Where has the time gone?! It feels like I just made all my goals and resolutions for 2017, and now it’s already time to see if I achieved them. Before I do that, I want to look back on this year specifically for running. 2017 was a big year of running for me! Running stayed with me through many different phases in life this year, and for that I am so grateful.
I’m currently sitting at 739 miles and plan to run 11 over these last few days to make it an even 750. The first half of the year was spent focusing on running less but being more efficient with my miles. I ran only about 3 times a week, with a shorter speed session, long run, and mid distance run. This plan worked really effectively for me and got me to the start of marathon training without injury. Marathon training took up about half the year, and since the marathon in the beginning of November I haven’t run nearly as much. All in all, most of these miles were completed during marathon training with much lower mileage at the beginning and end of the year. This kept me healthy and worked well for what I wanted to accomplish!
Get Lucky Half Marathon – Chicago, IL.
This was literally the coldest I’ve ever been while running. I ran this race with my mom and the course went right along the lakeshore. What would have been a beautiful run turned into an absolutely freezing day with temps near zero and crazy winds. We sure were glad to be done with this one!
Gazelle Girl Half Marathon – Grand Rapids, MI.
The weather for this run was much better! I ran again with my mom in one of our favorite cities. This race is unique in the fact that it’s only for women! There were men dressed up in some crazy costumes cheering us on along the way which was really funny.
New York City Marathon – New York City, NY.
This was definitely the race of a lifetime! I will absolutely never forget the atmosphere here. The crowd support was incredible, and I absolutely loved running with so many other runners.
Hot Cider Hustle 5k – Grand Rapids, MI.
This 5k took place the weekend right after the marathon and ended up being much more fun that I anticipated. It wasn’t a very big race but at the end we got caramel apples and hot cider. It was a very cold morning but the logistics of the race were easy enough that we could wait in the car right up until the start.
Turkey Trot 5k – Kalamazoo, MI.
We decided to run this race pretty last minute but I’m glad we did! It took place the weekend after the previous 5k but was much warmer. The course took place entirely on the campus of my alma mater which was a nice bonus. It was hillier than expected but ended up being completely worth it!
New York City Marathon, for sure! I can see why so many people call this the race of a lifetime. Even though the last 4 miles were tough and the recovery was brutal, the rest of the day made up for it. The people I met along the way were some of the best, the atmosphere was unlike any other, and the excitement throughout the race was absolutely amazing!
My first 18 mile training run! I think this was literally the best run of my life. I felt so strong throughout this run! It was the first time of the summer that the air was a little cooler, the trail was beautiful, and my mom and I had the best post run snacks. My mom ran the first 12 miles with me and biked the last 6, which helped so much. I certainly hope there will more runs like this.
“Run the mile you’re in”
I’ve heard this before but never really taken the time to focus on it. This advice was an especially helpful reminder to me during marathon training, as well as during the actual marathon. It is so easy to get overwhelmed when you think ahead to how many miles you have to go. I spent a great portion of my long runs focusing on exactly where I was and trying not to overwhelm myself. This helped with my overall goal of staying present in the moment as well. Before we know it the present will be a moment of the past, and I don’t want to miss a great time when it happens.
Favorite Running Gadget:
It’s a tie between my Garmin Forerunner 235 and my Gortex shoes. I got the Garmin 235 unexpectedly for Christmas last year after using a Vivoactive for a few years and have not looked back since. The biggest improvement I’ve found is the heart rate monitor, and the ability to program different intervals on the 235. It wasn’t something I knew I wanted, but since I’ve been using this watch now I can’t imagine using anything else.
As far as the shoes go, I had them for a little while last year but didn’t start really using them until this year. They make a huge difference in the snow an rain. I have yet to get wet feet even when running through deep snow and huge puddles! This helps a bunch because my toes get cold so easily. I am loving them with all the snow so far this winter as well.
2017 Running Goals:
I set three big goals for myself at the beginning of 2017. Here are the goals:
- Run a sub 2:00 half
- Enter the lottery for the NYC marathon (if I don’t get in, I’ll sign up for another fall full)
- Keep a daily log of my running/cross training activities (hopefully this will help keep me accountable and help see progress)
Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t too bad right? 😉 I did enter the lottery for the NYC Marathon, and lucked out by getting in the first time! I’ve kept a really consistent log of all my miles and workouts for the year and it has definitely helped keep me accountable. I only wish I would have started doing this earlier! As far as running a sub 2:00 half… nope! I ran two half marathons in the beginning of the year but ran them both for fun. Both of them were run with my mom and we had a great time. Neither of us trained for speed and just went out for the fun of it! That will have to be a goal that continues on into 2018.
I love love love goal setting so I’ll definitely be setting some new running goals for 2018! Those goals will be coming soon (posting them on the internet helps keep me accountable;).
This year has been filled with so many life changes and countless ups and downs, but running has been with me through them all. It is so fun to look back on the year and see all of the experiences that I would have never had without running.
Let’s finish this year out strong!