Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016: Year in Review

As far as running goes, 2015 was a banner year for me.  I ran every single day that year.  I ran over 2,100 miles, and every single mile was run outside through anything Mother Nature could throw at me.  I ran three marathons, including the Boston Marathon.  I set two new PR's in the half and full marathon within three weeks of each other.  I even won a 5k.  I did all of this with a full time job and a wife and infant son at home.

In 2016, I desperately needed to downshift into a lower gear and take it easy for awhile.  I hadn't planned on taking it easy for the entire year, but here we are.  Long story short, 2016 was not nearly as exciting as 2015 in terms of running, but you, dear reader, get a full fledged recap anyway.

Total mileage for the year?

Here's a confession: I stopped counting miles about halfway through the year.  When we moved over the summer, I kept misplacing my calendar where I kept track of my mileage, and my Garmin stopped working around the same time, and trying to keep track of every single mile became too much.  So to be honest, I have no idea how many miles I ran this year. Going from the manic counting of miles in 2015 towards my 2,015 mileage goal, to the more relaxed running-for-the-joy-of-it mentality this year, was definitely liberating.

How many races did you do this year?

Only 12, but I definitely managed a wide variety.

1x 5,000 yards
3x 5k
1x Spartan Sprint
2x 10k
1x trail 10k
1x 10 miles
3x half marathon

Which one was the best?

Of the races I did, half were new to me, and half I'd done in previous years.  As for the best one, it was a tough call between the Bridge Run 10k, and the Wissahickon Trail Classic 10k, but for consistently delivering a quality experience (and the cheaper price), I'll have to go with the latter.  Seriously, I can't sing the praises of this race enough.  Trail races in the Philly area are hard to come by, and this is one of the best, and also one of the most competitive.  At $40 for race day registration, it's the most bang for your buck, too.

Best race experience:

I've run the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon almost every year for the last decade, and it has naturally provided some great racing memories (including a PR in 2015), but this year it was memorable for a different reason.  My wife, Stevie, decided she wanted to run her first (and she swears last) half marathon, and I offered to run it with her.  During the race I was suffering from GI issues, and Stevie was suffering from sore legs, but we powered through it together and finished hand-in-hand.

Best race photo:

It doesn't get better than this one from the inaugural 5,000 Yards Dash:

Girl look at that body (I work out).

Any PR's this year?

I set PR's in both the 10 mile (1:09:27) and 10 kilometer races (41:04), though neither was hard won because both race distances are rare for me.  My last ten mile race had been in 2007, and my time was over 20 minutes slower.  As for the 10k, my uncle frequently likes to remind me that while I hold the Partenheimer family record in most distances, he still holds the family record in the 10k (roughly 38 minutes).  Perhaps a new goal for 2017?

Still streaking?

Yes, I'm still streaking.  On November 26th I celebrated my 3rd streakiversary.  I posted briefly about it on Twitter, not thinking too much of it, until the Mayor of Running himself, Bart Yasso, retweeted it.  It was viewed over 8,000 times and liked 135 times, and I got a lot of really nice well-wishes and congratulations from complete strangers.  The Twitter running community really came out in force, which was pretty nice.

Best running-related accomplishment?

I had a piece of writing published in a British running magazine called Like the Wind.  It was about the clothing optional race that I did in August 2015.  Sadly, I was not paid for the piece, but it was still nice to see my work in print somewhere.  Not to mention the original artwork that went with it:

I would love to publish more running related work, and if I ever get any money for it, I've resolved to spend every dime of the paycheck on Stevie as she's had to put up with my running shenanigans for years now.

Best running event that you didn't take part in?

Watching the Olympics this summer.  Particularly the longer distance events like the men's and women's 10,000 meters and the marathon.  Molly Huddle, Mo Farrah, Galen Rupp, Shalane Flanagan... so many inspiring athletes and inspiring performances.

So that's my year in review.  How was your year?
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