A year ago I set my 2016 running goals: run 2500 miles, complete my first marathon, PR the half, 10K, and 5K. Success depended on my final goal- no injuries. My first race was in January, so I had no other choice except to dive in.
Since I do so much training in Griffith Park, the Griffith Park Half Marathon was an ideal race for a PR attempt. I included most of the course in my training runs and gave extra focus to the hills. The result: a new record and three minute improvement.
The rest of the winter and spring was devoted to marathon training. Since it was my first time I did not know what to expect and I followed my training plan closely. The race was 100 miles north of me so I tried to match my long runs to the marathon setting and stayed near the coast and on the roads. I showed up to the Mountains 2 Beach start line well prepared but way to excited. I finished the race but spent most my energy during the first 20 miles. I’d rather not experience the last six ever again.
With my “big” races out of the way, I enjoyed some running for fun, mostly in the South Bay. Without any preparation I ran the Village Runner 5K and squeaked in a new PR, leaving a little over five months to hit my 10K goal. My training for the MB10K indicated that I could PR handily and I was on the threshold of running a sub-seven minute pace. On race day I was recovering from a cold but held on for my PR and a 6:50 average.
I closed out the year by sticking to a routine without any race specific training. In December I reduced my mileage by almost half to give myself a little extra recovery time. At the end of the year I ran the Yuletide 5K , my first night race.
My mileage added up to 2250, a bit short of my goal but close enough. I made it through the year without any injuries. I reached my goals but a year later, it strikes me how performance driven I was and how much emphasis I put on my stats. It turns out that the results are not what mattered the most. Instead, it was the year of consistent running that gave me the biggest feeling of accomplishment and helped my frame my goals for 2017.
Yes, I want to improve my race times. And yes, I registered for another marathon. But my specific goals are more thematic this year:
- Run consistently without injury.
- Explore new running routes.
- Strong finish to my marathon.
- Run more trails.
Racing is a great way to frame periods of training. But training is 99% of the effort. In 2017 I’m going to focus on the journey instead of the destination.