It feels appropriate to reflect on the past year as I’m sitting on the couch starting off 2016 with an awful hangover. Even though I enjoy a beer or glass of gin or whiskey on the rocks every few days, I rarely go all out and now I remember why. Oof. How did I do this almost every weekend when I was in college? The only perk of feeling so terrible is that Dunkin has been totally lazy too and we’ve spent all day and night on the couch snuggling, plus I finally get to catch up on what I’ve been missing during the holidays!
After some digging, I found my supposed “5 Year Plan” I wrote last December. My goals were to run injury free half marathons through winter and spring, then focus on a sub 22 5k in the summer, followed by a sub 1:40 half in the fall, and anticipating a spring 2016 marathon. Little did I know what was actually in store for me!
The main focus of 2015 was to stay injury free and I was successful! I still can’t believe I made it through an entire year of running, which included training for my first marathon, without sending myself back to physical therapy. I attribute that entirely to my cross training and the wealth of knowledge I have in my corner between my coaches and physical therapist at the gym. Even though my training will continue to shift depending on my goals, I’ve found some things that have really worked for me and I’m excited to continue to build off it through 2016.
This past year, I ran 7 races with one I didn’t finish — the Lake Effect Half Marathon. The conditions weren’t favorable and I could feel that if I continued to run, I might actually re-injure myself. I didn’t break any old PRs, which was truly frustrating, but finishing the Chicago Marathon was what 2015 was essentially about. I wanted to know that I could train for and finish a marathon healthy. I had a few aches and pains along the way, specifically a nagging hip soreness since May and right before the marathon, panicking that I might have a stress fracture. Thankfully none of these things hindered me too much. It did affect my marathon a little, but I expected things to hurt — how would they not after running for over four hours?
Looking back at my training, 2015 was a huge step in the right direction. I knew the process of changing my form and doing everything the right way (slow, steady) was going to be long and I wouldn’t see immediate results. At 18 months in so far, I didn’t really know it would be this long, but I now feel comfortable with where I’m at. I’m not starting over towards a new goal, but continuing where I left off — fiiiiinally.
So that being said, what’s coming up in 2016? I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it, but I’m a Nuunbassador this year which I’m excited about. There are few products and brands I’d be willing to support, but Nuun is definitely one! As far as races, I’ve mentioned some before, but I nailed out a tentative schedule (below). I’m aiming for a sub 1:40 half marathon in Pittsburgh, with Buffalo as my second chance (and two of my cousins running their first half marathons!) The entire year, I’ll be working towards getting that 5k under 22 minutes, too. If I’m in shape to run sub 1:40 for the half, I think I’ll get there for the 5k, too. As far as the fall? I’m toying with the idea of adding in a full marathon, but I haven’t decided. We’ll see how the year progresses!
– Freezero 5 mile
– Lockport 5 mile or 10 mile
– Lake Effect Half Marathon
– Shamrock Run 8k
– Spring Forward Distance Run 15k
– Envirun 5k
– Pittsburgh Half Marathon
– Buffalo Half Marathon
– St. Gregory the Great 5k
– Run Jimmy Run 5k
– Mighty Niagara Half Marathon
– Dirt Cheap Stage Race