Joe: After a whirlwind year of racing in 2015, in which I set and reached a goal of breaking my race count record of 84 races (I ended up running 103 races that year), 2016 was a year of simply running what I felt like running at any given time and having fun. My times and fitness ebbed and flowed, with a few good track races and lots of average 5k times. I had fun near the end of the year running a couple sloppy trail races (the Silver Falls 7-Miler and the Molalla River Trail Race 5K), and also ran a couple small relays with great teammates. The beta version of the Hood To Hood Relay from Timberline Lodge to Hood River with fellow Run Oregon bloggers Teresa and Kate was a huge highlight. While I wasn’t going for any records, I still ran 66 races in 2016 (as of this writing), and while I didn’t have any specific running goals in mind this year, I still managed to complete my quest of running at least one race in every county in Oregon when I teamed up with a couple friends for a sprint triathlon relay in Lake County in August. Overall it was a low-key but very fun year of running for me, and I’m looking forward to more of the same in 2017.
Robin: As mentioned above, the year has been full of so many accomplishments, struggles, set backs with challenges, and victories over goals. I sit here at the keyboard reflecting over this last year with my running and my personal life and I am left consistently with one persistent thought. No matter what I seem to face, good or bad, I do it with more joy, more clarity of thought and more energy when I get out the door and go for a good walk or get a hard run in. Whether training for a half marathon or hoping to get my heart beat up, I am more motivated and live more passionately when I have gotten that work out in. Cliche? Possibly. I think of the times that I have been passed on a race course or met up with fellow runners at a relay exchange point and on several occasions someone says “Hey Smiley!” or mentions my smile in one way or another. I have internally joked that it was probably a grimace mistaken as a smile, but as the year comes to a close and my miles racked up are fewer and fewer, I now know that I do in fact smile more when I run. Here’s to 2017 and a lot more grinning, smiling, and having a good time with my running shoes laced up.
Abby: This year was all about finding my stride as a runner. My main goal was consistency and accountability. I consistently ran between 3-4 days per week for most of the year, with perhaps only one or two weeks of zero run days, due to a job change and subsequent move to a new part of town. Despite the life changes, I managed to win 3rd in my age group in a 10K race last March and had a major PR at another 10K race this past September. I was not only accountable to myself for the progress I made, but to a coach whom I met with a few times during the summer. I learned the importance of incorporating speedwork to my regimen. Speedwork will not only help you run faster, but it helps you to realize that you really can push your body further than you think. I already knew I was tough mentally, but I learned that there is so much more I can do physically. Currently, I am in the middle of a 39 day run streak, that I hope will further motivate me to continue beyond the 40th day. While I am unsure what 2017 will look like in terms of races, I feel confident that I have built up a solid base of miles that will allow me to continue to run wherever and whenever