When I look back at another year of running and racing, qualifying for Boston (in 2017) at the Twin Cities Marathon stands out as one of the biggest highlights. However, when I look beyond that, I realize that I had a successful year all around. I broke 1:40 for a new half marathon PR at the Glass City Half Marathon in April. I knew I hadn’t lived up to my potential in the 10K, so I followed a 10K-specific workout plan for the first time. That led to a PR at the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival 10K in early June, which was followed by a bigger improvement a couple weeks later at the Corporate Cup 10K. I only ended up doing two triathlons this summer, but they were good ones. July’s Olympic-distance triathlon in Caseville was my second time racing the distance, and I improved my time by 12 minutes. It was definitely a solid year of racing!
A couple weeks before the end of the year I realized I was awfully close to running 1,600 miles for the year. Since I like even numbers, I decided it would be a nice goal to hit. That’s about 250 more miles than my previous highest year.
Here are some other numbers:
- I biked 1,370 miles
- I swam a little over 32 miles
- I did 12 races: five 5Ks, two 10Ks, one 10-mile, one half marathon, one full marathon, one sprint triathlon, and one Olympic triathlon
Even though 2015 was a great year, there’s always something new to strive for. As soon as I finished the Twin Cities Marathon, I was anxious to run another marathon. I was thrilled that I got my BQ, but I also felt like there was room for improvement. I trained for a 3:30 marathon and ran 3:34. I was on track until I fell apart the last few miles. My main goal for 2016 is to see if I can “figure out” the marathon and work out some of the kinks. It may be a matter of fueling better, training for the fatigue of the last few miles, or a combination of both. I’ve toyed with the idea of following the Hansons Marathon Method for years, and I think I’ll finally give it a try. Their concept of “cumulative fatigue” should prepare me for the later miles of the race. I’ve used their speed and strength workouts during training, but have always mixed them into another training plan rather than following their whole plan. I’m curious to see if it will help.
Marathon #3 will be Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City at the end of May. I ran the half marathon in 2012 so I know that it’s a beautiful race. Rather than concentrating on a time goal, my biggest hope is to finish strong. If I can do that, of course my time should improve as well. I’ve trained through the winter for half marathons, but never for a full marathon. Getting that many miles in during the winter should be interesting!
I love running the most, but I keep saying that I want to do more triathlons too. Bayshore is going to be my priority for the first half of the year, then I’ll take it from there. I probably won’t be biking or swimming much (or at all) until after the marathon. That doesn’t leave much time to build up a base in those areas for summer races. Based on past experience, marathons wreck my left IT band and it can take some time to get back to running pain-free. Hopefully I can start to build up in June and get to some tris in July and August. It’s a bit overwhelming to think that far ahead right now, so running a solid race at Bayshore is my primary goal.
I’m hoping 2016 is as good or even better than 2015!