Total miles: 1,692 through snow, wind, rain, sunshine, and hail! That’s exactly 400 more than last year and was a very satisfying way to spend an extra ~4,000 minutes 🙂 Beyond the numbers, I also gained confidence in my ability to focus and push through longer workouts alone, even in less-than-ideal conditions.
- The biggest highlight of my running year was the unexpected, but hard-won strength that I felt in the last 3 miles of my race at the Zeitgeist 13.1. I was able to take advantage of solid training and specific up/downhill pace work to push hard to the finish and had the good luck to be in a position to move up several spots in the process. The resulting ~4-minute half-marathon PR on a really tough course made all those tough workouts feel even more worthwhile.
- Another happy achievement was hitting a Sub-20 5k at altitude in October on a fun, mixed road & cross-country style course and going 1-2-3 with my Oiselle Voleé Colorado teammates. I had the courage to push early on and the tenacity to keep my pace up in the tough second half – a combination that I don’t always have in me on race day!
- A fast early-fall XC race chasing two very speedy women who are now long-run buddies (plus a third strong runner gal who was at the race with kids). My Fall long runs were much more fun with a group and I got to explore more trails and be pushed on some long Uphill that I likely wouldn’t have completed without stopping if I’d run them alone.
- Some fun exploring runs, from my early spring stint in California to a run today in balmy New Mexico.
- Lots of really strong, solid workouts that left me happily surprised and excited with how much my fitness had improved since last year.
And the lows:
- My mid-Spring hamstring injury was a real downer since I had been developing some solid strength going into it. I did end up having a great year of racing in spite of the time off, but it did force me to miss out on the spring track and road races that I’d wanted to try.
- A painful, and slower-than-last-year opening XC race against the college women in Colorado Springs. It wasn’t an awful race, but it was a brutal return to racing after my single early Spring XC 5k and made it clear that I was still building back to where I’d been fitness-wise when I got injured.
- My final race at the RSNA conference fun run was not what I’d been hoping for. I keep emotionally feeling like it was a total disaster when realistically it was a solid, but underwhelming performance. I didn’t run sub-19:00 5k pace, but I was still much faster than last year and still hit a season best time for this year. Considering the crazy conference schedule that I was on, combined with a lack of sleep, lots of pre-presentation anxiety, and tired legs from 2 days of walking around the conference center with a heavy backpack, I really shouldn’t be disappointed with the effort…but I sure am looking forward to taking another crack at sub-19 in 2018!
Goals for the new year:
- Figure out how to optimize work and running time to re-balance and be able to get the most out of my training while still performing well in my work/research. I’ve been heavily prioritizing work lately and am pleased with the productivity but NOT with the resulting slight weight gain, achy back, and computer-induced wrist pain! I’d feel old looking at this list of maladies but have experienced most of those during the more intense studying/paper or thesis writing/research data processing periods since undergrad *shrug*
- To help with both the running and the sedentary-work-environment induced imbalances I’m planning to add exercises from Running Rewired to my routine. My back is already thanking me for putting this book on my Christmas list!
- 18:30 5k, with at least 1 track race and some XC fun
- Sub 1:30 half OR complete my first 26.2! Going for the full marathon gives me a bit of nerves every time I think about it, but I have wanted to try one for quite some time and am looking forward to tagging along with my 26.2-experienced running buddies and picking their brains for marathon wisdom this year.
2018, here I come! Wishing you all a wonderful New Year and lots of time in 2018 doing things that make your days more joyful 🙂
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