2009 Running Year In Review

A very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all.  Thank you all for being a part of life’s unique experiences. Grateful. Period.

At the beginning of the year my goals were (from 2008 Running Year in Review):

– Continue running with a primary emphasis on health goals and not time goals.
– Continue to run happy, healthy, injury-free, and empowered with the tools to help me stay that way.
– Deepen my [ChiRunning] ‘practice’ by working on my breath, my relaxation level and my speed (indirectly via technique, not directly via more effort).
– Again run on average 35 or more miles per week.
– Participate in a Marathon, at least one 50K Ultra, a 50M Ultra (likely the JFK 50 again), and possibly a 100K ultra; all depending on my schedule.
– If a suitable Marathon fits the schedule, qualify for Boston (3:20:59 needed).  The NJ Marathon in early May is a target, but a fall Marathon is also a possibility.  I would also like to experience NYC if I can get through the lottery.

How did I do?

Running Focus

My primary focus is and probably always will be to run healthy, both physically and mentally.  I don’t remember a case where I did not run due to an ache or pain.  Here and there my body would talk to me a bit; which I used on my next run to figure out how to reduce that stress on my body.  I focused on paying attention to this feedback; and then letting that serve my next experience.

Overall I ran a bit less, but learned and experienced and enjoyed more.


I participated in four events this year.  I learned a lot; about my running, about myself, and about life.  Great experiences that now serve my every moment.  Here are the four, with links to their individual blog posts:

Hatrun 50K (March)
Turkey Swamp 50K (August)
North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler (September)
JFK 50 Miler (November)

I passed on a Marathon and a go at a Boston Qualifier.  Maybe this year.  I am currently deciding on what my focus(es) might be for 2010.  Shorter speed (indirectly), a Marathon(s) and/or ultras. The North Face Endurance Challenge is moved up to June this year; and I would also like to go back to the JFK50 in November.


I did not have a 35 miles/week average like last year.  I turned out to be right at 30 miles/week on average.  It just turned out that way.  I had a number of light weeks due to schedule and a sense I needed them.  Overall I trained less but still felt good overall about each event and the minimal recovery needed.  Below is a graph of mileage by week for the year (click on it to enlarge).  The blue is the weekly total and the red is the weekly long run.

Mileage by Week notes:
– Total miles for the year:  1563 or just over 30 miles per week on average
– Week 11 was the Hatrun 50K Ultra. Very hilly.
– Weeks 15-26 I had a lot of schedule conflicts so I ran when I could.  I was running quite a bit teaching which I don’t include here.
– Week 32 was the Turkey Swamp 50K Ultra.  Very hot and looonnng course.
– Week 37 was the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Ultra.  More difficult than I expected but I bounced back quickly from this one.
– Week 46 was the JFK 50 Miler.
– The first and last weeks of the year are partial (~1/2) weeks.

2009 Take-aways

So what did I learn this year?  Here are just a few of the many lessons:
– There is high value is the statement “Less is more”.  These are my favorite (three) words in the whole ChiRunning book.  They jumped off the page when I first read them – This concept keeps showing up in many areas of my life.
– Resisting physically or mentally is very hard on a person.  The related quote comes from a verse of the Tao Te Ching: “The softest of all things overrides the hardest of all things”.  The world is much bigger than we are.  When it comes at you, be soft.  Be flexible, go with it whenever possible.  Make an exception if you must, but on average stay flexible just like a tree in the wind.
– Maintaining momentum is much easier than starting again.
– It only takes a little forward movement to create momentum.  It only takes a little awareness to reduce resistance.  Life is so much easier when we consider these two ideas.

I learned a lot about running this year.  I learned a lot more about life.

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David Stretanski is a holistic health, fitness and wellness coach and Certified ChiRunning®/ChiWalking® Instructor.  For more information on David, please see his About, Contact page or his website at http://www.eChiFitness.com.


ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® are registered trademarks of ChiLiving, Inc.

2 Responses to 2009 Running Year In Review

  1. Chris says:

    You had a great year Dave. Hoping for an even better 2010. Maybe we’ll end up racing together some day.
    And “less is more” is true… But should be more like “less and harder”

  2. Dad says:

    Congratulations on an outstanding year and sharing of all of your 09 experiences. For me, crewing for you at the JFK 50 Mile was the best!

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