Looking Ahead: Race Goals For 2017

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Last year I wrote about what I was most proud of in 2015. I will probably do that again, but first I am going to talk about what’s coming up on my race calendar in 2017.

To recap, 2016 was a rough year for me, both personally and athletically. I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but a lot of the things I was looking forward to most did not go as planned, both on the race course, and in life in general. From my subpar performance in the Boston Marathon to the swim portion of Ironman Maryland getting cancelled, the stars just didn’t quite align for me when it came to my ‘A’ races. My ‘B’ races, though, were another story, with a Boston Qualifying time in the New Jersey Marathon, and a nearly 60-minute improvement from last summer’s race in the Lake George half ironman.

Maybe part of the lesson here is that I shouldn’t put so much weight into my ‘A’ races…but then again, isn’t that part of what makes achieving a goal so special?

Hm.

Anyway, here’s what I have coming up in 2017. I’m still looking for a few triathlons to add to the roster — namely, a 70.3 race… or, if I really want to get crazy, a 140.6-mile event. So if you have any suggestions, throw ‘em my way!

The 2017 Boston Marathon

I’ve already suffered a minor training setback with a stress fracture in my right foot, but haven’t completely lost hope for a PR in the iconic Boston Marathon on April 19, 2017. It will be my fourth year running the course, and every year I learn something new. After my 3:24 in Philly, I’d love to challenge myself with a sub-3:20 race this April. My personal best time of 3:21 makes me think I can do it… even though that was in 2014.

The 2017 New Jersey Half Marathon Relay

This race is a just-for-funsies relay that takes place on the same day as the New Jersey Marathon in Long Branch, New Jersey — April 30, 2017. New Jersey holds a special place in my heart because not only did I grow up in the Garden State, but the 2012 New Jersey Marathon is also the race course where I first qualified for Boston. The course is also where I ran my ‘redemption’ marathon last year. Of course, it’s not the most exciting place to run, but my friend Chris is running the marathon, so it will be fun to go, run a little bit, and then cheer for his speedy finish.

The 2017 Chicago Marathon

After getting hopped up on endorphins at the Philadelphia Marathon in November, my friend Chris (yes, the same guy who coaxed us into signing up for this race in the first place) told me he was signing up for Chicago on October 8, 2017. I immediately got run envy, and I signed up for guaranteed entry as well. I’m excited to experience Chicago on foot, especially because the only time I’ve ever been there was in January, when it was freezing and we were forced to spend most of our time indoors.

 

Races I’m ‘Noodling’ Over (i.e., I kinda want to sign up for them)

  • The North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon Relay at Bear Mountain State Park… but I’m going to need a partner (or three). Any takers?
  • Tri The Wildwoods in Wildwood, New Jersey … This could be a great way to cap off the summer!
  • A 70.3 somewhere. Originally I wanted to do Boulder 70.3, but after visiting Colorado I think I’d die if I tried to race at altitude. The Atlantic City 70.3 race is in September, but there is also a 70.3 in Maine in August that could be fun. I’ve also been meaning to check out the HITS triathlon series as an alternative to Ironman-sanctioned courses.

Other Race Goals I have In Mind:

  • A sub 3:20-minute marathon
  • I’d love to find and run a 5k in under 20 minutes
  • A new half marathon PR. I think my current PR is a 1:35, but I’m not sure I have the grit to do that. TBD.

What are your race goals for 2017? Do you have any races – road, trail or triathlon — you recommend? Let me know in the comments.

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