2016 – What a Year

As 2016 is nearing it’s conclusion, I thought today would be a good day to take a look back at what has been quite the year. For a moment, let’s set aside the politics and celebrity deaths that has really shrouded 2016. In the running world (since this is a running blog) 2016 has actually been quite the year.

On a world scale, first and foremost, we had the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Games saw a resurgence in US Distance running, spearheaded by Galen Rupp, Matthew Centrowitz, Even Jager, Paul Chemlico, Emma Coburn, Clayton Murphy, Jenny Simpson, and Gwen Jorgensen; who all won medals at the Olympic Games.

And that doesn’t even scratch the surface. We saw Molly Huddle break the America 10k record, Shalane Flanagan, Des Linden, and Amy Cragg all slot 10 finishes in the marathon, as well as great runs from Emily Infeld (10k), plus Meb and Jared Ward in the Full (to name a few).

If you jump outside the US, we got to see the continued dominance of Eliud Kipchoge. The Kenyan dominated the Olympic Marathon, and nearly set the World Record in London (while breaking the course record). Kipchoge is unbeaten in the marathon since finishing second in Berlin in 2013 (he was second to Wilson Kipsang who set a then world record).

Nike has also announced plans to pursue the sub-2 marathon on the heels (or rather feet) of Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa, and Zersenay Tadese.

Basically, there’s a ton to be excited about.

On a personal running level, 2016 was an exciting year as well. Coming back from a problematic hamstring/quad/IT Band at the end of 2015, I had high ambitions in 2016.

The year got started out very well for me at the Polar Dash, where I notched a PR on the first day of the year. In total, I actually ran a PR in every distance from the 5k on up. On that same note, I also ran my slowest Full and Half Marathons as well.

In total, I had the opportunity to run a total of 23 races (Holy Crap) in 8 different states. That includes 4 marathons, in four different states, and my first ever 50k. I also managed to win not one, but two races overall as well.

Mostly, I am the happiest to have remained more or less injury-free for the duration of the year. I’ll fall just shy of 1,800 miles, unless I do work in the next three days, but that’s fine. I made new friends, discovered the November Project, had have begun to broaden my running horizons both in races, and in gear.

On that note, I’m immensely looking forward to what 2017 has to offer. In the spring and early summer, I’ve got an indoor race, a return to the Frozen Feet Trail Half, a 50k, my “A” race marathon, Relay Iowa, and a return to Grandma’s Marathon all on tap.

Thanks for the memories, 2016, and let’s bring on 2017!

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Safety

A while back I wrote a post about encountering wildlife on a run. Going over what runners have seen, could see, and what we never want to interact with.

But today I want to pull the scope back to look at possibly the most dangerous thing runners have to deal with, and something we see (and use) every day.

Cars.

Many of us take to sidewalks when we can, but that isn’t always an option. Running on roads is just something that we do, and why we also (or should always) run against traffic. But in the winter it’s a little harder. Mainly because, unless you can run during lunch, it’s dark when we wake up, and dark when we get home. So certainly, reflective gear and lights are important, especially if you are on a road.

Possibly more dangerous, though, are intersections. I’ve had a few close calls on intersections, even when I’m in the cross walk. Cars might not see you or might try to make a turn before you get there. If it’s icy, the car might just slide into your way.

This is the topic today as a member of my running group was hit yesterday on our group run. Normally you don’t expect to have to watch the cars turning right when they are stopped at a red light. Even less so when you’re in a pack. But that’s what happened. His knee is in really bad shape, but otherwise my friend is fine. So while it’s far from a good situation (because he won’t be running anytime soon) it could be worse.

So remember when you’re running, be aware of all cars, even if you think they see you. And to driver, be aware. When we run, we try to watch for you, run safe, and wear reflective gear. But next time you try to make the light, do a rolling stop at a stop sign, or turn right on red, just make one quick check to make sure that there’s not a runner or biker coming down the sidewalk.

And We’re Back

I should have known that Travel Season, Marathon Season, and Life would manage to subdue my postings here for a while.

But now that’s over and it’s time to jump back into action! I’ll get my gear and races updated accordingly over the next few hours. I’m also hoping to have some exciting updates coming in the near future.

Until then, I’ll be busy updating the other pages, so be sure to check in on that!