Looking Back, Looking Forward

2017 is almost a memory, and that means many runners (myself included) are taking a look back at the year in running. It’s always interesting to write up one of these, and to look back at last year’s post.

I had high hopes for this year in terms of mileage. My usual goal of running the year number in kilometres was set and I was on pace to make that number again…until March.

Mild Winter

The winter was a mild one and that made training a bit easier than usual. I had a good thing going in the first couple of months of the year, including the start of hill training. With 184km and 187km in January and February respectively, the miles were stacking up nicely heading into the meat of the marathon training program in March and April.

We extended our usual March Break vacation with a few days in Florida in addition to the usual week in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (HHI). I was looking forward to getting a couple of long runs done in the warmth of the US south.

My first long run on HHI featured a bad fall at 14km while running 29km. I finished the run with things getting tighter and tighter around my ribcage. The next morning it was clear I’d done some damage and running was out of the question for the rest of the week at least.

When we got back to Toronto, I headed to the doctor and was told I probably had a couple of broken ribs.

Sore Ribs, Don’t Care

Call me stubborn…I wasn’t about to let this get in the way of my Vancouver plans. Thanks to some great work by Adriana at Athlete’s Care in Liberty Village, I was back running again just 16 days later.

It hurt like heck and it was slow going, but I was running again. The BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 7, 2017 would be a tough one, but I was determined to be standing on the start line ready to run.

I gradually, but fairly quickly ramped things back up and got in a couple of 30km runs that were confidence boosters before I made the trek out west.

Race day in Vancouver was perfect, and my training was adequate…for about a 30km. When I hit the Seawall, the legs said they were done and while I did a fair bit of walking over the last 10km, I still came in with a decent 4:04:13 time for my eleventh marathon.

Easy Summer

After that, it was time to rest a bit and take it easy over the summer. I tried to keep up some amount of regular running, but without a fall race on the schedule, it was tough to stay motivated. In 2016 I coached the marathon clinic at the Canary District Running Room and ran two marathons that year (spring and fall). I resolved to not to that anymore so I didn’t have a fall marathon on the schedule.

A Fall Half

To stay in the game, I signed up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon in October and got to work again in September with some more regular training. Race day was hot (again) and I ran sub-1:50 which was good enough for me on that day.

It wasn’t long after that Ginny decided we should both do the trip to Vancouver in 2018 to run the spring races. Nothing gets me back into a regular routine better than having a RUNVAN countdown on my Garmin.

Mid-November was the start of pre-season training and I rolled back into running five days a week heading to the official start of the 18 week BMO Vancouver Marathon training schedule on December 31st.

Assuming I run the schedule in the next couple of days, here’s how 2017 will end up:


  • Runs: 196
  • Mileage: 1,683km
  • Hours: 145


  • BMO Vancouver Marathon: 4:04:00 (Strava)
  • Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon: 1:49:53 (Strava)