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So here it is. The first Monday of 2016 and I am trying, once more, to be an honest to goodness blogger. I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that writing things out helps me to stay organized, focus better and keep track of goals.

Like pretty much everyone else who has a fitness/running/lifestyle type blog – I’m going to go the easy route and start off the year by looking back at last year. I didn’t really keep the blog up to date on the year as it progressed – instead I stuck mainly to the social media standbys of Facebook and Twitter.

I’m not going to do a month by month account, but rather highlight certain things, lessons I’ve learned and just give myself and hopefully any readers out there an idea of the big picture. Make sense? Probably not. Andiamo!

 

Races

I’m not even exactly sure of the number of races I did last year, as not all had medals, etc – but it was definitely a less race filled year than 2014. My third Hypo Half, the Lorneville Loop, Not Since Moses and possibly one or two more happened, as well as the highlights below.

I raced my first 10k in forever at the Fredericton Marathon weekend – didn’t die and actually kinda enjoyed it.

Placed second overall at Run St. Andrew’s 5k – for which I won a really nice print by a local artist.

Won the Fredericton Wine Run 5k.

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Set a half PB at Johnny Miles (1:42.28) and then again at the Cobequid Trail Half (1:39.11)

Most importantly, crushed my marathon PB by 21 minutes and achieved my pie in the sky goal of being sub 3:30 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfrom Marathon (3:28.23) – due in no small part to the masterful pacing of my friend, Peter Lawless.

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Training

My “Garmin mileage” was over 2200 km for the year, including my first month of over 300 km. Including treadmill and runs without my Garmin I feel like I was likely very close to, if not over, 2400km total for the year. In preparation for Toronto, the vast majority of my running was done on paved roads.

Last winter marked the first winter in which I actually made some effort to cross train, having invested in a TacX mag trainer. I didn’t log as many hours as I should, but I feel as though it was beneficial to my overall results. Yoga was also integral to my physical fitness and maintenance for the first half of 2015. It lagged once the summer arrived but I really enjoyed it and felt it was a big part of me staying injury free through the winter.

 

Still running, but not quite training

A new aspect I took on in 2015 was leading some local running clinics in my hometown of Sackville, NB. I had no expectations when I offered to do a 5k clinic in the spring, but demand was so high that the town had to offer two clinics.

The clinics definitely helped me maintain fitness through some periods of low motivation and the people I met were very inspiring to me. Many of the have kept running, some of them completing as much as a half marathon since. Some of them signed up for a fall 10k clinic I led as well, and the results were just as positive.

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Not actual running, but still running related

Doing fewer races meant seeing a lot less of the friends I have made throughout Atlantic Canada. The trip to Toronto was a boon for actually meeting some of my social media friends in person for the first time as well as reconnecting with many of the amazing folks I met during my 2014 visit. Too many folks to mention, but a couple of pictures will give an idea.

The @RunAtCan twitter chat has continued to grow and I actually maintained the commitment of moderating the chats almost every Sunday night of 2015. The connections I’ve made and seen others make via the chat and meet ups has continued to be a huge positive for me.

The Bluenose Marathon actually had myself and a few other people from the twitter chat lead a panel discussion about the influence of social media on the running community. It was pretty well attended and definitely a different experience.

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Life in General

In 2015, my older son Caleb entered high school and my younger, Tolkien, started what I would call junior high (in the olden days – yes, I said it). Stacey has entered her third and final year of law school and only has one semester before graduation and then she begins her articling year.

In April, I started work (part time) as the Executive Director of Triathlon New Brunswick which led to a whirlwind summer of (re) learning the ins and outs of multi-sport events. The learning curve has been sharp but my experience being around so many running events in the past couple of years as well as having been in involved with triathlons when I lived in Corner Brook, NL definitely helped.

I’ve been doing some other social media things locally as well, but being a full time dad with a wife away at school has kept me pretty busy. Overall, 2015 has been a challenging year but I feel as though I’ve learned a lot about myself.

Comments? Questions? Love to hear from you – comment below!

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