Wednesday, December 14, 2016
2016: A year in Running Pictures
I was looking for a picture on my FB page, and came across some really good memories, so I thought I would go ahead and review my year, because what good blogger doesn't? Let's start off with what happened at the beginning, shall we? I became a Nuun ambassador first off. While it hasn't exactly gone as I had planned, I was really honored to be a rep for a product that I use regularly. While, I still use Nuun on all of my long runs and races, the new formula doesn't agree with my tummy, so I use it half strength. I will not be renewing my ambassador ship, not because of that, but because I feel like I have not held up my end of the bargain. I am not good at hashtagging every picture I take, and while I have gotten several of my friends hooked on Nuun, I just don't feel like I do enough for them to want me back. It was super fun Nuun!
I got to go to San Deigo again and run in that beautiful city. While I won't get to go this year (major sad face), I will cherish all the running I got to do there in 2016. I really could look at this scene each and every day for the rest of my life. Still laughing at the fact that I was running in shorts and a tank, while the runners there were in full winter gear. Perspective right?
Melly and I had a great winter/spring training. I had a little foot injury (that still likes to rear it's ugly head), but other than that, we hit all of our paces, and generally loved having a pretty mild winter.
The good new was that my foot wasn't broken and no official diagnosis was given, but through massage and chiropractics, and LOTS of PT, my foot mostly behaves now. The band of muscles that goes across the bottom of my foot likes to get grumpy and cause all kinds of issues. Dry needling and some pretty painful massage keeps it in check.
I decided not to run the St. Pat's 10K and 2 miler this year, but miss Melly did and did well! I was the official sherpa for these races, and enjoyed watching everyone run from the comfort of the coffee shops in Aggieville.
Stella and I finished our second official half marathon with running the Wicked in the rain with the Tin man, whose name is Michelle as well, how cool! We paced her to a big PR and I still love, love, love this race!
I did my third year of the Heartland Series and earned my 3rd year finisher's jacket. This was Melly's second year, so she got her bigger medal that fits with her smaller first year medal. We about froze to death at the Rock the Parkway Half, and had to share clothing amongst our selves to keep warm, as none of us brought clothing for that cold of weather.
It was a bit warmer for the Garmin Half! We had a new race course and a new race expo, in which Gypsy runner was present. Seriously, I could spend so much money at her booth. I LOVE her clothing!!!!
We even got to run together till she had to split off for the full and me for the half. Amy seriously is the nicest person I have ever met! Please visit her online store at www.gypsyrunner.com and spread some love for yourself or one or all of your runner friends! You won't regret it!
I also ran a 5 K in Lawrence KS that benefited the local humane society. I love races that let me run with my pups! We didn't get a PR, even though the official time said we did. Pretty sure the race was short, like super short. Oh well, it was fun and my baby girl got to run with me!
Baby D even started running with me on a more regular rotation. He isn't a fan of heat or humidity, but he stepped up and loved being a part of our running addiction.
Next up was Running with the Cows, the final race of the Heartland Series and my PR for the half! I finally hit 2:05, a goal I have been working towards for two years.
Andrew and I were ambassadors for the Wicked Half and Full (and this year a 5 K as well!!!!) at the Bill Synder Half. We had a table with lots of goodies and informed tons of racers about a great local race just a few miles down the road. Seriously, come run this race with me in the beautiful town of Wamego KS! Visit http://wickedmarathon.org/ and sign up today! There is even a virtual option for those who want that Oz themed medal, but can't make it to Kansas. And YES, you can run with your dog as long as you register them as well.
In June, the nightmare began with my favorite running partner. This was taken the day it started. We are almost 6 months into this disease, and while we sort of have it under control, we are still having good days and bad days. IMPA in dogs is a horrible disease, and I wish we could convince her body to quit attacking itself.
Round about this time, my BRF got married in beautiful Colorado. I am so lucky to have her, as well as her running hubby as close friends. The wedding was so amazing, and Tony and I got a much needed get away, even if it was for only a few days. I really loved living in Colorado a few years ago and hope we can move back west at some point in our lives.
The summer was devoted to training for my first 50K. After running Chicago the year before, I felt like I had more to run than a marathon in me. Thanks to my distance training, I was rewarded with a PR at the 10 K distance of 56:32. Brew to shoe was hot, fast, and fun and I finished upright:) Instead of running the Speedy PD 10K, I volunteered and really enjoyed it! After the race, Melly and i got our long run in out at Tuttle Creek lake and it was beautiful!
I also did a local 5K that benefitted our schools. Run Back to School is a fast and fun 5K that benefits the very school that andrew will be attending next year!!! I got an AG award and I also won best dressed female. Full disclosure, I think I was the only female sort of dressed up. The theme was super heroes, so not sure what exactly I was going for. Sparkly cow star girl?
Andrew ran his first kid's race and got his very first medal! This kid has some speed in him! The race was a block long, but up a hill. I can't wait for him to run more races this year. Please let him get the running bug!
Training in the summer is always hard, but we made it fun. We ran four days a week, with 2 runs during the week, and 2 runs being back to back long runs on the weekend. We tried to get the shorter of the two long runs on technical trails, and the longer run on our normal route flat gravel route. Melly and I got new packs, and we both tried new fuel for the longer distance. I found that honey stinger waffles and fig bars worked well for me, and Melly turned to Tail wind.
Some runs just flat out sucked, thanks to the hot and humid summer in KS, but Melly always knew how to make me laugh and finish strong.
We used Konquer the Konza 25K as warm up for our 50K race. We both placed in our age group, with Melly getting a 1st and me getting a 3rd.
I just love this pic from the race. Barb VS took it, and I will always cherish it. I hope he learns to love running as much as I do! So much seriousness in that little face, and yes daddy dressed him that day:)
Unfortunately, our first 50K attempt ended in a DNF for melly and I. The horrible heat, combined with a late start, no shade, and running in a rutted bike trail got both of us. Melly had to drop at mile 17, and I had to drop at mile 22ish. I learned a lot that day, mainly that I way tougher than I thought I ever was as a runner. Those trails were NO joke, and I almost conquered them!
I took recovery seriously, but I also had thoughts about doing another race to avenge my DNF. After talking to several other long time runners, I decided to enter another 50K and try again. I was hoping that the weather would be cooler towards the end of October. I was wrong, but it was a good idea at least:).
It was hot and pretty windy, but the trail was pretty flat and forgiving, so I finished and avenged my DNF. I honestly can't wait to do my next 50K. While I am slow, I feel like Ultras are definitely my thing and ultra runners are my tribe. I will never be able to do a regular road race ever again (well unless I get into Chicago, but well Chicago is just epic like that). The aid stations are like meccas of wonderfulness, and the volunteers are so amazing and helping you with your every need.
I ended the year in recovery mode with my new four legged running partner. Deuce has stepped up his game, and is regularly running with me. We haven't started back hill training or speed work, so will see how he likes that, but thus far, he is doing great. He is up to a long run of 11 miles already, and not showing any signs of slowing down. Where he use to hang out behind me or dragging beside Stella, he now regular runs in front of me. Melly and I are shocked that he takes it so seriously now!
I can't wait to see what the new year brings. This will be my first two marathon year and maybe I can pull out two 50Ks in a year? I will be running the marathon formally known as the Andrew Jackson Marathon and Chicago again (EEEEK, just found out). I entered the Chicago lottery on a lark, not thinking I would get in but I did! Tony and I had SO much fun and learned so much last time that I thought it would be fun to go back and do it again a second time.
Have a great rest of 2016 and hope 2017 is just as awesome and epic for you and me as 2016 was!!!