2015, all in all, has been an absolutely spectacular year for me running wise. I might even go so far as to say it was a breakthrough year. How can I not, with new PRs set in almost every distance including the coup de grace, crushing the sub 3:20 barrier that I've been chasing for 5 years not once, but twice! Aside from some really exciting goal race performances, I also spent a lot of time this year racing for FUN, something I plan on doing much more in the future because...surprise...racing for fun is really fun! I got back to training with friends and teammates, enjoyed many a fantastic post race beer and brunch with friends, and just generally had a fantastic time running this past year. I think that a big part of why I was so successful this year is because, through all of it, I was genuinely having a really, really great time.
Because I love the numbers, here are some year end stats, awards, and otherwise fun info...
Miles run: 1822 as of 12/30/15 (probable total will be 1828-1829 depending on my run tomorrow)
Races run: 16 [2 marathons, a 30K, a 25K, a half marathon, 2 10 milers, a 10K, 2 5 milers, 2 4 milers, 3 5Ks. Ran the table! This is the most races I've run in a year since college. I love it.]
New races run: 14 [everything except Boston and Cape Ann - I'm somewhat impressed by this number!]
AG/overall awards: 7
RunningAhead gives you some nice analytics on your performance by percentage in races, so just for kicks I plugged that into a spreadsheet and did some comparisons:
Top 10% female finishes: 15 [every race except Boston]
Top 2% female finishes: 9
PRs run: 7 1/2 [4 mile, 5 mile, 10K, 10 mile, half marathon, 30K, marathon] plus a long course 5K that was definitely a post-collegiate best and possibly a PR...the world will never know
Hardest race experience: Cape Ann 25K [Runner up: None. Nothing else even came close to the hell that was that race]
Best race experience: BOSTON 2015. No question. [Runner up: NYC Half]
Biggest surprise race performance: TIE between NYC Half and Winter Classic "5K", both of which were some really strong performances that I had thought were total impossibilities prior to the race.
Best swag: Lazy Lobster 10 Mile - tech shirt, pint glass, bottle opener finisher metal PLUS wooden medal and GPS watch for top 3 woman
Worst race organization: Newport 10M [no parking, half our group missed the start, significantly short course]
-First run on the Battle Road which was amazing, aside from the severe dehydration and nearly vomitting up my blueberry sorbet afterwards
-The 20 miler where Dana and I randomly decided to drop a 7:08 mile
-The last long run before Boston where I rode out to Framingham by myself and absolutely crushed a 22 miler
-Every single run done between mid January and February (SNOWMAGGEDDON)
-The track workout where I did the best tempo of my life, then found myself leading a group for short intervals and was too excited to even deal
-Really, all of the pre-marathon track workouts where I suddenly realized I was faster than I used to be
Number of falls taken while running: 7 (4x ice/black ice, 1 sneaky construction plate, 2x on the same frost heave 9 months apart)
To look back at my goals for the year, for the first time EVER I achieved all of my running-related goals for the year!
-Sub 3:20 marathon: CHECK (self explanatory)
-Have a good race at Boston: CHECK (Good does not even begin to describe it. Amazing, more like it)
-Do strength/core work: CHECK (I could still be more consistent with this, but overall I have done a LOT more core/strength work than in past years. This is definitely still an area I'd like to work on in 2016)
-Race more for fun: CHECK! (16 races, at least 10 of which I'd say were "for fun"? Definitely a win.)
It's hard after such a stellar year to even begin to imagine how I could possibly surpass it. And yet, that's always the plan, isn't it? As far as specifics, it's hard to say exactly what I'm hoping for for the coming year, but when I think about it, some themes do emerge:
-Keep building on 2016
-Stay injury free (aka: keep doing core work consistently, don't be an idiot)
-Stop talking about doing a half ironman, and actually do one
-Never stopped being surprised and excited about progress; always strive for more
-PR in the 5K (why the hell not?!)
-Get in sub 3:15 shape for Boston and hope the weather gods cooperate. If they don't, let it go and keep working.
-Run at least one race per month
-Appreciate every run
Honestly, I don't know if there's that much more to say...2015, we killed it. 2016, let's do this!