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Last 2014 Run

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I’m not going to do a big 2014 wrap up. It has been a roller coaster of a year. The highs were really high and the lows were really low. I still love running and plan to continue it forever….says the girl who has issues with the words “always” and “never.”

I read a lot of mileage totals today and had mixed feelings. So many people run so many more miles than me. I’m not hiding my totals. They are right there on my front page. Maybe if I had paid attention sooner I could have hit 600 but I don’t care. I ran 45 more miles than last year. I had some PRs so overall I will say I made progress. And for the people who ran in the tens, hundreds, or thousands…I’m proud of you. No matter what the total. I compare to one person only and I race one person only….ME!

With all that being said I did my last mile of the year today. I kept my streak alive and will complete it tomorrow during the race. 36 days of running (or elliptical). At least 1 mile everyday. The timing probably wasn’t right from a running standpoint but I think it helped me get through the holidays which I often call headache days. So that’s that. The year is ending and a new one is beginning. And I will start it with a race…because let’s be real…how else would I start it? Running is what I do…it’s who I’ve become.

I’ve got big plans for 2015. New races and some serious goals. Tomorrow is just about taking the first step. Getting out and having some fun with hundreds of other crazy dedicated people who are willing to run in the freezing cold.

And to end the year I went with new socks and new shoes.  Super bright because that makes me warm in cold weather.

 

New socks with bright shoes!
New socks with bright shoes!

Skirts and Socks…

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is up and running.  More content is coming soon!

=PR= Trail Series

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On Sunday we ran our third group run with =PR=. This one was at a park that we have kayaked at. There is easy access to the river on a boat ramp there. Once again there was an insane amount of rain a couple of days before….this happened right before the last trail run. The river was flooded and boat ramp was completely gone.

Mike Wardian who I met at the Reston Marathon was a special guest at the event….along with the shoe company that sponsors him. We selected to do the 60 minute run and he was running with our group…..just way ahead of us! Due to the flooding we ended up on a gravel path.

This time we were able to keep up with the group and follow a bunch of ladies in front of us. We stayed on the gravel path for a bit and then someone decided to hit an actual trail. It was a muddy mess and involved climbing over a bunch of downed trees. We got muddy but it was fun. When we looped back to the gravel path we decided to go out a bit further. We weren't quite 30 minutes out when we got to a fence and everyone decided it wasn't worth going around so we headed back. As we were approaching the parking lot the super speedy guys (including Mike) came up behind us. We tried to block them forcing them to run with us but it didn't work out too well. They passed us and then headed on another trail away from the parking lot. Since we weren't at 60 minutes yet we also headed down that trail for a minute….then we realized it was flooded and decided to head back.

It was a good run even though it wasn't on real trails. I'm enjoying these trail runs….partly because my buddy will actually run with me …. :-)

After the run we grabbed some water and a cookie and then talked to Mike a bit. He is super nice and even let me take a picture with him. He runs a lot and super fast. He probably (i.e. most definitely) runs more miles in one month then I run in one year….but that's ok….no one is actually paying me to run.

On Saturday I had run 5.26 miles and at the trail run I ran 4.74 miles for a nice even 10 miles for the week. I took Monday off and then hit the 3 mile loop on Tuesday. I will run tonight as long as there isn't a nasty storm and then tomorrow night is my track night. So I'm going for three days in a row because I will try for a long run on Saturday morning. I'm trying to let the track be an added workout so I can increase my mileage a little bit and get in a good speed workout every week.

There is one more trail run in the spring series and I'm looking forward to going out for that one too. It sounds like there is a break in June but it will pick back up in July so I just have to see how it works out with my training schedule but I plan to try out more of them.

Boston Strong

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No run scheduled for today but I'm definitely remembering those impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings. I will be running on Saturday at a Memorial Run.

Stay strong and never forget.

Sending Love…

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And thoughts to runners and friends and families in Boston.

Some Updates

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I've updated my Training Plan page. I'm not following a very specific plan right now because I have some shorter races coming up and I don't feel like I need to follow specific mileage. Short runs = 3-4 miles. Long runs = 5+ miles.

I've also updated my Races I've Run page to reflect what I'm thinking about but haven't registered for. When I register I will move them into Upcoming Races. I get nervous about getting too far ahead of myself with registrations. I've also added indications of which races are part of the 2013 =PR= Trophy Series. For info on that, click here.

Down and Out

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Saturday's long run just did not happen this week. Friday night I woke up in severe pain and begged for medicine. My head was absolutely killing me. I couldn't sit or lay or move or breathe without intense pain. I eventually moved to the couch and got a little bit of sleep but not much. I had to get up and get to the doctors for a flu shot….oh the irony…

After that I was able to get control of the pain and spent most of the day sleeping on the couch. I never sleep that way. It was one nap followed by another. At some point I thought I might at least get on the elliptical machine but that just didn't happen.

It's ok. Sometimes a break is needed. I've been doing long runs for a quite a while now and I know that skipping one is ok.

I thought about running yesterday but decided to just try to get back on track today. I will attempt to do a normal weekday short run later today and hopefully I will feel ok doing it.

Didn’t want to play in the puddles…

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Today's cross training was about puddle avoidance. Today was a total wash out so I decided to skip the typical Tuesday bike ride and get on the elliptical. I'm glad we ended up buying the elliptical machine even if we don't use it all the time. It definitely doesn't go unused. I prefer to be outside but on days like today when I can't get outside I'm glad to have a way to get a good work out indoors.

I watched TV to pass time while doing my ellipses. I did 29 minutes on the Cardio program. Normally a bike ride would be longer but I can't handle much more time on the elliptical. I did an hour once while training for the half marathon. There was snow and ice on the roads and I had to stay inside but I had to do a long “run.” That hour was painful….not physically….but mentally. So when I don't have a reason to do it for that long I stick to something much shorter.

Hopefully the weather is better tomorrow and I can get outside. Too many days inside make me crazy!

Single track

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Saturday was yet another beautiful January day. We recently found out that there are some single track mountain bike trails near our house. The park is about 3.5 miles away. We hadn't been mountain biking in a very long time and I was really starting to miss it. There are plenty of paved trails around here but I love to get off road. So we got out the bikes and rode to the park. Here I am before the ride.

The ride to the park was fairly easy. There is a paved trail along the road and then we had to cross one scary intersection with no crosswalk but really it wasn't too bad. Here I am at the top of the trail.

Once we went down the big hill at the beginning it was mostly flat. There was some up and down but no really big hills. The trail was a bit more technical then I was expecting. Plenty of roots to jump, streams to cross, and mud to ride through. Some sections were along a little cliff.

Some sections were pretty tight through trees.

There were many bridges that looked like this …

In the summer I would probably ride around the bridge through the stream (if it actually existed in the summer).

The trails branched in many directions. We rode in about 1.5 miles and then took the same path back out. I'm looking forward to spending more time there and exploring the other branches that we didn't get to. I am super excited that we found this place. Normally to do mountain biking we have to drive somewhere. In the summer this is definitely a place we could ride to after work and bike around for a while and still have time to ride home before it gets dark.

And one more final picture…..Muddy bike + Muddy Susan = Super Fun!!

Almost ready to run again

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Injury, illness, and bad weather have kept me for running for the past week but I'm about ready to get running again. I've been focusing on other workouts – biking, elliptical, walking, weight lifting, moving wood so I've still been doing plenty of working out….just not running. I realized today that my next race is in two weeks and I need to start running again. I'm hoping the little break will actually help. We'll see…