At the start of 2016, I set myself some running goals. Although 2016 finished almost a half year ago, I thought I should revisit them and set some new goals. Most of this, particularly the goals, was written early this year however I didn't get around to hitting 'Publish' until the end of May. Oh bene.
In short, I kept running. Lots. Overall my year was pretty different to my assumptions at the start of the year - and I'm sure glad it did. The general theme of my goals for 2016 was "do what you did last year, but farther and/or faster". The reality was much more fun: I started running on trails, started to enjoy running up hills, and embraced the longer slower run.
So how'd I go?
I hit most of my targets for 2016. Here, in bold, are the goals I set for myself a year ago - followed by my progress through the year.
- Continue running. Check. In 2015 I ran 98 times for a total of 512km; in 2016 I ran 155 times and covered 1,242km.
- Finish three half-marathons, with at least one under 1:40:00. I did do three half-marathons: Westerfolds Park Half Marathon in March (1h58m), Great Ocean Road Marathon Festival Half Marathon (1h52m half marathon; 2h03m total); Run Melbourne Half Marathon (1h49m). By the time I ran Run Melbourne I had changed my priorities and put less emphasis on massive PBs, as I had done 20km trail races in the 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after.
- Get my 10K pace to below 50 minutes Check. 49:50 is below 50 minutes right?. This was on the hilly Beechworth Fun Run, which I'll revisit in 2017. I also went around 49min as part of the 10.6km Run for the Firies. I think these were the only two 10km races I ran in 2016.
- Great Ocean Road half marathon, Run Melbourne Half Marathon, and Melbourne Marathon Half Marathon events are on my calendar. I did the first two of these; instead of running at Melbourne Mara I ran up some steep hills in Kinglake. It was free and it was much more fun, but I didn't get a medal.
The year I discovered Trail Running
2016 was the year I discovered trail running. I've always enjoyed bushwalking and hiking, but for some reason had never really run through the bush. I live on the suburban fringe of Melbourne, and there are great trails right on my doorstep - including some epic technical mountain bike trails (which are on public land, ready to run!) and many fire access tracks otherwise closed to vehicular traffic.
Later in the year I ran the nighttime Afterglow Trail Half Marathon, starting a bit before dusk and finishing on the beach well after dark. The awesome Trail Running Rainbow Unicorn t-shirt in the above picture was from this run and I wear it regularly with pride.
Aside from trails, I also set a new parkrun personal best of 21:45 in August - going for a fastest time at the peak of event training is a great way to test where I'm at compared to previous training cycles.
I'm going to cheat a little bit here since we're already half way through the year...
- Smash the trails.
- Get a road half marathon time under 1h45m.
- Finish a bunch of trail half marathons
- Get a 10km time under 45 minutes
- Get a parkrun time below 21 minutes
- Run something longer than a half marathon