Looking Forward to the Next Race Season

With my 2015-2016 race season wrapped up it’s time to reflect on the goals I accomplished this year, the ones I fell short of, and what to aim for during the 2016-2017 season.  After finishing my goal of 5 marathons in 5 states in 5 weeks in November of 2015 I set the following goals in early January of 2016:

  1. Best my overall performance in the Bermuda Triangle Challenge: Cumulative Time – 4:01:01
    1. Mile – 5:07
    2. 10k – 37:29
    3. Marathon – 3:18:23
  2. Break 5:00 in the mile. I would like to do this in Bermuda but whether it is in a race later in the year or in training it is something I want to prove to myself I can still do.
  3. Best my overall performance in the Gasparilla Distance Classic: Cumulative Time – 2:58:10
    1. 5k – 17:10
    2. 8k – 29:31
    3. 15k – 52:41
    4. Half Marathon – 1:18:48
  4. Break a 6 min average in a marathon (under 2:37 finish time)
  5. Break my P.R. of 1:15:59 in the half marathon

 

Although I only can cross one of these of my list I am completely satisfied with the way I finished out the season.  The combination of a very distance heavy race schedule, niggling injuries, and loss of mental focus (Yes even I get mentally fatigued) all had me ready for a few easy weeks post Boston.  I am still enjoying my current non-structured training plan but have been thinking about what to tweak from last season so I can cross a few more of those goals off my list. Below is quick synopsis of what went well and not so well during the end of my 2015-2016 season.

  1. Best my overall performance in the Bermuda Triangle Challenge: Cumulative Time – 4:01:01

This is the one goal I did accomplish. I finished the 2016 version of the Bermuda Triangle Challenge with a cumulative time of 3:52:33.  I was also very happy to win the Men’s Marathon and overall Triangle Challenge titles this year.  Although my 10k time was close to 3 minutes slower than last years’ I more than made up for it in the marathon with an 11 minute improvement, and a more or less even time when comparing the mile.  I was very pleased with my overall performance this year but still would like to improve.  In the 2017 edition I will again be looking to decrease my cumulative finish time as well as break 3 hours on a very hilly and usually hot (when compared to January in SC) marathon course.

  1. Break 5 minutes in the mile.

I am sorta on the fence about whether I achieved this or not.  Although my official time for the Front Street Mile was 5:03 my Garmin clocked a 4:55 for a mile.  Did I run a little extra along the course so my official time was recording slightly over a mile? Yes I’m sure I did. Was it enough distance to push me over the 5 minutes barrier? I don’t know. Either way I always go with what the course is advertised and measured as.  Anyway I ran quicker in this race than I did the year previous.  I think if I do some more speed work in the weeks leading into the 2017 Front Street Mile and really focus on that sub 5:00 I’ll hit it. So close but no cigar for Goal #2 of the sub 5:00 mile.

  1. Best my overall performance in the Gasparilla Distance Classic: Cumulative Time – 2:58:10

I fell short of this goal by 3 minutes and 12 seconds.  I was unable to defend my title as the Michelob Ultra Challenge champion but I still managed to finish 3rd which gives me 3 top 3 finishes (1 1st and 2 3rds) at this event.  On the up side I was faster this year than the first year I ran it (3:09:44).  Also with the knee issue that arose 2 weeks earlier at the Critz Tybee Runfest I was impressed with how my knee held up and consider taking 3rd as a big win.  But as always with this event and race series the most enjoyable part of the weekend is connecting with the running community.  The pirate theme, party atmosphere, and overall vibe of the Gasparilla Distance Classic make it an event that is just plain fun to be at no matter the race or pace.

  1. Break a 6 min average in a marathon (under 2:37 finish time)
  2. Break my P.R. of 1:15:59 in the half marathon

Neither of these goals were even close to being accomplished this season.  The quickest full I ran was a 2:48 in October.  After the 5-in-5-in-5 and a (dare I say it?) over scheduled beginning of 2016 I was fatigued and just unable to recover.  This led to some minor injuries and derailments.  I knew after Gasparilla that Goals #4 and #5 would have to wait for another year.  I never even raced a half in the beginning of this year and have yet to break 3:00 in a marathon for 2016.  Looking forward into the 2016-2017 season these are the two goals I am going to be focusing on the most.  With some major revamps to my racing schedule and a focus on getting faster rather than going further I am pretty excited to see what I can do.

I guess the main thing I hope you get out of this is that even if you do not accomplish everything you slated for a season Don’t Worry About It! Take the time to analyze where you went awry and develop a plan to make sure you do not repeat the same mistakes.  Set goals for yourself but do not be afraid to tweak these goals throughout your training cycle. By being flexible in both your goals and training you are more likely to stay injury free and happy during your next season.  I learned a lot about myself, both as a runner and person, this year and am looking forward to the challenges and good experiences that lay ahead!

Good Luck and hope to see you on the road!!

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