So now to put together my list of goals for 2018 – to be honest, I haven’t put much thought into this at all this year, so I’ll be pulling it together as I write this…
- Summer Series orienteering – continue improving route planning and increase distance. I seem to hit around 6km on the flatter courses this season which I’m happy with, but my scores are still lower when compared to the rest of the field than I would like.
- Rogaines – Aiming for 4 this year, I really want to include the 24hr NSW Champs again, and this year it just happens to fall on the same weekend as my birthday! Would be good to get along to one other bush rogaine as well – maybe a 12hr! Distance-wise, still want to hit half marathon for a 3hr if we do it this year and increased goal to 35km for a 6hr metro.
- Sydney Blackmores Half Marathon – I entered this year and deferred due to getting the flu just two weeks before the event. So I have to do it this year. The aim will be to complete it happy. Not sure of any time goals on this, that can be worked out closer to the time.
- Consistency! This is my biggest downfall, so I’ll try again. 2-3 runs a week, every week.
- Realistic stretch distance goal of 800km for the year, with a “can I do it?” goal of 1000km for the year. That means, on average, 3 x 6.5km runs, every week for the entire year…
- Introduce regular yoga/pilates/strength training.
- Do something active every single day. Whether it’s a run, 30min yoga, chasing the girls for 30mins on their bikes, a walk at work during lunchtime or even just 10min strength work in front of the tv of an evening. Just. Do. Something!
So that’s it. A shorter list than last year. Definitely less “event” type goals. Hoping for some more variety in the orienteering and maybe get along to a few more things over winter. I’d love to do the Women Nav Training Weekend and actually get some instruction in orienteering, which is run each March, but that might have to wait for next year. Let’s see what the year actually brings!
December was a slow running month for me and I finished it up with “not running” for the final two weeks of the year. I just wasn’t feeling it and was struggling to get myself out and about and moving. The new year is starting well though. But first, let’s see how the year went based on what I hoped would happen at the start of the year.
- Sydney Summer Series – improve map reading, route planning and distance. The end of the 2016-17 season wasn’t too good on distances, I did improve slowly but steadily over the season though and my comfort level of heading out on my own with a map increased. The start of the 2017-18 season has been good. My distance covered is increased and consistent, route planning has improved (although still some good mistakes in there too!) and confidence is increasing. I’m not letting my mistakes get to me as much either which is good. I’m only covering around 1/2km less than Nick most runs which is a huge improvement on previous years.
- Rogaines – I wanted to do 3 or more and we ended up hitting 5! Other goals were to reach 30km in a 6hr (achieved!) and 21km in a 3hr – didn’t happen. Loved them all.
- Great NOSH – goal was to hit sub-2hr, time was almost exactly the same as previous years. Not a good run. Asthma played up, but basically I had dropped my training right back due to injury and wasn’t well prepared for it.
- Turkey Trot – aiming for sub 1hr 40min. Didn’t happen. Was a bush course for once with considerable elevation and some very slow sections of track. Happy with my result/time though as I came in just shy of a place in my category.
- Manly Trail Series – wanted to get along to one of these, but didn’t. After checking it all out and looking at it several times, I’ve decided it’s not for me. The $100 entry fee for a 10km race (same fee for all distances) is something I can’t justify when I can just go for a run on trails myself for free – I’ll save event entries for things I wouldn’t usually do, or cheaper events eg the NOSH is only $30 or so.
- Increase long run distance – hmmm, not sure I really succeeded on this one, although I did several runs throughout the year of 15+km and 10km is a longer but comfortable run now.
- Increase cadence – Still a work in progress, but progress is being made. When my pace is hitting 9km/hr or faster I’m now mostly in the “green”. Road and treadmill definitely make this easier.
- Explore local trails – didn’t really happen. I tried a couple of times, but other than one good trail, others tend to be mostly overgrown or too rocky for running. Haven’t stopped looking though!
- Consistency – hmmm, did better this year then previous years, but can still room for a lot of improvement. Probably only averaged 2 runs a week for half of the year…
- 600km total distance for the year – I did it!!! Now, what should the goal for next year be?
- NO overuse injuries – failed. I slowed down over January to prevent this, and was a regular at the physio for a while in May too.
Now for the stats for 2017:
- Distance: 631.8km
- Elevation: 6766m
- Time: 104hrs
- No. of runs: 85
A decent increase on the previous years, let’s see if I can do even better in 2018.
Yep, I’ve been completely wiped out all week with the flu… A vaguely tickly, sore throat on Sunday evening turned into that overall ache and unwell feeling by Monday morning. Lunch time saw me heading home early from work and I’ve spent the rest of the week either in bed or on the lounge. Not a fun week.
A combination of either having had the flu shot earlier in the year and starting on Tamiflu by Tuesday meant the symptoms never progressed as much as it felt like they should. I’ve been exhausted though, and a week later, my head is almost back in gear but I’m physically as weak as a newborn kitten – grocery shopping this morning was too hard and walking more than 100m had me feeling dizzy and nauseous.
I have a feeling that my half marathon plans are completely shot at this point. With not enough training in the lead up, I really needed these final weeks to have some strong, regular running in and it’s just not going to happen. Luckily(?), there is the option to defer my registration to next year. I have to make the decision by 8th September, so there’s still another week to decide but I’m 99% sure I’ll be deferring at this point.
At first I was disappointed that I’ll have to push my goals back a year, but in the long run, it’s not such a big deal. I don’t have any urge to run multiple race events each year, or to do a marathon following on from the half, I can still do all my orienteering and rogaining events. Now, to just get better!
I meant to do this post a while back, better late than never!
- Sydney Summer Series – while I’m definitely improving on my route choice and distance covered, there’s still plenty of room to improve. I’m happy with how it all pulled together for the season though and am looking forward to the start of the next.
- 3+ Rogaines: Woohoo!! Have already managed 3 rogaines this year and hoping to get in one more (maaaaaybe two).
- Great NOSH Footrace: hahahahhahahaha!!! Sub 2 hrs my …. Good to dream big though, maybe it will happen one day!
- Turkey Trot: Since it turned into a bush course rather than a suburban navigation, the time goal was out the window. I managed a very creditable “not last” this year though, so I’m very happy with that.
- Manly Trail Series: Maybe next summer!
Non-event specific goals:
- Increase my long run distance from 10km to 15km – not there yet, but I’ve done multiple 13km+ runs, so I might be able to claim it by the end of the year.
- Continue focusing on increasing my cadence – this one is finally coming along nicely! On road and treadmill runs, I’m finally regularly getting cadence in the green zone. Still a work in progress, but I can finally see progress being made.
- Explore the local trails and find some good regular routes – finding a couple of routes, but still need to explore a lot more. Maybe after the half marathon I can hit the trails regularly again.
- Consistency: 2-3 runs per week, every week – when I”m not injured or sick, I’m doing pretty well on this, pity I seem to be out of it as often as not!
- Aim for 600km total distance for 2017 – another goal well in hand. I’ll have to do something really wrong to not reach this one.
- NO overuse injuries this year! *sigh* – maybe next year. At least this time I’m still doing the exercises I was given and can notice the improvement they have made.
Overall I reckon I’m hitting about half my goals. Not ideal, but I’ll take it. There’s still a few months left and if I don’t reach things this year, there will always be next year!
What do I want to achieve with my running this year? Despite injuries, I achieved most of what I wanted although there’s still plenty of room for improvement – especially in consistency. So, in no particular order, here goes!
- Sydney Summer Series – improving my map reading, route planning and distance I can cover. This year is still very much a year of working on myself, especially now Nick and I run separately so while we compare our planned routes, we do them slightly differently since Nick can go further than me in the 45 minute time limit.
- 3+ Rogaines: I think we will again only manage 3, but I’d like to do more. If I can remain injury free, I’d love to get up to 30km in a 6hr rogaine and hit half marathon distance in a 3hr event.
- Great NOSH Footrace: See if I can hit the <2hr time goal this year! The first part of the race is now my local long run trail, so see if that helps at all.
- Turkey Trot: Will try for sub 1hr 40min this year on the medium course.
- Manly Trail Series: Would love to get along to one of these and see what it is like.
Non-event specific goals:
- Increase my long run distance from 10km to 15km
- Continue focusing on increasing my cadence – easier to do on road runs than trails though!
- Explore the local trails and find some good regular routes.
- Consistency: 2-3 runs per week, every week
- Aim for 600km total distance for 2017
- NO overuse injuries this year!
Phew! I think that’s enough to keep me focused. I’m really enjoying the Rogaines and the orienteering events we’re doing, so want to focus more on trails and increasing my distance. I’m not as concerned with pace as it’s impacted so much by the quality of a trail and the elevation involved, t’s time on feet that will help me the most with the longer events.
So how did I go in 2016 for the goals I set myself at the start of the year? Below is my list from early in the year:
- Sydney Summer Series: Finished the season having made it to 12 of the 26 events. Since your top 12 scores are taken into account for the final tally, this was my goal to get to. I didn’t do well, but the aim was to get along and just keep going and improving my map skills, route planning, etc. Ran most of them with Nick which had its good and bad points (for both of us!).
- 2-3 Rogaines: Squeezed in 3 rogaines this year! Two earlier in the year and the final one at the end of November. We only made it to the metro events, so I’m hoping to get along to something a little further afield in the next couple of years.
- Great Nosh Footrace (16k) <2hrs: First date was rained out by an absolute deluge and storm that destroyed parts of Sydney’s coastline. Made it to the new date and had trouble with my achilles cramping in both legs again this year. Along with the additional distance and elevation, I only managed the same time as the previous year. Checking a few other people that I know ran both years, it seems everyone ran a little worse this year than previously.
- Turkey Trot (12k) <1:40: Made it in 1hr 48m for over 13km of navigation. This was a pleasant run together and was interesting seeing more of the trails in the suburbs. Maybe make the time goal next time!
- 2 Metro League: Made it along to one. Didn’t really enjoy it. Didn’t look too hard for another to get to. Might try again this year if it’s convenient and we have nothing else on.
- Goanna – medium: Did it! Took a little while to get my head in the map, was a very slooooow run, but interesting area that I haven’t been into before. Much more a bush navigation than most orienteering events I’ve done.
- Parkrun – regular sub-30’s: Ha! Haven’t managed a single sub-30 5km the entire year. Only made it along to a few Parkruns early in the year and we haven’t been back. A lot of other things took over our lives this year, but with a new Parkrun recently started where we now live, maybe we will get along this year. Then again, maybe not.
Coming soon: Goals for 2017
And just like that, another year is gone. 2016 went out with a whimper – running wise anyway. So what did my year look like:
- Distance: 468km
- Elevation: 6,286m
- Runs: 70
Didn’t reach my goal of 500km for the year. 4 months of very low distances due to injury made sure of that. I did, however, increase my monthly average km’s from 30km in 2015 to 40-50km/mth for the months I was fit enough to run. And elevation increased from 3500m – the majority of my runs now include some hills, with a flat run being a bit of a treat instead of the norm. I only increased the number of runs I did in the year by 10, again, being laid up for nearly a third of the year with injuries didn’t help there.
For this year? A goal of 600km total distance, a treadmill so I can fit in more than one run a week in winter, and head for 10,000m elevation – that one’s definitely a stretch. Another post coming soon with goals for the year outside of these.
My progress on RunDownUnder stalled a bit over August and September. My plan to continue with 10km runs on the weekends and then start picking up some extra runs once September hit completely failed. Second run into August and less than 2km into my run I was barrelling down some rocky single track having an absolute blast on a gorgeous winters day. The wildflowers were all out and I my aim was to have some fun on the trails and take photos of as many different flowers along the way as I could. When all of a sudden I came a cropper on some rocks, heard a crack in my ankle and down I went. Thank goodness for my compression socks, I reckon they’re the only thing the held the ankle together long enough for me to clamber back out along the track to the nearest road and await my pickup. Suspected fracture that turned out to “just” be a really nasty sprain. Had me out for the count until late September.
So, my progress came to a standstill and it took me around 3 months to make the <70km I needed to get from Sydney to Wyong. I finally made it in late October and am now steadily making my way along the 70+km to Newcastle. I’m keeping my runs shorter, more road based (to avoid twisting ankles) and not pushing my pace until the ankle feels really strong again. I’m managing to clock up 10-15km each week though, so I should hit Newcastle in late November.
Today is the Sydney Turkey Trot which is listed in my goals. We ran the medium course last year – an approximately 12km straight line orienteering course. Last year my aim had been to stick to about a 7:30/km pace which we managed pretty much bang on for the first 8km. After that first hour though, I didn’t have anything more and it took close to 45 minutes for the last 4km.
This year the aim is to stick to the 7:30/km pace for the whole thing – possibly a little optimistic at this point, but let’s see what happens!
A couple of days ago, there were less than 50 entries overall and only 3 in the womens medium course – basically a guarantee of a placing. Checking now though, there are over 75 entries with six entries in the womens medium course. Oh well, maybe another time.
I’m really looking forward to running tomorrow. I’m not getting to run anywhere near as regularly as I would like over winter, but at least the runs I am doing are longer than what I usually manage.
2x Metro League
More orienteering. These are held in various bush locations around Sydney. There are league tables for the clubs who have teams competing at the five different levels. There’s also an option to “enter on the day” and have a run just for the experience – this is what we want to do this year. The aim is to have a go at something a little different and get an idea of what’s involved.
A free, timed 5km event, run entirely by volunteers and held every Saturday morning at various locations around Sydney, Australia and the world! I think I made it there about six times last year, with my last two runs around mid-year and both being a sub-30 minute run. This year I’ve convinced my husband to give it a go and we will go when we can, taking it in turns to run each week. There’s a fantastic playground at our local one with great paths for our girls to scooter along as well. I’m currently hitting about the 31:00 – 31:30 mark and my aim is to get back to sub-30’s on a regular basis.