2014 in Review, and My Running (and Non-Running) Goals for 2015!

New Years Eve Run

We are almost at the start of the new year, so I wanted to wrap up my year and running and also look ahead to 2015. I almost wrote this up a couple of weeks ago … but I couldn’t manage to not have proper accounting of my running right up until the end of the year! So here goes …

To get started … what WERE my 2014 running goals?:
Run more than 2500 miles
Run at least 2 Marathons and 1 Half-Marathon
Run an Ultra-Marathon
Set a PR in either Marathon or Half-Marathon
Put in time on the trails

Yeah … so, um … considering I ran exactly ONE race – and it was a 5K, we can guess how three of the five goals ended up! But honestly I don’t think that reflects the reality of my year in running, so let’s get started with THAT!

It is amazing to be sitting at the end of another year (my third) spent as a long distance runner – and I am fast approaching my ’26th Runner-versary’ in February. It is pretty mind boggling! It is fun looking back over the last year to all of the stuff that has gone on in my running life and reflect on what I want for the coming year. I have enjoyed reading so many posts from others and wanted to share my own. I went into details about much of the year in this post, so my 2014 summary will be quick.

Here are a few highlights of 2014:
Start and Finish the year healthy and injury free – After a great 2012, during 2013 I came to the realization that for me the most important thing was just plain running – not a pace, a distance, not even ever running Boston … just being able to get up tomorrow and go for a run. And as you’ll read below … I did. And I stayed healthy from -20F temperatures to 50 mile weekends and beyond!
I ran over 3000 miles … again! – I noted back around Thanksgiving that I was breaking 3000 miles before the start of December. I tallied up my totals through the last full week of the year (ending on Saturday the 27th) and I broke 3250 miles!
More that 300 running days – As I noted a couple of times, I never intended a running streak, but I always run Monday – Friday unless I really need a day off, and if Lisa is working Saturday and/or Sunday I will run then as well. And so more than a few times I found myself running 21+ straight days, 48/49 days, and so on. Overall it came up to 312 days … or not enough rest days, really.
Major PR at a 5K – by Thanksgiving I assumed this would be a no-race year … then I got signed up for the charity run ‘Selfless Elf 5K’. Even better, it was set up for both runners and walkers and had a very organized start so I could go out running strong from the start. I ended up with a 7:21 pace for a 22:48 total. For me … that was just amazing! What a great close to the year!

Here is the chart of my miles:
Miles FY 2014

So what about 2015? Here are five goals for my running in 2015:
Start and Finish the year healthy and injury free – Yeah, this is pretty much going to be my #1 goal from now on.
Run more than 2500 miles – Why not more after two years of 3000+? Because I want to feel like I can focus more on things like trails, speedwork, track time, and so on.
Run at least 2 races – one short, one long – I loved running the 5K, but totally love the half-marathon and full marathon, have never run a 10K and would like to do the Corning GlassFest 5 Miler in May again (did it in 2012). Why only two? Between one kid graduating and then heading off to college, and the other doing college search this summer … I assume I am booked that weekend.
Set a PR in something – I really don’t care which race, nor do I care by how much. The 5K PR will be a challenge, the rest I think are in reach.
Put in time on the trails – While I have dropped the Ultra for 2015, I really enjoyed my trail time this year and want to do even more of it next year.

Of course, there is another huge victory for 2014 (and 2013) that I plan to continue in 2015:

I maintained my weight without unhealthy eating habits or restriction.

Throughout 2014 I maintained my focus on ‘food as fuel’, eating real and whole foods, a very balanced diet, three meals per day … and no restricting. Even the week and couple of long weekends of college search vacation I never freaked out when I wasn’t exercising … I just kept a healthy perspective.

I also did a lot of cooking new meals, with some being well received and others … not. We worked on a Paleo diet for Lisa for a while, which had mixed results due to allergies but helped in terms of a reset. As we closed the year I think the goal for next year is ‘balance’ … which I am working on.

And YES I have my weight as an entirely separate class … which should be obvious to anyone who has followed the blog.

So what about everything else? Here are five personal non-running goals for 2015: By personal I mean not things like repainting the ceiling in the dining room and so on. But about myself.
Music – I am finishing up making my basement studio sustainable over this break, and I really want to take time in the coming year (much more than in 2014, which I would call a ‘year of noodling’) to truly get back to composing and playing at a higher level again.
Programming – just before the holiday break I needed to do something that required me to write my own code, using the ‘C-like’ statistical programming language ‘R’. I got it done, but considering I was writing entire code-bases to run lab instruments I designed back in the 90s and early 2000s … I was less than impressed with the atrophy of my skills.
Focus on the Family – I am proud of my 2014 in this area … and my goal for the coming year is for my family to know every day that they are loved and special through my words and actions.
Reading – Reading rather than blogging/video games before bed is a good choice for me … and I want to be make most nights about reading this coming year. My goal is not extreme – one book per month.
Cooking – As I said my personal health goal is ‘balance’ for 2015, but I want to extend that to the family – we are really omnivores with healthy tendencies … we don’t need a ‘diet cult’ to improve our lives, and this year I want to expand our palette without going too far ‘out there’.

I have no intention of doing NaNoWriMo this year, but am not closed to it. I want to focus on narrower goals to ensure success. I have set up some quarterly goals to check against, and if I am blogging I will share them here. As for blogging … I have no set plans one way or the other. I love this community and general and the people who will read this in particular, love reading your posts and your comments here. So I am not shutting down as some have chosen to do, I just have no specific plans.

I am going to close with the same picture I used last year because it is perfect – me at the end of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon Marathon 2013 in compression shorts with my #1 supporter and love of my life!

Post Marathon with Lisa

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38 thoughts on “2014 in Review, and My Running (and Non-Running) Goals for 2015!

  1. Mike – congratulations on a great year and everything you accomplished. Your 2015 goals are life balanced and reflect the person you are 🙂 – which is a very good thing. I wish you well and will continue to look forward to the posts you do write.

    • Thanks Harold … balance is a funny and tenuous thing, and as soon as we get overconfident about having it, we slip. So I always think that balance is a team effort 🙂

  2. You have had an incredible year of running. You’ve proved that races do not define you as a runner- what defines you is that you run. You’ve shown me consistently that I don’t need to feel weird that i like to do 20 milers on saturdays (a few other runners have!). You run for so many reasons and that is also me!

    I love your goal to PR in something, and to run the short/long race.
    Its definitely doable for you-and i know you would always put your familys needs first! (Yes definitely a busy year for you!)
    I’m sure your love for family shines through in your every action, just like it does here with your words in your blog. I’m looking forward to all you do in 2015! Cheers, Michael and happy new year to you and your family!

  3. Mike, you may not have accomplished your outset goals, but hey, neither did I, and I still consider the year a success! And you certainly accomplished the most important things–a life full of love and health. That is so much more important (as we both know) than any medal that we could get. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    • Thanks Suz – I am actually quite pleased with my year … and as always there are things to learn, which I will apply to this year! 🙂 So glad that you had a great year as well!

  4. I love how you live a life full of balance with eating, running and family (and a few other wonderful things that you enjoy thrown in there). That is some incredible mileage. I love that you did it without racing or training for races. I ran a few fall races for run this year but the bulk of my running was just for the love of running. I had so much fun this summer “training” with the other runners and getting that marathon mileage in but not having to worry about the actual marathon. Finding that true love of running I think is the basis for sticking with the sport as a lifelong passion. I also admire your healthy maintenance without dieting or fads. You are a great example for so many people who feel lost in their goals to find that balance but often look for the quick or easy route. Congrats and Happy New Year!

    • Thanks Sarah … I have realized over the last few years that running alone isn’t what I want – it is only part of my holistic pursuit of being the best me I can manage. And Thanks for all the other great things you say – I really try to stick to the basics: love running, eat real food, prioritize my family. And happiness just seems to happen as a result 🙂

  5. Awesome year!! And I remember last year at this time reading about your goals for 2014- it s crazy how fast the year went!! It sounds like you accomplished the goals that meant the most to you and ended up have a very successful year! Looking forward to what 2015 will bring!

    • So true – I was looking at all of your pictures and thinking ‘wait … THAT was 10 months ago?!?!’ haha Loved following your progress this year and reading your posts and great comments and can’t wait for all of us to have an awesome 2015!

  6. I’m just loving reading everyone’s reflections on 2014. It sounds like you had an amazing year in running and in life, and I love that your goals and accomplishments really reflect the balance that you achieve between the two.

  7. WOW what a 5K PR! Congratulations on all your accomplishments this year and that mileage…AMAZING! I hope you and your family have the happiest New Year ever and I am sure that 2015 is going to be yet another outstanding year for you!

    • Thanks Lauren – it was a crazy PR. I mean, a race in the 7’s … from ME!?! WTF, seriously? haha Yeah, but I can guarantee I’ll never get another PR at 5K of THAT magnitude, now it is about shaving seconds, right?

      Loved your year and how you dealt with the ups and downs – and of course how you handled living in the shadow of your little cutie! haha

  8. Great year! My two favorite things: that you didn’t stress out and force yourself to race when it wasn’t fitting in, and that you didn’t want to post until the “final accounting” could be done. (it’s not just me, woo!) Happy New Year!

    • Thanks Amy! I am pretty pleased with how I handled things and only let one race bug me at all, but in the end I am so glad I did what I did 🙂

      haha – and yeah, I am one of those ‘completist’ types who needs a full accounting 🙂

  9. You had a wonderful year Mike. While you may not have reached all the goals you set for yourself, you reached the most important ones, being healthy, running an amazing amount of miles while staying injury free, maintaining your weigh in a healthy way and putting your family first, which to me was a slam dunk of a year. I wish you, Lisa and the boys an incredible New Year and look forward to following your adventures in 2015!! I have no doubt there are lots of big, exciting things happening for you all in the next 12 months!!

    • Thanks for all of that Sara … I still can’t believe that the year is really done, I mean, where did it go?!? And I think that all of the things you note as a ‘slam dunk’ are reasons why we follow each other and enjoy each others’ blogging 🙂 Hope you guys have a great new year as well – for us it will be just Lisa and I as ‘Thing #1’ just headed out (#2 is already gone)!

  10. Running, music, cooking and family – I love it all! I do hope music becomes a bigger part of my life at some point like it once was – but for now my kids scream at me if I even dare try to sing in the shower 🙂

    Happy new year and here’s to an awesome 2015!

    • haha – love it Michele! Your life is immersed with your little ones right now and it is an amazing (and crazy time). We are watching ours sprout wings and leaving the nest … another amazing and crazy time.

      Happy new year to you guys as well! Hope you have an awesome 2015!

  11. Talk about an awesome year! That is some seriously impressive mileage, I am in awe. And I love that it was done out of a pure joy of running and getting out there. I miss reading real books, I used to average a few a month but now I am wondering if I even hit double digits in 2014. I need to work on that. I am sure your 2015 is going to be amazing- best wishes!

    • Thanks Fallon 🙂 As for reading, I have my Kindle by my bed – non tablet, just the ‘PaperWhite’ so it is reading-only … but I also have my Kindle Fire, Samsung, charge my iPhone by my bed and always have my iPad … ugh 🙂

  12. What a great year! I would love to see a sample of a weekly or monthly log of how you get all those miles in. Apologies if you’ve posted it before and I’ve missed it! I am still a sorta new reader 😉

    That is so fantastic you could travel and stay healthy and in check. I really admire that!

    Can’t wait to see what you do with your two races this year!

    • Actually a shorter trail race is probably a good idea – I mean, I know there is a half in the hilly trails near where I ran the full in PA in 2013, but that is over the 4th of July. And since there is a very active Ithaca trail community attached Cornell and other stuff in the area that is also a great option.

      As for easy … why would we want THAT?!? 😉

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