What a year. I had high expectations for 2016 and it honestly exceeded them. Personally, I went through a lot of change. Moved to the city. Started a new job. Saw relationships change — some strengthen, some weaken. And I can say that I’m happier than ever. Not only did this year make me stronger both mentally and physically, but it made me embrace change. I did a lot this year that I was “scared of” and I learned that I’m capable of more than I thought.
The running highlights: I ran 18 races. Had a half marathon PR, a marathon PR, a Boston Qualifying time, a 5K PR. 3 out of state races. Over 1300 miles.
Here’s a quick monthly mileage & race breakdown of 2016.
January – 103.21 miles
Fox Valley Trail 5K . January 22nd. 32:08.
A relatively calm January for Chicago. I was able to do most of my long runs outside and get ready for the Tybee Run Fest in February! I set my intention for the year and felt excited about where it was going to take me.
February – 82.81 miles
Tybee Run Fest. February 5-6. 26.2 total miles. 3:25:05. 7:49 average pace. Second female 21-30 AG.
Rockford Trail 9 Miler. February 20th. 2:01:00.
February was fantastic. I LOVED Tybee Run Fest. I was so impressed with my performance this early in the year and knew it was the confidence boost I needed to shoot for a Boston Qualifying marathon time in the fall.
March – 111.82 miles
Get Lucky Half Marathon. March 12th. 1:38:43.
March brought me the half marathon PR I’d been looking for. I didn’t know it was going to happen this month, but I had a perfect race day and felt great. Another pretty mild month weather wise and I was excited for my next two months of half marathons before marathon training began.
April – 104.48 miles
ChiTown Half Marathon. April 9th. 2:08:31.
Naperville Women’s Half Marathon. April 24th. 1:40:01.
One of the best and worst half marathons I’ve ever run. The ChiTown half had HORRIBLE race conditions. Ice, snow, and negative wind chills. But my April 24th half was great. I ran at a “comfortable pace” and had fun. I was shocked at how running a 1:40 felt comfortable, but it did.
May – 85.74 miles
Great Western Half Marathon. May 1st.
Quarryman 10 Miler. May 7th.
Soldier Field 10 Miler. May 29th.
May was a low mileage month. I was done with spring training, but had a few races to run. The Quarryman Challenge is always one of my favorite races. It reminds me how much I enjoy running hills. It isn’t easy, but it’s challenging and rewarding.
June – 106.81 miles
Pride 10K. June 26th.
The kick start of Chicago Marathon training!! I love June because it’s a new start even though it’s half way through the year. My only race was a 10K and it was a pretty hot summer month, but it was a great start to training.
July – 159.10 miles
Rock N’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. July 17th. 1:39:42.
High mileage in hot weather pretty much sums up July. A lot of these training runs were not fun, but they were necessary. I think July is almost the most crucial month of training. It takes diligence and patience, but it sets up how the rest of the training cycle is going to go. It made me stronger! Also I absolutely loved the Rock N’ Roll Chicago and I’m hoping to run it again in 2017.
August – 175.01 miles
Big Ten 10K. August 6th. 46:55.
August was the month where I had the choice to back down from a challenge or put in more work than I ever had. I chose work. Countless speed workouts and long runs in 85+ degrees. Less happy hours. More vegetables. This August was the highest mileage month I’ve ever had and I went into September feeling really good. No sign of injury, and a lot of signs pointing to a marathon PR in October.
September – 155.04 miles
Lake Michigan 20 Miler. September 4th. 2:58:18.
September was the culmination of marathon training. Ran an amazing 20 miler in Milwaukee with Jen. Kept my mileage high, but lowered the intensity a little bit. It was still a warm September, but I ran strong and got more and more excited for the Chicago Marathon each day. Plus, I started my “booze free” month before the marathon and accomplishing that goal was something I’m proud of.
October – 86.50 miles
Chicago Marathon. October 9th. 3:33:53.
Making A Beer Run 6K. October 15th.
Country Sole Half Marathon. October 22nd.
The Chicago Marathon was the highlight of my running year. October 9th, 2016 is a day I will never forget. It’s amazing to see all your hard work pay off. I truly enjoyed every second of this race. I started out slower, ran smart, excelled. Crossing that finish line with a Boston Qualifying time is something I thought I would only ever dream of, but this year it was a reality. I EARNED that time. I couldn’t be happier with my performance. And I ran two more races in October strictly for fun. I was still in love with running even after all the hard work.
November – 74.34 miles
Cantigny 5K. November 5th. 22:25.
I’m also very proud of my November mileage because I was in Europe for most of it! I wasn’t training for anything, but I didn’t use it as an excuse to be lazy. And I absolutely love exploring new places on foot. I had Kyle running with me most of our vacation and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.
December – 90 miles (ish. I’m adding up later).
St. Louis Hot Chocolate 15K. December 11th. 1:14:01.
December running happens mostly because of the Runner’s World Run Streak. I’m held accountable for running at least 1 mile every day and it makes me get outside, get fresh air, and keep up a running base. It’s a month of just running for enjoyment and staying active and it is actually one of my favorites. The fact that I can make it to December without injury makes me happy.
2016 was my strongest running year yet and I am SO grateful for my experiences. My passion for running shapes me into the person I am each and every day and I can’t imagine my life without it. So, 2017 you have some work to do if you want to out do this year. 🙂