I don’t know about you but 2015 has been a pretty amazing year for me! At this time last year, my only running goal for 2015 was to run my first ultra, a 50k at the North Face Endurance Challenge in Washington DC.
Here are the stats about how 2015 turned out:
- 2,500+ kilometres run
- 9 races
- 270+ hours spent running
- 200+ runs
I found an online training plan for running a 50k race and started following it at the end of December 2014. I ran 5 days a week outside all through what turned out to be a really cold winter that’s my frozen face after 6km at -15C before windchill).
In March, I decided that I needed a running coach. I had been toying with the idea for quite a while but decided that it was time especially if I was going to start consistently running ultras.
I met with Chris and we decided that he would start coaching me after my 50k in early April. Not only that but he sent me all sorts of helpful and encouraging information about what to expect/do for the 50k.
At the end of March, I ran Around the Bay for the second time. In 2014, when I ran it for the first time I was really sick and had a terrible race so I was hesitant about going back. The race was at a good time of year and I knew lots of people running it this year so I decided to give it another try. I ran it as a training run and had a really great race. I even finished faster than last year despite not racing it.
Before I had even run an ultra, I decided that I wanted to do a 50 mile race in the fall. Why not just jump in head first? Chris suggested that Haliburton would be a good race. Haliburton was in mid-September so I would have 5 months after the North Face run to train.
In early April, I flew to DC to run my first ultra. This race ended up being a great choice for my first ultra, the trail wasn’t very technical, it only had a couple big hills and was a beautiful course. I had a great run and couldn’t believe that I’d run 50k! I knew by the end that I definitely wanted to run farther. I would have happily run 50k again the next weekend.
And then after a couple recovery weeks, 50 mile training started. It turns out that the best way to train for an ultra is to do a lot of races as training runs. So my summer involved lots and lots of long runs and races used as training runs.
I ran 25k at the Seaton Soaker on a hot, humid day in early May.
I did one loop (20k) of a 100 mile relay at Sulphur Springs in late May.
I did a training run in Portugal (from Lisbon to Cascais) that was around 30k.
I ran in the hills in Scotland and hiked up the highest peak in the UK, Ben Nevis.
I did a training run in Switzerland that featured a lake and the alps to my right and vineyards on my left for the whole 30k+.
I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge Series 50k at Blue Mountain on an incredibly hot July day.
The next weekend, I went to Dirty Girls and did my first 6 hour timed race. I made it 5 1/2 times around the 8k looped course.
A couple weeks later, I did 25k at the Creemore Vertical Challenge.
Not long after that, it was taper time for Haliburton. And before I knew it, we were driving up to Haliburton. You can read all about it here. It was a tough day that had lots of highs and lows but I left that race knowing that a 100 miler was in my future.
I finished the season off with running the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon Toronto, a really tough race for me.
And then I took a break because it’s been a really busy year. I ended up with a foot injury that forced me to take a short off-season from running but I am slowly getting back to normal running.
This year I’ve accomplished a lot but I couldn’t have done it without a great support system behind me. Chris’ coaching has been invaluable, along with the support of everyone that runs with C&C Running Factory.
Callum and my family are incredibly supportive and don’t even look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I’m going to run 20k on a Wednesday anymore!
This year I did more races than I had in my entire life, combined. I’ve learned that the running community is an amazing thing to be a part of.
And now with 2015 almost finished, it is time to start training for my first 100 miler at Sulphur Springs in May 2016! 2015 was an amazing year and I can’t wait for what’s in store for 2016!
How was your year? What was your biggest accomplishment of 2015?