2013 turned out to be a great year for my running. I didn't run a single time in January, then started very slowly in February with the St. Patrick's Day 5k in sight. It was a particularly stressful start to the year in my work life, so I decided to shoot for improving at 5k races instead of adding the stress by not getting long runs done. I ran short training runs much more frequently.
It turned out to be the best thing I could have done. I'm still not lightning fast, and probably never will be, but I squeaked out personal records in the three out of the four race distances I ran. I only ran one 10k at the Zoo and did better than I had at that particular race, but didn't PR.
27:20 down from 28:49 = 6.2% faster at my new favourite race (sorry, Pride Run), that runs in front of the Santa Claus Parade, complete with tens of thousands of cheering people. I also beat that previous PR in five other 5k races this year.
41:17 down from 46:02 = 10.9% faster at the Boxing Day 10 miler versus the summer time Acura 10 miler.
2:13:51 down from 2:21:10 = 5.2% faster at the Road to Hope in Hamilton compared to Scotia Bank Toronto Waterfront, but I had a very similar time in Hamilton 2 years ago.
Of course, now I have to do another marathon. I have to. I'll do the same one I did in 2012 -- the Goodlife Toronto Marathon -- and will train properly this time. That means pushing myself when I didn't before, planning out race day fueling and being more consistent with hill and speed workouts. I'll still be realistic based on the above improvement times: in 2012 I finished the marathon in 4:58:20, 5% improvement is a finish time of 4:43:25 and 10% improvement is 4:28:30. I'll reach for 10, be satisfied with 5, and devastated with less. With work settling in to a good routine, not to mention senior students to do much of the work for the winter, I believe it can be done. But I'm already sick of the Star Wars references to the May 4 race date, and I haven't even heard any yet.
Sixteen week training starts mid January. Fire up the Visa and sign us up, Phil!
Otherwise, I'll be trying for PRs in the other distances, particularly that elusive 10K sub 60 minute bane of my existence.
Phil and I have also been contemplating a destination half marathon in the fall. Any suggestions? We're thinking somewhere in Canada or the US to avoid jet lag. I should see more of Canada (I've never been to the east coast) and there's many states I'd like to go to -- Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Louisiana (mostly because it's so fun to say Louisiana).