Thursday, January 03, 2019

2018 Year In Review

Another year of running is in the books, and I have to say, 2018 was a pretty great one. While I wouldn't call it a breakthrough year, it was a solid, consistent, and fun year which resulted in 3 PRs, two of which were fairly meaningful (breaking 20 in the 5K, FINALLY, and a surprise 2 minute PR at Boston to bring me within spitting distance of breaking 3:10). Just as importantly, I had a lot of fun attempting new races (Loon Mountain, anyone?), stayed uninjured throughout the year, did by far the most core/strength work I've ever done in a year (still below my eternal goal of 2x/week average, but it's a process, OK?) and generally found more enjoyment in the process of training and racing than I ever have before. So, 2018 by the numbers:

Mileage run: ~1940, only about 200 less than last year which I think is pretty good considering I only trained for one marathon this year vs. two!

Highest weekly mileage: one and only week over 60 was peak week for Boston training. Given the results I guess you could argue maybe sometimes less is more...

Races run: 18, about the same as last year (I feel like I raced much less, but I guess not!)

New races run: 10

AG/overall awards: 2nd woman x 2, 3rd woman x 2, and one lonely 2nd place AG award...someday I'll actually win a race outright!

PRs run: 4, and most of them were pretty big ones! (finally broke an almost 10 year old 5K PR, half marathon, and surprise MARATHON PR, plus Mount Washington)

Proudest accomplishment: That time I ran a PR and most definitely the best race of my entire life to date in insane conditions at Boston 2018

Hardest race experience: As I look back on 2018, I am THRILLED to report that I actually really did not have ANY truly horrible races! The beauty of cold weather at Loon Mountain was definitely the hardest race I did because it's an utterly ridiculous race/experience, but as far as normal road races go I think the least enjoyable race of the year was the Reebok 10K...just straight up did not have it that day.

Best race experience: Yeah, so not sure anything can ever quite top Boston 2018....but runners up include the Cranberry Trifest and reigniting my love for triathlon, and Reach the Beach.

Most ridiculous weather: HAHAHAHAHA I feel like I've been putting this question on my year end reviews every year, just waiting for this year. Winning it's 3rd award of the year...BOSTON 2018.

Biggest surprise race performance: Definitely Philly Half - I felt very underprepared going in and coming out with a PR in a distance I tend to struggle with was a huge shock.

Number of falls taken while running: I can actually only think of one, and it was because Topper tripped me...somehow I have the feeling I'm forgetting a few though.

For the second year in a row, I had a remarkably consistent year - a few minor niggles here and there, but no significant time off due to injury. Let's keep that trend rolling into 2019!

By the month...
GBTC Invite (1 mile): 5:53
Super Sunday 5K: 19:50, PR, 3rd woman
USATF New Englands (1 mile): 5:47
Flannel "5K" (2.6 miles): 17:25, 2nd woman
Hampton Half Marathon: 1:34:13
New Bedford Half Marathon: 1:32:23 (PR, maybe?)
Boston Marathon: 3:10:47, PR
Arterial Challenge 5K (3.3 miles): 22:49, 2nd woman
Mount Washington Road Race: 1:42:12, PR
White Mountains Half Iron Triathlon Relay (run leg, 12.8 miles): 1:37:19
Loon Mountain Race (6.6 miles): 1:32:17
Cranberry Trifest Sprint Tri: 5K run split 21:32
Reach The Beach Relay!
Reebok Boston 10K (short course, 6.05 miles): 41:50
Philadelphia Half Marathon: 1:32:10, PR
O'Donohue's Turkey Trot: 21:10, 3rd woman
Winter Classic 5K: 20:43, 2nd AG
BU Mini Meet 4 x mile relay: 5:47 split

Now to look back on last year's goals...
-Run at least 3 mountain races: partially achieved, I ran 2 mountain races which I'm pretty happy about, and plan on more in 2019!
-Run at least 1 trail race: ACHIEVED, Loon Mountain was most definitely a trail race
-Race at least once outside of New England: ACHIEVED, raced in Philly and once back home in Wisconsin
-SUB 20 5K: ACHIEVED! I actually surprised myself and did this in my very first attempt. It was nice to get that out of the way.
-Race at least 5 half marathons: Partially achieved, I raced 3 open halfs (Hampton, New Bedford, and Philly), plus the run leg of the half iron relay which was technically supposed to be a half marathon even if it was a little short. I feel like I did pretty good work on this goal and of reducing my fear of the half marathon distance.
-Run a smart race at Boston and ENJOY it! - ACHIEVED, I am literally not sure I've achieved a goal more perfectly in my life
-Do core/strength/yoga at least 2x/week - you know, I still wouldn't say I fully achieved it, but I think I put the most effort towards it that I ever have (as well as just trying to make myself a more well rounded athlete overall), so I think that counts for something.
4/7 goals achieved, and 3/7 partially achieved...I'm pretty happy with that!

2019 Goals
- Complete a half iron triathlon! This is my big new goal for 2019 as I embark on the triathlon journey in the hopes of training for a full Ironman in 2020. I still plan on making running my primary sport, but there's going to be a bit more time in the pool and on the bike around these parts as well.
- Run as close to 3:05 as possible in the marathon (This one is a little scary to me, so I'm making it slightly more open ended than I normally would. I think just to say "break 3:10 in the marathon" which literally means dropping 48 seconds is kind of a lame goal is a slightly more audacious one)
- Run at least 2 "atypical" distance races (8K, 10 mile, 25K, etc)
- Run at least 3 mountain and/or trail races
- Run a smart race at Boston and enjoy it (I think this is now my goal for each and every year I run Boston)
- Run a 10K PR because mine is terrible and not representative of my abilities at all lol
-I'm finally ditching my "do strength work 2x/week goal" because let't be real...after 5 years of failure, I'm not holding out much hope that I'm ever going to accomplish this. Instead, I'm aiming smaller but hopefully more achievable: do planks at least 5x/week, every week. That's literally 2 minutes a day!

It's admittedly not the focus of this blog, but I had a pretty great year personally as well. I got married in July and had a fantastic honeymoon in Ireland. My now husband and I hiked 10 more NH 4000 footers (plus a few repeats), as well as the highest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil! We lost our dog, Dayton, in April which was incredibly tough, but we brought a new pup, Topper, into our lives in September. I also read 77 books this year, which is a high by a LOT, and was overall pretty pleased with an increased commitment to reading over other less fulfilling (to me) leisure pursuits like TV. Professionally I also had a poster accepted for the national physical therapy conference, which is coming up in January! My dance group also had another successful year and presented our 3rd full length show - which was also by far our best received - and I was able to pull together a fairly ambitious piece in limited rehearsal time that is one of my favorite things I've ever choreographed.

Overall, my hope for 2019 is to build on what I've accomplished this year, in all areas of life. I think my 30s so far have been all about embracing the things I love to do and want to do while ditching the rest, and I can't wait to see where that attitude takes me in the coming year!