Since I started this blog three years ago (!) I've always recapped my previous year and set goals for the upcoming year. Setting goals has always been really important to me, and I've written about goal setting extensively here. So here's the recap of last year and what I'm looking forward to this year.
2015 Goals Recap
1) Finish the Laurel Highlands Ultra 70.5 Miler
NOPE. I made it to mile 39 before DNFing. I talked about my DNF here and have gotten past it. But I still don't have a desire to run another ultra (yet). And that's okay!
2) Finish the Hyner 50k
YES! This was one of the most difficult races I've ever run, even though it was "only" a 50k. It was the first hot day of the year and I survived (barely). Read my race recap over at RootsRated.
Thoughts on 2015
While I only accomplished half of my "big" goals I set at the beginning of this year, I still came out of 2015 feeling on top of the world. A lot of other awesome, unexpected stuff happened along the way including:
-My first ever race win at the Sloppy Cuckoo 10k Trail Run
-Starting a new running club, the Pennypack Trail Runners
-Organizing several social events & meet-ups for Oiselle Team PA
-Podium'ing in several 5ks and coming within 22 seconds of my 5k PR
-Running with my cousin in his 2nd 5k and helping him shave 8 minutes off his previous time
-Securing my first, paid freelance writing job with RootsRated.com and interviewing Chris McDougall, author of Born to Run
-Becoming an RRCA running coach certification in April 2015 and launching my personal business site, danigraham.com.
-Non-running life: Josh and I bought our first home (September) and I got a new job, starting January 2016!
When I consider all the things I did accomplish in 2015, it's really hard to be upset about a DNF. I am slowly but surely figuring out how to balance everything in my life, and I expect things will be even more interesting as I adjust to my new job this year.
This year, I'm finding it difficult to set my usual time and distance related goals. Maybe because I failed at a big goal last year, or maybe because I'm just having fun with the status quo right now, and don't feel the need to run marathons or ultras. However, I do have a few specific goals in mind for 2016:
1. Grow and nurture the Pennypack Trail Runners
Starting and continuing a running club has been one of the most challenging and fulfilling running adventures I've undertaken. When I started PTR about a month ago it seemed pretty simple, just meet with some people and run! But each week I create facebook events, preview a set route, post said route, and answer tons of questions from members. The most difficult part of leading a trail running club, specifically, is making sure no one gets lost when everyone runs at different speeds. I'm learning the hang of things, but it's still a challenge. With more than 130 members and growing, I anticipate this is going to be a huge part of my life in 2016 and my goal is to grow the group, while making sure that everyone feels welcomed and included.
2. Set a PR in the 5k (sub 22:47)
I got close to my PR towards the end of 2015, but after hitting a 23:09 at the hilly Abington Gobble Wobble 5k, my training fell off in December and I didn't feel in shape enough to attempt another PR during the holidays. 2016 will be the year I come under 22:47, as long as I dedicate myself to training and staying in shape. It may not be in early 2016 as I have another big race coming up in April (see below).
3. Run the American Odyssey Relay
I absolutely loved running Ragnar Cape Cod in 2014, so when my fast friend Elizabeth asked me if I wanted to run 200 miles from Gettysburg to Washington, D.C. as an ultra team in the American Odyssey Relay, I said yes in a heartbeat. The difference here is that we'll have 6 runners instead of 12, and will run twice the mileage. The total mileage for each runner is around 34 miles, in about 24-30 hours. What this means for me is that I'll need to get back into long running shape ASAP!
Hope everyone is having a great start to the new year!