Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 Year in Review

Since I haven’t done much blogging, which I guess is normal…I thought I would do a short year in review. Here are my top 5 “best races” of 2015. Best races in my opinion, might be hitting a goal or over performing or maybe just doing something different!

Here are my top 5 races of 2015 in order from 5 to 1.

#5 – Wicked 20 Miler

For me this race was a huge confidence boost. It was just over 4 weeks before the Baystate Marathon and I went out with a goal of running marathon goal pace (6:06) which would be a 2:40 marathon. It was a super humid day, but I was able to hook up with one other runner after 5 miles and we worked together through around 15, before he pulled away and I held on to break 2 hours, sub 6 min pace. I was super excited to run negative splits and to feel great doing it. I had to work those last 5 miles, but it gave me the confidence I needed n the last few weeks before Baystate to believe I actually could break 2:40. Running this race was definitely the best decision I made pre Baystate.

#4 – Krispy Kreme Challenge

What can I say about The KKC? You just need to read my blog post about it. It was a long talked about trip and it finally happened. The cool thing is…I will be going back again this year! I hope to run about the same as last year and eat a bit faster. I am not sure how I am going to accomplish this…but I am going to try like hell!

#3 – Grog & Dog Jog

The Grog. This was my 8th Grog and Dog Jog. In 2014 my team lost by a single bite, no joke…it literally came down to a bite. This year I wasn’t messing around and made sure to get the best team I could. We went on to completely destroy the competition, running 3 mins faster than 2014. It was great to be back on top. This was our 7th win in 8 years! The Grog is always a fun time!

#2 – Ragnar Trail Relay New England

This was a race I got super excited about. I went on a tear trying to recruit every Rhode Island trail runner I could. I wanted to show the rest of New England that Rhode Islanders can run trails…even relatively hilly ones. In the end, the team ended up being pretty much me and a bunch of WTACers. We were sponsored by Foolproof Brewing Company and had a great time running hard, drinking a bunch of beers and completely destroying the competition. We won by over 3 hours...yes HOURS. It was pretty awesome and difficult and I am very glad we did it. We pushed ourselves in so many different ways.

#1 – Baystate Marathon

2:36:15!!! That pretty much sums Baystate up. I ran my first marathon in October of 2003 and have run a ton of them. Up until Baystate, I had only PRd in 2 previous marathons. In 2005 I ran the Hyannis Marathon and ran a 2:46:45...getting passed at 25.5 miles to end up in 2nd place. The next time I PRd was in 2009 at the National Marathon in Washington DC, I didn't feel like I was in shape to try to run under 2:40...but surprised myself with a 2:40:47. About 2 mins after finishing I was pissed that I didn't push harder near the end...thinking I let a great opportunity pass me by. I ran a couple more marathons after National...but started doing more ultras and stopped chasing times. I feel like so many people get caught up in running a Spring and Fall marathon year in and year out, constantly chasing a time...and they get burnt out. I think after running so well at the Pineland Farm 50 Miler in 2014 made me finally want to give the marathon another serious shot. I decided to run Cox in May of 2015, but I had no intentions on trying to break 2:40 or even PR. I just wanted to go out there and have a good solid race and then go for it in the Fall. I pretty much accomplished this. I slowed a bit in the last 3 miles, but I didn't have a full on bonk. I had a pretty serious funk going on after the Ragnar Relay in June and it took me a bit to get my rear in gear....but I was able to string together some pretty solid training and had the perfect day for a race and it finally paid off. I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't pretty emotional crossing that finish line. It was a pretty amazing feeling. 2:40 was one of those goals I thought would never happen...but now I am wondering how much faster I can go!

Honorable mentions:
- Busa Bushwhack Trail Race: 2 weeks after Baystate, winning this race, beating the dude that WON Baystate, along with many other good runners was a super shock to me and a very exciting win.
- Shore to the Pour 3 Mile Beach Race: Awesome race put on by Two Roads Brewing Company, an awesome new race that will be added to the 2016 schedule.
- Fool's Mile: Putting on a Beer Mile at the Foolproof Brewing Company was pretty awesome. The race went well and this year we are going to have a more "official" event!


What will happen in 2016? I am not 100% sure yet. I ran my first race this past weekend. It went ok...I am fighting some sort of sickness and actually started antibiotics today, so I am hoping to get healthy and ready to roll soon.

The Krispy Kreme Challenge is 2/6/16. I have a little marathon in Boston to run in April...I won't attempt to PR in the marathon there, but still want to go out and have a good solid race. I plan on going back to Baystate in the Fall to see if I can get that marathon time a bit faster. I still really want to run a road 50 Miler, but it probably won't happen in 2016...but I am sure there will be various races thrown in throughout the year to keep things interesting!