Thursday, December 11, 2014

Year in Review 2014

 I am having one of those days.  You know, one of those days were you just feel sorry for yourself for no real reason.  I am sure it is all hormonal and I can't wait to get off of work and go for a run to try and get rid of these feelings.  Running just makes everything feel better and I am so blessed and lucky that this injury was not serious enough to keep me from getting back at it.  I am still trying to take it easy and listen to my body.  Right now my body is saying, OUCH PT was tough last night.  He continues to push me and heal me and I love/hate every painful minute of it.  In running, I am now transitioning over to the timed method that Coach Jenny likes to use and I have to say, I am really liking it.  Something about knowing you only have two minutes or 5 minutes left versus half a mile makes it easy to push yourself.  I have been letting my body dictate pace during the runs to whatever is comfortable, and I am seeing the return of my comfortable pace (low 10s, high 9s) again already.  Thank you pool jogging!  I am also trying to get to the pool twice a week to continue my pool jogging.  Most days, I just try and keep up with my old men who jog quite fast. I count it as an hour pace run:)  I did get a few sprint intervals in the other day before they caught up with me and started asking me about stem cells.  They always have the best topics for conversations.
So I noticed all of my favorite blogs are already looking back at their year in running.  Instead of focusing on what I didn't get done (going to be short on my yearly goal of 1000 miles, boo), I am excited to look back on what I did do.  It was an EPIC year in running for me!!!!  I went from running a handful of 5 Ks and a couple of 10 Ks and one Half to running FOUR halfs in the spring, several 5 ks including a couple of 5 Ks with stella, and a 25 K trail race on a killer course.  All races were PRs for me and my training cycles were spot on.  Yes, I got injured but that was a function of biomechanics that caught up with me finally.  Here is my 2014 in Review!
I did the Heartland Series, which is a series of three half marathons, each a few weeks apart from the other.  The series offers different prizes for each year you complete the series so I am trying to complete all three years for the super cool jacket.  The three halfs consist of Rock the Parkway,  Garmin, and Running with the Cows.  I have re caps on my old blog so check out the links to read about them.  I also did the famed Hospital Hill half a few weeks afterwards.  My 10 Ks included The Speedy PD and Brew to Shoe and my 25 K trail run was Konquer the Konza.  I have officially fallen in love with the half marathon distance for sure.

Best Race Experience:
Without a doubt, Running with the Cows.  If you don't want to do the whole series, pick this race.  From the FB page updates they did every so many days, to the videos they posted, the volunteers on course, the awesome pacers, and the post race spread, this race was the BEST half I have ever run.  The course was hilly but managable, the scenery was amazing, and the aid stations were the best I have ever seen.  Plus, bonus, I met a girl in my pace group that was running just my pace perfectly and we hung out pretty much the whole race.  She pushed me when I wanted to let up and I pushed her through some rough spots as well.  We both had a nice PR and hung together post race and enjoyed many pictures.  While we haven't gotten to run another race together yet, I still will never forget her or that race.

Best Run:  In a race, it had to be Running with the Cows.  The weather was perfect, the stars aligned and the pacer was the best ever.  I have my half PR on that course and can't wait to do it again next year and try for an even better PR.

Worst Run:  Not sure if this was on the original list and I do try to forgot but hands down the Hospital Hill run.  Not only had I had some mystery fever a few days before so I was not 100% but it rained the entire 13.1 miles.  Yes, I wore a garbage bag the entire race to protect my phone.  I knew going in it would be a tough course and I don't mind hills, but hills plus driving rain = no fun.  I will take rain though over soaring high temps and humidity any day though.  The garmin half was a close second due to the thunderstorm we had from about mile 8 on.  I was on pace to get a 2:10 for sure and we had a horrible thunderstorm that flooded the streets we were running on making running a little tricky.  Add hail and some close lightening strikes and you get the gist.

Best new piece of gear:  The garbage bag.  Just kidding:)  My hydration pack that I got for my 25 K trail run is probably my favorite.  Not only do I use it on the trails, but when it is super hot, I use it to carry water for stella  and I.
I love the fact that it does not chafe our bounce once I got it adjusted well enough.  The water bottles are the perfect size and you can add a bladder in the back if you need more.  I also love the front pockets for storage of gels and stuff.   Visit Ultimate Direction if you are looking for the best hydration vest out there built by women for women!

Best Piece of Running Advice:  Do NOT run through an injury.  I did for a while but I finally listened to my body and I am sure glad I did.  I could have stress fractured my leg had I not stopped.  As a runner, you know your normal aches and pains.  This was more than normal and I listened and got checked out.  While I did miss almost a month of no running, I got to ease back in the second month of recovery with some walking and running (better than nothing for sure) and I got to try out some new cross training exercises (pool jogging rocks).

Most inspirational runner:  My mom of course!
I got her these socks last year for christmas and she proves the saying right.  Not only is she in Barre class 2 to 3 times a week but she manages to walk/run almost 4 miles every day!  Not bad for a 66 year old that smoked most of her life.  

So there you have it, my year in review!  While the year didn't end quite like I wanted it to, i should be healthy and ready to go for my next training cycle in January.  Right now I am for sure doing the Heartland Series again, most likely doing the Wicked Half in my hometown of wamego, and pondering a full in the fall!

Have a great week!

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