2015 In Review

Happy New Years Eve! This year seems to have flown by. There’s been a lot of things that have happened. Some really awesome and amazing experiences and then some not so great ones. I think that happens in everyone’s life and just how you deal with it and make the best of every situation.

January 2015 started out amazing. My swimmers were determined to have a great rest of the winter season and we certainly did. By the time conferences happened, they made it known they wanted to make it to states and still love every second. Which they did. January 16th also brought one of the most exciting “OMGsh” moments of the year, I decided to sign up for the NYC Marathon lottery knowing that my chances were slim to none about getting in. More on that later. I didn’t run too much in January. In fact I only ran 6 times for a total of 23.14 miles! I had made my goal of 1000 miles in 2015 and yeah not off to a great start.

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On the pool deck coaching my swimmers!

February came around and it was just as fun as January. I was still coaching and we got some snow. My swimmers did amazing at regions and states and we saw some of our seniors graduate. February brought back memories of my very first ever half marathon from 2012, the Disney Princess half. I will never forget running down Main Street in Magic Kingdom and it will always hold a special place in my heart. February didn’t bring lots of running either and I had 2 half marathons to prepare for in March. I did complete a 5k, a 10k and a virtual half marathon. My monthly total for February was 26.54 miles, still a long way from my 1000 mile goal.

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March blew in with a vengeance. I had a very ambitious goal of 2 half marathons 8 days apart. Who ever thought this was a fantastic idea, me, was crazy. I ran the DC Rock ‘n Roll half with 2 great friends and had a great time even though it RAINED the entire time! It was fine when I was running but after I was sooooo cold. Then just 8 days later, I ran the VA Beach Shamrock Half which was so much fun. It was flat and a great course and great people along the route. My plantar fasciitis was really killing me but I survived and completed my 8th half marathon. The other HUGE thing that happened in March was the lottery results of the NYC Marathon, and yes I GOT IN! My first try and I was accepted! I was in total shock but in awe of the year I was going to have. I was super excited. My total mileage for March was 35.69. Better but still a long way off.

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Me and my new friends…the racing Presidents!

April brought in spring and my marathon training started. I decided to opt for a long training plan because I had not been running the entire first 3 months like I would have liked. So I figured I would start slow and steady and get to the end. I also ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler which turned into 9.5 miles due to some unforeseen circumstances on the race course and we all had to be diverted. That was a fun race, and we had a FANTASTIC day for it. I would run that race again in the future, it would just be hard to beat the full blooms of the cherry blossom trees and the great weather. April brought 39.88 miles for me.

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Obligatory Selfie with the Cherry Blossom Trees

May, couldn’t believe it was May already. May brought on 10 training runs, with 3 of those being races. So it was defiantly not my month. I got to run the color run for the 5th time, think I enjoy that race? I also got to run Carter’s Walk 5k to support Dandy-Walker Syndrome and then the DC Wine Country Half at the end of may. Did someone say wine? It was a great race. It was my slowest ever half marathon since I had not trained for it, but I did finish and had a blast with my 2 friends who were training for their first marathon and ran it was well! I had 40.37 miles. Getting there but still not quite where I should be.

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Enjoying all the colors in May!

June was a an ok month. My training started to slide for the NYC Marathon and I was still in the low mileage month. I traveled to Jekyll Island for a work trip and had an absolute blast, although we did get diverted to Pittsburgh on the way home which then ended up in a car for 4 hours and getting back to DC around 4:30am. I did go into work that day around 11am and I was in my comfy clothes for sure. June also brought me admitting to myself that I was not as healthy as I assumed I was. You can read about that post here. I got to see 34.45 miles during June which brought my 2015 total to 200.07 miles! Do you think I’m going to hit my 1000 miles for 2015 goal?

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A very brutal 3.88 Miles on Jekyll Island

July was a quick month which had the anticipation for our family vacation to Cape Cod. We always love going to the Cape and enjoy the early mornings and how serene it can be. July also had impromptu trips to Swarthmore, PA to visit my grandmother and needing to do a 7 mile training run while up there. Also I got to really hang out with my cousin who is 10 years older than me and that really was the first time we had to talk and get to know each other and that was fun. At the end of July I had a very low 28.92 miles. Yikes, but I do love running on the Cape!

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Running on the Cape with my Sister!

August was the heat of the summer and also saw some somber times. My grandmother died on her 97th birthday! I was so glad to have gone up the month before to see her. My cousin that is living in Hong Kong came back over for the funeral and my cousin and his wife from Iowa drove out for the funeral. It was great to have everyone there and to really spend time with them. I think we were up until midnight or later talking and drinking and having fun. Something we have never done. There were not a lot of miles for August. OOPS. Even with the NYC Marathon looming, oh well. I had a total of 23.78 miles. Yeah, not hitting my 1000 mile goal. I’ll save that for another year.

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My amazing Uncle, Sister and I getting ready to go for a morning run!

September was amazing. I got a new boss at work (thank the Lord) and it saved me a lot of stress. September was also dreadful since the lump in my breast that I found last year and got tested (everything turned out ok) grew. New worry. So there were a lot of unknowns. I also was still training for my marathon and well that just was not going well. At this point I didn’t know what to expect for my marathon and it brought on a lot of anxiety. I got to run the Color Run again! Time number 6! What really helped in September was a friend of mine who would text me on Friday and ask if I wanted to go on a long run with her. It’s always better when you run with friends. Even though I didn’t want to a few times, I knew I needed to and I am forever grateful to her for having me along for the run! I had a total of 43.57 miles in September.

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October brought on the 30 day countdown to the NYC Marathon and my sister’s Marine Corps Marathon and a goal that she has been working towards for the majority of the year. I ran the Marine Corps 10k as my last long run before my marathon the week after hers and I discovered a little gem in covering my watch and just going by the feel of it when it vibrates to tell me when I needed to run or walk. Huge for the following week when I went to NYC. We had a blast and I’m a proud sister to have her achieve her goal of being able to apply for the Boston Marathon! She’s amazing and tells everyone that I got her into run, which I did. So next September she gets to apply! My fingers are crossed for her! This was my taper month, YAY! Who doesn’t love taper? October was also filled with doctor appointments to figure out why my lump grew and what to do about it. Ultimately, the doctor decided that removal and surgery was the best option and luckily I could postpone that until after the marathon. I had 51.46 miles for the month! Best month to the year!

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Getting ready to run one of my last long runs on the C&O Canal

 

November was my marathon month! The NYC Marathon!!!! I was super stoked and scared all at the same time. We had a great day for it, great weather and I couldn’t ask for a better experience. The people that lined the race course to the messages of encouragement I got on Facebook and text messages were amazing. You can read my race recap here. Soon after that was my surgery to remove my lump in my breast. It went better than expected and I was home at my mom’s house by 10 the morning of surgery. I stayed off my legs and running until December 6th when I had a 5k scheduled. It was good so I could let myself heal and not pull the stitches out. I had a total of 26.78 miles for the month of November. Just the marathon.

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My medal! It’s beautiful!

The year went by so quickly and December was here before I knew it. I had a 5k scheduled for December 6th. I did great for just having surgery a few weeks before. I finished and had a good time. Coaching started again and therefore we had our meets as well. I didn’t run in December besides the 5k since the 3 jobs and my swim meets were getting in the way and I would need sleep at some point. December is also my birthday month! YAY! Happy Birthday to me! So I only had 3.16 miles in December and 177.68 for the second half of 2015!

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2015 has been a fun year especially when I look back on it and think of all my friends that I have made in different states and friends here in Virginia. I can’t ask for better running friends and better friends period. Ones that text me and ask to go running or to figure out what races we all are doing. It has been an amazing year full of 377.75 miles! Way less miles than what I wanted and shooting for but miles are still miles. Lets see if I can beat 377.75 miles in 2016. Seems doable. HAHA.

2016 will bring on lots of new adventures and my first international race! I can’t wait! I hope you all have had a spectacular 2015! Cheers to 2016!

February Goals Check In

Hello!

I can’t believe that it’s already the last day of the month! How incredible and it seems like February just started. February was a busy month for me and so therefore the running took a back seat. So March will be for getting back on track and starting to work out again. I only completed 47.4 miles this month.  BOOO!! But yes 47 is better than 0. And 70.52 for 2015 all together! Far from the 1000 that I would like by December 31, 2015.

SO….because of that, and because of March means spring, I’m going to do the 100 mile challenge for March. That averages out to 3.22 miles per day. I have 2 half marathons this month (yes I have a plan for those that I’ll share next week) and some long runs leading up to the 2 halfs, that are 8 days apart.  I even got my outfit put together (I’ll share that too) and it’s probably the first time that I’ve planned an outfit this far out. I’m super excited about it. And yes more sparkle included.

I hope you were able to reach your goals for February, and if not, that’s ok too. Lets hit 100 miles together in March! Who’s with me??

BRF (Best Running Friend)

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have a BRF. Best Running Friend. When I first started running, I wasn’t going to run outside and thought I would spend all those miles and hours on the dreaded treadmill. Well that changed and I started running outside. It definitely helped with the change of scenery and everything that went along with it. Well then last summer, while I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon, I got another BRF on the weekends. I had babysat her kids years ago and still do on occasion. I don’t know exactly how it got started, but she said she would run my longer distances with me so that I wasn’t running alone but it also gave us time to chit chat and talk about random stuff.

K and I running together on Saturdays or Sundays then turned into texting each other and signing up for races and discussing which ones we wanted to do next. Which is how we came to the DC Rock n’ Roll half. YAY! I ran this race last year and was sick during the race. I still finished in 2 hours and 40 minutes. My goal this year, is to finish in 2 hours and 39 minutes or faster. I haven’t been able to train like I had hoped. Working 2 jobs does that and limited sleep and on top of all this find this really awesome guy who encourages me to do more and more each day.

I couldn’t ask for a better running friend. She’s awesome! She is faster than me but runs with me and walks if I need to walk. I can’t wait to find more races and have our running dates back. I find out next week if I made it into the NYC marathon and if I did, I’ll have lots of running to do.

On another note, if you are snowed in a cold here’s a picture from my favorite place to run during the summers.

Cape Cod

Hope you have a good Thursday and I hope you find yourself a BRF!

5 Non Running Things About Me

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a great start to their week.  It was definitely weird last night not having my other job to go to. Which leads me into my 5 non running things about me.

  1. I coach swimming as a part time job and I’ve been a coach for the past 16 years.
  2. My favorite vacation spot is Chatham, Massachusetts.
  3. I’m a Disney girl at heart.
  4. I’m involved in Aviation and have been since my dad would take our family flying.
  5. I love snow!

I hope this helps explain some more about me!

Enjoy your day!

Weekend Activities

Happy Sunday Evening!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had quite the weekend and today has been lazy ok well the whole weekend has been lazy. Isn’t that what weekends are for?

Friday, I was in southern VA for the 4A State Swim Meet. My kids did great and since they ran our meet at the same time as the 3A meet, I had this fear that I was going to make it back around 3am Saturday morning and with the impending snow….I was not looking forward to that. I had driven down Thursday night to meet my kids who had already gotten down there and I had to work so I drove to meet them. I found out about the meet changes when I got down there and how they were going to run our meet with 3A and to be quite honest I started to freak out. I didn’t know how I was going to stay awake for the drive home and I definitely did not want to get stuck in southern Virginia (I love it down there, but I like my home better). Fortunately, I have a great mom who listened to me and told me not to worry. She had contacted some friends that we had along my trek home and they were more than happy to have me stay if needed. So I was feeling better with several contingency plans in place. Prelims went well and finals were just a few short hours away. Finals came and went with a blink of an eye and all my kids were fantastic. Such a good end to a very challenging year for me. So now it was close to 8:45pm and I was looking at a 3.5 hour drive home. I was able to start driving soon after the meet was over and once I got to 81 I called my Mom to let her know I was on the road. She told me that a church friend who is in Covington was ready for me in case the weather hit or I just wasn’t feeling the drive. And my elementary school PE teacher was ready in Mt. Jackson as well. It was shortly after 9 and so I called my PE teacher since we hadn’t talked for awhile. We spent a good 45 minutes on the phone just chatting about everything. She was such a good sport and keeping me on the phone while I was driving my way up north on 81. Such a special treat.

I was feeling good so I kept driving and was able to make it to Winchester before I stopped for gas knowing I only had 40 or so minutes left to my house. My mom was staying up knowing I was on the road and so I was trying to get back in a good amount of time. I called my mom again around midnight to let her know I was back home. And she stayed up until I got parked. It definitely wasn’t expected but I was so glad to have made it home safely and before the snow that was headed our way.

Saturday was lazy since I was still recovering from a long day on Friday, I watched tv and with the snow outside it was hard for me to not enjoy it being lazy.  I did get a couple of things done around my condo and so I wouldn’t say the entire day was a wash.

Today has been semi lazy, no church this morning because of the roads and I still had to dig out my car. So today has been one of those days where I just do a little and then watch tv. I was able to get out for a little bit this morning and that was nice. Tonight I’m headed out for late dinner with K 🙂 Couldn’t be more excited about spending time with him. This afternoon I’ve been able to plan my outfits for my upcoming half marathons and my 10 miler. YAY! More sparkle has been ordered! OOPS! Oh well. I can’t wait. I’ll share pictures when it arrives. Oddly enough, no sparkle skirts were ordered. That’s for the next order. Promise!

I can get my training back on track and try and do semi decent now that swimming is over. It’ll be a good thing and hopefully I can start adding a few more things to my workout and really get back on track. The countdown is on. I find out on March 3rd if I made it into the NYC Marathon. Fingers crossed!

It’s a Princess Kind of Weekend

It’s going to be a fantastic weekend in Florida and I’m not going to be there. I’m so excited and extremely jealous that my friend is going to be able to run down at Disney World for the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. I will be on a pool deck tomorrow at the state swim meet for my kids so I won’t be able to participate this year.

The Disney Princess Half Marathon holds a special place in my heart. This was the race that I found that started my journey back into the fitness world and my sister on her journey that she is on now and that I gladly claim I got her into kicking and screaming. She thanks me now, but definitely not then. If you read my Welcome post, then you know that I had struggled for a few years and didn’t do anything exercise wise. I got back on the horse as I found that I didn’t like the way I looked and didn’t have the clothes that I wanted to look good in.

Running in the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon was eye opening. I was excited, scared and nervous all in one. My training hadn’t gone as planned and I was doing physical therapy 2-3 times a week since the shoes I had gotten had started to mess up my knees when I was getting to my longer endurance runs. So I was a mess.  I knew I had to keep a certain pace per mile in order to not get picked up by the bus. I DID NOT WANT TO BE PICKED UP BY THE BUS! I wanted to complete this half but have fun as well. So, my mom, sister and I traveled down to Disney World and got settled in. Both my sister and I didn’t really know what was in front of us. My Mom was amazing in that she did everything for us and was a great support lady.

My very first running bib!

My very first running bib!

First stop, the Expo! I had no clue what to expect. This was my very first race ever. I felt like I was just following signs for packet pick up and getting our race numbers. My sister and I registered as a team so we were way up there number wise. But we were in the same corral and so I knew that we were going to have a blast. After we got our bibs and our goodies, we went to the main part of the expo. SHOPPING! The best part of all and the freebies! There were so many things to sample and try and since we were new to the running world, all the technology and the cool gear that was there. Needless to say we came home with a few extra items.

We had some time to enjoy the parks and get on some rides and of course enjoy some fantastic food. All while thinking about this looming half marathon that we had signed up for. I know that thought was never far from my thinking. We were able to strike up some conversation from some racers that had completed the race before and that was definitely comforting. They gave us some great tips like being on the bus right around 3am when they would start running so we didn’t get lost in the line at the resort hotel and that the time limit started when the last person crossed the finish line. So that was also good news for me. My sister I had no doubt would finish on time.

Before we knew it, it was the night before the race, and we had all our clothes laid out and food that we needed in the morning. Our alarms were set for way too early, 2:30am! Who sees 2:30am!!!! Well my mom, sister and I did. My sister and I left for the bus ride over to Epcot to wait for the walk to the start line. My mom stayed back since we had already determined our meeting point for the end of the race and we had gotten her the ChEAR package for coming down and being our support and cheer team! We got to the holding area and were standing around just waiting and Disney had music going and a “party” where we could warm up and just hang out. It was definitely different, a good different. What seemed like a hot second, we were walking to our corrals. This was cool since we got to go behind the scenes of Epcot on the way to the start line.

My nerves were going 1000mph and I didn’t know what to expect. I had gotten to barely 7 broken miles and so 13.1 was going to be a push with some ITBS and some knee issues. The first corral started and my sister and I continued to walk to the start line. Every 5 minutes a new corral was starting. It was so cool! It was finally our time to start. The fireworks go off and we are off on our race.  I knew my sister would be able to just keep running and finish faster than me so we didn’t even try to stay together. Disney does a great job with the on course entertainment and I wouldn’t hesitate to do another Disney race in the future. So I would stop for the pictures that I wanted. I also was deathly afraid of being picked up by the bus for being behind the pace per mile requirement. So I stopped for some and I gradually got into a rhythm. Next thing I know we are entering the Magic Kingdom, passing the Contemporary Hotel and around the back entrance to Main Street U.S.A.! This is when my tears started. I didn’t know that it would have that much of an affect on me, but it did. I couldn’t help but think about my Dad and how proud he was of me with taking on this monumental task of running these 13.1 miles. It was also breath taking how cool and awesome it was to be running down Main Street in front of the castle with a few of my new best friends.

Me with Cinderella's Castle

Me with Cinderella’s Castle! This was about mile 6 during the half marathon.

The race kept going and somewhere around mile 8 or so the pain in my knee just wouldn’t let me continue running and walking like I had been doing. So I started walking, and by walking I mean power walking. I kept going and I kept looking back at the racers behind me making sure the bus wasn’t there. (Can you tell I didn’t want to get picked up by the bus?) Before long, I was entering Epcot and the last mile of the race. I wanted to cry from the pain but knew that I was almost there.  The people that were watching in Epcot were awesome and so encouraging. So I walked when I needed and ran when I could. I came down to the last 0.1 of the race and just started running. I kept running even though I had some extreme pain running down my leg. But I saw the finish line in sight and knew that I could finish. And I did! I ran across the finish line and got all teary eyed again! I was thinking about all that I had just accomplished. I just ran 13.1 miles in Disney World! What a rush!

My coveted medal!

My coveted medal!

I made my way through getting my medal, getting water and PowerAde before moving on to a finisher picture and then food. Last but not least I met back up with my mom and sister! H had finished about an hour before me and so my mom and her were just waiting or me. We made our way back to the busses for the ride back to the hotel so we could ice and shower and then go out and walk around the parks with our medal on.  That’s one thing that we did find out, is that everyone walks around with their medals on! If you see someone else with their medal on, we would congratulate them and they would do the same for us. It was an awesome feeling.  And needless to say we were in bed early that night. But we were happy ladies!

Such good memories! For sure! I know it won’t be my last RunDisney event and I hope to get back down there for the Disney Princess Half in the next few years.

So here’s to my friends that are running this weekend! May you have good weather and an even better time running through Disney World. Enjoy the run! And have a fantastic time!

THE Medal! 13.1 miles of hard work and tears!

THE Medal! 13.1 miles of hard work and tears!

Inspirational Wednesday

I wanted to start a new thing on Wednesdays, since it’s the middle of the week and to be positive how about Inspirational Wednesdays! So last week I posted my first one here in case you missed it.

So drumroll please…here’s your post for inspirational Wednesday…

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Yay for Long Weekends!

I had a long weekend, but not as long as some people I know. I was off work on Friday for my other job and was on a pool deck for a few hours. My kids swam great and I couldn’t have asked for better results. I’m proud of these kids. They have worked hard and we have one more meet to compete before the end of the season.

The end of the swim season also means that I can get my training back on track and start really running again. I try not to sign up for any races in the early spring, like March time frame because my time is so limited when I’m coaching. Anyways, I’m excited to get back on track and start running again (even though it’s a love hate relationship) and working towards my goals. I am hoping to hear by the end of February if I made it into the NYC Marathon. And if I did, great, if not that’s ok too.

I ran the For the Love of it 10k in Reston this past Saturday. I did great considering I had the lingering plantar fasciitis in both of my feet. I erred on the side of caution running .5 and walking .25 for most of the race. I tried to keep everything going and wanted to make sure I could finish and not be near tears like I was the previous week. I am proud of myself for getting through it. I did hit a wall, or at least what I felt like a wall, around mile 5 and so my first half marathon that is coming up in 25 days (YIKES) is starting to freak me out. I’ll be able to finish but I’ll still want to do well. I’m hoping that between now and then I’ll be able to get some more miles under my belt and still do well. I know that I’ll be able to finish…the question is how long will it take me. It shouldn’t be too bad. Fingers crossed.

With Monday being a federal Holiday it was nice to just relax and enjoy it. And we got snow last night which was a welcome with as cold as it is, I want snow. But I still had to come to work today, so no snow day for me. I’m contemplating signing up for another race that’s in the next few weeks before my March half marathons. Kind of keep the training going and if I can do 10 miles, then I know I won’t have a problem with 13.1 right? And who wouldn’t want to earn another medal anyways?

What did you do this weekend? Any accomplishments?