A Look Back at 2016

sunset californiaRunning wise, this year has been a mixed bag for me, I’ve learned some tough lessons but also had some great races. Personally, I’ve had a great year – Callum and I got married, I have a new niece and we left Toronto at the beginning of November for an extended roadtrip across the USA.

Let’s start at the beginning. Last winter was another cold one and I managed to run through it which is always a big accomplishment. I had a recurring knee injury throughout the first few months of 2016 which eventually flared up causing me to DNF at the Sulphur Springs 100 in May. That was my first DNF and caused me to question a lot about running. I took a little bit time off and re-evaluated what I wanted from running.

sulphur springs 100

I actually didn’t train much during the summer, I temporarily hired a coach that had me running really low mileage. I ended up running the Black Spur 54km with my longest training run being 15km! Black Spur was also my first mountain race, something that I’d wanted to try for a long time and it was tough.

black spur ultra
During the summer, my goal was a fast fall marathon. As it got closer, it was obvious that I hadn’t done enough long training runs to attempt that so I signed up for the half-marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM).

In mid-September, my friend Sigrid and I road tripped to Wisconsin for the North Face Endurance Challenge Series Wisconsin. Race day ended up being beautiful weather and the flatish course allowed me to get a 50km PR there.

north face endurance challenge 50km
To close out the year, I raced the STWM half and had a really tough race but managed to take almost 5 minutes off my PB!

Looking back, what started off as a tough year allowed me to reevaluate what I really wanted to do and try some new things.

Stats for this year:

  • Total kilometres: 2,654 km (1,649 miles)
  • Runs: 214
  • Total elevation gain: 20,076 m (65,866 ft)
  • Races: 10
  • Ultras: 5
  • Set personal records for the 10km, half-marathon and 50km

In early November, Callum and I left to start our van trip to the US. In the last two months, I’ve run in the desert, at elevation in the mountains, along the ocean and through forests. I’ve also spent a lot of time struggling to get in enough mileage but the amazing places I sometimes get to run more than make up for it.

van rocky mountains
On NYE, I closed out 2016 with a long run along the ocean in LA with Callum. I have some big running plans for 2017 already and I can’t wait to take all the lessons I’ve learned this year to make 2017 an even better year!

What’s on the calendar for 2017 already –

San Tan Scramble 50km outside of Phoenix, AZ next week (Jan 7)
Lone Star 100km race in El Paso, TX in early February
Ragnar Relay from Cobourg to Niagara Falls, ON in late May
Sulphur Springs 100 miler – I have some unfinished business there!

How was your year? What’s your biggest goal for 2017?

Happy running!


2016 Goals and Plans!

It’s 2016!

IMG_2111I started the year the best way possible, a trail run with Callum on a beautiful trail in Asheville, NC. It’s hard to get him to come running with me so it’s always great when he gives in and puts on his running shoes.

This year is already shaping up to be a great and busy year and I can’t wait. Last year at this time, my only running goal for 2015 was 50k at North Face Endurance Challenge Washington DC. This year I’ll be back at that race for the 50 miler.IMG_2090But my big running goal for 2016 is to complete my first 100 mile race in May. The last running thing I did in 2015 was sign up for this race so it’s official. Sulphur Springs, here I come!

There are some really big things happening in 2016:

  • First 100 miler in May
  • Callum and I are getting married in July

I don’t believe in resolutions but here are my goals for the year:

  1. Run smart – run easy on easy days, give the hills everything I have during hill repeats
  2. Balance strength training with running to prevent injury
  4. Run at least 3,000 km
  5. 3 blog posts per week
  6. Remember that I run because I love it!

I am still finalizing my race plans for 2016 but I’m hoping to have that all sorted out soon.

What races are you doing? What are your goals for 2016?

Happy running!