2017 is going to be a hard year to beat. Somehow, I managed a personal best in every single race distance I ran: 5K, 10K, half and full marathon. On top of that, I did my first ever Olympic distance triathlon and fared far better than I ever imagined. Dare I say, I even enjoyed myself!
But if I had to sum up my top three highlights of the year, they would be this:
- The Geneva Marathon: By far, the highlight of 2017 for me was the Geneva Marathon in May. While all my other races were memorable in some way, this race was my best running moment, not just of the year, but perhaps of my whole life. I trained hard for four months with the goal of bettering my 2013 marathon I wanted to do it right and I wanted to run it well. I did everything I set out to do and came away with a 17 minute personal best, finishing the race in fine form with a time of 4:14:52. This isn’t going to win me any awards. In fact, even if I as 59 years old, this time wouldn’t qualify me for Boston, but even still, I am really proud of myself. I can’t even think about it too much or I might cry with happiness. Let’s move on…
- Thoughts and Pavement Turns 5: My blog celebrated its 5th birthday in September. I recognised this milestone with a giveaway and the lovely winner made this YouTube video about his win.
- New job: I started a new job in July at a PR Agency called Action PR. In an attempt to better align my passions with my career, I joined a specialist agency that focuses on health and fitness. While I’m forever grateful to my previous company for allowing me the opportunity to move from Toronto to London, I am happy to have made the move to an industry I love and I’m excited for the year ahead. To read more about that, you can check out my appointment announcement (er…shameless self promotion!) in Sport Industry News
The year wasn’t all PBs and fun times. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few of my…shall we say… key learnings of 2017. Here are the top 3:
- Pre-Marathon Meltdown: My pre-Geneva marathon meltdown was a particular low-point. I catastrophized to the point of pure exhaustion. I ruminated about every bad thing that could potentially befall on race day. The weather forecast looked grim and I was starting to doubt my training. I think Graham nearly divorced me that day. A good learning was to trust myself and my training. If I put in the work, then everything is likely to go to plan. Turns out it didn’t rain during the race and I got a PB.
- Lost toenail: While some may view a lost toenail as a badge of honour, I was generally horrified by my first one. Following the marathon, I knew something was supremely messed up with my middle toe, and then while we were on our trip to Japan in May, my toenail fell off. It was a real adventure trying to buy antibiotic ointment in Tokyo. To this day, I’m still not totally sure what I put on my toe. (It’s fine now, by the way)
- Months of Physio: Following the marathon, something went wrong with me knee. I couldn’t run for well over a month. I went to a physiotherapist 1-2 times/week to work on restoring it back to health. It was tedious and frustrating. I recovered, but it was a sad part of the year. I had to do a lot of cycling and while that helped prepare me for the triathlon, it definitely made me realise running is my first love.
Here’s how the year looked in numbers:
- 107 runs with a total of 854.1 kilometres
- Highest mileage was in March with a total of 169.1km
- Average pace: 5:45/km
- Average distance per run: 8.13km
- Total calories burned: 35,676 (approximately the total I consumed over Christmas in wine and cheese)
- Total time spent running: 83 hours, 37 minutes, 50 seconds
- 5K PB: 24:14
- 10k PB: 51:49
- Half marathon PB: 1:57:39
- Marathon PB: 4:14:52
I look back on 2017 fondly. I’m really proud of everything I did. However, I started feeling anxiety about how I was going to “top” these accomplishments in 2018. I take goal setting very seriously, so I’m having a good long think about what this year will have in store for me. I have a few ideas that might surprise you… stay tuned!