It was a good running year. I wasn't as fast as last year, but I was consistent. This is my second year of weekly long runs (generally 10-12 miles long), and I think it is paying off in overall endurance. It was also my first year of winter running outdoors and that really freed up my training and versatility during the early, cold, dark months of the year.
Here are a few notes about this year...
My first goal was also the biggest single event—a half marathon in May. I felt a lot stronger and better prepared this time, but the middle of the race was still a crazy, long slog. Next time I'm seriously considering bringing my iPod. I'm not sure how I feel about music during a race (is it cheating?). I think bringing my iPod would make the race more bearable and probably improve my time. I'm probably going to have to try it just to see if that's true!
I did all of my "usual" shorter races this year, four 5ks, a 4-miler and a 3-miler. In the 5ks I came in either 2nd or 3rd woman in 100% of them, so that's good. I was defending two firsts though and didn't make either one. There were some speedy women in the field this year, and I was happy with my times and efforts despite not WINNING and all.
I enjoyed my longest streak so far, during which I ran every day from Memorial Day to July 4. Even though many of those days I only ran 1 mile, it made June one of my highest mileage months of the year. My highest mileage ever was in November, when I set the goal of running 100 miles in one month. I succeeded.
For general fitness, I run with a group every Tuesday morning, try to lift
weights once a week, do 2-mile fun runs every other week in the summer,
try to run 4 miles of hills every Thursday morning, go to SPIN class on
Fridays, and get in my Sunday long run every week. I add things when I
can, but try hard not to drop things because it makes me grumpy.
I love running so much. I can't really explain it. I love that it's possible. If I set a goal for myself, I can work toward that goal slowly but surely, and many times I will be successful. I'm probably never going to write a novel, never going to have a big beautiful house near the ocean, maybe never even travel in Europe again, but I can run. I can run far, I can run long, I can run faster, and that possibility feels great.
Also I should probably note that I have become obsessed with ultrarunning recently—running a distance longer than a marathon, often on trails. This might be something I'm going to work up to as I just can't shake the idea, crazy as it sounds.
Set goals for success! Here's what I have in mind for 2015
Continue with usual shorter races (four 5ks and two holiday runs)
Try a new distance: 10k? 50k?
More snowshoeing in the winter months
More fun runs in summer months
Half Marathon (probably the same one in May)
Streak from Memorial Day-July 4
November Pile on the Miles
Get a couple of 100+ mile months
Learn more about using heart monitor
Try some trail running, get more confident on hills
change hydration system (handheld? I still hate my waistpack)
pay more attention to nutrition, both while running and with everyday food
This book, Believe Training Journal by Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas, is going to help me!
It's a handsome training journal with tons of tips co-written by one of my running idols, Lauren Fleshman. She even signed it!!
Have you started thinking about 2015? Any goals already in mind?