A week ago I ran my last race of 2016, the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 10K. Clad in holiday colors and matching reindeer antlers (of course), I lumbered through the streets of (you guessed it) Santa Monica and Venice. I had a really good time and also finished with a pretty good time (58:41), my fastest 10K for the year.
Now that I’ve placed my last piece of 2016 race bling upon the wall (time to get another medal hanger too), it’s time to take quick glance back at the running year that was.
Back in December of 2015 I stated that my overall plan for 2016 was to “take it as it comes.” Meaning simply that I wouldn’t obsess over obtaining goals, but rather just go forward and have fun. In hindsight, that plan seems to have worked out pretty well.
I had 14 races on my initial running plan for the year. I also did have a few “hopes” wedged in there if the opportunities presented themselves.
- Run a sub 5-hour LA Marathon.
- Run a sub 2-hour half marathon.
- PR in the half marathon.
Let’s take the “broken resolutions” first.
My 2016 LA Marathon was not the race I’d hoped for. Not at all. In fact is was my biggest “off the rails” race of the year. While I started out strong in the first few miles, something was clearly amiss. I found myself struggling way too early and in the end I not only didn’t break the 5-hour mark, but I was very fortunate to finish under six hours.
Note: I’m working with a running coach, training hard and hoping to make the 2017 LA Marathon a more memorable one.
Thankfully, my only other broken resolutions for this past year involved the races not run… namely two of them. As runners know, sometimes life just gets in the way of your best laid race plans. In my case, it was specifically job-related.
When you work freelance, you bop between periods of feast and famine. Well, 2016 was more famine than feast, so when you do have work you must make the most of it. This past May I landed a pair of DVD projects simultaneously and had to devote most of my waking hours (and some of my sleeping hours) to getting them done.
While I did keep training in the mornings, the delivery of both projects corresponded to the weekends of two races… REVEL Rockies and the Peachtree Road Race. And both races involved travel, so that made it doubly difficult. In the end I had to defer both races for the sake of paying the bills. Not a fun choice, but a necessary one.
On the upside, both REVEL Rockies and Peachtree are back on my list for 2017.
And now for the good.
I ended up running a baker’s dozen of races (that’s 13 for those of you who don’t bake) in 2016. Here’s the breakdown:
- 1- full marathon (Los Angeles)
- 7- half marathons
- 5- 10Ks
Of those races, 3 were new ones for me:
- REVEL Mt. Charleston (inaugural)
- Global Energy 10K
- Santa Monica-Venice Christmas 10K
The rest were familiar and friendly races. Timewise, I seemed to be a little sluggish early in 2016 as my finish times were a little off from prior years. But come summertime I started working harder and my finish times got better in the latter half of the year.
Earlier I said I broke my pseudo-resolution for the LA Marathon. Well, I ended up doing better on my other sorta-resolutions.
In September, I ran REVEL Big Cottonwood (one of my absolute favorite races) with the hope of finally breaking that elusive 2-hour barrier. Just taking it as it comes.
After 13.1 hard-fought miles (along with a blister and queasy moment) I crossed the finish line with a half marathon time of 1:59:49. I had broken the 2-hour mark and earned a half marathon PR at the same time. Definitely the hight point of 2016 for me.
This fall I undertook another month of running madness (Nov. to early Dec.) where I ran 5 races on consecutive weekends. And in the middle of it all I hit a big personal milestone (I posted it recently) where I ran my 50th half marathon. Yeah, it felt pretty damn good.
Now as 2016 comes to a close I’m spending the last few weeks of the year concentrating on my LA Marathon training with T2 and getting ready for the holidays with family and friends.
And what does 2017 hold? Well, I’ve got races planned and some goals I’ll chase (more on that next month). And I’ve got a brand new pair of New Balance shoes sitting in a box waiting for Baby New Year to make his diapered debut so I can break ’em out.
So with that, I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and best wishes for a fantastic (and runtastic) 2017.
See you in January… and Run on!