Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Running Reflections

My twin brother, son, Jack, and I following the 2016 Utica Boilermaker 15k in July.
During the build up to New Year's Day tomorrow, many of my friends on Facebook and Twitter have been posting some pretty impressive annual running accomplishments. Whether cumulative mileage (1900 miles!) or number of competitive races, I continue to be impressed by the dedication and training acumen of those within my local running community. While I have always had an awareness of the commitment of local runners, the quantifying of performance that comes with year-end reflections makes concrete that which I have always suspected.

My wife, Anne, and I immediately
following the 2016 Winter Warrior
Half Marathon.
My own numbers for 2016 are less impressive, but I remain very proud of the small achievements I have accomplished. My cumulative mileage (including training and "racing") comes to just over 427 miles, the majority of which were accrued during roughly 30 weeks of training. I ran in only six races this year, covering a wide range of distances ranging from a 5k to two half marathons. It is interesting to note that I started the year with the 2016 Winter Warrior Half Marathon in January and concluded with the Reindeer Run 5k just three weeks ago. In between I revisited a few old favorites (such as my fourth Utica Boilermaker 15k) and found some challenges to embrace, like my first Phelps Sauerkraut 20k.

Although there was a lack of PR (Personal Records) performances for me in 2016, it was the most enjoyable year running I have had in many years. Having the opportunity to go to events with members of my family made the race experience much more satisfying. Whether spectating or running it was motivational to know I had someone with whom to celebrate the finish with.

In 2017, I'm looking forward to continuing the "something old/something new" balance struck in 2016. I will be returning to give the Winter Warrior another go (with slightly slower expectations) next weekend, and Jack and I have signed up to run a new (to us) half marathon together. After 10+ years, I am still learning more about running. The challenge of refining my training in light of other responsibilities (teaching, coaching, falling) has me excited to try some new things this year with a more intentionally consistent approach.

My stepson, Gregory, and I prior to the 2016 Webster Turkey Trot.

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