2017. It was a very complicated year. A DNF at the New York City Marathon is going to cast a pretty big shadow over the rest of the year.
I’m not sure where to begin. Well, I guess I can start with my goals.
Goal 1: 1500 miles
I ran 1,645.48 miles. Wow. In my defense, when I set that goal of 1500 miles, I didn’t know if I’d be training for a full marathon in the fall. So I really crushed that goal, and set a new record for most miles run in a single year.
Goal 2: 6 races, with 2 that are 13.1 or greater
Yes, but I did it the hard way.
Here’s the full list, in chronological order, and including the one race where I made it to the starting line, but not the finish.
With my DNF in New York City, I had to scramble and I added the Huntersville Half Marathon for my 6th race and 2nd of 13.1 or greater.
Goal 3: A PR in 3 different races
Nope. I got PRs at the Joe Davis 10K and the Tobacco Road Half, and that’s it. Hey, I got to change my header picture twice, so there’s that.
I had some soft goals, too, but most of them didn’t really work out too well. Here’s what I wrote on January 6:
I really want to add some other exercise. Maybe it will be bicycle (maybe stationary, or maybe I’ll finally buy an actual bicycle). I might try yoga, but I want to do it for exercise. I’m not interested in becoming one with the universe. Maybe I’ll take some swimming lessons? (I can get around a pool without drowning, I just can’t effectively swim from one end to the other.) Or maybe I’ll just get on an elliptical once a week. We’ll see.
I want to eat better and not drink Mountain Dew all the time. I’d really like to start cooking more than just pasta.
I really want to focus on slower easy runs, and faster workout runs. I think I have a tendency to not let my easy runs be truly easy, and it’s not helping me.
Finally, I really want to work more on this blog. I need to set up a proper page for all my race reports. I’d like to do a series of posts, probably one per week, on the basics of running, to hopefully help out any newbies out there get started. I’ve also considered writing one post each week that isn’t necessarily running related, just whatever happens to be on my mind. I also need to do a much better job of promoting this blog. That’s not easy for me, but sometimes I just need to put myself out there, even when I don’t want to.
Foam rolling kinda sorta counts as other exercise. Don’t get me wrong, it’s made a huge difference, I’m just not sure that it’s what I had in mind when I said I wanted other exercise. I did get in some bodyweight exercises from time to time, but I never found consistency.
Eat better, don’t drink Mountain Dew, and cook more than just pasta were pretty much all failures.
Slower easy runs and faster workout runs? Nailed it.
Finally, work more on the blog? Well, I’m writing my 2017 Wrap-Up on March 19. That’s pretty much all you need to know about how well I did working on the blog.
Weight Check: I mentioned this in my Weekly Wrap-Up on December 31, but I started the year at 166.6 pounds, and ended at 166.3 pounds, for a loss of 0.3. Shrug. I know I dropped lower over the course of the year, but November and December are tough months.
There were some actual highlights from this year.
I kicked off the year with a PR at the Joe Davis 10K (after having a race postponed for the first time ever) on January 14.
I redeemed myself at the Tobacco Road Half Marathon on March 19 with a PR and an intact left ankle at the finish.
I hit the 5,000 mile mark for my running career on March 25.
On July 1, I ran in Connecticut for the first time. State #7 that I’ve run in. In chronological order: North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut. (Also, on a non-running related note, I was in Connecticut for a family reunion, and I had a really great time.)
The Trophy Trot 10K on November 23 was an absolutely insane course, and I only missed a PR by 14 seconds, so it was frustrating, but I still ran really well considering everything.
The course was short for the Teal Diva 5K on May 13. It’s very likely the fastest 3 miles I’ve ever run, but it’s not a 5K PR.
On June 17, I discovered that my allegedly waterproof armband was not sweat proof, and I fried my phone. I was able to replace it, but man, that sucked.
Summer in general just really, really, really sucked. And it seemed like it went on forever, with really hot conditions in September and even October.
I ended my year with a run that was supposed to be 12 miles, but because a cold sapped all of my energy, I was only able to get to 4.17 miles. Sadly, I think that was the most fitting way for me to end 2017.
And then there was the New York City Marathon.
In my 2016 wrap-up, I went through some highlights, some lowlights, and then wrote that same sentence, but this year, I’m saying it for a very different reason. For the first time, I didn’t finish a race. And it wasn’t just any race, it was one of the biggest races in the world, in the city where I was born, and it was the culmination of 4 months worth of training. But for some reason, my stomach decided to give me problems that day.
I was going to write that there’s nothing I can say about the race now that I haven’t before, but there is one thing that I don’t think I’ve said. I still have my medal from the 2016 New York City Marathon, and they can’t take that away from me.
New York City may have been (for better or worse) the biggest event of 2017 for me, but I don’t want to end on that. Instead, I’ll mention the other big development in my running: I hired a coach.
She’s been really good, not only providing advice, but encouragement. I don’t need a drill sergeant calling me a maggot and far worse things to motivate me to run. (I’ve got plenty of inner thoughts saying things like that.) No, I need encouragement, and my coach has provided it. I mentioned earlier the whole slow easy runs/fast workouts thing, and I really got better at that this year, thanks in large part to my coach. I got better at running because of her training plan. She put me in a position where it was possible for me to break 5 hours at New York City (if it hadn’t been for my stupid stomach, which certainly wasn’t her fault), and I can’t really ask for more than that.
The year may have not gone the way I hoped, but I can honestly say that I ended the year as a fundamentally better runner than I was at the beginning of the year, and that’s something. (And they still can’t take away my 2016 New York City Marathon medal.)