I’ve been thinking I should kind of wrap up 2015 by talking about how I fared with my running during the rest of 2015. However, the longer I waited, the harder it became to get it together and post something.
Now that’s it’s official 2016, though, it doesn’t seem as daunting as it did. The worst part of skipping a habit is trying to restart it. While I’m not committing to anything here, I’ll write a few words about my running experiences through the end of the year.
I maintained a fairly consistent running habit from July through to mid October, although a minor illness did slow me down in late July/early August. I completed three additional races this year:
Marathon By the Sea (Saint John, NB)
This was my first half-marathon race. I almost did not run the race because of the minor illness that I mentioned above. I’m glad that I did run it, although it was the toughest race to date, especially the last third. I finished the race in approx 2 hrs. 23 min. Good enough for a first half-marathon, I guess, but there are three things that probably impeded my performance:
- First and foremost, I did not eat enough prior to the race. I believe I had one muffin with some juice and some other little thing. Not enough! Coupled with the other two things below, I almost depleted my energy stores during the run and felt pretty shaky for close to 30 minutes after finishing as I stuffed myself full of food.
- I probably increased my pace a little too much early on and then did that again during the second third of the race, which caused me to burn energy a little faster.
- I was not ready for the hills in the final third of the race. They weren’t huge inclines but they just never seemed to end during miles 10 – 12. This was when I really slowed down.
But, there were some really positive things:
- Good running shirt in the race kit and a really nice medal.
- Weather was comfortable, maybe slightly too warm and humid but for August you really couldn’t complain.
- Nice community support for runners along the course.
- Got to run a bit with my old friend Scott, who I don’t get to see very often.
- Got to meet Andrew, Shannon and Jeff (met the last two at the finish line, which was quite wonderful).
- Got to chat with Rod, one of the race organizers, who I had met at the Lorneville Loop race a few months earlier.
- I finished!
As tough as it seemed to be at the time, I think I’d like to run the race again.
Liv9 (Fredericton) Fall Classic (Fredericton, NB)
My second half-marathon of the year. By contrast to the Saint John race one month earlier, I felt great and finished with a much better time: approx 2 hrs. 3 min. Unfortunately, the course was actually 300 – 400 m shorter than it should have been due to a problem, but no big deal. It was wonderful to have such a positive experience following the struggle of the previous race. Got to talk with some of my local running group before and after the race and also had a brief chat with Chris, who was part of the race organizing team. Although the conditions were less challenging than Saint John and I was in better shape this time, I was still quite pleased with my race time. This is a great little half-marathon. Nice shirt and medal, too!
Perth-Andover Dam Run (Perth Andover, NB)
This was the second time I ran this 10 K race. It was a little cool and windy (mid-October), but it’s a fairly flat course and I really like this race, plus you get a nice warm but light long-sleeved shirt in the race kit.
I was very pleased to achieve a new PB of 54 min for this race, despite a couple of brief walk breaks. This was more than 1 min faster that last year’s time, my previous PB.
Much to my surprise, I took first place in my age category! There were only two of us, but still…. I joked about it later on, thanking two runners from my club for NOT running the race (I would have finished a distant third behind those two guys, let me tell you).
I think I’ll keep running this race every fall until my legs fall off.
The Rest of 2015
Between a hectic few months at work plus some recurring corn issues with my right foot, I didn’t run as much for the rest of the year. Some weeks I only ran once, there was even a week or two that I didn’t run at all. Unfortunately, I coupled this with a fair amount of unhealthy eating, so I’ve put on at least 10 pounds and lost a fair amount of conditioning. So that’s disappointing and it’s a strong signal that I need to get better at managing stress.
BUT I’ve been running closer to a normal schedule lately, including four runs during during this crossover week between 2015 – 16. I have a training schedule to run my first full marathon in May and I’m working on (re)establishing a bunch of good habits in 2016. If I keep taking another step, then another, then another, and so on, I will be back on track. I still have a long term goal (5 year goal) to run the Boston Marathon and that will be part of my vision to help keep me motivated and working. It’s going to be tough to resume training, but I’ve done it before and, barring any health issues, I’ll be able to say that I ran my first marathon in May. Yet another step…