It is never to late to celebrate accomplishments.
In many ways 2015 kicked my ass. In terms of running and my running goals:
I kicked 2015’s ass.
A powerful month. Having reached many goals before December, I decided to raise the bars to challenge myself further. I was within 20 miles of my original goal of 365 miles in 2015 so set a new goal to reach 400 miles.
Inspired by the streaking success of MT, I just tried to get out as often as possible and run (usually at least 3 miles). I spent 10 days in the midwest for the holidays and got out for several delightful runs on both familiar and new streets and trails. I reached 400 miles by Christmas Eve and didn’t bother looking back.
I looked at my totals on Dec 30th after my run and realized I could make it to 75 miles in the month of December if I ran 7.5 miles on New Years Eve. The whole thing felt auspicious and I couldn’t resist. The run was long and cold but was so amazing. At certain parts I focused so intently on my feet and my breathing the world seemed to melt away. At other parts I reflected and thought about my year and my future and barely noticed as the sidewalk moved under me. 75 miles in a month is most certainly a record for me, and one that gives me obscene amounts of courage and inspiration.
2016 is going to be remarkable. I can feel it.
November was a good month for my running. 47.1 miles and a drop in my average pace. As you can see from the details below, I didn’t run the first week of November. My motivation was nil, my energy and health were poor… but, I pulled out of the funk and hit it hard the last couple weeks.I was inspired by MT’s goal to run 3mi/day and I just tried to lace up and get out as often as possible.
November brought my yearly mileage total to 347.9. As soon as it was clear my goal of 365 was a goner, I set the new goal of making it to 400 miles! My race total came to 14 with the Fowl Fun Run.
To say I finished strong for the 2015 race calendar would be an understatement. MT and I ran the Skagit Valley Jingle Bell 5k in early December and wowee-wee-wah. We both PR’d AGAIN.
My time of 31:26 was almost 3 minutes faster than my previous PR. I was on fire. In addition to a nice mostly flat course, the weather was cool, and I started in the front of the pack and kept up with some speedy runners. Having PR’d in the previous two races, I was feeling motivated to push myself hard in this race and was really aiming for a PR. Whodathunkit.
You might ask yourself, as I have been, what is going on?! Well, I’ll address this in a future post so stay tuned, but let me say that I realize I’m unlikely to touch this race PR any time soon. The course was just a bit shy of an actual 5k (3.05mi by my GPS watch) but I’m not going to let that last .05 get in the way of my celebrating this achievement. Even if the course had been correctly measured, my time would have had approximately an additional 20 seconds, which would still be a huge PR.
Now, it’s time to set new running goals for 2016! I’m pondering a few things and will let you all know as soon as I’ve decided!
Have you sent 2016 running goals yet? What are they?
November 14, 2015 at the Skagit Valley Fowl Fun Run I ran another 5k PR : 34:24 – almost a full minute faster than the previous PR.
I was running on very little sleep after receiving devastating news the night before, and in crappy weather, but somehow I just zoned out and maintained an average pace just under 11mins. This was HUGE for me.
I spent the first mile just keeping my head down and trying to keep the rain out of my eyes. Once I settled into my pace and the crowd thinned a bit, I stayed on the heels of a woman who had knee high pink leopard print socks on. And next thing I knew, the race was over. She kicked into high gear at the last 50 meters or so and I couldn’t keep up with her, but following close to her the whole race gave me something to focus on.
MT, of course, ran as well but did the 10k. She also achieved an impressive PR and we both left in high spirits. Being my forever cheerleader, MT has served as continuous running (and life) inspiration to me over the years and I am immensely grateful for her friendship and encouragement. This day was particularly difficult for me to get through, and I was extra thankful to have her by my side and to have something to celebrate.
We didn’t take a picture after the race, or at least I don’t have one – so instead, here are two other pics of MT and I.
Here we are in 2013 before the Whidbey Island half marathon. This was my first half marathon which was quite the challenge. I don’t think I would have had the courage to do it without her. The weather was awful, but the day remains as an all-time favorite memory.
This one is a bit more recent. We went to the pumpkin patch together in October and couldn’t help but snap this selfie.
I busted my left ankle (the only real good one I had left, if you’re following my injury history) falling down some stairs on September 29th which was a major bummer. (It was also the least of the bummers in my life that day but that story is for another time…)
On October 10th, after taking about a week off of running to nurse my ankle, I ran the Everyday Super Heros 5k with my best running buddy, MT. It was a small crowd so we decided to start near the front of the pack rather than navigate strollers and dogs and children. This turned out to be a great strategy for me. While I certainly didn’t have negative splits on the race, my quick start pace set me up for a 5k PR of 35:18 (ok, it was seconds longer than my Whidbey race, but this race was all trails and hilly rather than flat and pavement, so I count it).
MT’s amazing little one even ran across the finish line holding my hand. It was a good race.
Ok, I’m catching up here so bear with me through the following deluge!
In September I ran the Bellingham Bay 10k. For the last several years, this race has offered a full marathon, half marathon, and 5k, but no 10k. I’ve run the half and the 5k and was excited that they returned to offering the 10k. I knew early on in the year that I wanted to complete the 10k – even though it isn’t my favorite race distance.
The race went great – not a PR but I kept up a good pace and felt terrific throughout. It was a perfect day – sunny and mild temps. After this race, I felt a bit more endeared toward the 10k distance.. but just a bit!
September was spent prepping for the a 10k race on Sept 27th. I enjoyed the last vestiges of summer and evenings without headlamps. I returned to work which didn’t slow down my running and I had a terrific race to cap the month. I added another 38.6 miles bringing my yearly total to 272.6, and completed my only 2015 race longer than a 5k.
October had a slow start and my consistency wasn’t as good over all, but I got out for 11 runs. I have been working through some pretty bummer life circumstances and it made it difficult to find the energy or drive get out the door. My race for the month was the Everyday Super Heros 5k and achieved a 5k race PR! Despite my low emotional and physical energy I was still able to squeeze in 28.2 miles to make for 300.8 miles total in 2015!
When I returned home from my trips at the end of July, I promptly got a nasty strep throat which put a huge damper in my early August Runs. I was couch/bed ridden for days and even with an antibiotic, it took a full 10 days to recover. I was immensely bummed but focused on healing and recouped thanks to the care-taking of Mr. and MT.
I searched around for an August Race I was interested in and just didn’t find one that made sense. After running two races in July (and previous months), dealing with sickness in the first weekish of Aug, and moving to a new place, I decided to not have an August race.
- 8 Runs
- 25.3 miles
- 0 Races
- 232 miles
- 10 races (holding steady)
I sweat. A lot. No, I don’t think you heard me. A LOT.
As such, I live and die by my body glide. I ran for almost a year before I went and bought some. Given the areas that chafe, I felt like a teenage girl buying tampons for the first time… I was sorta embarrassed that I needed it. As a curvier gal, I feared my need was related to my weight or shape. BUT, it was like a magical door opening and once I owned it and started preaching the gospel to others I found out SO many people – of all shapes, sizes and genders – use it! I am no longer shy to buy and in fact I typically own more than one stick at a time. During summer months when wearing a skirt/dress to work and I just can’t bring myself to wear the spanx, it comes in handy to have and makes life so much more comfortable.
What running tip or trick did you learn and think “how did I survive not knowing/doing this?!”