Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year in Review

Another year done.  Not the best year running wise, mostly because I spent a goodly amount of the time injured.  Towards the end of 2015 I probably did too much, starting with the RI 6 Hour and continuing as I pushed my body in order to reach 2000 miles for the year.  Well I reached 2000 but then the next week I felt an unpleasant sensation in the lower leg after the Resolution 5k.  So began my bout with a stress fracture.  Like a stubborn fool I continued to run on it until a lackluster performance at the Belleville Pond 10k.  After that I was properly diagnosed with the fracture.  I spent six weeks not running and then I slowly begun to incorporate running into my walks.

I passed the time with some great hikes up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  And by June I was running pain free again.  I felt slow and out of shape so I didn't put any goals on myself other than to enjoy running.  As a result I only raced a total of five times this year.  But all post-fracture races were successful and will appear below in my legendary Top Five.

Cross-training wise I had been diligently doing a daily plank routine but I frigged up my wrist in the process so that got derailed as well.  It also stopped my weekly yoga session which was unfortunate.  I had also tried to get back into P90X but it didn't really take.  I'm hopeful to be more consistent with all these aspects in 2017.

In terms of last year's goals, here's what I wrote and what ended up happening:

  • Set some PRs - Nope, not a one.  But I did only run five races and after the fracture I consider the rest of 2016 a rebuilding year.
  • Run a sub 4 hour 50k - Nope.  The fracture derailed any chance at racing a 50k, let alone running one in under four hours.  However I did eek out a 50k long run this month which was a big step in the right direction
  • A return to cross-training - Let's call it a draw.  I definitely did a lot of different stuff in the few months when I wasn't running.  But then I hurt myself doing planks just in time for the running to start up again.  Every since the mid-year point it's been hit or miss.
  • More mountain adventures - A definite success.  I got up to the White Mountains a lot this year.  While I only checked off three new 4000 footers from my list, I summitted 14 of them in total, most with either friends or family.

And so that brings us to my top five races/adventures of 2016:

I was way off my PR from the previous year but so was everyone else on this humid, oppressively hot day.  After healing for much of the year it was great to race with friends again on this challenging course.

4. Father/Kid Hiking Trip in the Southern Presidentials
In October I took Ezri on a two day backpacking trip up to Mizpah Hut in the Southern Presidentials along with my friend Rob and his boy Robbie.  It was a challenging two days but the kids did great.  Ezri bagged three 4000 footers including Mt. Eisenhower.  She climbed five total in 2016.  I'm very proud of all she's done this year.

A race I've often struggled with, I finished only 21 seconds off my PR this year.  Very pleased with my effort and fitness level afterwards.

2. Group Backpacking Trip along the Bonds
In May I joined Rob and three of his friends for trip over the Bonds to the Guyot campsite.  A fun adventure filled with incredible views and camaraderie.  I had done much of our route solo the previous year but doing it with a group was a completely different experience.  I actually had made a pretty lengthy blog post about our journey but chumped it and never finished.  Perhaps I will get it done in 2017!

I had known about this race for a few years but scheduling conflicts always got in the way.  Now healthy and with a clear schedule, I did as much hill work as I could in preparation.  The course and difficulty did not disappoint.  Neither did the conditions which were cool, dry, perfect.  I finished in 2 hours and 40 minutes, good for 7th overall against some of the best mountain runners around.  A great performance I'm really proud of.

So not a ton of racing but I made the most of my chances.  And my mountain adventures made up for the lack of races.  Amanda and I got our first taste of winter hiking and it was a magical experience.  And throughout the summer Amanda, Ezri and I had several fun camping trips that also featured great hikes.  And lest this blog become all about hiking I did end the year with nearly 1400 miles (1395 actually) so my weekly mileage is back to where I'd like it to be.  I'm feeling healthy and all systems seem go so I'm looking forward to 2017.  In fact, as far as goals go for 2017 I think I'll just recycle the ones from last year as they still seem applicable:

  • Set some PRs
  • Run a sub 4 hour 50k
  • A return to cross-training
  • More mountain adventures
Okay maybe I'll add a couple more crazy ones...
  • Single Day Pemi Loop?
  • 50 miler?

Thanks to everyone who continues to read this blog.  My posts dried up with the stress fracture and the flow of words never really returned.  Maybe consider that one final goal for 2017 - more blog posting!  Happy New Years all!


  1. Ha! The return of the blogs (writing a recap now, haha)...glad you're running healthy and happy again. The Kismet race was awesome, that was such a great day. Hope to get out there again with you for some trails!

  2. Great posting, Seth! Wishing you a fun, injury free 2017 with lots of trail racing and mountain adventures.

  3. Happy New Year! Hope to read more of your adventures in 2017. Wishing you a pain and injury free year!

  4. Hope 2017 is injury free for you.

  5. Seth, you made quite the recovery from that stress fracture. I admire your patience in waiting that out and then building back up slowly but surely. It's pretty amazing that you excelled in the Kismet race in the same year you suffered that injury. Build on that momentum in 2017!