I’m really proud of this year in running. Hands down, this has been the year I’ve raced more than any other year. I busted my butt starting back in April to focus on getting fast. So it was also a year of speed. And then there were weeks of pain. And then recovery and back to speed. This year in running might also be the first time I feel like I truly figured out the balance of running and the rest of life (though I’m not entirely sure my husband would agree with this!).
I also set some pretty specific goals for the year and accomplished most of them with a few new goals peppered in as I checked things off the list. I totaled 14 races for the year and originally hoped to cover 1,000 miles for the year. I’ve happily covered more than 1,326 for the year.
2013 Running Highlights
- Half marathon PR: I got one in March and then beat it by 4 minutes in November for a 13.1 PR of 1:42:19.
- BQ training and qualifying: A summer worth of training, using the same “run fast run less” plan as my friend, and then racing with her in the race I’ve traveled the farthest for and accomplishing a BQ, albeit for a 2015 time in a new age group, but mission accomplished nonetheless!
- Speed training: I committed to making it to our local high school track at least once a week and another small victory in this was realizing I could use the ‘lap’ button on my Garmin to track my splits during track work-outs. There was no excuse not to know where I stood with Yasso 800s! I also really focused on doing tempo runs right which means using that first mile as a genuine warm-up and then building to pace.
- Cross-training: I did enough of this to know that it works and if I can figure out how to stick with it, it will pay off even more. I didn’t start it until I was perhaps in the last quarter of training but I used our rowing machine, squats, wall sits and different core exercises to prepare for racing downhill.
- Girls on the Run: I volunteered for the local GOTR Chesapeake’s winter 5k and was reminded about how much I love that organization and giving back. The current director, Lara Mish, is, in my view, an icon in our local running community. She is a friend and someone I admire greatly so I was glad to be able to help her out when she made the rally call for volunteers.
- Run / life / work balance: I think I figured this out. The trick remains getting up early for weekday work-outs and having the support of family for weekend long runs. What I think really helped make this work is the three-day-a-week plan.
- Cross-training: This will probably always be on my list of things I need to do better. End of story.
- Injury prevention: Going through the unexpected hip pain reinforces the above need to cross-train. It also reminds me that I should’ve continued foam rolling well into when I was feeling good again.
- Giving back: I didn’t volunteer this year quite the way I wanted to. I blame this in part on being a bit of an overcommitter and not really being able to volunteer as much as I want. I got in one run as a pacer for the Annapolis Zooma Half Marathon; my second attempt at pacing didn’t pan out; and I volunteered at the GOTR 5k but I know there’s always a need for more help at more races.
2014 Running & Tri Goals
In my head I have some very simple goals for 2014.
- A spring marathon (currently debating between Pittsburgh and Gettysburg) where I hope to match my 3:35 PR. This means I will need to be ready to start a 12-week training plan early February and will need to reintroduce myself to speedwork, tempos and hills. This is also a total shift from my recently announced plan to beat the winter mileage decline and I thank Coach Jim for his comment that helped me motivate for a change in plans.
- I’d really like to run a half marathon with a 7:30 pace. This is going to be a really hard goal to reach. I don’t think it’s impossible but is going to require serious speedwork and cross-training commitment. I also think I’ll need quite a bit of time and a few tries which is why I think a spring marathon makes sense. I can then build on my marathon training all summer and target some fall half marathons for this goal.
- Summer sprint triathlons, hopefully 3. I really miss triathlon. I do love biking and I enjoy swimming. While I figured out the run/life balance I have yet to figure out the tri/life balance. I think if I focus on sprint tris I should be able to achieve the training necessary. Ideally one in July, August and September or October.
- Work 1-3 races. I have to be realistic. If I can work the water stop at one race that would be awesome. If I can find the time to help out at more than one I know how much more rewarding the experience will be.
And that’s it! I’d love to hear your highlights, lessons learned and goals you have for 2014!
Oh my goodness, you are too kind! I think you are so awesome, that’s what I always want you in the fun running endeavors. YOU ROCK!