This has been a pretty full year of running! I started off the year thinking that I would be playing roller derby again (even trying out and making our A-level travel team in Pittsburgh), and then we made a fairly quick and sudden move to Iowa (less than 2 months to visit, shop houses, get job offers, and actually relocate) kind of threw havoc into all areas of my life — particularly my marathon training (I ended up not completing training for the Pittsburgh marathon).

But the year started off with some highlights and ended with some amazing experiences — with, naturally, some awful things in-between. If I’m counting correctly, I did 16 races this year. Still standing at only 1 marathon since 2015 but my half marathon tally grew to 9. Let’s reflect, shall we?

Best Mileage Month: 101.74 miles in November — my 1st 100 Mile Monthly Challenge!

Worst Mileage Month: Only 14.6 miles in June. Woof.

By the way, my total mileage for 2016 was 512.97!

New States Run in 2016: Florida, Iowa, Nebraska

Furthest Race I Traveled to — and My First Multi-Day Challenge Race: Gasparilla (Florida) [recaps here: Gasparilla Day #1 (15k and 5k) and Day #2 of the Ultra Challenge (half marathon and 8k)]

Best Race Experience: Hitchcock Experience 13.1

Worst Race Experience: Dam to Dam — I was completely and totally unprepared for this race and swore it off for my lifetime because I’ve never felt so awful. Though now that I’ve had some distance, I’m willing to eat my words and run it again.

Best Run (not a Race): One that sticks out for me – when I returned to Pittsburgh over the summer. I unleashed a lot of emotions on that run; it was cathartic and bittersweet and a nice reprieve from the super humid summer.

Worst Run: UGH, basically any of my tempo long runs from the summer during my IMT Half Marathon training. I don’t think I finished any of them to plan.

Best New Piece of Running Gear: Garmin Forerunner 230

Worst Piece of Running Gear: Nathan hydration belt. It doesn’t work well on my body shape for running (wayyyyyy too much bounce and movement); though I may end up using it for hiking and trail-skating.

Best Piece of Advice I Received this Year: Though it’s spoken often in running circles to “run the mile you’re in,” this was really drilled in with my coach over the summer with focusing on the current moment and not thinking ahead. That’s something that has held me back a lot, and it’s been refreshing to just trust my body that it knows what to do and what I can handle AT THAT MOMENT.

Best Thing I Learned: Running by feel or effort level

Favorite Picture from a Race or Run this Year (TIE!):




New PRs: Having a PR is always a BEST when reflecting on your successes, and this year my training plans helped me get a few.
5-mile – 47:24 at Madrid Milers Labor Day Run
15k – 1:34:27 at Gasparilla
10-mile – 1:43:16 at Capital Pursuit
Half marathon – 2:12:16 at the IMT Des Moines Half Marathon

I also ran my first (of several) trail races!

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017! Happy New Year, everyone!

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