Wrapping up 2016

The NYRR Midnight Run is tonight (New Year’s Eve) but I’m gonna count that as the first run of 2017 … so it’s time for a 2016 wrap-up.

There was a lot of awful stuff going on in the world, but it was a good year for running.

According to Garmin, this year I:

  • ran 1,100 miles (170 of those on trails)
  • biked 670 miles
  • hiked 84 miles
  • spent 51.75 hours at the climbing gym

I had six months of 100+ running miles, peaking at 146 in September. I ran with a lot of great friends and amazing people: Tina, Fanny, Andy, Murray, Frans, Lisa, Chaya, Jane, and many more. I ran in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Boston, New Jersey, Connecticut, upstate NY, and on the hills of Oregon. I hung out on the Red Hook track with Frans and the Armory track with my PPTC teammates. I helped Frans put together a training plan for, first, a 13.1-mile run, and then a “real” timed half marathon, and ran both with him. I learned so much from the PPTC crew, both online and in person.

I ran 14 races with new road PRs for 10k, half marathon, 5k, marathon, and 5-mile distances. I ran my first trail 25k . . . automatic PR there! I can’t pick a favorite race: I always love the Redding Road Race half. The JFK airport 5k was a cool experience. Steamtown was wonderful, even though I didn’t hit my time goal. The Al Goldstein 5k summer race series is like a hot summer evening running party every other week. I love love love the PPTC Turkey Trot. Running the Pelham half with Frans was very satisfying. Fine, they’re all my favorites.

Best running-related books I read this year: Build Your Running Body and Fixing Your Feet (6th ed.).

I had some amazing hiking experiences in New York (Hudson River Valley), Oregon (Pacific Crest Trail), and Washington (Mount Saint Helens). I rode the occasional bike commute in the summer, worked as lead bike for quite a few races, and took part in one epic 50-mile biking adventure near Poughkeepsie with two PPTC friends.

Okay, so what about goals for 2017? I’d like to run around 1,500 miles total – that’s an average of 125 per month and I think it’s doable. I’d been considering a 50k race in the spring, but I think that’s over-ambitious. Maybe fall. I have a few spring half-marathons coming up, with the Breakneck Point trail half being my main focus, and then the Portland Marathon in the fall. Other goals:

  • improve my PRs in most distances
  • run more trails
  • stay healthy and uninjured
  • keep climbing regularly
  • make it to more of the Saturday morning group runs with PPTC
  • hike when I can, bike when I can

That should keep me busy, right?

Thanksgiving races

A friend said we look like Thing One and Thing Two.

A friend said we look like Thing One and Thing Two.

The week of Thanksgiving was wild. An opportunity to move into a bigger apartment in our building came up out of the blue – Frans and I sorted out the paperwork, got the keys, and realized we had the week of Thanksgiving (which, thank goodness, included a four-day weekend) to complete the move. We’d signed up not just for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morningĀ  – which would be Frans’s first time participating in what is my FAVORITE local race – but also for the Pelham Half Marathon, a tiny race just north of the Bronx that would be homeboy’s first half marathon, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. After a short discussion we decided to go through with both races despite the move.

And you know what? It all worked out. Both races were awesome. I PR’d at the Turkey Trot (5 miles in 43:59), then waited a few minutes and cheered Frans across the finish line. Two days later we ran the half together and he held a steady pace, like a champ, through the whole fricking thing. We crossed the line holding hands like a couple of cheeseballs. We got everything moved and by the end of the weekend I was unbelievably exhausted but it was done.