Another year gone by. It is truly amazing sometimes how time just really does seem to fly!
2016, like any other year, had a lot of highlights and some low points too. Life may never ever be perfect, and we've had our fair share of bumps this year, but we are pretty darn lucky overall. Happy to have had a year filled with watching Sam grow and seeing her smile, much running, time with friends and family, so much of nature's beauty and wonder, much happiness, a few tears, a whole lot of growing and learning, laughter and love, and more than a little bit of craziness ;)
Wishing everyone health, happiness, joy and a whole lot of running (or whatever it is that makes you happiest) in 2017!
On the running front, 2016 ended up being a solid one with decent volume, some fun races, a bit of suffering, and overall, one happy runner. I never had the focus this year that I did in 2015 when I was training for TARC 100, but I did have a lot of beautiful early morning runs, some fun training runs with friends and even a few good runs with Ryan scattered throughout the year. And even though I really didn't have any racing goals for the year, I did manage a few fun and different races throughout the year, including a run through Grayson Highlands, a 6-hour relay race with Ryan up in Presque Isle, a solid, happy racing experience at BBU, and an almost DFL finish to avenge my 2014 DNF at the Fells 40 earlier this month. There was a DNF at the TARC Fall Classic in early September, but I'm not too shaken up about that one as it was only supposed to be a training race anyway and let's face, it running while sick is never fun. Plus, by now, I know that DNFs, while never ideal, are part of the game and there is something to be learned and gained for every experience no matter the ending.
In my mind, the best race of the year was the BBU 50k, a race that hadn't even originally had on my radar. Things came together that day and I hope I can find that place again. That was a fun one! I am proud of my Fells 40 finish too, but for a totally different reason - that is one rugged race, I felt terrible all day from being sick and wanted to give up many times, but I toughed it out and got it done, even if just barely under the cut-off. It certainly was not pretty and the race beat up my legs and body, for sure. After a week off to rest up, these last few weeks of the year have been a bit rough around the edges in terms of running, but things are slowly coming back around.
And with this morning's 4.5 miles around the neighborhood on the slushy, icy roads after yesterday's snow and rain storm, I managed to eek out the remaining miles I needed to hit a nice round 1,900 miles for 2016.
While this is down slightly from 2015 and not quite the 2,000 miles I was shooting for, it came without a 100 miler to train for, so I am pretty happy with the total. I have enjoyed being durable enough (for the most part) for another higher mileage year and even managed to keep up with my arm exercises and push-ups 2x a week every week as well as do some simple body-weight leg strength exercises 1-2x a week for a good chunk of the year too.
With all of this in mind, I'm making running 2,000 miles one of my goals for 2017 and plan to continue with the arm and leg strength. As for racing, some of my intended racing goals for next year had to be passed on for various reasons, so I'm still trying to sort out what's next, but don't you worry, I'm sure to come up with something(s) good ;) And in the meantime, I'm looking forward to having some beautiful, fun and adventurous runs out on the trails!
After working on Tuesday, I'm off for the rest of the week. Got up early yesterday and out of the house around 7:20 for a road run. With the warm temps on Tuesday and temps hovering right above freezing, I figured the snow would be too soft for anything good. We don't yet have a solid enough base. So instead, I ran along the Connector and up Highland Green Road. There was no need for traction; the pavement was bare, with only a few icy spots that I could easily skirt around out in the neighborhood. On the way back, I tacked on an extra mile around the high school, where the roads were a bit icier, but not terrible. Got in a nice 6 miles for the morning. Even better, despite still feeling a bit tight and having a few twinges while running, my right leg felt pretty good, good enough to keep an average pace of 8:38 for the run, so I'll certainly take it!
Well, if yesterday felt great, today did not. Decided to see how the Cathance trails were, which really wasn't the best of ideas. It was icy, bony, uneven, postholed and slow going. Ah well. At least the river was pretty ;) Got in 6.3 rather slog-feeling miles. Only 4.5 miles to run tomorrow to finish up the year on a nice even note!
After a busy Christmas day, we all slept in a bit yesterday morning. I headed out for a run around 8:30 into the calm, cold morning. I ran with my Hillsounds in hand, donning them once I had hit the powerlines. With the cold temps overnight, things were pretty firm out there and I decided I would try running up over Mt. A., out along the golf course and down to the river. The groomed portions of Mt. A. and the golf course were solid and I hardly made a mark. The majority of the Cathance trails along the Heath and down to the river had been packed well, if still a bit uneven. I took it easy, stopping to take a few photos along the way, and just enjoying the trails. Got in a nice 5.6 miles for the day, and then came home to eat a piece of gingerbread cake ;)
Later in the day, we headed down to Portland for a yummy lunch with my parents and then dropped them off at the train station so they could head to Boston before heading out to Seattle to visit with Kristen, Rob and Morgan for the rest of the week. We had such a wonderful time with them this holiday! It is so special to have Sam spend time with her grandparents - we are incredibly lucky :) Thank you, Neenie and Pip, for visiting with us! We love you!
Ryan and I headed over to Bradbury this morning for a run with some of our Trail Monster friends. I had been a bit hesitant as I was unsure how my leg would feel, but it really felt pretty decent. Yah! Hopefully it will continue in that direction. I wore my Hillsounds and I do think they provide much more stable traction than the screwshoes. The snowmobile trail was soft but had definitely been tracked by several machines so it was pretty good if effortful running. The boys and Jet took off in a flash while Amy and I kept a more moderate pace ;) We got in a nice 6 mile out-and-back, chatting all the way. A fun morning of running with friends before the rain began to fall to kick off the holiday weekend!
Yes, this happened ;)
And there might have been a bit of this...
And this ;)
We headed home to join in on the Christmas Eve cooking and baking and cookie decorating.