Korea, our adopted homeland, and I managed to lower my PB to 3:35. I also ran a 1:37 half, actually the first half of the Seoul Marathon in March, and dipped just below 1:31 on a treadmill half a few weeks ago. In my final few speed workouts for the double-marathon attempt I had been steeling myself for, meant to be held on the 13th of this month, I ran a 31:30 5-miler, then a 53 minute 8-miler. As Ego and Folly had my ear, as they are wont to do, it didn't occur to me that these two workouts, sandwiching a hill session, should be more suitably spaced apart. Hence the aforementioned angry Achilles.
2008 saw us running our usual section of the mighty Han River, on the paths and beaches of Saipan, on the trails of a number of Seoul's urban mountain parks, and along the stream in beautiful Kyoto, Japan. We had the good fortune to weasel our way behind the scenes of the World 24 Hour Championships, held this year a short subway ride from our home. We were also able to meet Dean Karnazes there, who despite a frenetic travelling schedule and amassing an unbelievable list of accomplishments, remains extremely modest and affable. The downside of that meeting, however, is a newfound addiction to chocolate covered espresso beans.
This year also saw a number of our friends take up running for the first time. Undaunted by the rigorous induction criteria for a lifetime membership in the Sea Bass Running Club (one must run, at least once, with one or more current Sea Bass members, and one must purchase at least one beverage for that current Sea Bass member after that one run), Mike, Angie, Altay, and Burcu have swelled the numbers of the Far East Chapter. Old Sea Bass members have had great success this year, with Brian blazing his way through the Arizona dunes, Chris and Ali completing a second Ironman Canada, and Ali poised this weekend to earn her Boston qualifying time in Sacramento. Ideally then, this blog will also serve as de facto compendium of Sea Bass race reports and tales of glory.
As Deanna and I plan our holidays and plot some of our running goals for 2009, all of which is constantly in flux, a few things remain constant for me. In 2009, I hope to achieve the following five things, while also improving my flexibility and staying injury-free: run a sub-88 minute half; better my marathon PB; run a 100k race; have an 80 mile training week; and have a 250 mile training month. And I'll record it here.