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New year, new goals

Looking back at my 2018 running, there were an unusual number of ups and downs. And I don’t mean the elevation changes encountered during my two 50-mile races.

An early-season injury forced me to scrap a planned Boston Marathon qualifier. After recovering, I positioned myself to accomplish my first 100K at the Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) in May. However, four days before the race, I underwent emergency abdominal surgery.

But the year was not all bad news. In fact, I achieved one of my longtime goals when my marathon time from 2017 officially got me into the 2019 Boston Marathon.

After rebuilding my base post-surgery, I finished the year by running strong at a half marathon trail race, a 20-miler, the Chicago Marathon and a 50-miler. Amid my buildup, I also spent time working with friends as a running coach and mentor. During the fall season, each of the three athletes set PRs in their race distances.

That inspired me to obtain my coaching certificate from the Road Runners Club of America. I am now coaching runners with various goals and have room for additional runners. If you are interested in chatting about running goals, an individualized program and my philosophy, email me for a free consultation.

Assessing 2018 goals

During my memorable 2018, I learned a lot about training, grit and perseverance. While it may not have been a successful year of running or racing, it’s a solid building block toward 2019.

But before looking ahead, it’s important to assess how I fared with my goals for last year:

Requalify for Boston, hit 3:15. Due to injuries, I only ran one road marathon during 2018. I was not in shape to hit my BQ time, but I still managed to get my third-fastest marathon, 3:34:59, in Chicago. Missed

Build toward my first 100-miler. While I completed the Big Turtle 50 and the Chattanooga 50, my primary sub-goal of this goal was to finish UROC. Incomplete

Be competitive in races. Of the six races I ran in 2018, the top two performance wise were the Chattanooga 50 and the Fox Valley 20-miler. Chattanooga was not only memorable for winning my age group but for finishing when one-third of starters had a DNF due to the heavy mud, driving rain and tough course. At Fox Valley, I finished in the top 10 percent overall and second in my age group out of 46 runners. Achieved

PR in every race distance. The only one achieved was the 20-miler because it was my first at that distance. My two 50-milers were slower than my first one, which had far less elevation gain than the ones in 2018. My half marathon trail race and marathon in Chicago were solid performances but not PRs. And weather forced my March 15K to be shortened to a 5K, and I had not trained for a fast time at that distance — or in wintry conditions. Missed

Goals in 2019

The new year brings a renewed sense of optimism, new goals and 365 days to do epic things. Here now are the four primary goals I have for 2019:

• Finish my first 100K.

• Be competitive in races, notably a timed event over the summer.

• Stay healthy throughout the year.

• Guide my coaching clients to their goals.

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