A (late) look back at 2017

I realize that it may seem odd for me to write a “Looking Back” since I’ve already written about my “Goals for 2018.” But hey, I’ve never been one to follow the usual order of operations and with all of the hecticness surrounding the holidays (including all of my kids’ sporting events,) I feel like I am just now getting the opportunity to come up for air and piece my thoughts together. Those goals for 2018 were easy to write because I’ve had my eyes on those prizes for months. But my look back on 2017 requires a bit more introspection.

But I’m excited to finally get that chance to really review 2017 because it was kind of a banner year for me running-wise. I Pr’ed in both the marathon and the 5K. But more importantly, I hooked up with an awesome group of runners, maintained a consistent running schedule, and also stayed injury-free for the entire year. WIN, WIN, WIN! And I’m fully aware that all of those pieces came together to help me break through my plateaus and secure those PRs.

It all started a few days before New Year’s Day 2017. A woman that I had seen out running a few times also happened to be the mom of a kid on both of my daughter’s swim teams (she swims for the YMCA and also her high school). We had chatted a few times but we had never been running together. So when she mentioned to me a few days before New Year’s that she was planning to run a 5-miler on New Year’s Day, I unashamedly invited myself along. Even though I was still rehabbing a hip injury from the fall before and I had not been running outdoors for at least a month. My new running friend graciously allowed me to tag along and the rest is history!

Thanks to my new running friend and all of the awesome runners she has introduced me to, I am actually starting to enjoy running outdoors in this crazy NW PA weather. I’ve broken in my Yak Trax and run in everything from freezing rain to snow up to my shins and I’ve done it all with a smile on my face.

Another huge plus to my running in 2017 has been the addition of regular strength training to my weekly routine (although I will admit as I write this that I fell off of the wagon a bit around the holidays but I do plan to get back to business this week.) My oldest daughter asked me to do a Body Pump class with her at the Y and as any parent of a teen can tell you, if your kid asks you to do anything with them – especially something healthy – you just gotta do it! (Even if it is at 5:15 AM!!) But I really think that hitting those Body Pump classes twice a week from May-December played a big role in my 5K PR in July and my marathon PR in November.

All in all, I’d say that 2017 was a fantastic year for me, both in running and in making new running friends. Here’s a look at all of the places running took me this year (I pulled this list together quickly thanks to Athlinks!)

Jan 1: ERC New Year’s Day 5-miler – 46:42

Feb 12: ERC February Prediction Race (4.4 mi) – 42:05

April 1: Cook Forest Half Marathon – 2:03:54

April 30: Seneca 7 relay race

May 7: Pittsburgh Marathon – 4:31:12

May 20: Tour de Chesapeake (a cycling event but still awesome!) 37.6 mi

June 18: ERC Father’s Day 5K – 25:20

July 4: Yorktown Independence Day 8K – 44:15

July 29: Wild 5K – 24:21 5K PR!

Aug 5 Kinzua Tango (2:01:45 for the half-marathon!)

Aug 20 Luray Sprint Triathlon – 25:32 for 5K (course PR!)

Sept 9: Beast on the Bay – 10 mi

Sept 10: Chautauqua 4 for 44 – (2.92 mi/23:18; 6.4mi/51:49; 3.28 mi/26:46)

Sept 22-23 Ragnar Adirondacks!!

Nov 5: Ridgway Turkey Trot Marathon – 4:02:59 MARATHON PR!

Nov 12: Harrisburg Marathon – 5:03:21

Nov 23: Warren Turkey Trot – 36:13

And 2017 was a big year for me beyond the numbers too. I ran my first relay race (and then my first Ragnar), ran an adventure race with my teen, ran over the Savannah Bridge with a running friend I knew from Strava, met some amazing new running friends, and became a BibRave Pro!

It really has been an amazing year and I’m looking forward to many more wonderful things in 2018.