Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Running Review + 2016 Race Goals

I'm in the middle of figuring out what spring of 2016 will look like for me running wise, as part of my December goals, and part of that for me is reflecting on how 2015 went & what I want to focus on going forward.

The first half of the year was spent training for the Pittsburgh Marathon. Luckily there are several races in the area that take the marathon date into account and work well with most training plans. I completed those, but I'm not certain my heart was in it.

February : Spring Thaw 15 miler
March : JASR 30K

Marathon day was HOT, like 70+ degrees & sunny, for a race I trained for all WINTER. It was brutal. I had a great first half & really fell off in the second.

May : Pittsburgh Marathon (new PR, shaved 8+ minutes off my 2011 PR)

Shortly after, during a run, my calf seized up. I walked/hobbled the rest of my way home. I took a few days off & was chagrined when my calf felt no better a few days later. Same story a week later, and so on, for a month +. I stretched & continued to cross train but running was off the table.

This meant skipping a 4th of July 5K I had been planning on. I had dreams of breaking 25:00 in 2015, after coming up just short in 2014.

Once the calf felt better it was time to start triathlon training. I ran a decent chunk, but devoted lots of time to swimming & biking as well.

I rocked my tri, and ended up WINNING my age group, though I never received my award, still salty, and the race director never emailed me back. Double salty.

September : Mighty Moraine Man Triathlon

September was super hectic with weddings + other life things. So training went by the wayside. I put up some super fast (for me) paces at Ragnar DC in early October, including a few miles at 7:30 that even shocked me. I came out of that race thinking I might be able to pull off a PR at my HM a few weeks later.

I went into the HM with no expectations. Just see what I could do...hell, my longest run had been 10 miles & was over a month and a half prior. Oops. Imagine my surprise when I cross the finish line with a 2 minute + PR!

October : Ragnar DC + Buffalo Creek Half Marathon (new PR, shaved 2+ minutes off my 2014 PR)


The Buffalo Creek Half Marathon was my last race for 2015. I shifted my focus to strength training & have been spending 3-4 days a week lifting weights and running only 2-3 days each week.

So, what have I got on tap for 2016?
March : March Mad Dash I plan to run the 5K option & then continue on for a few miles to get what I need for the day. I want to break 25:00 for my 5K. I have been keeping a decent long run base so my HM training will not require starting from scratch. I will focus the first half of my training on some faster paces & the second half on putting in the miles.

Fun fact : I ran several HM & 2 full marathons before I ever ran a 5K.

April : Boston Trail Half Marathon
I've never run this, but it has similar attributes to the Buffalo Creek half, small race, crushed limestone trail & hopefully cool weather. I plan to make this my goal race for Spring 2016.

May : Pittsburgh Half Marathon
This was my original spring goal race. But after remembering how miserable the weather was last year, I didn't want to hinge all my training on the weather. April is usually much cooler & more predictable.

July : 4th of July 5K
I've always wanted to do one & missed my shot in 2015. I'll find a small local race & just get out there & enjoy myself.

August/September : Ragnar
I've done Ragnar DC twice now & it's been a blast each time. I would gladly run DC again, but would also love to try my hand at Ragnar Trail. Appalachians & the brand new Buckeye Country race are both within easy driving distance.

October : Buffalo Creek Half Marathon
This race was great! I can't wait to run it again in 2016 & if you're looking for a fall PR in Western PA area definitely check this race out!

November & December : Fun Runs
I got sort of jealous when I saw all the Turkey Trots, Jingle Bell 5Ks, etc that everyone was running. Barring any injuries I plan to pick & choose a few fun local races & have fun, maybe even set some new PRs on seldom raced distances.

What are your running goals in 2016?
Do you integrate strength training into your training plans?
What was the first race you ever ran?
I'm linking up with Marcia, Patty & Erika today for Tuesdays on the Run.


  1. Congrats on an awesome year! I have so much admiration for triathletes...and that's crazy that you didn't get your award! I think 2016 is going to be an awesome year, I'm really looking forward to training for the spring and running my first marathon in the fall!

    1. First marathon! How exciting!!!

      Thanks for stopping by Janelle.

  2. You had a great year! It sucks when a marathon ends up hot. Been there done that too many times. Looks like you've got 2016 pretty well mapped out! Thanks for linking up!

    1. All my non-running friends kept saying how nice the weather was, I just had to walk away! Haha

  3. Ha, I also had a race this fall where I came in 3rd in my age group and never got my award! I'm certain the website said they'd be mailed but maybe I missed something? Come on RDs get it together! Oh well, I still have the satisfaction of knowing I was 3rd :)

    I remember Pgh being hot last year. I actually ran a half here in Wisconsin that same weekend and it was hot here too. Really humid, and it came out of nowhere. Luckily I was just practicing goal MP, not racing, but still, it sucked and I remember being so thankful I wasn't running a marathon in that. So, needless to say, the weather is constantly on my mind as I train for my PGH goal. I'm planning to incorporate as much heat acclimation training as I can, and hope for the best. We can never control the weather and there is no such thing as a fool proof race date, we just have to settle with taking what the day gives us and running as well as we can!

    1. Very well said. Definitely something out of our control. Looking back I probably could have done a thing or two to make myself less miserable. But given the heat, I did what I could and I finished.

  4. Congratulations on all your races. It's always a nice surprise when you finish a race and get a PR out of it.

    1. It sure was. Makes me wonder what happened all the times when I train really hard & can't manage a PR...Haha.


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