Monday, December 31, 2018

End of the 2018 Racing Season / Year in Review

Races Run (Strava times, not official):

1. 1/1 NYRR Resolution Run (Virtual) 27:43

2. 3/25 the Eastern States 20 miler (North Hampton, NH) 2:46:42

3. 4/14 Newport Marathon (Newport, RI) 4:02:42

4. 5/6 Angry Unicorn (South Kingstown, RI) 1:38:54

5. 6/9 Gaspee Days 5k (Cranston, RI)  24:06

6. 7/14 Run with the Beavers 10 miler (Chepachet, RI) 1:45:49

7. 7/27 Blessing of the Fleet 10 miler (Narragansett, RI) 1:28:15

8. 10/28 Cape Cod Marathon (Falmouth, MA) 3:56:16

I ran 10 more races last year than this year, but many of them were 5ks. I don't think I'm really missing much by having cut the 5k out, I prefer running longer, anyway. I was also able to really focus and stick to my training schedule this year for the marathons, which let me break four hours again for the first time in a few years (in spite of an injury.)

I was also hesitant to list the Resolution run on there, as it was a virtual Strava race. I did treat it like a race, though, so I'm counting it. I did not count the NYRR Virtual Mile, because I was amidst injury and I couldn't get in a mindset for it. Additionally, I had two races that I registered for and did not run: Funky Monkey HM was in late June, and the Black Goose in November. Black Goose actually conflicted with a family event I had, and I wasn't feeling well morning of the Monkey. I plan to be running for a long time, so there will be a time for everything.

Had a good showing at Eastern States, my fastest time, by about 3 minutes. I love that race and I was happy to be able to go back to it. Some things have changed logistically there, but I'd like to return again in 2019. It still will never be a super easy thing to do all by myself, but there's also something nice to the feeling of completing that race self supported.

Newport Marathon was a really tough course. The day itself was beautiful, but I think the number of hills on the course just beat me down mentally. I also don't know how seriously I really took that training, because it's unpleasant to train through the winter. It's tough to do speedwork amidst snow. I have some thoughts on how I'll train for a spring race next time around, but I'm saving those for my goal setting post.

Angry Unicorn is such a treat. Another race where I supported myself, but the course is that sweet spot of rolling hills and easy climbs that feels very familiar to my legs. Additionally the pack isn't huge, so it's easy to break up from the group and run your own race. Kind of a bleh day weather wise, but just such a great race. I'm not sure I believe the course measures entirely accurate, and so I was hesitant to claim that PR fully. But it would be my first HM in the 1:30s, so that is pretty exciting.

The summer races I really run for fun -- not trying to go for a particular time. These three are all in the midst of my summer run streak, so I see them as gems in a larger collection.

Cape Cod Marathon was the other big event for me for the year -- despite feeling overuse coming on late in the training plan, I still managed to go sub-4 which was a big personal victory. It has inspired me to take on some crazy challenges in 2019, but there will be more of that later.

Parenting-wise, it has been a very big year. My wife and I welcomed our second daughter, and she has been a delightful spirit who has brought a lot of joy and love into our family. Her big sister absolutely adores her, and watching the two of them together is very sweet. Parenting two kids is a balancing act -- trying to give the toddler the attention and interaction she needs while also giving the baby the time and experiences her sister had when she was this age. I've been feeling like I'm not doing as much singing and hands on play with child #2, so I'm trying to re prioritize that.  The baby loves when we sing and play games (like "Itsy Bitsy Spider") so that's good.

Christmas was a great success. We stay home, and do the holiday as a nuclear family. I made a full dinner by myself, mulled some wine (and cider for the toddler.) The baby is eating real food now, too -- mostly rolls and anything mashed, but it's a start. It was a fun day complete with presents in the morning, dinner in the middle of the day followed by a long nap. The toddler didn't end up falling asleep until quite late, but we have the week to get things back on track.

We also just returned from a family vacation up north -- quite a bit of stress associated with these trips, and a lot of work. But, also plenty of enjoyable moments. In any event it is good to be back home again, and ready to dive back into life.

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