2019 was a good year for me in a lot of regards. I changed jobs and as a result, am in a much better work environment. I like what I do now, feel appreciated, and have much less stress. Can't ask for much more than that, right?
Because I have more time - and more importantly, because I've been healthy - I had my strongest running year in a while. On Saturday, I went over 700 total miles for the year! Much better than the 504 miles in 2018 or the 223 miles in 2017, and a little better than the 630 miles in 2016. My high was 1,117 miles in 2014 so I have something to shoot for in the coming year.
I made some progress this year getting faster. In the first few months of 2019, my average pace for all distances was 10:15 to 10:20 per mile. I track it by month and it goes up and down based on the length of runs in each month. By the end of the year, I was down just below 10:00 pace. In fact, every one of my runs in December was at 9:59 pace or below! So that was pretty cool and made me feel good.
Being an engineer, I obviously like the numbers that I keep track of, but the best thing about this year is the amount of joy running brought me. After a few rough injury-plagued years, running has been so much fun for me this year. Lots of runs where I finished with a smile. Lots of runs where I was really glad I ran. And even those runs where I had no energy, I was content that I was able to run as far as I did.
I look forward to 2020 as a continuation of the progress I've made this year. I'm picking out a few half marathons to do. My wife is talking about starting to run (she's a biker, not a runner) so that would be awesome to do some running with her. I expect my pace to continue to drop. And my total miles to increase. Sounds pretty good. So bring on 2020!