As I reflect back on 2022, I realize that I had a pretty solid year of racing. Many of the events I participated in were running races but I mixed in a couple of triathlons and a 5K swim as well. Here’s a look at how the year played out in terms of my race schedule:
I ran three 5Ks in 2022 and although it’s my least favorite distance, I should probably reevaluate that opinion based on how well I did. I always feel like 5Ks are torturous because I don’t run that fast of a pace very often during training. It seems kind of backward that I feel more comfortable racing 13 or 26 miles than I do running three! I was awarded with a membership to the Toledo Zoo for a year when I was the female masters winner of the Dart Frog Dash 5K in May. I did a 5K/10K double in July and was the female winner for the duo challenge at the Atwood Races in Flint. I gave the 5K one last shot on Thanksgiving and won my age group. Maybe I ought to actually train for 5K speed and try to enjoy the distance a bit more since I tend to place pretty well!
I managed to collect two new PRs this year – one for the 10-mile distance at Crim where I shaved nearly two minutes off my previous best time, and one for the half marathon where I improved by 50 seconds at Rock CF. It took seven years to improve my half marathon time so I was pretty thrilled.
I returned to the Boston Marathon for my second time in April and had a blast. It truly is a runner’s paradise. It’s an amazing experience getting to run that legendary course while feeding off the incredible energy of the spectators nearly the whole time. On top of that, I attended so many great panels and events in the days leading up to the race. I was able to see three of my favorite athletes speak – all Olympians, and two of whom have won Boston in the past.
I ran a much better race this time than I did in 2019 and managed to get a Boston-qualifying time at Boston! I also got to hang out with some good friends from across the country and enjoyed my time in Boston so much that I decided I HAD to sign up for the 2023 race as well.
Another high point of the year was completing my tenth marathon this fall in Toronto. I had signed up for the 2020 Toronto Waterfront Marathon and after a couple years of COVID cancellations I was finally able to run the race this year. I had concerns about my hamstrings going into the race and I held up pretty well for about 19 miles, but the rest of the race was pretty rough. Aside from a bit of suffering, I loved my time in Toronto and was happy to come away with another time under 3:40 and therefore another BQ!
I did an Olympic-distance triathlon in June and a 1/3 Iron race in July. The longer race went so well that I knew I should stop debating if I should try a half Ironman and just go for it. I signed up for my first 70.3 next June in Grand Rapids which will be a big step for me after toying with the idea for years.
I am proud that I did the Swim to the Moon 5K for my third time this summer because it always feels like a big accomplishment to swim that far. However, I was a little slower than I had hoped to be. I had higher expectations and was a bit disappointed that I didn’t do better. That has only fueled my motivation to improve and I’ve thought about that race every time I’ve hit the pool in recent weeks. Even though the next race isn’t until August, I’m already working hard to maintain my consistency and have been increasing my distance as well. Sometimes a disappointing race can be a good thing.
Here’s a look at my mileage and training time from the past year:
As usual, I concentrated on running the most and am pretty happy that I racked up 2,126 miles. I tried to balance things out with biking, swimming, and strength as well. Is it any wonder I barely watch any TV?!
I continue to build a ridiculous collection of race shirts and medals. Here are the latest additions:
Although things were pretty great from a racing standpoint, my lack of job security created quite a bit of stress this year. Threats of job cuts began in April and hung over me all year until it finally materialized just before the end of the year. It’s a good thing I have this means of stress relief. I joke that the need to relieve the additional stress is going to drive me to be an even more extreme athlete this next year! I’ve been done with work for a week, which would have normally been my holiday break anyway. So far I’ve been good about waking up as early as I normally would have to hit the pool and run. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment and having the extra time has resulted in some longer swims. I am very determined to improve my endurance and speed for the next Swim to the Moon! I’m not sure how long my job situation will be questionable but at least training makes me feel productive and is a good way to channel some of my energy.
I officially started following a training plan for Boston this past week and it’s the first big goal to aim for in 2023. I better make sure I keep some biking in the mix now that I’m really aiming to do a half Ironman in June. I feel comfortable with the swimming and running aspects of that race but 56 miles on the bike is a bit more intimidating just because I neglect the bike in favor of running. I’m looking forward to finally taking on that challenge after years of knowing I should try to do it. I also have a 10-part triathlon on the schedule for the end of July. The Battle of Waterloo takes place every other year and I loved the run-bike-swim-run-swim-run-swim-run-bike-run adventure so much in 2021 that I knew I wanted to do it again in 2023. The 5K swim will come in August, and I’m still not sure what my big race will be in the fall. Another marathon or possibly even my second 50K? I’m getting a bit ambitious considering how I still have some problem spots following the Toronto Marathon that I haven’t been able to shake. I need to make sure my body will cooperate for all of these plans I’ve made! If it does, hopefully 2023 will be another great year of training and racing.