Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year in Review

This year went fast.  I know they all do, but seriously.  This one flew.  I accomplished more this year running wise than I ever dreamed when the year began.  I had goals, but I really had no idea how many small milestones I would accomplish throughout training and racing.

I didn't get the marathon this year.  And for the longest time I just couldn't get over that.  The sense of FAILURE I had loomed over me constantly.  I sit here now very thankful it didn't happen.  I wasn't ready.  I didn't know enough, I didn't train enough, it just wasn't meant to me.  I can only look forward to being able to knock it down in 2014.

Here's a little run down of the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2013...

January - 37.8 miles.  That's total.  In the month.  I had taken the end of 2012 off and these miles were just tough.  I would do slow intervals on the treadmill just to regain some running fitness.

February - We had some really mild weather days, and I made it outside with my new Nike GPS Sport Watch!  

March - Training began for my first half of the year at the end of April.  I ran my first race of the year around St. Patty's day and it was crazy cold.  I placed second in my age group in the 5 miler.  First medal of the year, check!

April - RiverRat Half Marathon training was in full force.  The race was the last Saturday of the month, and the most beautiful day of the year.  Seriously, the weather was absolute perfection!!  I think every person running or spectating said the same thing.  I shattered my previous PR of 1:57 with a shiny, new 1:47!  I think this was the best day of the year honestly.  I felt incredible, and it was such a fun day with my mom and friends at the race as well.  They ran the 5K and the finish was at the same place, so we were all able to finish together and cheer each other on.

First time ever placing in my age group in a half!

May - First month hitting the 100 mile mark, as I finished with 103 miles in the month.  I ran my second half of the year in Papillion with my cousin Michele and had a great time.  This race was tough, the weather wasn't the greatest, and it was a really hilly course.  But, this was probably the best race weekend of any.  Just getting to hang out with Michele and stuff our faces with pasta the night before was the best!  Oh yeah, and I became famous on the local news... ;)

June - The humid summer really made training slow and tough, even in June.  I ran my third half in three months right in my town.  It's always my favorite race just because I can get out of bed and walk to the start.  Plus, lots of friends and family can be around for it.  I had big goals for this race, and felt a lot of disappointment when I didn't get my PR.  A couple of days after this race was when I took the plunge and registered for the Sioux Falls Marathon.

July - Marathon training in the summer = HARD.  It was a horribly hot and humid summer, and even early in the morning, I was dripping with sweat within 5 minutes of running.  I battled a nasty sinus infection at the beginning of the month, and had a family tragedy on my boyfriend's side.  It was a tough month, and yet I pushed ahead on my condensed training plan.  This was my first month without a race since March.

August - Part of me wants to just forget this month.  Or call for a redo.  It's one of those things where "if you could go back and tell yourself what you know now..."  I am extremely proud of my 20 mile run, and my other long runs at that.  I know now that I can do them, I'm not afraid of them, and I will get better at them.  The rest is kind of crappy, the whole hip thing and the no more marathon thing.  

September - Even though this was supposed to be marathon month, it ended up being new half PR month, and healed running month.  I am very thankful for the lessons I learned while injured, and I came back stronger and better than I'd been all year.

I ran the half in Sioux Falls, and had a great time with my friends that also ran the half.  I immediately signed up for the Omaha Half Marathon at the end of the month.  And boom, new PR of 1:44.

October - Racing season was over, and I was kind of in a funk.  I ran a local 10K and took first place female.  I kept training, even though there was nothing to train for.  I finished October with 141 miles.  My strongest and highest mileage month of the year.  The weather was incredible, which helped a ton.  I also hit 1,000 miles for the year in October!

November - I was still able to make it out for early morning runs, the temps really held out.  Running was really therapy for me at this time.  This was a difficult month, but I found comfort out on the road, by myself, just reflecting on life.

December - Treadmill time, which hasn't been bad.  The greatest Christmas gift ever has been the weather over Christmas break (I get time off work between Christmas and New Year's)  I was able to get in some beautiful morning runs.  I hit 100 miles in December, meaning that I've hit 100 every month since May.  I'm proud of that, and plan to continue to make 100 a priority. 

Longest run - 20 miles
Half PR - 1:44
10K PR - 47:14
Completed 5 Half Marathons, total is at 8.
Favorite run - RiverRat Half