My 2016 Running Year
This year was exceptional for me. I made some progress with my personal records, some tremendous leaps, others at which I’m slowly chipping away.

I hate writing posts like this because it seems like I’m bragging about myself, but if you would have said to me in 2014 that I would be able to run a half marathon in under two hours, I would have laughed at you. I am, for lack of a better descriptive word, amazed at how far I have come and excited to see where I can take it.

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll BQ. For now, I’m going to spend 2017 working on one distance at a time, greatly reduce the number of races that I do, and work on running in different weather conditions, especially heat, during training.

Photograph from the Northeast Running Club Summer Scavenger Hunt

Here are three things I did different from 2015 to 2016 that helped me achieve my personal records:

  1. Running Coach
    • I knew the Hatfield McCoy Marathon was going to be tough. I wasn’t able to prepare for the 90 degree temperatures as well as I could have, but, with the help of a running coach, I was more prepared for the miles and recovered quickly. I had accountability on my side, and, most importantly, a structured training plan had me doing different types of speed workouts. Sometimes it’s not about the miles but about the variety of workouts you are doing as well.
  2. Figuring Out Fuel
    • On race day, a runner can be presented with many unexpected issues. My bad running habits have all boiled down to fueling. At the beginning of the year, during my training runs for Hatfield, I would purposefully go 13-14 miles without water or food. Why? I was too lazy bring any with me. That bit me in the ass in plenty of races, when I was actually pushing myself. After an electrolyte imbalance at the Run with Scissors trail half in October brought me to this realization, I came back prepared and PR’d the hell out of my Conquer the Castle 25K in November. Looking forward, I now will not be stubborn about it.
  3. More Miles
    • I’ve only been running on a regular basis (three or more days per week) since 2015. I haven’t participated in organized sports since I was 12, and I never made it gym until I made a conscious decision about getting healthy. From 2015 to 2016, I’ve increased my mileage around 70 percent for the total year.
Photograph from the 2016 Hatfield McCoy Marathon

Since I spent this past year finding out more about the sport and learning new workouts, I really look forward to improving my speed and facing new challenges with trail running. So, here are my time goals for 2017:

5K 10K 13.1 25K 26.2
21:00 49:00 1:45 2:45 4:30

You can see a list of my upcoming races for the next year here:

My 2016 Personal Records (PRs):

Zucchini Run in July 2016
23:32 (down from 24:32 in 2015)
2nd Overall Female

5 Mile:
Johnnycake Jog in July 2016
43:00 (down from 45:39 in 2015)

Lake Erie Storm Spring 10K Trail Run in April 2016
54:32 (down from 55:54 in 2015)

Half Marathon:
Athens Ohio Half Marathon in April 2016
1:54 (down from 2:02 in 2016)

Conquer the Castle in November 2016
2:53 (down from 4:37 in 2015)

Full Marathon:
Hatfield McCoy Marathon
5:17 (down from 5:24 in 2015)

What are your goals for 2017? Post your comments here!

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