It is hard to know how to review 2017. In January I was very clear about my yearly goals .. I wanted to increase my speed and set some very specific distance/time goals. At the time I was training for the Ottawa Marathon (May) and planned to Recover all summer before working on getting faster at shorter distances.
Oh , how naïve I was .. to think that I could do it all. And the plan might have worked.. if only I had stuck to it. In February everything changed. On a whim I signed up for a 50k Trail Run scheduled for September. With a marathon and ultra trail run looming over me, speed goals went out the window. Suddenly my focus became about how FAR I could go, instead of how FAST I could go.
Our winter was predictably icy / cold / slushy so I did a lot of my workouts on the treadmill. In February I ran my third Hypothermic Half Marathon. In April I did my third Lorneville Loop 13k road race. This is a hilly route and I was pleased to cut 25 seconds off my previous best time.
As I toed the Start Line at the Ottawa Marathon I felt strong and confident. That strength and confidence disappeared a few hours later as I struggled with the consequences of training in cold weather for a hot weather marathon. I learned this lesson firsthand at the 27km mark. Ooof… what a lesson! I crawled / staggered the remaining 15k and somehow made it to the Finish Line but it wasn’t a pretty finish. Ottawa Marathon – Ready or Not
After the marathon, my immediate thoughts turned to building on that distance to prepare for the Ultra but my body said NO WAY. Post marathon fatigue, food poisoning and a sprained toe were some of the obstacles that I faced. When I tried to push through it, my body decided to curtail all my efforts by breaking out in Shingles. There was no way that I could argue with that. June was my lowest mileage month of the year with 113 km.
Training for the Ultra began in earnest in July.. except that Life happened. Who has time to train in the summer..? I discovered a lovely technical trail near my house so I was pleased to be able train there often but my longest run in July was only 18 km, monthly distance was a mere 177 km.
Training for the Ultra began in earnest in August… except that Life happened again. Gosh, I thought training in winter was hard! Training in summer is very challenging. I did manage several quality runs, including 18 kms a couple of times , monthly total was 217 kms. Eeeep.. That Ultra is looming large now..
Early in September I finally managed to run 25km, and planned to run a similar distance a couple of days later … but my PT forbade it. Hip flexors and adductors were paying the price for sudden increased distance on technical trails and PT recommended short flat runs for several days. Short flat runs.?? But I have a 50k trail run in a couple of weeks. !
Highlight of September was the Fundy Circuit Trail Run . You can read about it here. Race Review / Fundy Circuit Ultra Trail
I had a full 2 weeks to recover from the 50k before doing the 5 Peaks Round the Cape 24k Trail Run in October. Race Review – 5 Peaks Round the Cape
That concluded my race season and I spent the remainder of October Recovering. In November and December I ran strictly for pleasure, running only as far and as fast as I wanted to.
2017 was an incredible journey for me. The biggest discovery for me was that I learned how therapeutic trail running can be. It is not about time or speed, but simply about feeling in sync with your body and soul. Of course I ran every day because that is what I do. Total mileage for 2017 was 2222 km. I have some crazy goals for 2018. Stay tuned.