Looking ahead to 2016!


Last week I reflected on some of the highlights of 2015 and promised to reveal my goals for 2016 in this week’s episode!

2015 was quite a year! Full of ups and downs, but definitely more ups than downs! Some pretty good results, some pretty poor decisions on my part, some amazing experiences!

My No. 1 goal for 2016 is to complete the Ultra-Trail Australia 100km race in the Blue Mountains. It was my inspiration for entering the Heysen 105 in October, so I would be confident that I could complete a 100k. I entered the day that entries opened (good thing, because it sold out in under 48 hours), have just booked my flights in the last couple of weeks, and already I know of a whole lot of friends who are also going. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun and a massive challenge! It’s nice that all finishers are getting medals next year, unlike in the past when you got a belt buckle if you finished under 20 hours, and anything between that and the 28 hour cutoff got you a lousy sticker! I’d almost rather finish in 27.5 hours because there would be a massive crowd gathered for the presentations, and I’d get the best reception! I don’t really have a goal time in mind yet but plenty of time for that! A week in Thredbo in January for the ‘Fun and Fitness Week’ will be great training for running in the mountains!

Next, I want to qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon. I have Gold Coast earmarked as my goal race for several reasons. It is known as a fast course. It is about 6 weeks after my 100k so the timing is good. I ran my PB there this year. I do also have some unfinished business there. Although it was ultimately a successful race for me, I didn’t enjoy it as much as my other 2 marathons… crossing the finish line the feeling was more relief than elation. And the trip ended on a sour note so… I need to go back!

Boston is kind of like a rite of passage for marathon runners – it is the world’s oldest annual marathon and one of the 6 annual ‘Major’ marathons (thanks, Wikipedia!). It would be an ideal way for me to celebrate my 40th birthday, and I already know other people who are hoping to qualify, plus it’s been way too long since my last trip to the States. So yeah, that is happening!

My first big event of 2016 will be the 100km state championships. 250 laps of a 400m athletic track. Sounds fun, right? I’m not quite sure if I’m prepared for this but I’ve entered, so I’ll give it a crack. I’m hoping to finish under 10 hours but I think that might be a bit ambitious. The cutoff time is 12 hours so anything under that will be good!

As many readers of my blog will know, I am planning to complete a triathlon next year. I’m currently aiming for April but if that doesn’t happen, I’ll aim for something towards the end of the year, in the 2016-2017 triathlon season. I’m thinking of a Tinman. I think that’s achievable. I don’t have any desire to do an Ironman although a 70.3 does have a nice ring to it. I just can’t see how I could fit Ironman training in around full time work. If I could quit my job (or at least significantly reduce my hours) and still afford to live, maybe I could. To me there are only 2 ways that could happen – a lottery win, and/or a rich husband! Both are equally likely I reckon!

I need to buy a bike. I WANT a Garmin Fenix 3 watch but I have decided (for once) to be sensible and buy a secondhand 310XT which will do the job nicely AND hopefully leave me with enough for a decent bike. I guess a bike is more important than a fancy watch! Cycling is new to me but after a few lessons I’m slowly getting the hang of cleats.

Swimming I am reasonably confident with, having been a fair swimmer in my youth. Yesterday I completed my first aquathlon (swim/run) including my first open water swim. Possibly a topic for a blog post in the near future! I’d like to work on ocean/lake swimming – swimming from one jetty to the next, and there is a big open water swimming event in February which I will most likely enter.

There are a few other ‘minor’ goals too. I’d love to break the 20 minute barrier for a 5k. I’m close – 20:24 is my best time. It will happen one day! I’d also love to do a sub-50 City-Bay 12k. Once again I am getting close!

I also want to run the Clare Half again – more unfinished business from 2015! I won’t aim for an overall PB like I (foolishly) did this year – Clare is a tough course and it’s difficult to run a PB there.

Running aside, but still related, I want to sort out my nutrition… I haven’t quite got it right yet and the somewhat inadequate diet combined with some crazy mileage resulted in weight loss that to a point was beneficial to my performance but went a bit past what I would consider healthy. Where I am now, I am pretty happy with. Some of my photos from earlier in the year look a tad unhealthy. I know eating disorders are very common among runners and other athletes and it’s easy to see how but I don’t think I was ever out of control… I know some people who look like they’ve gone too far…

And just because putting it out there means I’m more likely to do it, I want to try to get back into daily planking. I have gotten WAY too slack with that. Surely I can find 5 minutes a day? And yoga/Pilates/BodyBalance – I need to fit in one class a week – that’s not too hard is it?

I started 2015 hungover like most of the last 20 years. I will probably finish it sober – I’m hoping to finish in what I now believe to be the best way possible – a night trail run with awesome friends! I’ve gained so many new friends this year – many more than I’ve lost!

I really don’t know what 2016 will bring, but what I do know is, if 2015 is anything to go by, it will be quite a ride! (pun intended)

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