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!

Without Further Ado….

Life got in the way again. I picked up another part time job, coaching starts in just over a month, my full time job got a little crazy and oh yeah, I’m training for a marathon.

My full time job is great. All the stress is gone and am loving who I’m working for again. Now if I could get the security guy to stop turning on the air conditioner that would be even better. He freezes us out every day! So needless to say I’m happy to be back on track at work.

Part time job #1 that I picked up a few weeks ago is going great! I will have some early mornings come the winter when I’m up late for swim practices but they are working with me and I can’t ask for anything better. It’s great to have some extra cash as well. Who doesn’t like a little slush fund?

Swimming is starting to gear up and I have to say, I’m super excited about our volunteer coach this year. It should be a good year, 9 meets = 9 chances for my kids to make states. It will be another great year for sure.

Now comes the harsh truth of training for my marathon. YIKES…I was reading a post today that it was 40 days away! I’ve had some very sporadic training and for the most part my weekday training has gone to the wayside. I’m trying to get that back, but that’s been proving difficult now that the sun sets even earlier. My weekend runs have been good. My max mileage has been 12-13 miles and so I know I’ll finish my marathon. It won’t be fast, but I’ll finish. This weekend I’m going to have to get out in the afternoon and get some miles in to try to get back on track. I’ll be ok. If I can make it to 18 – 20 miles max I know I’ll finish. But I’m not going to lie, I am kind of starting to freak out.

I had 1 races this past weekend and did great. It was the Dulles Day 10k where we got to run on the runway at Dulles Airport. It’s such a fun race and I remember when I ran it last year that I kept thinking when is the runway going to end to turn around. You just keep running and running and then about 3 miles down the path, you turn around. You never imagine that it’s actually that long. Although, it’s probably 2 miles for the actual runway. I was able to run the first 2 miles and then I ran/walked the rest of it. I tried to keep on a time, but my head was feeling funny. So I did what I could. I met up with some of my Instagram friends. Sadly we forgot to take pictures! next time we will certainly take some!

The Color Run is back in DC this weekend! YAY! I can’t wait to be back there and have some fun. It’ll be a great day and it will be more for fun than anything else. I might be able to get my miles in on Sunday and be good to go, but we will see for sure. M is joining me and another friend and her daughter. It’ll be great!

Anyone else loving the weather! It’s fantastic and it certainly makes my long runs go so much better than having it hot and humid. I really hope that my marathon is a “perfect” weather day. That would be fantastic. Can I just place my order for that now?

I hope you all have been well!

Cheers!

New Day = New Week = New Opportunities

It’s almost July and I can’t even believe that. It feels like this year just started and it’s already half over. There has been so much that has happened in the first half of the year.

Here’s a few things that happened since the beginning of the year that I never dreamed would have happened.

  1. I signed up for the NYC Marathon Lottery and got in. EEK! You can read about that here.
  2. Training for my second marathon…never thought I’d do that again.
  3. Signed up for some cross training with OrangeTheory Fitness and I absolutely love it.
  4. Took a leap and went through some testing with InsideTracker. You can read about the results here and go to InsideTracker here.
  5. Work got out of control busy and I’m still learning new things.
  6. I’m no where near the half way point of my 1,000 mile challenge for 2015.
  7. Started this blog. Who would have thunk!
  8. Ran 2 half marathons 8 days apart. That was crazy! Who thought that was a good idea?!
  9. Will attempt something crazier, a 5k on a Friday, 13.1 on a Saturday, and then a 5k on a Sunday in September. I know…who signs up for this stuff?!
  10. Having a blast!

Things are constantly moving and forever changing. No sooner do you have a plan then it always changes. I hope the second half of 2015 is fun and adventurous and enjoyable. Here’s to the next 6 months!

National Running Day 2015

Today is National Running Day! I never thought I would still be running after these years and the trials and tribulations. Here’s a few questions about why I run and a little more about what I take with me.

1. Why do you run?

I run to keep myself healthy. But I also run to push myself and keep pursuing dreams that I never thought I’d have.

2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day?

I plan on running, since I’m currently training for my 2nd Marathon. The NYC Marathon. Woohoo!

3. How many miles have you run so far this year?

A measly 179 miles

4. What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year?

I will be running the NYC Marathon on 1 November

5. Before I leave for a run you must have:

My phone, roadID, Garmin Forerunner 220, Sparkle Athletic Visor, Headphones, and Camelbak depending on mileage.

6. Do you have one favorite app to track your runs?

I use the Nike+ app and the Garmin Connect

7. Who is your favorite running partner?

I have a group of ladies I run with on the weekends who are awesome! My coworker who runs with me during the week and then my good friend M who also keeps me healthy!

8. What races have you ran so far this year?

2-5ks, 1-10k, a 10 miler, 4 Half Marathons, and a 4 miler coming up

9. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be?

Listen to your body and take a break if you need it. It’s ok.

10. Describe your relationship with running in one word:

Love/Hate

1 week…

1 week to go before I officially start my NYC Marathon training. 7 days. I have the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on 12 April so that will be a great end to my first week of training. YAY! I was talking with M last week and sharing my racing schedule and how “packed” it is. She wanted to know which races I had in September/October and wanted to join! I love when I get to run races with other runners and friends. From 5k to halfs or even the only other full I’ve done was with someone else. It’s more fun with friends! I even roped in a few for the Color Run when it stops here in May! One of the most fun races ever!

Last week many of my friends got the ever awesome email that let them know they were selected to run the 40th Marine Corps Marathon on October 25, 2015! I’m so excited for them and so sad at the same time that I won’t be joining them. NYC is the week after so that is taking the priority. I will most likely still be at the finish line cheering everyone on since I plan to run the 10k that they put on that day. I’m crazy but not crazy enough to run 2 marathons within a week.

My planning (yes I’m a planner) for NYC is almost done. I have the train tickets and hotel. I just need restaurants and things to do. I won’t be doing many things besides the expo and seeing some sights. I can’t wait to experience it. This will probably be the only time I run NYC unless I travel up there for some halfs which would be fun. So many things to consider for the future. I may plan things but when it comes to training I am lazy and always start off great. I hope that I’m not lazy this time and can keep my poor mental attitude out of it. I have a good feeling about this though so we will see.

So here’s to the start of training and 215 days before I run in NYC!

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Bucket Lists

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Hey ya’ll we made it to Tuesday! We are on the right path towards the weekend!

I was talking with K the other day about bucket lists and what was on ours. I’ve split mine up into several lists. Something my Dad always had going was a list. I have a travel list, race list, personal list. I guess I could combine them, but this way I can keep them straight. I was making a comment how the NYC Marathon is a bucket list race and never in my wildest dreams was it in my radar before. I’m so glad that he encouraged me to sign up for the lottery and I was fully prepared to be disappointed. But shock and the oh my moment, of what did I do took over when I got the email that I had made it into the TCS NYC Marathon! But this got me to thinking what other races would be on my “Race Bucket List”.

I’ve run the Marine Corps Marathon, that was my first ever marathon. It was a great experience and I’d cherish the opportunity to run it again. I would love to run the Boston Marathon, but I’m so not fast enough to qualify. And right know, I would need to be a 80 year old woman and I would get in.  So to go to Boston, I would run with a charity and still be able to run one day. Of course, my list would not be complete without a few Disney Races. I would love to run all of them at some point. So they are all on my list. No surprise there. I’m sure there’s more that I’d love to run. My uncle is a master runner and I would love to do a race with him at some point. He’s always pulling in the awards. Big Sur maybe. I guess I need to write these down now and cross them off as I do them.

I have a “Places to Travel” list and there’s lots of place there I’d love to go to see. One place on my list would be Fiji. That would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would love to go to get away and not think about work for a few days, and really relax. Ireland, and Iceland would be great getaways. Germany during Oktoberfest! Maybe a trip to the mountains. A cruise to the Caribbean, nice warm weather and food out the ears! So many ideas. We’ll see what happens. I always have a bug to travel. And am always looking for the next adventure. I need to write these down as well.

It looks like I have some things to do and lists to make. What is on your bucket list?

Cheers! 💜

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?

February Races

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I had this all of a sudden feeling of “Oh My, what have I done”. I was thinking about my races for this month and how did I ever get myself into all of this.  My February all of a sudden got filled with races. And I feel like this happened over night. I have a 5k this weekend, 10k next weekend and a 13.1 at some point that’s a virtual race that needs to be completed before 1 March. And I’m contemplating another 10 miler on 1 March. So my race season has started quickly. AND I’m not sure I’m 100% ready for it.

My 5k this weekend is a local one and it’s at a new location this year. Run Your Heart Out 5k. This will be my 3rd year running this race. I haven’t run this course and so I’m looking forward to a change of pace and running somewhere new. I still need to decide what sparkle skirt I’ll be wearing. Probably my red one since it’s February with Valentine’s day right around the corner. I just hope the rain/snow stays away for the race. I can deal with the cold, it’s the wet and cold that I don’t like.

The following weekend, I have a 10k on Valentine’s day. This is a brand new race for the series that I usually run with. It’s the For the Love of it 10k. I’m really looking forward to this 10k. The 6.2 mile course is taken out of the 10 miler that I’ve run several times before and will probably run again this year. I fell like it’s the perfect mileage and it’s not easy but not grueling either. 6.2 miles is definitely manageable in my book and something that can be accomplished in any stage of your training.

The 13.1 virtual race was a spur of the moment decision and I’m sure that I’ll be able to get that done the following weekend since I was suppose to run 10 miles anyways. What’s another 3.1 right? I really don’t know what I was thinking when I signed up for this race. This really is not about time, but just finishing the 13.1. (I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t about time. I would like to have an ok time, but that’s just me.)

In just about 6 weeks, I’ll be running my little heart out with 2 half marathon races that are just a week apart. What’s 2015 without a few challenges? It should also put another baby dent into my yearly mileage goal. I’ll update you all on how that is going later. My streaking with Pink Cupcake Girl is definitely helping.

What races are you running this month?