Looking Back at 2017

It’s the new year, and that means I can arbitrarily look at a 365 day snapshot of my training and assess it. I looked back on 2016 around this time last year, believe it or not.

In 2017, I ran 1706 miles in 234 days, at an average pace of 14:06. That’s a pretty big improvement over 2016’s 1537 miles in 228 days, at an average pace of 16:38. In 9 of 12 months, I ran more miles than I did in the corresponding month in 2016. The big outlier there was June, when I took a bunch of time off after FANS, and therefore ran 83 fewer miles than I had in 2016. I’ve probably run more road workouts than I did 2016, which accounts for some of the increase in the overall pace, but I’m also just faster. Hooray!

I took 131 rest days this year, only 5 fewer than I did in 2016. One of my goals for 2017 was to reduce my rest days a lot, and to minimize unplanned extended breaks, and I don’t really think I succeeded at that, although I did take several planned breaks that were longer (my vacation to the East Coast, my 2 week break in early December), so maybe I succeeded a little bit. I’m definitely going to try to sprinkle more planned breaks into my training in 2018, for sure.

I raced 13 times, including one race I didn’t finish and one race that felt like I didn’t finish, and I had one race I didn’t start (I think, maybe there was another one). I didn’t solve my Race Eve sleeping problems. I bought a new treadmill and several new pairs of shoes. I failed to track my running-related spending, as I’d planned.

I set a goal to run more miles than 2016, hopefully 2000. I didn’t run 2000, but I’m not really concerned about that. Maybe I’ll make it in 2018. Maybe I won’t, but I do want to best my 2017 total.

Looking ahead to 2018, I will leave my more specific goals for each season, so I won’t have any performance-related goals until March. My year long goals are usually more abstract, more philosophical, nothing that can be achieved in a single day. Of course I already mentioned continuing to take deliberate rest breaks and to run more miles than I did in 2017. I hope to hit the 1000 mile mark sooner than I did in ’17 (31 July).

I want to go outside every day, with intention. Of course the word intention sounds like very “woo woo” self help planner culture b.s., but I don’t know how else to put it concisely. I want to go outside for the purpose of spending time outside, not just as a means to get in my car and go to work. Even if it’s just a couple minutes outside in the yard with my cats. Naturally, outdoor running will fulfill this goal, too.

I need to turn strength training into a habit. That doesn’t mean an intense lifting program several day a week, but I need to stop going weeks on end without doing so much as a push-up. I’ve said “I should do more strength training” in far too many race reports. It’s time to really work on my core and leg strength in a committed way.

I do want to try tracking my spending again. That doesn’t sound very forceful, but I’d like to get a better handle on what this pastime costs me.

I want to spend more time with other runners, whether that’s more volunteer time, or actually participating in a group run, or joining a running gym (which I am considering doing in a few months). I need more running friends, more familiar faces at the starting line and the finish line.

I’ve got other, more interesting things in mind for each season, but I never really know too far in advance where my running journey is going to take me, and I like it that way.

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