2016 has been, in almost all respects, a great health and running year. With respect to health: no heart issues, no ER visits or any scares beyond twitter induced paranoia, only a short period with the mysterious, non heart, chest pains that I get every year or so. I still have incision pain, but this seems to occur less frequently and less intense as time passes. I had three down months: an unfortunately timed bout of chest pains in June, August was recovering from the July 31 SF (2nd) Half Marathon, and December has been a long recovery from California International Marathon.
A few things I accomplished this year, in increasing order of personal importance:
- Most miles ever in a calendar week, twice, first in April and then 45 miles during the week of November 7
- Fastest 5k since my heart issues
- Longest run ever, six times
- I finished off an 11 month streak of 100 mile months, which I’ve never come close to before. This ended in June due to the aforementioned mystery pain
- Zero weeks with no running, another first
- Most miles in a calendar month, twice, 156 in May and then 159 in October
- Fastest half marathon since my heart issues, which was also my third fastest HM ever
- Fastest 10k ever
- Most miles run in a calendar year, 1412
- First marathon ever! Not only was the event itself something I’m very happy about finishing, but making it through 15 weeks of consistent, high (for me) mileage without injury or motivational issues was a big win. The race itself didn’t necessarily go as planned, but I never doubted, even during the last few painful miles, that I’d be going for another in 2017.
I only had three disappointments this year. The first is one I’m trying to not see negatively, but not always succeeding, which is that I’d hoped to run a much better half marathon. However, my disappointment in my last one of the year (July 31 in SF) was the final motivation I needed to stop focusing on speed and make the decision to commit to finishing a marathon.
The second is that I wasn’t able to maintain the motivation to do cross and/or supplemental training. I had a few weeks or so of light swimming and lifting, but I didn’t maintain this. I’m not really beating myself up over this as I’ve maintained lifetime best consistency with exercise in general, I just really prefer running.
The third is a much bigger disappointment. Several years ago, after I realized I’d be able to get back into running after my surgery, I’d set a goal to run one race abroad per year. For three years running, there has been excuse. Year one, the year of my surgery, I was sick when I was in Frankfurt for work and missed the 10k race for which I’d registered. I spent a few days being tested in the hospital after coming back and the only thing that was learned was that my heart was fine. Year two, I was traveling with others and did not want to bend the schedule to be in a certain location at a certain time, so did not run the goal 10k on New Year’s Eve. Year three, 2016, I was registered for the Amsterdam half marathon, but cancelled my vacation due to work issues.
I have a few minor goals for 2017, including, but not limited to:
- run 1550 miles, which hopefully will be a byproduct of other goals
- run at least one marathon
- continued consistency
However, my number one goal is to run at least one race abroad. My current thinking is an April, May or June marathon, but I’m still working on this. I failed in attempts to win a spot in both London and Berlin (I’ll be trying again this year for 2018 entries), but there are many other amazing looking opportunities.
Finally, the year in tweets: