2013 is winding down, and 2014 is on the horizon and all I can say is, "WoW!"
It's been a year of many firsts. This blog, My Facebook page. Streaking (twice!). Trail racing (also twice). Vertical racing. Longest mileage e.v.e.r. Oh, and let's not forget....my first Marathon!
I was able to complete 13 events in 2013 (11 official scheduled events, 2 virtual events). My endurance persevered, and got me through 3 months of training to get me to the finish line of the Quad Cities Marathon. I ran my 6th Dam-to-Dam 20K (with dreadful blisters but was able to push through and finish under 2 hours). I also ran 3 half marathons (along with the Quad Cities marathon) in the span of seven weeks, and lived to tell about it. I also made it to my first destination race, the Rock 'n' Roll half in St. Louis, and had the pleasure of running those 13.1 miles alongside Fran, one of my virtual running buddies.
I spent most of the year dealing with piriformis issues (literally, a royal pain in the buttocks). I enduredseveral months of physical therapy in the late winter/early spring. The PT helped, but the nagging pain never has quite left me. I know it has affected my speed (not that I was super fast to begin with), and it sometimes makes the short runs unbearable and the longer runs don't feel great until after the first 3-4 miles, but I refuse to let it keep me out of my running shoes. Fortunately, it is a treatable "discomfort" as long as I remember to stretch and/or foam roll properly after running. Cross training has been a blessing, or I'd probably be bed-ridden (a small exaggeration).
I ran some of my longest training runs ever, which I also think had an impact on my pace slowing somewhat. My body got accustomed to running long, and didn't "need" to go fast...so it didn't LOL. Actually, my pace remained pretty constant, and is pretty decent considering the piriformis discomfort....it's just not as fast as I know it could be under ideal conditions. Despite my speed not being as fast as I'd hoped, I did manage a few age group placings...which allowed me to add a grand total of 12 medals to my collection of race hardware. Most of the medals were finisher medals, but there were a token few that were "earned," including my final race of the year (Jingle Jog 4-miler), where I not only placed 3rd in my age group but also ran an approximate 8:30 pace....my fastest pace of the year.
Some highlights in pics:
|Fight for Air Climb...66 flights of stairs for the American Lung Association
|Drake Relays 10K...wearing the blue/yellow ribbon as a tribute for the Boston Marathon tragedy
|Running on the Fly was named one of the 100 Motivating Endurance Pages on Facebook
|Enduring 12.4 miles of blisters to finish my 6th Dam-to-Dam...just under 2 hours
|Giving back by volunteering for a local half marathon...got my cowbell ready
|In June, I officially started training for my first 26.2!
|Despite a nasty tumble (and several injured ribs), I managed a 3rd-place finish in my age group at the Grimes Family 8K Trail Run
|Finishing my 3rd Park to Park Half Marathon....a hot and humid race where I had a major energy crash
|Ready for the start of my first marathon...scoping out the finish line
|Approaching the finish line. 25.5 miles behind me.....
|My third Des Moines Half Marathon on a very cold day
|Finishing the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in St. Louis with Fran
|Finishing 2013 with a medal and a PR!