Yesterday I went for my last run of 2015. Today I went for my first run of 2016. Just a mile each, but I love the successive feelings of culmination and new beginnings. Happy New Year!
For my own reference if nothing else, here's a recap of running in 2015 and plans for the coming year. I wrote the goals below a year ago--updates added in bold.
2015 Goals (with comments!):
Continue with usual shorter races (four 5ks and two holiday runs) I only did one 5k and one holiday run, but for good reasons--more below
Try a new distance: 10k? 50k? Yes! I managed to run 50k during a 6-hour race
More snowshoeing in the winter months FAILED. I forgive myself though.
More fun runs in summer months YES! I also switched to the trail option and love it
Half Marathon (probably the same one in May) YES! Slower this year but that's OK.
Streak from Memorial Day-July 4 Made it. I streaked 10 more days after that, meaning daily runs of at least a mile from 5/24-7/14
November Pile on the Miles So-so. I got up to 69 miles but had foot issues after a 6-hour race. Did not make 101 mile goal.
Get a couple of 100+ mile months I got in 3: March, April, and June. High five!
Learn more about using heart monitor FAILED, due to both my heart monitors not working
Try some trail running, get more confident on hills YES! I had a great year for hills and transitioned to mostly trails during the summer
change hydration system (handheld? I still hate my waistpack) YES! I like my UD handheld and rigged up another water bottle with duct tape that's almost as good. My back and pelvis thank me.
pay more attention to nutrition, both while running and with everyday food FAILED. This will be big on my list for 2016. I feel like my nutrition in 2015 was pretty poor, mostly just being uninspired and/or waiting until I was too hungry and then making poor decisions
How about some data!?
Distance chart—besides three 100+ mile months there were a total of 7 months where I ran over 75 miles. That seems like a comfortable active baseline to maintain this coming year.
Total data collected by my Garmin for 2015: I covered 905 miles in over 179 hours (over a solid week of running), with elevation gain of almost 75,000 feet.
For comparison, here's the same set of data for 2014. I ran almost as far (875 miles), but with much less elevation. I was also faster (I put the difference down mainly to running flat roads instead of hilly trails).
Next, here's my race data (I'm also adding to my Running List page):
Mother's day half marathon 2:01 (about 5 minutes slower than last year)
Bill Power Memorial Firecracker 4-miler 30:56 (ONE SECOND slower than last year)
6 hours in Paradise: 24 miles in 5:33
Maple 5k 23:25 (45 seconds FASTER than last year)
Hamsterwheel 6-hour race: 31.2 miles in 5:54 (11:17 average pace)
I'm seeing two main things happening here--fewer 5ks, and a NEW kind of race, the 6-hour/ultra. I've written about my fascination with ultrarunning already. I think that... I find running longer, slower, trail-based distances more enjoyable than running 23 minutes all out. 5ks are acutely uncomfortable. It's possible that I prefer the long game of hanging in for an effort of 6-ish hours, something that is more chronically uncomfortable. A long race is more chess-like, with more feeling of community (because you get to know people over all that time), more zen, and much more feeling of accomplishment.
About that lost holiday race, I'm pleased to say I didn't run it because I was busy co-directing it! A runner-mom friend and I took over the classic Brattleboro 3-mile Thanksgiving Turkey Trot from the long-standing directors about 7 weeks before the race. It seemed like short notice but we pulled it off and even managed to add a food donation aspect. I'm already excited for next year!
Jan-Feb: build up mileage again, slowly. Aim for at least 20 miles a week by end of February
Mar-Apr-May: Follow same half-marathon training plan as last year
May 9, Mother's day: HALF MARATHON!
May-June: Switch to trails/hills and increase mileage a reasonable amount. Start fun run season. And streak!
June 18, 2016: Vegan Power 50k in Pittsfield, MA (registered!)
June-July: As much trail-running as possible, maintain higher mileage & hills
July 4, 2016: Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-miler
August 6, 2016: Moosalamoo 36-miler? or 14-miler? (not yet registered)
August-Sep: Keep it up! Fun runs end around late August
Late Sept: Pisgah 50k? (not yet registered)
Late Sept: Maple 5k
Fall 2016: Something else? I'd love to do another 6-hour race at some point.
November 2016: Co-direct the Thanksgiving Morning Turkey Trot--year 2!
NUTRITION: A main goal for 2016 is to dial in my healthy eating. I tend to let this go and it's just silly. A stupid part of me thinks it's selfish to eat healthy food—the expensive raspberries go to my children, and I just eat fries or crackers. This year I want that to STOP. I have been reading Matt Fitzgerald and started experimenting with his Dietary Quality Score system. I'll post more as I figure it out!
JOURNALING: I used my Believe Training Journal by Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas to record runs, thoughts, events, and dinners every single week. I want to continue this year. It's a great tool for tracking both physical performance and mental space & aspirations. I highly recommend it for runners. It's not just a weekly diary to fill in, there are also short articles, training suggestions, check-in pages, goal-setting tools, race-planning calendars... It's awesome.
OTHER: Other running "goals" are more of a gear wish list—it would be great to get some sunglasses for running, a heart rate monitor that works, a reflective vest that fits, maybe a hydration pack.
Last year's Believe journal is full—ready to crack open the Lavender edition for 2016!