Here we are at the last day of 2017. I’m usually not sentimental about New Year’s, partly because there are so many different ones during a given “year:” Rosh Hashannah (Jewish), Lunar (Chinese), Tet (Vietnamese), and Nowruz (Persian New Year, aka the first day of Spring), etc. The way I see it, there are plenty of opportunities to reflect and make a fresh start.
But 2017 was a particularly good year for me: personally, professionally, socially and athletically, so I’m a little sad to see it go. At the same time, I’m excited to explore new challenges in 2018.
Here’s a quick recap of my 2017 miles and milestones – the good, the bad and the ugly.
2017: running by the numbers
Miles – 1880.3
This is 24 more miles than I ran last year. Almost a marathon more….but not all that much in the scheme of things.
I will remember 2017 as a year of both PRs and fighting off fatigue. For just about the entire year, I did as many as 3 hard runs each week (speed work, tempo, long run– often with a tempo as part of it), partly because this is what my former coach had written. In retrospect, I think that’s too much for most runners, and definitely too much for a 52-year-old runner.
Next year, if all goes as planned, I’ll try running higher mileage with fewer hard workouts– but the hard ones will be Hard, capital “H” intended. Based on the past, my body handles this ratio better. We’ll see if it helps.
To give you a concrete example of the mileage, here is what 1880 miles looks like, more or less
- Philadelphia to Taos, NM – 1870 miles
- Philadelphia to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada – 1917 miles
Races – 7
I ran 7 races, or 7.25 more if you count the Paris Pour Elles 10K, which I DNFed, after faceplanting over a killer speed bump. I didn’t race as much as last year, partly because toward the end of the year, I was training for the St George Marathon and felt a little burned out on racing. To be honest, right now I am still feeling burned out on racing, so I’m waiting for that spark to return.
- Frostbite 5-Miler – March PR
- Shake Your Shamrock 5K – March PR
- Hot Chocolate 15K – April PR
- Cherry Blossom 5K – April 1st place!
- Broad Street Run – May PR
- Paris Pour Elles – May DNF
- Mayor’s Cup 5-Miler – August
- St. George Marathon – October PR
2017 PRs – 5
Five out of 7 is not bad. This is my 7th year running, and from what I’ve read, the PRs will start to thin out. But I am going to try not to be influenced by negative thinking. I will continue thinking positively training hard, and see how long I can keep squeaking out PRs.
Different locations I’ve run – 3
I love to run while I’m on vacation or away on business or visiting. Besides Philly, this year, I have run in:
- Boston, MA and Cambridge, MA, while accompanying a friend to the Boston Marathon
- Paris, France, while working/vacationing
- Utah, for the marathon and while vacationing
2017: Best and worst
- Hardest race: The Mayor’s Cup, for the second year in a row. I would rather run 2 back-to-back marathons than race this course again. It was not as hot as last year when the heat index was 110. But that 1.63 mile hill at the end of the course and the August heat are not going anywhere.
- Favorite race: The St George Marathon. Amazing views. Bonfires and heat blankets at the start. Superbly organized. Awesome medal. I have nothing but good things to say about this one-of-a-kind marathon.
- Best running moment: Winning the Cherry Blossom 5K. I had just entered to grudgingly get in a “tempo run,” but my competitive spirit kicked in. You never know who is going to show up at a race, so I was fortunate. But I did beast a steep the hill at the end and was thrilled to win my 2nd 5K at age 52.
- Worst running moment: Without a doubt, tripping over the speed bump at KM2 of the Paris Pour Elles race. It still replays in horrifying slow motion in my brain.
- Highlight: Appearing on a TV commercial for the Philadelphia Marathon. It was fun. (Don’t worry, I am not quitting my day job!)
- Lowlight: The untimely death of Eric Larsen, a fixture in the Philadelphia running community. Eric was a positive soul and a super speedy runner – he ran a 3:02 marathon at age 53! (AGe graded, that’s a 2:38 marathon.) We will miss hearing his one-of-a-kind laugh and seeing his smiling face on the drives.
- Favorite medal: The St. George Marathon medal. It is made of local red sandstone. Each one is unique, just as each runner is unique.
- Favorite race swag: Hot Chocolate 15K.hoodie. Hot Chocolate races always give away great swag, and I love the fact that this sweatshirt comes in a true XS. It’s very warm and is coming in handy right now as the temperatures in Chilly Philly are presently hovering at around a 2-degree real feel.
- Favorite StrideBox swag: Kinesys Sunscreen. Vegan spray. Waterproof and sweatproof. Love the stuff.
Happy New Year, friends. I wish you all health, happiness and fast times in 2018!