2015 Running Roundup

December is over today.  This YEAR is over today.  This is hard to believe.  Time to recap December, and the whole year, in running!  You can catch up on the rest of 2015 here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November.  I set out in 2015 with a few goals related to running.  The first goal, that was updated in May, was to run 950 miles in 2015.  With tonight’s run, I will have 71 miles for December, and I will surpass my goal for 950 miles and end with 965 miles for 2015!

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My other running goals included PRing my 5k and 10k times, with under 30 minutes for the 5k, and under 62 minutes for the 10k, and running a half marathon with minimal walking.  I reached my 5k goal, and ran a PR of 29:29 at the Wild West 5k.  I missed my 10k goal by 1 minute, and ran 1:03:00 at the Plaza 10k, but I did finish the race hand in hand with my best friend Amy, which was a perfect way to PR the 10k!  During the KC Half Marathon, I ran over 10 miles before walking, and my body felt great, but I was dizzy, so I had to walk.  I ended up PRing my half marathon time by over 10 minutes, and only walked a little bit during mile 11.  I was very happy with all three of these races, and many other races (and PRs) in 2015 as well.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased at how my 2015 running year went.  I gained a lot of endurance, speed, and confidence in my running.  Though I had some setbacks with knee and hamstring pain, I am stronger, mentally and physically, than I’ve ever been going into 2016!

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I saw a fun little year end running questionnaire on a friends blog, and thought it would be a fun and different way to recap the year in running! I’d love for you to share your answers in the comments!

Best 2015 race experience – KC Half Marathon – I love this race, and I had a great race, a huge PR, and during the race, I decided to tackle the full marathon distance in 2016!

Best 2015 run – I had so many “best” runs… runs with Mom and Shay in Hays, runs with the Groupies, runs with my best friend Amy, runs in Milwaukee with my sister… so many memorable runs.  Some runs were great because the run was great, some were great because of the company  – one thing I know for sure, none of the runs in 2015 were regretted!

Best new piece of running gear in 2015 – Hoka Clifton shoes! I tried out Hokas about halfway through 2015, and haven’t looked back! I wear my Hokas almost exclusively, and I wear my Altras here and there also.

Best running advice you’ve received in 2015 – “I can do hard things.”

Most inspirational runner in 2015 – My sister, Kristen. She’s so strong and always pushes me to go harder, longer, faster, and stronger than I ever thought.  She runs for her cousin Martilee, who has Rett Syndrome, and is raising awareness and money to help fight Rett Syndrome.  She has focus, positivity, and consistency that I strive for every day.

Favorite race picture of 2015 – This picture was taken at the Plaza 10k, about a half mile after I caught up to Amy, with about 2.5 miles left in the race.  I stayed right behind her, and about .15 from the finish line, I popped up beside her and we ran in together, and crossed the finish line hand in hand!

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Photo courtesy KC Running Co.

Race experience from 2015 you would repeat in a heartbeat – Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5k – HUGE fun party from start to finish!  The racecation was lots of fun, but unfortunately the half marathon weather was awful! The 5k though, definitely a fantastic experience!

Sum up 2015 in a couple of words – More than expected!

Here’s to a great 2016!

Running Thoughts

Winter running is hard.  Mentally hard.  It seems harder than normal this year, and it’s not even *really* cold and snowy and icy yet.  I have a harder time adjusting to cold, dark running than I do to hot, humid running.  It really takes my body, and my mind, quite a while to get in the swing of things and have it be normal.  And if I can’t run outside, it takes my body and my mind quite a while to get used to the treadmill.  It’s not my favorite way to run, I’ll just leave it at that.

I also think I’ve been in a bit of a running funk lately.  Not necessarily so much running, but racing.  I did 16 races in 2015.  That’s a lot of races.  I PR’d my 5k, 4 miler, 8k, 10k, and half marathon times this year.  I had fun and pushed myself in my races.  I improved so much, besides racing.  I got faster, I became more confident, and I began really and truly running for me.  But towards the end of the racing “season” this year, I didn’t really want to do it anymore.  I think 16 races is too many for one year, at least for me.

I still love running, don’t get me wrong.  But running has felt difficult lately, and I’m positive that has to do with the winter coming.  The cold and the dark.  Running is a sport with no off season, and that’s one of the things I love most about it. There’s training, there’s racing, and then more training.  I love running, but I’m glad to be done with races until April-ish of 2016.

I really wanted to reach 1000 miles this year.  I don’t think, realistically, it will happen at this point  My initial goal for the year was 1100 miles.  After going through a divorce and moving this past spring, I reevaluated my goals and aimed for 950 miles for the year, but in the back of my mind, I wanted 1000.  When November was said and done, I was at 894 miles for the year, meaning I would need 106 December miles to reach 1000, or 56 miles to reach 950 miles.  My monthly totals average between 80-100, so I knew it would be a hard month to go for 106, especially with no half marathons.

Yesterday and last night, I came down with some sort of stomach bug, and it took me down and knocked me out, hard.  I planned on going to the gym last night and running about 4 miles and doing some upper body strength.  Then tonight I had planned 3-4 miles.  I didn’t run at all last night, except to the bathroom.  And today, I have so little energy, and am still fighting some queasiness.  Needless to say, without two days of running, missing about 8 miles, that goal of 106 miles this month is even harder to attain.

I’m going to reach my 950 mile goal, there’s no way I won’t reach that.  But 1000 miles, quadruple digits, that’s going to have to wait until 2016.  So much is going to happen in 2016!  It’ll be the year I complete my 10th half marathon, the year I complete my first full marathon, and the year I run 1000+ miles in one year.

I’m not giving up on myself.  Quite the contrary.  I’m thanking my body for what it’s given me this year, I’m dealing with issues that were out of my control, and I’m celebrating that I have the ability to run 80-100 miles in a month, healthfully and happily.  I’m going to end the year without stress, and I’m really excited about it.  2016, I’m coming for you.

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November Roundup

November has come and gone.  This year has flown by so quickly.  In case you want to catch up on my monthly roundups, you can read them here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October.  I wrote a post last December with my goals for 2015; my main running goal for this year was to run 950 miles.

For November, I finished the month with 78 miles.  My year to date prior to November was 816, meaning I am heading into December with 894 miles!! My reach goal was to get to quadruple digits with my first 1000 mile year, so to get to that point, I need 106 miles in December.  To reach my initial goal of 950 miles, I need just 56 more miles in December.  I’m going to try really hard to get 106 miles in December!

In November, I had 3 races. On November 1, I ran the Cliffhanger 8k with Amy, and had a beautiful race along a gorgeous cliff-side road.  The Cliffhanger race was my first 8k, which is just a hair under 5 miles.

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Also in November was the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5k and then the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon the next night.  I traveled to Las Vegas with Mom and Kristen, and we had a great weekend together exploring and running.  We met up with Mark at both races, and represented KC Running Co!

 

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I only managed to run with the KC Running Co Groupies 4 times.  Between starting a new job, traveling to Las Vegas, and traveling to Hays for Thanksgiving, there were just a lot of evenings I either couldn’t run, or ran  solo when time permitted.  My longest run, besides the Las Vegas Half Marathon, was 5 miles, which happened three different times throughout the month.

I volunteered one race in November, the RWB 5k, with Amy.  After volunteering the race, Amy and I met up with Mark at Shawnee Mission Park for a run.  It was a gorgeous day.

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The last week or so of November has gotten really cold and rainy and wet.  And dark too.  It’s dark so early in the evenings.  I had my first treadmill run of the fall, while in Hays for Thanksgiving.  It had rained and drizzled for a couple days, and then froze everything into a slick mess.  Mom, Kristen, and I went to HRC to run and lift.

Since coming back to KC after Thanksgiving, I’ve signed up for a gym membership at the Overland Park Athletic Club, which is partially paid for by my employer, making my monthly dues very low.  I see lots of treadmill runs in my future for this dark and cold winter to come.

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Looking forward to December, my biggest goal is to run at least 106 miles to get my yearly total to 1000 miles or more!!  I have one race, the Great Santa Run 5k.  Other than that, my goals are to develop a routine at the gym with some weight lifting and group classes at least a couple times a week, get to a few yoga classes, and finish the year healthy and happy!

How was your November? Any goals for December?