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Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: a year with no surgeries

Man, two years in a row with no surgeries. Who am I?
Despite that, 2016 was a pretty bad year for running: or racing, at least. I didn't run any really solid races, and had some downright terrible ones in there. But on the bright side, by and large my training and regular running went well. Here are some highs and lows from the year:

First marathon back post-surgeries: The marathon was my favorite distance before I got injured, so I was happy to get back at it at RnR New Orleans. My 3:18 was far from my best time, I hit the wall, and missed three weeks of training with runner's knee. But I raced 26.2 again!

Shoes: I discovered that I hate the Kinvara 6, love the Kinvara 5, wear a half-size larger in the Kinvara 7, and could take or leave the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante. I rotated the Zante in to extend the life of my Kinvaras, but it's not my favorite. Still, it was a shoe experiment that didn't end in a stress fracture, so apparently I'm improving my ease-into-new-shoes technique.

Worst race: This is hard to choose, since I ran a spectacularly bad Crescent City Classic, hurt my hamstring at Middendorf's, and had to walk that same hamstring at the Turkey Day race. But worse than all of those disasters was the Ole Man River half, a muggy sweat-fest of misery.
Seventy-billion percent humidity and windy enough to blow the earbuds out of my ears!

Best race: Twin Cities marathon, of course. I ran 3:12:02, not a huge improvement from my last race, but on a harder course. Time aside, I felt pretty good for this race, and my 2-minute positive split is probably the smallest I've ever run.

Hanson's marathon method: I used this over the summer, and it's the first real training plan I've ever completed. It was a big increase in miles for me, and the tempo runs in our New Orleans summers were straight up torture, but it did its job, preparing me to survive a race with a tough second half.

Injuries: Runner's knee due to stupidly forgetting to replace my shoes; hamstring strain. I never had a hamstring problem pre-hip surgeries: I think my gait changed enough to stress the hamstrings, since now I've had two strains, one on each side.

Miles: I ran 2276 miles this year, which averages out to a little over 6 miles per day! I think this is the most I've ever run - and that really surprised me. My highest month was September, with 244 miles in peak marathon training, and my lowest was 97 in June, when I was plagued with a ceviche-induced bug for the entire month. Hanson's certainly contributed to the high miles: I've never run so many 50 and 60+ weeks before!

How was your year of running? Any goals met or PRs run? 


  1. Great running year Grace! Here's to another great and healthy year, and a wonderful New Year for you and David!

  2. Hooray for another year of no surgeries - I hope you can celebrate that every year for many many years (or maybe a lifetime!). This was obviously not my year for running thanks to my hip surgery, which has been hard to bounce back from. If it wasn't so horribly cold and icy out, I'd probably be building my mileage back up but with the state of our weather, this is my time to focus on other activities. But come March hopefully I can stage a come back and run a half by the fall!