Goal for 2015: Run more and don't get injured.
I'm calling this a success. I ran 963 miles in 2014 and 1428 miles in 2015! And I managed to escape without any major injuries. I did mess my hip/back up during my marathon taper, but I really only lost about 2 weeks of running. While it was incredibly frustrating and nerve wracking at the time, when I compared that with the 6 week break I needed to allow a calf strain to heal, I really can't complain. It also helps that I didn't miss any races due to this minor injury.
Major Training Cycles5k training recap
Marathon training recap
Bonus: half marathon training/racing thoughts
May 9, Shanty 2 Shorts: 21:02.7 PR
June 6, R2SOY 5k: 21:36
February 22, Disney Princess Half: 2:14:07
June 27, Charlevoix Half: 1:47:52
September 20, CC River Run: 1:42:20 PR
October 18, Grand Rapids Marathon: 3:59:02 PR
Best RaceCC River Run. Hands down. In 2013 I ran CC River Run in 1:48. It was my second half marathon and a 12 minute PR. I figured that breaking 1:45 would be easy and set it as my next goal. Four half marathons and two years later I finally, finally beat that goal. I felt like I was flying for the entire race. I kept waiting for something to go wrong during the race but that never happened.
Honorable Mention: Shanty 2 Shorts. I was hoping to take about 30s off of my 5k PR and ended up taking off over a minute. A huge, huge step toward my long term goal of breaking the 20 minute mark.
Worst RaceCharlevoix Half. I completely fell apart in the last couple miles and had to watch my A, B, and C goals slip away. I'm not sure I have ever felt quite so defeated after a race. I was starting to believe that I would never be able to break 1:45 and that if I failed this badly in half marathon, how would I ever make it to the finish line of a marathon.
Honorable Mention: Disney Princess Half. I have never felt so ill during and after a race. Definitely learned my lesson about training in the cold and trying to race in the heat with no time to acclimate [but I LOVED running with my sister and would do it again in a heart beat!].
Hardest RaceI couldn't recap my year with a special mention of my first marathon. Crossing the finish line was a feeling like no other, but it was hands down the hardest race of the year. Between mile 16ish and mile 20 I went from "I'm tired and this hurts" to "Never again." I was burned out exhausted at mile 20 that I was honestly thinking about dropping out. The only reason I didn't drop out is because I was positive that if I did I would have to run a redemption marathon. I'm still not sure how I managed to start running again and pick up the pace enough to squeak in under four hours.
While "never again" might be a bit of an exaggeration, I do intend to spend a few years focused on shorter distances before I run another marathon.
Final Thoughts on 20152014 was a pretty rough year for me. I set three goals for the year and ended up not achieving any of them. I didn't want a repeat performance in 2015 so I got rid of my pace/mileage goals for the year. It really helped me not to set any goals dependent on reaching a certain time. Of course I started each race with a goal in mind (how else would I know what pace to target?), but the success of the year wasn't dependent on whether or not I hit that goal. When I think about how this past year has shaped up, I am really happy with the way things went.
Taking the pressure off of the end result also allowed me to focus more closely on the process. This was especially helpful with 5k training. It was a completely new process and I really had no idea what to expect at the end of training. I'm looking forward to employing similar strategies for my 2016 goals and am really excited to see how much progress I can make towards my long term running goals.