It has been a long time since I have written about running. I ran on and off–mostly off–as I worked my way through a string of injuries lasting at least two years. Every time I thought I was healed, I would go out and hurt myself again. This time last year, I was in physical therapy for lingering plantar fasciitis. If you have ever had that, you’ll know it never really goes away. The PT, plus finally getting a great pair of custom orthotics in June, helped me to be able to walk without pain for the first time in maybe a year.
I was able to start running a little bit in March of 2015 and was able to have a long, slow build-up to running several times a week and up to 20 miles per week by the end of the year. I haven’t had plantar fascia pain during a run since July. I’m not saying I’m perfectly healed because I probably never will be, but my quality of life has greatly improved and, as a bonus, I feel like a runner again and am enjoying it more than ever!
I used to keep a running log and started a new one when I started running semi-consistently in March. Here are some stats from my 2015 running log.
- In 2015, I ran 392 miles. I started keeping the log on March 13th.
- My highest-mileage month was September with 68.17 miles and my lowest was April with 13.49 miles.
- My first time running at least ten miles in who knows how long was the week of July 27th, when I ran 11.22 miles.
- My most international runs were July 18th and July 20th, when I ran on a treadmill in the hotel basement gym in Jerusalem. July 18th was also my longest run of the year up until that point at 5 miles.
- The most mileage I ran in a week was 20.8 miles the week of November 9th.
- I ran just one race, a Firecracker 5k. My time was 29:42 and I was just happy to finish faster than 31 minutes.
Since returning to running this year, I have seen my easy pace go from 10:45 (though I also ran a lot of untimed runs in the beginning) to 9:45 on a good day or 10:15 on a bad day. Slower if it’s snowy, but time on a snowy run means absolutely nothing. I’m happy to see that consistency, even if the mileage is low, is leading to improvement.
My running goals for 2016 are as follows:
- I want to run a half marathon in the spring. I’m looking at the Martian Half Marathon if I’m in town that weekend. Sub-goals here: follow the Hal Higdon Novice 2 training plan and finish the race healthy. Martian is 12 weeks out, so I started week one of the plan this week.
- I would like to run another half marathon in the fall with my realistic goal being to run faster than my spring half and my stretch goal being to run sub-2 hours. My PR in the half marathon is 1:57:11, which I ran in my very first half in 2013. The next two were 2:05ish and 2:20ish as my string of injuries lengthened. I want to add speed work into the training cycle, once per week.
- I’d like to run a few 5ks over the summer, just for fun.
Above all, I want to continue to enjoy running. I’ll take breaks when I want and I am putting no pressure on myself to finish these goals if I get burned out or decide that I don’t want to run anymore. The point of these goals is purely for fun to see where I can go with running in 2016.