While 2017 did not turn out to be the year I had hoped with my running, there were still plenty of successes and accomplishments. Each year seems to teach me another lesson about patience and letting go of control.
When I think back on what I hoped to achieve in 2017, I actually think I was pretty successful. As I wrote this post last year, my goals were not about setting PRs or running high mileage. They were about accepting what the year gave me and making the most of it. This is how I ended that post last year:
“So my intention for 2017 is to be able to carry over this training style and mindset. I want to be able to continue running and enjoying it. Maybe that will involve training for more races or maybe it won’t. I still have time goals I want to achieve but this year has taught me that I would rather run 3 slow miles feeling good than fight with myself to run a specific workout. If I could figure out a way to prepare for a race using this laid-back style that would be great. However, it’s so new for me that I would fear getting caught up in my old ways.”
At the end of 2016 I had just gotten back to running after (part 1 of) my foot injury, and had managed to get back to 10 miles at the end of the year. My training approach at that time was more laid-back than ever, with zero expectations. I wanted to carry that over into 2017.
Unfortunately my foot drama was not yet over at that point, and the rest of the year was quite a roller coaster. Rather than focusing on those challenges, I feel like I was able to focus on what I could do, like strength training and cross training. Ultimately, my injury led me to begin working with Drew and Tina, which was one of the best decisions I could have made for my running.
Even though I spent about 7 months of the year dealing with my foot, I still got to run two races! In October I randomly signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon, one of my favorite races and the first race I did 10 years before. This felt like it signified a true comeback. I also ran a Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning.
Even though I was back to running regularly by September, there were still factors interfering with my runs, like chafing and humidity. One run that stands out is my long run progression run in mid-November. I did 11 miles at an 8:11 pace. I felt strong the whole time and the weather cooperated.
I think I would have to go with the Brook’s Levitates. These shoes fit like a glove from the moment I put them on my feet. They are light with just the right amount of cushioning. I generally prefer a lower heel to two drop so I still alternate between these and the Pure Flows, but they are perfect for easy runs, recovery runs, and long runs.
I think just about everything I learned from Drew has been helpful running advice! Belly breathing, tucking the chin, how to warm up properly, mobility exercises, random tips to resolve just about any complaint I throw at him….It seems like when I put all of his advice together (and actually use it when I am running) I feel like I am running taller and stronger with better form. (I don’t know it I actually am, it just feels that way!)
I’m gonna jump on the bandwagon and agree with everyone else who has said Shalane Flanagan.
The Baltimore Running Festival had free race photos this year which was awesome. I like this one, right before the finish line. I remember how tired I was but also how proud I felt for being able to run that race after such a long injury.
I also like this picture, which was taken at the start line of the race. The start line of the Baltimore half always makes me emotional because it reminds me of all the feelings I had when I started that race in 2007. This time I was nervous for different reasons but also such a different runner than I was back then.
Out of the two races I did this year, I don’t think I would repeat either of those experiences. The Baltimore half was really hot and hilly. The Turkey Trot 5k was cold and hilly. Both were challenging and could have gone better. Regardless of how they went, I was still happy to be out there running.
Have patience and trust the process.
How would you sum up your year of running in 2017?
What did you learn this year?
What was some good running advice you received this year?