As my finals days as a 36 year old come to a close, it is fitting to sit back and reflect on the past year running wise.
(Since my birthday is a mere few days before the end of year, I can get away with this as an end of age and year review.)
If you recall my views on my 2015 from a racing/running perspective, you’ll remember I thought it was sub-par. You’ll also remember that I felt I destroyed my confidence. As a result of those two aspects, my overarching objective for 2016 was to build myself back up as a runner. In some ways, it was like beginning all over. Each race was thought of in terms of ‘do I feel confident in performing well’ and ‘will this move the needle of my confidence in a positive direct’. For the most part, it was a good mentally healthy approach.
I’d say my approach worked well. I did not have a DNF in 2016. I did have 4 DNS (Seneca Creek Greenway, Worlds End 100K, Twisted Branch 100K, and Indian Creek Fifties) and three of those were due to questions of illness.
From a numbers perspective, (which will make this a lot shorter, call it my gift to you), I did the following this year:
- Started 26 races ranging from 5K to 100K.
- Won 23 of those races.
- 14 races took place off road.
- 9 – 5ks
- 2 – 50M
- 1 – 100K
- 2 – Marathons (One trail/One ‘road’)
- 5 – 50K
- Won at least one race in each month of the year.
- Dipped back under 16 minutes in a 5K. (Squeaked in with a 15:59)
- Raced in 7 states.
- Won the Bucks County Marathon for the third straight year (and now have won half of them.)
- My biggest surprise was an unexpected sub 6 hour 50 Mile running 5:51 and change at Brazos Bend. (Especially since I was not chasing a sub 6 this year like I tried last year.)
All of these results, I believe have me pointed back on a good path going into 2017. One regret is not getting to run the 100 mile at Brazos Bend. However, without that question of a looming illness, I would have not changed to the 50 mile and set my PR. And to be honest, I was thinking of a road 50 mile to go for sub 6 in April that I no longer have to subject myself to. YAY!
Moving forward, I’ll shoot for 6-7 ultras. This year I had 7 and that seemed to work well for me. I don’t see a need to run one a month like I did in 2014. Plus, 7 spaced out allows me to enjoy other races that I can use as ultra speedwork. Plans are also to travel out of the Northeast for a race or two. Time-wise, I’ll take what is given to me. Overall, I’ll be happy if I can set at least one PR in the year.
Since nothing really is set in stone for my schedule, I’ve got nothing to share on that front. And you know what? That is fine by me right now. I’m going to enjoy the remaining days of 2016 with some light running.
Before I sign off, I do want to say that very little of what I accomplished this year would have not been possible if not for the support of Montrail and Nathan Sports products. Being dialed in on footwear and nutrition/hydration delivery made pre-race prep a snap.
Also thank you to all the people who read this blog, support me in racing and support me in life. My life is fuller because of it. (Of course, one rises above the rest. I think we all know who she is at this point. J )
Originally when I sat down to do this post, I thought I’d find a way to be much wittier than this has been. For that I offer sincere apologies. 2017 will bring a return of ramblings.
Until then….lets at least secure Betty White in bubble wrap.