in General Running

Looking Back, Looking Forward

You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it. With that in mind, it’s time for a traditional look back at the year gone by, and a look forward to 2015.

2014 was a good year for me in the running department. I started out strong with good months of training in January, February and March. I decided early in the year to head to Vancouver again for my third BMO Vancouver Marathon. It was another solo trip and it was a bit of a celebration of the end of physio and the completion of my (not quite complete) recovery from the big bike crash in 2011.

Originally, the 2012 BMO Vancouver Marathon was supposed to be that celebration, but a second surgery and more physio in early 2013 got in the way of that. 2014 offered the reset that I was after and I still had something to prove after a less than stellar run in 2012.

Around the Bay and off to Vancouver

Leading up to marathon number seven in Vancouver, I ran Around the Bay again in March, 2014. I ran a solid personal best of 2:33:38 for the 30km. I faded a little bit on the big hill and through the finish so I think I have a really good shot at breaking 2:30 in 2015. That’s the first race on my calendar this year.

The race in Vancouver in May was great. The weather was wet and cool and it meant I would be running my first ever marathon in the rain. I ran a strong personal best of 3:48:30 and ran really well from start to finish. I’m super excited to try to improve on that a bit more in May when I run the 2015 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.

In the summer I took it pretty easy, but made a somewhat last minute decision to run the Midsummer Nights Run 15km. That’s a distance I’ve never raced, so I meant a PB no matter what. I was already two for two in PB’s in 2014, so I was happy to take a third one for free.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

On my way to a great finish and six seconds shy of my PB

I ended up running a really strong 1:10:55 in the race which surprised me a little bit. I was super happy with that and felt it was a solid PB even as a first time racing that distance.

Run streaking and the Scotiabank Half

Starting with the Midsummer Night’s Run 15km, I embarked on my first experience with streak running. Between August 16th and October 16th, I ran every day – a total of 62 days straight. I learned a lot in that two-month period and ended the streak the Thursday before the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon.

That was a real last minute decision and I wasn’t sure how the race would go given that I hadn’t run longer than about 18km since the marathon in May. Most of my runs were 5-7km and while I felt strong and fast, I wasn’t sure I would have the endurance.

It turned out that I did. It wasn’t quite a personal best, but a 1:38:32 was just six seconds off my half marathon best set on a much easier course in Hamilton a couple of years ago. It was probably my best half marathon ever and a solid personal awesome.

Chicago and Ginny’s first marathon

One other highlight of the year was our family trip to Chicago. Ginny ran her first full marathon and the girls and I cheered everyone on. What a great experience that was, and it was so exciting to see Ginny run 42.2km and also to run better than her “A” goal. She’s caught the marathon bug now too and Ottawa will be the first race where we both lace up the shoes for a full marathon at the same time.

Team Awesome and the Ottawa Race Weekend

Near the end of the year I was asked to join Team Awesome for the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Of course I said yes!

Team AwesomeI’ll be blogging and encouraging runners and generally talking up the Race Weekend this spring and then in May I’ll be running my eighth full marathon in Ottawa. Training starts in a couple of weeks, and I’m already itching to go.

2,000km, a marathon PB (I hope) and maybe another ultra

Overall, 2014 was one of my best years of running. I ran 1,800km which was my second highest yearly total ever and more than 800km more than my terrible 2013. With some luck and smart running, I should be able to top 2,000km in 2015.

Racing-wise, I’d like to take a run at a 3:45 marathon (or better). And I think a run at my half marathon PB would be a decent plan for the fall. There’s also been some talk of revisiting the Niagara Ultra for the third time this summer. I think maybe a 5:00 50km might be doable and I’d love to take a crack at ultra marathon number three.

It’ promises to be a good year of running!