Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015-My Year in Review

Is it really time to start anew?
Can you count them? There are 23 race bibs in my 2015 collection
A new year often brings with it new goals, new events, new friends. And, probably at least one (or several) new pair(s) of running shoes.

But let me digress. This past year was busy and full of many awesome memories made.

It's kind of difficult to read...but it says, "In 2015 I Declare to do 15 NEW events. I'm doing it because Diversity is FUN. I will crush this goal on or before Dec. 31, 2015."
Back in early February, I set out to make 2015 a year of new races and experiences. Since I live in Iowa, the majority of my races are on Iowa soil (and/or Iowa streets), and I tend to do a lot of the same events each year. I vowed to do at least 15 "new" events in 2015. This could involve new (to me) events or races that had different routes than in years past. I barely made it, finishing my 15th new event on the morning of New Year's Eve while on vacation in California. Whew!
My final 2015 event....a 15K along the beach in Santa Monica CA
This was not a year free of injury, unfortunately. After several years of battling Piriformis Syndrome (literally, a royal pain in the buttocks), I was diagnosed as having Hamstring Tendonitis (also a pain in the buttocks region) in my upper left hamstring. The two "conditions" kind of feed off each other. I have been though more physical therapy, and finally have a grip on the proper exercises, stretches, and warm-ups/cool-downs needed to keep the stiffness and muscle tension under control. All is good. Rather than chronic, these conditions are very manageable as long as I keep my mileage reasonable and allow myself proper rest and recovery following each training cycle. Common sense prevails.

My first episode with Plantar Fasciitis!
Imagine my surprise to have a new injury make its appearance around mile 10 of the Dam-to-Dam Half Marathon. I had heard many bad things about Plantar Fasciitis, and now it was my turn to experience the frustration of it. This was at the end of May, and I was scheduled to run two 10K races (and a half marathon) two weeks later as well as Grandma's Marathon at the end of June. Not ideal timing.....I took an entire week off from running and did a lot of stretching and massaging my foot. I was able to run the two 10K's, but elected to DNS the half marathon. I was able to run Grandma's, and finished just over five hours. It was slower than I'd prefer, but given my circumstances, I was satisfied. After all, it was 26.2 miles....the fact that I was able to finish on my feet (and not a stretcher) was nothing short of a victory.
Grandma's Marathon, June 20th in Duluth, MN
This was a record number of races (23 actual events, one virtual event) for this gal.  My total miles came in at 771(+/-).  I realize that is small peanuts compared to most of my comrades, but I pride myself on my ability (and luck?) to be able to keep my miles at the minimum and still excel with my distance training. Not everyone can maintain their endurance with this kind of mileage, I appreciate the fact that this works for me. I was a little surprised the actual miles weren't a bit higher, but I did take a good week or so off in February (after a bad fall and had several bruised ribs, making breathing a little difficult). I also took a week off in early June (Plantar Fasciitis), and I scaled my mileage way back in August, in recovery from my Ultra in July.
My first Ultra! Christmas in July.....with Michelle, Penny, Maggie, Teri, Barb, and Karen
That's right! I ran my first Ultra! The setting was in Lisle, IL (near Chicago) for the Christmas in July, on the hottest day on record (at the time). The humidity was unbearable. The race (we did the 6-hour race) began at midnight, under a sky brightly lit with Christmas lights and an occasional lightning bolt. There were two hours of rain to add to our enjoyment, as myself and six other gals (along with all the other race participants) made our way around the 1-mile looped course for six continuous hours. We talked, laughed, cried, ate, and drank as we ran through the night. And we all committed to returning in 2016 to do the 12-hour endurance race.

I also ventured (yet again) out of my comfort zone and conquered my first duathlon. This event, Flying Pig Duathlon , had us running a 5K, biking for 20 miles, then running a final 1.5 mile jaunt to the finish line. That final run seriously felt like a death march, and most of us looked (and probably felt) like zombies, but it was a great accomplishment for little 'ole me with limited experience in the saddle of a bike.
Flying Pigs Duathlon, August 1
Always looking for a new challenge, I did several "short" monthly challenges to keep things interesting. I have learned that I do better with short-term challenges (that are over and done quickly) rather than long-term goals that take several months to see results. I also am more disciplined when these involve daily obligations, because I'm less likely to procrastinate the work. My favorites (that had the most impact and visible results) were those involving daily yoga poses, daily squats/lunges, daily planking, daily push-ups, and (short-term) streaking).

Most recently, I was able to surpass 200 planking minutes (blog recap HERE) in November (and my core is ever-so-thankful). I also did 100 daily push-ups in December (even while on vacation). I also completed my fifth running streak (also while on vacation).
 
But since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll let the pictures tell most of my 2015 story....


The Leprechaun Chase 10K happened on my birthday this year (March 14th)...and all my buddies sang to me

My third time doing the Fight for Air Climb in Des Moines

My 8th consecutive appearance at Dam-to-Dam...it was my husband's fourth, Barb's second, and we paced Chuck across the finish line for his first-ever Dam 13.1

A second place age group finish at the Sully Freedom Run on the 4th of July
Capital Pursuit, Sept 20th...a 10-mile PR!

My first-ever marathon relay! Quad Cities Marathon with Lynn, Carie, and Kristi...Sept. 27

In conjunction with the IMT Des Moines Marathon weekend, I ran the Principal Financial Group Road Race 5K along with my friend, Barb, and my sister, Lisa

My fifth time running the IMT Des Moines Half Maraton, October 18

Not really running related, but 2015 is the year our family became dog-owners! We rescued Max from a nearby shelter in January

While on vacation in California, I had the privilege of running across the Golden Gate Bridge!

I actually did a virtual event in December. The 12 K's of Christmas had me doing one kilometer for each of the 12 Days of Christmas (kind of a no-brainer since I was already doing a mile each day already for the Runner's World Holiday Streak)..but the medal is pretty sweet with that big K on it

Most of my 2015 hardware....the majority are finisher medals, but there are some age group awards in the mix and even an overall placing medal

So, that's a wrap. I typically don't make resolutions for the new year. Designating January 1 as the "start" date for goals is great, but each new month, week, day, and minute are opportunities for growth and renewal. 

I'm linking up with Deb from Deb Runs  for the Wednesday Word link-up...today's word happens to be Renewal. Head over and check out what everyone has to say about Renewal. Let's make 2016 the best year ever!!

 



Do you make resolutions? Did you have any goals for 2015 that you crushed? Any big goals for 2016?

40 comments:

  1. You had a great year! I guess I didn't realize you ran Grandma's with PF! Looks like that's what I'll be doing this spring...

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    1. I also ran Grandma's with some interesting (??) GI issues LOL. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger ;-)

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  2. For a year with a lot of challenges, you did great! And my mileage is about the same -- except I didn't run an ultra or a marathon because I'm only half crazy. :)

    I'd actually like to increase my mileage this year; nothing crazy, but we'll see what the body is up to.

    And I definitely would never, ever, loop around 1 mile for 6 hours! No way. That's hard core!

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    1. ha ha...that 1-mile loop was crazy, but also kind of nice due to the food stations, etc. It did get a little mundane, but certainly was a good test of perseverance. And, we're going back.....like childbirth, it wasn't so bad after all ;-)

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  3. Damn lady, you are a machine! Leave some for the rest of us :D Great year, Kim!

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    1. thanks! I kind of forgot how much happened until I tried to gather all of my medals for the pic....then realizing there were a couple that were forgotten LOL #life

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  4. You are amazing!

    Great year...even with an injury.

    I can't wait to see what 2016 brings.

    No goals for me..just want to stay healthy, run lots of races and enjoy running.

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    1. I agree...I want to run lots of races and enjoy it as well. When it starts to feel like an obligation, it's time to re-adjust the goals. Happy 2016!

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  5. That is a lot of races! Sorry about the PF but glad you recovered. I would love to do a duathlon - I should strat planning for that.

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    1. The du was great. I'm in Iowa, so there are a limited number of opportunities for such an event. I'm thinking of a tri, but no time soon.....there's that whole water thing I need to overcome first ;-)

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  6. What a great year full of great pictures, medals and new races! I love challenging myself to finding new races each year, keeps things fun! Cheers to a great 2016!

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    1. The challenge of finding new races is, indeed, a challenge! It's fun to run a new course in a strange town ;-)

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  7. Wow you've had a busy year! BTDT with the piriformis/hamstring issues. Blech. I well remember that Christmas in July odyssey. Ugh. More is not necessarily better when it comes to mileage. I'm a low-mileage girl too and it works. Cheers to a great 2016!

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    1. Happy 2016!! I know a lot of people (who probably aren't reading this LOL) that seem to think it's all about high mileage....and I'm just sitting back, waiting for them to get majorly side-lined due to injury. I don't get satisfaction in watching others suffer, but "too much of a good thing" prevails in the world of running. OK, I'm gently dismounting my soap box... ;-)

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  8. Ugh I also had PF this year-it is the worst! I hope yours is feeling better. Despite all of your injuries it looks like you really crushed it with the races this year. Here's to healthy running in 2016!

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    1. I think I had a very mild case of PF (if that's even possible). It was crazy painful at the race (when it first flared up), but it simmered down after the week of rest, and it has been almost non-existent since. Once in awhile, I can feel a little tingling in my arch and know immediately to give it some TLC...so far, so good #fingerscrossed ;-)

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  9. What an incredible year you had, injuries aside! I hope 2016 is even better and injury free!

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    1. Thanks! I don't have much on the 2016 calendar yet....but we're only one week into the new year LOL Happy New Year ;-)

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  10. What a fantastic year. You really pushed yourself to some new challenges and I love that. I'm battling the dreaded plantar fascitiis right now and it's terrible!

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    1. Isn't that PF a total pain in the arch? Actually, mine was more concentrated on the bottom of my heel, but there were a few (brief) times I could feel some strain in my arch. I think I had a very mild case, but I do feel some "tingles" now and then if I've been over-doing it. Hope you have success in healing up!!

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  11. You had an incredible year despite your injuries!!! I live in Iowa too, I love the Dam to Dam that was my second half marathon two years ago :) I hope this year brings you some good vibes with relief from your injuries, good luck with your 2nd Ultra, I won't even do a full marathon, kudos to you!!!

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    1. D2D is my absolute favorite event! This was my 8th year running it, and I do not plan to ever stop. It was my first-ever "big distance" race (back in 2008 when it was a 20K). Happy running ;-)

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  12. Hey I have that 12k medal too :)

    What an awesome year of races....24 that is IMPRESSIVE!!!

    Dang on injuries!! I hope you are able to keep them at bay this year!

    wait what a 12 hr endurance race....chile bye!! LOL!! You go!

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    1. Hey-it's great that we (virtually) raced together for that 12K medal ;-)

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  13. Sounds like an awesome year! Dam to Dam is on my bucket list. I really want that to be my Iowa race.

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    1. I'm not a Dam-to-Dam ambassador, but I should be. It's a great event ;-) Let me know when you make it to Iowa to run it!!

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  14. You had a very active year. Best in 2016 I hope it is just as great.

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  15. Awesome year in running. Cheers to an epic 2016!

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    1. Thank you! I look forward to what 2016 has in store for me ;-)

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  16. What a great year of running! Congrats on all your accomplishments, even while battling PF.

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    1. Thanks! Fortunately, the PF wasn't too bad. Certainly not a fun ordeal, but for me it was very manageable.

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  17. You had a great 2015! Here's for an equally great 2016!

    Thanks for linking up!

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  18. What a great year you had. That is a lot to pack in a year :) Look at all the wonderful bling:) Congrats on conquering the ultra!
    That darn PF...I have(had) been battling some PF like symptoms but ended up with a bit more now, just taking a break dreaming about running again.

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    1. PF is not fun. I was very lucky...my case was pretty open and shut, and not much of a burden after that first week or so. Hope your healing goes well ;-)

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  19. Congrats on an awesome year!! I have no doubt you'll make 2016 even better!!

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    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to what's in store ;-) A few more weeks of "off-season" and I'll be upping the mileage (gradually) and training for some distance ;-) Happy Running!!

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  20. Love this post! Congrats on all your accomplishments! I'm really impressed about your 100 daily push up challenge! I think I need to get in on that.

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    1. The push-up challenge wasn't as hard as it sounds, but it did get monotonous.....and I did not do them all in succession, I did them in sets of 20-30 (depending on the position). Glad to have them done (for now) ;-)

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