2016 Running Recap

Up until the middle of October, 2016 was probably my best year of consistent running in a long time. I am proud of my accomplishments. I am not so proud that I have run about 10 miles since the middle of October…but that’s for another day.

I was very dedicated in keeping a tally of my miles. I know a lot of people use a gps watch and then upload data, but I’m low tech and I wrote miles on the wall calendar. I ran 747 miles in 2016, which averages out to about 71 miles/month. I know that there are a lot of runners who log that type of mileage weekly, but it’s an average I’m proud of (in addition to being proud I kept track like I did).

Another positive was finally getting the new Hoka Cliftons and loving them almost as much as the original Cliftons. I was so happy with them I got two pairs, which will last me a while, especially at the rate of 10 miles in 3 months.

clifton 3s

I trained for two events, the first was in April. I used a new training plan for this Half Marathon and I followed it almost exactly. It was a great day and, though it was my fifth time participating, there were unique aspects, support from the hubster and good friends, and a near PR miss. I wrote a real Race Report for the first time as well.

beautiful course

Due to a trip out West to see the eldest, I knew that the Marine Corps Marathon was out of the picture for 2016. It might actually be out of the picture for good, though I would totally run the 10k just to be a part of the fun and to see some amazing people. Instead, I went way far out of my comfort zone and registered for a multi-run weekend. I must admit, I did not stick to a training plan like I should have, but my only goal was to finish.

I wrote a Race Report for this Hat Trick weekend but could never capture how great it was and how much fun I had. If I can get myself back into the swing of things again, I would definitely consider registering again for the Hat Trick, or at least the Half or the 5 & Dime.

rw half finish

And then there was that time I came home from a run with a cabbage (wearing my sparkle skirt and new sneakers).

 

run cabbage

Now it’s time to figure out what this back-of-the-packer needs to do to get moving in 2017!

 

RW Hat Trick Race Report

I had my doubts, many of them, going into the Hat Trick (5k and 10k Saturday, Half on Sunday) during the Runners World Half Festival last weekend.

RW half

My achilles was aching, I had an IT Band flare up a few weeks back, I walked somewhere in the vicinity of 24 miles during travel the previous weekend, and I’m just not a strong runner. I was fairly certain I could do the 5k and 10k on Saturday, but I was waffling about the Half, even pondered just giving up before even starting and switching to the “5 and Dime” at the expo. But I didn’t.

Thank goodness I didn’t!

It was a crazy beautiful weather weekend. Started out super cold on Saturday morning, in the low 30s, but blue skies after a beautiful sunrise. My running partner, Monica, and I met up with my wonderful high school friend, Beth, who also was in for the Hat Trick.

Monica and I had our hats, gloves, fleece, etc. for the 5k.

cold saturday

Beth hung with us a while pre-race, but she is an impressive runner, so she moved up to the faster pace section before the start. Monica and I took it slow, knowing we would need to conserve…and because we’re slow. I think I felt my worst during the 5k, but got warmed up some by the end. The highlight for me was getting to high five THE Bart Yasso just before the finish line!

After the 5k we found Beth and waited around together for the 45 minutes until the 10k started. I ditched the extra fleece hat and pullover. Given that I hadn’t felt very good for the 5k, I wasn’t really sure what would happen with the 10k, but we lined up in the same pace area as we did earlier.

The 10k course was beautiful! A few more hills, but also Main Street and some historic neighborhoods. I actually felt better and enjoyed myself more. Unfortunately, Monica had hamstring pain about the half way point. She stayed strong and our overall pace was not far off from the 5k pace. We felt very proud of that!

The steel stacks made the perfect central location for everything that went on over the weekend. There were also indoor bathrooms and warmer places to wait before the races.

steel stacks

Unfortunately, neither Monica nor I felt great the rest of Saturday. We relaxed, napped a little, and took a walk in the evening to try and loosen up. Monica did what she could to address the hamstring issue. I was not feeling confident about the Half.

The next morning was about 10 degrees warmer. Still chilly, but not nearly as uncomfortable. I had on a lighter fleece and gloves I could toss. Got a fun starting line selfie.

rw half start

As you can see, we were in the back again. Beth moved up to her quicker pace a few minutes before the start. Monica thought her hamstring was feeling better, but it didn’t last. We had a pretty strong first 2+ miles, but then she was hurting.

Again, beautiful course, Main Street, neighborhoods, residents out cheering, lots of hills. LOTS OF HILLS!! It stayed cloudy until the last two miles, so perfect temps. We definitely went even slower than our usual slow due to the hamstring. As hard as it was for Monica, it did allow me a little extra energy, so I thanked every first responder and volunteer along the way, cheered for runners on the few out-n-backs, encouraged people we passed or who passed us, and just took it all in. I felt way, way, WAY better than I anticipated.

As we got close to the finish line, there were a lot of runners who were leaving (because they finished long before us) and they encouraged us and we congratulated them. The high school marching band members were leaving and I thanked them all for coming out to play. I high fived spectators who hung around for the back of the packers. And, one of the best parts, was seeing Beth along the side, near the finish line, cheering for us. She had finished over an hour earlier with a rockin negative split run.

These are some happy faces.

rw half finish

It was a fantastic weekend overall. I am proud of myself for attempting something way out of my comfort zone. The hubby, the girls and my parents were proud of me, which means everything.  I need to thank my family, Beth, Monica and my Running Girls for believing in me and for encouraging me. I am very proud of Monica because she pushed through the HILLIEST course I have ever been on, with a bum hamstring, to finish. THE HILLIEST!!

Check out these cool medals.

rw half medals

Two mornings later, the quads are still complaining (they have been loudly complaining since the finish line on Sunday), but I feel pretty great overall. Just a fantastic weekend!