This past year has certainly been one with lots of ups and lots of downs. My personal life, well that little I have had of one, could have been better. My professional world? Well, that just dominated in 2016 and not necessarily in the best way. From April through the end of the year I traveled every week for work. By October it really caught up with me. I felt completely run down and it just started to effect everything else, especially my running.
Back in 2015 when I made my 2016 goals, I had high hopes for a big year. Now, don’t get me wrong. In its own special way, 2016 was still a big year, but overall toward the end of the year, it really went downhill. Running and I just had a bad fight and it wasn’t the same. It took an unfortunate back seat to everything else and I am looking forward to changing that. Either way, there was still a lot learned and did more this past year than I ever thought I would do. Of the 6 goals I made though for 2016, I only hit 2.5 of them. So you don’t necessarily have to go back to my goals post, here is a quick list of them.
- Run 1,331 miles
- Lift twice a week
- Complete 8 more states
- Incorporate speed work twice a month (minimum)
- Qualify as a Marathon Maniac
- Run a sub 5-hour marathon
The two goals that I definitely hit was that I qualified for Marathon Maniacs (and subsequently also Double Agent status), finished 8 more states and sort of did some speed work that if you averaged out was 2x a month, but not really. Everything else was a big fail.
By running the Hall of Fame Marathon on April 24th and then the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 1st, I qualified to be a Marathon Maniac. This was a tough goal to hit. I know I could have hit it in other ways, but two marathons in 7 days was something to achieve. I am not sure how people do back to backs in one weekend. Oh wait, I kind of found that out and yup, don’t think I could do it.
It wasn’t until the summer that I actually started doing some speed work. I really don’t recall what the push was, but for awhile on Tuesdays, I was pretty religious about getting to the track. I even found some tracks I could use for when I was on the road. I actually came to love this workout and looked forward to it every week. It stopped after Air Force but it’s something I’d like to start back up. I know I can do speed work on a treadmill or on the road, but there is something about hitting the track for this. It definitely gave me an extra push.
The last goal that I hit was completing 8 states on my half/full quest. As always, I finished more states that I expected. In my full quest, I finished 6 marathons in 4 new states: Minnesota, Delaware, Texas and Ohio. Two of those states, TX and OH, got to be colored in green, having finished both a half and full in those states. In my half quest, I finished 16 half marathons in 9 new states: Maryland, Vermont, Maine, Michigan, Texas, Alabama, New Jersey, North Carolina and New York. A few races were added along the way, but for the most part, I got in the states I planned for last year. Ending 2016, I am at 6 total states for the full and 21 (including D.C.) for the half marathons. This also gave me 34 total half marathons which nearly doubled my number from 2015.
So a lot of great things did happen last year. I raced a ton and created a lot of great memories along the way, but I still missed the other goals. I set a goal to lift twice a week. I think I lifted maybe twice the whole year. When the traveling really picked up for me, I really only ever had time to run. Even that was a stretch sometimes. I used to be pretty good with cross training but not in 2016. It was non existent.
When I set my mileage goal for 2016, I knew it would be a stretch. I only had 1,090 miles the year before I wanted this push still for 1,331 miles. Well, I came up short and only finished with 1,226.6 miles. About 100 miles short. This was still a huge yearly PR, but definitely upset I didn’t get this goal. I was on track most of the year, but after Air Force, things just went down hill and I started losing track of this goal. It’s still nice though that I did do 100 miles a month average. In the end, I can’t be too mad that I missed this goal because I still hit that new yearly PR by a fair amount.
And that brings me to that last goal that I completely bonked. The elusive sub-5 hour marathon. I honestly only went for it once this year, but when I did, I failed miserably. I decided that the Air Force Marathon would be that goal race this year and the end results was one of my slowest marathons. I know the weather was miserable and I was lucky to even finish, but knowing just how badly I did was a big disappointment. I bet myself up over that race a lot. Luckily though, I have great friends who helped remind me when things got bad that I still pushed through and I finished and in the end that is what matters in the world of marathon racing. My 5:08 is still the marathon PR. Maybe one day, I’ll get that sub-5.
Overall, 2016 was an interesting year with it’s ups and downs. There are things that I can’t change (traveling every week) so I certainly did the best I could. I think my proudest moment of the year though certainly came when I finished my first 50k in March. So, even in all the crazy and bad, I ended the year knowing I did more than I ever did before, pushed myself to places I didn’t think I could go and learned a lot about myself along the way. Let’s just hope I can build on all of this as we start 2017.
Did you hit your 2016 goals?