TOTAL MILES: 2376.55
Best Month: 247.75 (August)
Best Week: 65.31 (Sept 25 - Oct 1)
Just short of 2500 miles, just short of a 70 mile week, just short of a 250 mile month. Kind of sums up my year. I had a good start, making a move I’d been thinking about for a while, by joining Central Park Track Club. I’d been doing their tempo workouts for a few weeks and decided that the club was where I needed to be to get to the next level. Race wise, I started the year pretty strong, hitting 3rd overall (!) at a sparsely attended, sub 20 degree NYCRUNS 5 miler in Central Park (32:45, Jan 8th). The first few months of the year were dedicated to training for the New Jersey Marathon, which I wrote about here: http://www.mrjoeyoga.com/blog/new-jersey-marathon-2017. While not the BQ race I’d hoped for, I still managed a ten minute PR and a very respectable 3:15:45. I’d dealt with some ankle issues as my training peaked, but it didn’t affect me during the race at all. With a light week following the marathon, the issue completely subsided.
The next part of my year was dedicated to shorter stuff, running faster. From May through August I did the best running of the year. On May 29th, I hit a long time goal of a sub 40 minute 10K (NYCRUNS, Roosevelt Island, Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/1011335449). I followed this up at Queens a few weeks later with another sub 40 (39:54) while negative splitting. I re-dedicated myself to hitting the gym regularly, armed with a new full body program, and saw great results as the summer wore on.
The next handful of races were at NYRR’s Tuesday Night Speed Series. These nights are basically a series of track events, one after the other. You can run as many or as few as you want with one admission (highly recommended). At my first, I ran perhaps the best race of the year, a 66 second 400. This was remarkable and completely unexpected as I’d never even run under a 74 in practice. I remember being on my toes the whole time, running with complete fear of being last, running as fast as I’ve ever run in my life. I could hardly believe the time when I looked up and saw it. I followed it up that night by breaking 12 in the 3200 fairly comfortably (11:46).
I hit a 19:12 at a non-NYRR 5K on Roosevelt island soon after, and felt pretty good about my next goal, a track 5K at the next Tuesday Night Speed Series where I’d be shooting to break my PR of 18:49. I did - just barely - hitting an 18:47 on a hot, humid night where I had to fight for every meter.
August started with a truly disgusting race (NYRR Team Champs) where I hit another PR, setting my 5 mile PR at 31:26 in probably the hottest race of the year (82% humidity), My race data from that can be found here: https://www.strava.com/activities/1118506319. I followed this up with a trip out west, a bunch of trail running, deer spotting, and canyon hiking. It was a truly incredible experience. I came back refreshed and recharged, and had a couple of great workouts leading up to the first real race of the fall (or last of the summer), the NYRR Fifth Ave Mile, where I set yet another personal best of 5:09. This was similar to my 400m race earlier in the summer in the sense that it was just blind panic running with a completely unexpected result (I came in at 5:21 and expected 5:15 at best).
The third phase of the year was NYC marathon training - this began fairly inauspiciously with a dud of a race at the Bronx 10 Mile, one of my favorite races on the calendar. I destroyed this race last year, coming in at 1:05:05 - this year, the heat and some looming burnout had me come in almost 2 minutes off that pace (1:06:43). That week I hurt my foot while trotting out on the bridle path, an injury that stayed with me for the rest of the cycle, frustrating me and holding me back when I needed to be ramping up the intensity. I trained through it the best I could, and two weeks later managed a 1:31 in a downpour at the Staten Island Half. I was OK with that effort. I finished the cycle the best I could, but was extremely cautious going all out, which led to a supremely disappointing 3:22:25 at the marathon, 3 minutes better than last year but still a huge bummer compared to where I expected to be. By the time the race arrived, I was hurting and completely burnt out (perhaps two marathon cycles in one year is a but much for me this early in my career). I’d been looking at it as the last thing I needed to do before taking a break, not as the goal I’d been working towards, and this really doomed me psychologically.
I took a week off after the marathon to eat and lie around. When I started running again my foot had cleared up (mostly) and I was back to enjoying myself. I finished the year with a 1:03 at Ted Corbitt - not a great time, but it was in line with what I was expecting. I’d been planning to hit a 5K the next weekend hard, but it got snowed out. The last two weeks of the year have been a deep freeze, so I’ve been mixing these brutal outdoor runs with some shorter treadmill speed workouts.
I don’t have any huge goals for the coming year. I probably won’t hit 2500 miles (only one marathon cycle next year). I’d like to focus on shorter races, and getting faster. I’d like to run a really fast half. I’d like to PR in the 5K (I think I have 18:30 in me) and I’d like to hit sub 3:15 at NYC. If I can look back at 2018 this time next year and think “Yes, I got faster”, that, as of right now, will be enough.