2015 was an incredibly mixed year for me.
To start the year, Amanda and I were very deep in our home-based business. We were literally working every single evening until very late. We were in a pretty stressful living situation after Las Vegas and I didn’t make running and workout a priority. I gained a bunch of weight and generally lost all gains from 2014. The first part of the year was pretty damn terrible.
On the other hand, it was absolutely the best year I’ve had running in a very long time. Or, rather, half a year.
I ran two races in the first seven months of the year. The first was the Spartan Race Charlotte Sprint. The second was the Rugged Maniac North Carolina.
The Charlotte Sprint was, if not competitive, a really good time. Amanda and I ran together and had a couple of cool pictures. She actually finished ahead of me! Amanda ended up finishing in the top 12% of all women and came in to the race completely cold and untrained.
Amanda and I were going to run the Rugged Maniac, but that ended up being the X-Con weekend, as well. We had already paid for it, so I ended up running it with Megan Mesco, one of my co-workers. We ended up just enjoying the course and not pushing super hard.
At the end of May and June, I got two of my biggest breaks.
The first was my HYLETE sponsorship. I applied to be on their compete team and was accepted.
The second was my Legend Race sponsorship. Both of these were huge. I set myself to getting back to the type of shape I was in when I was running at Emory & Henry College.
First up was my Spartan Wintergreen Super. I ended up running in the top 17% of all entrants. The ski slopes really killed me and I ended up not running as well as I would have liked.
In September, I ran well at the Legend Race but still knew I was just scratching the surface as to the running I could do. I finished fourth, but after leading for a solid part of the race, I nonetheless came away feeling disappointed.
October saw three races, including my first half marathon! I had an absolute blast at this race. I ended up running well faster than my “A” goal in this race. I’m targeting sub 1:30:00 for 2016 in the half, which will come out to something like 6:57 per mile.
I also ran Chauncey’s Night 5K and the TrueMudd 5K in October.Chauncey’s Night 5K saw me win my age group and run my first sub 20:00 5K in a long time. An affirmation that I was getting back into better shape.
November and December were rockstar months for me. I increased my mileage and finally started seeing some really good runs in.
My 2015 Carolina Sprint was the best Spartan Race I’ve ever ran, and I know that I have a ton of room to improve upon that performance, as well. Just critically thinking about how I raced I know I could have snatched another 5-6 minutes, easily, off of the time. I also know if I can hit obstacles without having to burpee, I could take another significant chunk of time off.
I also really enjoyed the Carolina Beast with Amanda. We ran that together, and some of it in the dark, and really just had an amazing time.
The second half of the year was simply amazing, and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings. With that being said…
Looking into 2016, I have a number of goals that I want to hit.
- 2016 Miles Ran.
- In 2016, I want to run 2016 miles. I’m pre-planning all of my runs for the year, and will have my calendar complete by the end of January.
- Podium a Spartan Race
- This is probably the largest stretch goal I have. I’m very quickly learning where I can cut time on Spartan Races, and I think that there is an outside shot that I can podium a race.
- Top 50 United States Male Elite Racers Point Series
- I definitely think that this is attainable. I’ve been researching the results from the top 50 men, and I think that it’s attainable. I’m comparing times and seeing where those 45-50 places finished in each of their races.
- Podium Battlefrog Xtreme Charlotte.
- My stretch goal is to win this. At the very least, I want to be in the top three. If I do well here, it is going to impact how I train and what races I prepare for in 2017.
- Run a sub 1:30 half-marathon
- I have five half-marathons on my calendar. I want to run a sub 1:30 at the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon. I think that it is in my wheelhouse and attainable.
- Increase my social media presence.
- Towards the end of the year, I created my Ryan Bowyer – Elite OCR Athlete facebook page. I’m looking forward to working on that page. As my results continue to improve, I am going to hopefully have a much stronger page.
It’s a lot of goals, but they all build on one another. As I continue to prepare and train, they should start coming together.
Here’s to 2016. It’s going to be my best yet.