2021 In Review

Going into 2021, there were a lot of question marks. In terms of running, the biggest question mark for me was if there would be in-person races again.

With the likelihood that there wouldn’t be any in-person races for at least the first several months, I decided to set my goals higher than normal. This allowed me to have some more challenging targets to work towards in the first few months of the year to keep me motivated.

For the past several years, since I have started setting annual running goals, I have gone back at the end of each year and evaluated how successful or unsuccessful I have been during the year. I also like to think about my highlights or things that I will remember from the year.

If the overall goal of running is to continually improve, then I would consider 2021 a huge success for me.

Here’s why:

2021 Goals and How They Went

Total Miles: 2,300 (10k average per day)

This was a very ambitious goal for me.

2020 was the first year that I went over the 2,000 mile mark and Covid really contributed to that because I was working from home and therefore had more time to run. But even with that extra running time, the goal for 2021 was still about 150 miles more than I had ever done in a year.

But once I got used to 40-45+ mile weeks and about 200 mile months, it just became another part of the routine for me.

What ended up being the hardest part in achieving this goal was when the in-person races were allowed to go ahead in the fall. Once this happened, I had to adjust my mileage to allow my legs to be fresh going into those races.

After a lot of miles through the first half of the year, I was able to navigate the busier months at the end of the year (and the preparation for my races) and finish with exactly 2,300 miles!

Continue Streaking

Starting the year at 1,100+ days of my running streak, I definitely wanted this to continue. As long as I am enjoying running and staying healthy, then I will try to run every day.

Even though at a minimum I wanted to run 1 mile every day to continue my running streak, the actual goal was to consistently run 5 or more miles. So I set the sub-goal of 250 days of 5+ miles during the year, which I completed – finishing with 252 days of 5 miles or more.

Ending the year at 1,499 consecutive days of running, there are still no plans of ending this streak any time soon!

A Week of Consecutive Half Marathons

In 2020, I was inspired by a few people that did something like this as a challenge, so I thought it might be fun to attempt this during 2021.

Once in-person races were back though, I think I always knew this would be difficult to try to squeeze in.

As the end of the year was approaching, I had set my sights on doing it during the last week of the year, but as that got closer I was feeling like I didn’t want to put myself through that after my marathon at the end of November and the Dad Bod Jog Club 12 Days of Running in December, where I ran about 110 miles over a 12 day span.

So I will just have to set this as a goal for another year. If you read last week’s post – New Year, New Goals – you might know that this will have to wait until at least 2023.

This Blog

The idea of creating this blog came about at the end of 2020 and I had no idea what I was doing or getting myself into. I’m not and never have been a writer and I would have doubted anyone that said that this would still be going almost a year later.

As it turns out, it has been a lot of fun putting the posts together and sharing them with anyone willing to read them! Hopefully, I can keep this going for while longer.

Highlights Of the Year

In-person races

With in-person races back, I registered for several and found myself with a busy fall schedule of races all capped off by the Philadelphia Marathon in November.

Having these events on the schedule, allowed me to have a more tangible purpose with my daily running. Getting prepared for a race forces you to think ahead a little bit more to make sure that you are ready for it and ready to accomplishment your individual goals.

Each event went well and I was really happy with the results, especially my new personal best marathon time at the Philadelphia Marathon!

Running Community

I know that I have mentioned this several times throughout the year, but the support of the running community has been great and definitely a highlight of 2021. I’ve spoken with a lot of great people and runners on Instagram that are continually working to make themselves better.

I’ve also gotten a lot of great support of RunPatRun, which has been surprising at times but always appreciated!

I’d love to know if any of you look back on your annual goals. And if you do, what was your biggest running success in 2021? Let me know in the comments!

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