2015 Running Year in Review
Wow. I am sure I will say this every year for many years to come, but this has been the biggest year in running for me in terms of performance, experiences and learning. WHAT A YEAR. I raced a lot this year and won’t mention every thing I did because we have lives to live, but here are some of my highlights.
I began the year re-building from stress fractures and it was a humbling experience, almost like re-learning to run again. I did my very first race of the year which was an easy hour at the Frosty Trail Run. I ended up podiuming but I forget what place.
I can honestly say NOTHING taught me to be a smarter runner than being sidelined for months with stress fractures. I did a lot of time on the spin bike and perfected my swim stroke over this time off.
My coach worked with me and we tentatively built in double run days to separate my long runs until I felt like I was officially back.
This goes down in history as one of the most stressful months of my life. Angela left for Vancouver, I packed to prepare to move, unpacked, repacked, got into two car accidents and had my hardest training run for Boston. This is one month in 2015 I would just prefer to forget.
I launched my bike racing season with the Paris to Ancaster race and loved it. I had just purchased my new Niner mountain bike and had a blast getting it dirty for the first time. Pleased with a podium finish on this one considering it was my first mountain bike race.
I had a phenomenal training weekend in Michigan with some of my favourite runner girl friends and ripped out a second mountain bike race in as many weeks at the Arcadian Grit and Gravel. Didn’t quite get the podium finish I was looking for but I was still developing skills and landed as fourth female.
Probably one of my biggest events of the year landed in May with the Equinox Traverse which was my very first 48 hour adventure race. This race stretched every limit I had and I consider it one of my greatest accomplishments.
I also ran the Heartlake 5 Peaks trail race on my birthday weekend.
This was another super rough month for a lot of reasons. I moved again and dealt with some really huge disappointments but I had an incredible experience returning to one of my favourite spots in Ohiopyle to be a pacer for my friend, Kim at the Laurel Highlands Ultra. This was a gorgeous race and helped me to respect how dang far 70.5 miles is.
I had a weird, unexplainable calf issue this month that led everyone to think I had another stress fracture. I took the month off and got a bone scan but everything was clear so I tentatively ran the Albion Hills 5 Peaks Sport Course with no issues.
August housed my favourite race I have ever done in my life. An entire week with some of my favourite people in the world, some of my greatest heroes of all time and in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Transrockies 120 miler will always have my heart.
The following weekend, I returned home and snagged second female over all at a 5 Peaks race. That altitude push though…
I moved AGAIN this month and tackled the Kortright Centre 5 Peaks half marathon, pulling out a first place finish. I truly thought I was ramping up for a PERFECT fall season.
Until this happened two days later…
Getting hit by a car was the end of my formal fall racing. I continued to participate in events but expected much less because at this point, I stopped with any formal training plans from my coach for October and November. This was not a planned time frame, but rather just listening to my body until I felt ready to come back.
I think the most awkward blog moment in September is how I wrote this post less than a week before the accident.
Although it wasn’t a race, this ride deserves a shoutout. My friend Todd and I decided to just take an entire day to do a ride. This was one of my favourite and most memorable training sessions in 2015 and a foreshadow of some cool stuff Todd and I will be doing in 2016. I am giving some incredible athletes some air time on the blog in the new year and he will be one of them. Stay tuned. Big things ahead.
The second weekend after my accident, I headed to the Adirondacks. A group of my friends and I did the Ragnar Ultra Relay for Nuun Hydration. (I just signed with Nuun for another year and am looking forward to another year of amazingness with this team).
I really faded on this relay – I was still dealing with nausea and sore muscles, but it was with an amazing group of people and we had a fantastic time, finishing third ultra team overall and second in our age category.
The following weekend, I headed to Parry Sound to do Wilderness Traverse which was my first 24 hour race ever and believe it or not, I felt fairly solid all things considered. I hit the wall at the end of the race but it was with this experience that I finally started to feel as if I was getting the hang of this whole adventure racing deal.
I did a number of other training runs over this month, including Scotiabank half marathon and Niagara, finished with a trip to Gatineau to run the half marathon there.
I was starting to feel well enough to have a goal to win for the women and set a course record and despite not being sure how my body would hold up, I ended up managing both. It was a happy race for me because I felt like there might be a chance I could get back to being a healthy, strong athlete again. This fall, I really did not feel like myself and I truly was concerned I had irreversible damage done from the hit, but thankfully, it doesn’t look like this is the case.
November also held the last adventure race of the year with RAID THE HAMMER. I felt strong in this race and we podiumed as a team, taking third in our coed category.
OFF SEASON LIFE! I have a 5 KM planned to close off the season in California over the holidays but it will be a training run. I am focused on strength building, rest and planning the most incredible season ever for 2016. I have some huge, exciting plans that I can’t wait to tell you about and I will be racing in even more places in the world next year in even more varying distances. It has been an incredible year of racing and I look forward to what is next.
Thank you for following along with my running adventures this year. You are all amazing and this blog just wouldn’t work without you.
What are some of your running highlights from 2015?