Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

And just like that 2016 is over.

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With one final run on December 31st, I finished off the last 7 miles I needed to hit 1500 miles for the year. 1500.40 to be exact.

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2016 ended up being the year of running for me. There was a 5k PR, a half marathon PR, and a marathon PR & BQ. I ran my highest mileage ever at 1500 miles, my biggest week ever at 46 miles, and my biggest month ever at 180 miles. Whew! So with so many great milestones why am I still feeling so meh about running?

The end of marathon training coincided with the start of our long New England winter (ie. pure darkness at 4:30pm), a very disappointing end to the presidential election, and some super stressful family stuff. There’s been a lot of time spent eating my emotions and worrying over things I cannot control – not the most conducive to feeling good and active. So with the end of 2016 it’s time to shift the focus and channel my energy into healthier outlets – like running!

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What about freezing cold, dark, early mornings doesn’t scream love of running? The real bummer of this was that I woke up at 4:25 AM to meet friends for this run only to turn around 1/4 mile in because my car was sliding all over the road.

Even though I feel like I haven’t been running much, not running much has now taken the meaning of still hovering around 90-100 mile months. Plus, the desire to test out some new running gear – thank you very much to my in laws and my mom! – has been too good to pass up. We haven’t had much snow so far, but we have had a fair amount of icy sidewalks. My in laws gave me a pair Nanospikes and I loved them! Last year I tried out DIY screws in my shoes which led me to a very painful 10 mile run. These gave me great traction in the snow/ice sections and were still comfortable to run in on the clear sections. I do worry about wearing them out too quickly running on ground that isn’t snow covered so I will have to report back on that later.

My dad sent me this awesome bib and medal holder for Christmas. There are still a few slots empty waiting for more medals so I can’t leave those empty! img_0052

What are your 2017 goals?
Do you find yourself in a running rut after meeting a goal or ending a training cycle?

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Post-Marathon Funk

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Well hello there. Anyone still here? Despite my best intentions to keep this blog going following a race, I always end up slipping away from blogging. But, with only 6 days left to sneak in a November recap I realized it was time to buckle down and blog. After running the Baystate Marathon and reaching my goal, I admit to feeling a bit lost with what to do next. Running is very much a goal oriented hobby for me. That’s just what is enticing to me about it, and since Baystate I haven’t been able to latch on to a motivating running goal. There have been a few ideas – PR’ing in the half, PR’ing in a full, finding a difficult/scenic/interesting/something course, running a 50k, etc – but none have really taken root. So while nothing has been getting my running mojo going, Helly has been SMASHING every PR around! She had a spectacular sub-4 performance at the NYC Marathon and then followed it up with a new 5k and half marathon PR! If you want to be inspired and motivated do yourself a favor and check her out.

The one thing that does get me off the couch and onto the road (or most likely, treadmill) is I am thisclose to hitting 1,500 miles for the year! So while I have actually been running, it’s certainly hasn’t been any type of running to write home, or on a blog, about. The majority of my running has been 5 mile, easy paced treadmill runs while I try to, unsuccessfully, zone out and not countdown the 45-ish minutes this takes. To help break up the monotony I’ve tried to add back in some Tuesday speed work and Thursday tempos. This usually equates to 400m-800m repeats at slower than 5k pace and 1.5-3 miles at marathon pace.

The one real running accomplishment since I last blogged was running a Thanksgiving day 5k. It’s the same race I ran last year and again I loved how easy it is to get to, to park, and getting to run on completely closed roads. The donuts and hot chocolate at the end are also a major perk. My running blah’s were in full effect that morning and instead of running there to warm up as I had planned, I ended up driving and doing a shorter warm up when I arrived. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to try to run fast or easy so I ended up lining up about half way back. After about the first mile, which I spent desperately trying to get around large groups of walkers, I realized I’m too competitive to just run for fun and started to put some effort. I ended up finishing in 23:06 (7:26 pace) which is just 9 seconds off my 5k PR. I was pleasantly surprised to see I was still able to pick up the pace after mostly foregoing any speed work since October.

So now it’s time to start thinking about 2017 goals. After the New Year I hope to find a race, find a goal, and set up a training plan. And, of course, to start blogging again!

Happy Holidays!