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!

Run with Santa 5k Recap

I had one busy weekend! I survived! On Friday, I posted about how I was going to be extremely busy, well yeah that totally happened along with 2 epic naps.

My swimmers had a great meet! Girls won and boys lost…but that’s ok. I’m happy with the way our team has started the season and can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Sunday was my first 5k since the surgery and marathon. I have not done anything to prep for the 5k. No running, I did one OrangeTheory workout last Monday and that left me sore for 5 days. I was nervous about this 5k. I didn’t know how I was going to feel since I had not been running and didn’t know what to expect. I laid out my outfit on Friday while looking for my coaching outfit. I know last minute for the coaching outfit.

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My alarms started going off at 5:45am on Sunday morning. I kept hitting snooze until 6:45am. I was having one of those mornings where I just did not want to get out of bed. After my pick 21 hour day on Friday and work Saturday, I just was not feeling it.IMG_7259

I got up, got dressed and headed towards Reston to the race. I put on my compression sleeves for warmth and to keep my calves from cramping since they are not use to this since I have not been running. It was good call my end. I’m one of those people who needs to get there early and then my nerves will be ok. So I got there and waited in my car since it was a chilly 29 degrees out. Around 8 I got out of my car and made my way to the festivities to start getting ready for the race. I randomly met me 2 friends there and another family! So glad to see them!

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I didn’t have any expectations and if I did, I expected to walk a lot of the race. I started running, things were feeling good. I could definitely tell that I had not worked out in the last month and that’s ok. My body need a rest and a reset. So that’s ok. I did not even have the intervals set up on my watch because I did not want to feel the vibrations of when to run and when to walk. So I just had it in mile mode. The first mile I ran was good, I felt good. I was walking up the hills and running every other segment along the course. Or at least trying to. I did pretty good. I saw my friend and her son along mile 1 and that was great motivator. A few other friends ran by and said hi! That was also great! You don’t realize the friends you make when you start running and seeing everyone at the same races or cheering you on from miles away.

I looked down at my watch and the first 2 miles were done in under 10:30! Wow! The 3rd was a little difficult. But I managed. I did run across the finish line and managed to get progressively faster going up the hill towards the finish. That was encouraging!

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As always, PR Races put on a fantastic race. This was my 3rd year running it and had a blast. It’s always fun seeing other people out there in sparkle skirts and christmas outfits. It’s awesome! I ran more than I thought I was going to. I came in around my usual times for 5ks which I didn’t expect. IMG_7273

This was my last race of 2015 and my first race of 2016 will be on New Year’s Day! Can’t wait to get back at it and start working towards half number 10! WOW!

Did any of you all race this past weekend?

Great News!….The Color Run is back in DC!

Guess What!!! You all know how much I love the Color Run! I’ve done the race plenty of times and have a blast each time. I’ve gotten lots of friends involved and each have a blast. And some of them aren’t runners! This September the Color Run is back in DC! Yes…the color run is coming back to DC! And I’m one of their ambassadors! WOOHOO! I could not be more excited for the opportunity.

To share my excitement, and you know you want to run! Use my code “DC4” for an extra $5 off your registration and to join my team! How fun would it be to join the happiest race on earth! Don’t wait!

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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

It’s Monday!

I can’t believe that we are approaching Memorial Day. It seems just like yesterday that the New Year started.

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Flat me for Carter’s Run

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Me and one of my BRF getting ready for the run

Any who…I had a fun weekend. Saturday was a Carter’s Run 5k. It was to support Dandy-Walker Syndrome and I wrote about it here. It was a great race. Very hot day for sure! We started at 9am and it was a great course. I felt bad for the people who were stuck on Gloucester Parkway but it was for a good cause. I got to see Erin from ErinRunsHappy at one of the water stations. I was so happy to see her around mile 2.5. She definitely put a smile on my face for the remaining tenths of the race. Shortly after that I saw another face I haven’t seen in a few years. He is always happy but he was definitely a guy who you knew when he was mad. He was       and continues to be an inspirational person. He’s done several races and triathlons. So I saw him and his daughter just after the water stop. His daughter was super cute and ran with me for a few.

Sunday morning was The Color Run! This was my 5th tiIMG_5134me running it and having so much fun! IMG_5146Just like my first time I ran it. I ran it with L and J. We got there and were excited to be there. We found J and got all ready to run. It was great morning.  A little humid, but better than freezing. We started our venture out on the course and got really colorful. This year they included a “shine” color station. Lots of glitter! So much glitter! I’m still getting it out of my ears. But that’s ok. We finished and got our medals (also new this year), and went over to the finish party. We did our color throw, and had some more fun before we headed back to our cars. It was a blast and I’ll definitely be back in September when they return to the DC areIMG_5152a.IMG_5155IMG_5127

It’s Friday!!

TGIF!!! It’s been one of those weeks that nothing went as planned. Wednesday morning was just beyond my control and something that I hope that doesn’t continue. I want to view this week as taking a step back and getting back into the groove this weekend. I have two 5ks this weekend.

The first is Carter’s Run, and also has a 10k option. AND it’s a fundraiser for Dandy-Walker. If you don’t know what Dandy-Walker is please check out this link Dandy-Walker.org. I’m definitely not an expert, but glad to help out to raise awareness.

The second race is The Color Run! I’m super excited about this race. I’m running with 2 friends of mine who have both done it once before separately but we are all doing it together this time. This will be my 5th Color Run! The happiest 5k! And this year the theme is the shine tour and giving out medals out at the finish. It’s going to be great and the weather won’t be freezing! Maybe just a bit humid. Here’s to many more! It’ll be great to have both of them along for the run.

I was able to get to a different running store this week and bought new shoes. It was such a different experience than what I’ve had in the past. I’ll write more about that next week.

I hope you all have a great Friday and even better weekend!

Cheers!

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! 💜

Weekend Festivities

Wow…what a weekend it was. Saturday morning was spent picking up packets for my 5k on Sunday that I was running with my sister. Then to come home and start my 13.1 mile run for a virtual race by noon so that I would meet up with my friend who was joining me at mile 4.5ish for 5 miles of my 13.1 mile fun. I knew there was something wrong the moment I started my run. My feet were feeling funny and not in a good way. I also knew that without having really been training for anything of significant distance, I wanted to take it easier. So I started on my journey of walking 1/2 mile and running 1/2 mile. My feet really hurt, but I knew I needed to get this run completed and it was going to happen whether I liked it or not. So I met up with my friend M, who is running Disney Princess Half in 2 weeks. (I’m super jealous! That was my first ever race so it will always hold a special place in my heart). We were running out our local trail and came upon this gentleman who decided to run with us for 1.5 miles or so. He’s training for an ultra marathon, 50k, and was out there by himself. Major props there! I could’t do that. It’s hard enough for me to get out there when I’m training for a half or full. So it was nice to have the company and distraction. My feet were feeling ok as M and I approached our turn around point and our running friend kept on going. I stopped to get a gel in me and that was the beginning of the end.  My feet were in so much pain from that point on it wasn’t even funny. I was able to continue my 1/2 mile run/walk through the end of the 5 miles with M and 9 almost 10 miles for me. Just a little bit more to go and then I can rest. Well I was able to get to the local 7-11 since it was huge Powerball potential winnings. But that was even torture standing in line waiting. It was around 10.5 miles at that point and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run the 3 miles back to my place. I was thinking of everything, somehow getting to my Mom’s house and she can take me back or just find a way deep down to make it and not break down on my way back to my place knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get back up and walk if I stopped.

So I kept trudging along. I got to mile 11 trying to figure out how far it was going to be for me to make it back to my place. I was going to come up short by just over 1/2 mile. I was taking some side streets on my way back so that I wouldn’t have to circle my building as many times and by this point it was all I could do to keep it together and not break out in some embarrassing crying action. Luckily I had some great support coming in over my phone via texts and I couldn’t be luckier and yes I did get some tears in my eyes when I was reading the texts because someone saw in me what I didn’t see in myself at that moment. I knew I was crazy to think that this 13.1 was a good idea. And I did finish. It wasn’t pretty as I crawled into my condo that was 3 flights up and tried to get my shoes off. I couldn’t put any pressure on my feet so it was tough to make it to the shower to just sit in there. SAD I know! So I’ve been using my frozen water bottle to help with the pain and rubbing it out as well as icing them.

Sunday, wasn’t so bad. I had a 5k to complete and didn’t know if I would able to run after my horrible 13.1 the day before. But I was feeling ok, So I did run and finish with not my best time but I did finish. So that was a good thing. My sister did amazing as well and we had the best parking spot right at the finish line. So it was easy to just jump in the car and wait a bit for most of the participants to get off the course so we could leave.  I ran more than I probably should have but that’s ok. I will keep on streaking this week with some low mileage before I have my 10k on this coming Saturday. I’m looking forward to the 10k, it will be slow but I’ll be good as long as I can get my feet in order. HAHA

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun?

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?