Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in Review

Gap is for the Columbia City jacket that still hasn't arrived :(
Counting my races this year isn't so obvious. For example, I did the Goofy "race and a half" challenge, then I did the "5-way" challenge in Cincinnati. Does a challenge count as one event, or is each race counted separately? Since it's my blog, it's my decision :) and every time I crossed the finish line counts as a race. Having said that, I finished 18 races in 2014, which breaks down as five marathons, six half marathons, one 10K, one 4-miler, three 5Ks and two 1-milers. It was the first year where the number of halfs exceeded the fulls.

By month:

January - 46.4 miles
Races - Goofy race and a half challenge (half marathon, full marathon)

February - 77.32 miles
Races - none

March - 95.13 miles
Races - Rock CF half *PR

April - 85.51 miles
Races - Twinkie 5k *PR
            Martian half
            Toledo marathon

May - 63.57 miles
Races - Cincinnati 1-mile *PR
            Cincinnati 10k *PR
            Cincinnati 5k
            Cincinnati marathon

June - 89.72 miles
Races - Dexter - Ann Arbor half

July - 99.86 miles
Races - Electric bolt 5K *2nd place
            Ann Arbor 1-mile *PR

August - 146.47 miles
Races - none

September - 119.49 miles
Races - Western Maryland half

October - 103.68 miles
Races - Chicago marathon *PR
             Detroit  marathon

November - 72.04 miles
Races - Columbia City half
             Milford Gobbler Gallop 4-mile

December - 43.33 miles
Races - none

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Now a few superlatives:

Best shirt - Cincinnati 1 mile, and Martian half. They both fit really well and are super cute designs that perfectly reflect the themes of the races. Honorable mention to the Electric Bolt 5k because I like ringer shirts.
Best race organization - Rock CF half

Best value for the cost - Cincinnati Flying Pig

Best medal - Disney

Best post-race food - tie between Electric Bolt 5k - Homemade cookies!!! and Columbia City half - homemade soup!!!

Best course - Chicago (flattest course ever!!!)

Best customer service - Cincinnati (immediate answers to questions, quickly swapped my shirt by mail for a different size)

Most fun - Chicago

Best on-course entertainment - Cincinnati marathon

Best overall race: Chicago (obviously!!!! Despite the hideous shirt, lack of communication from the race, and exorbitant cost. One can't put a price on 1.7+ million spectators!!!!)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 was a good year

Last January, I made a list of five things I planned to accomplish in the year, things that would be a little difficult, yet completely manageable if I tried. One was related to finances - accomplished that one in June, one was about my weight - got within 1 pound a few times *shrug* I like steak, I like cookies...

The other three were all about running. Can you tell where my priorities lie? :)
Goal #1 - run a marathon PR. I wasn't realistically expecting it in the spring after the winter we'd had, so once I got the acceptance from Chicago, everything focused on that race. All summer long, my plan was to PR at Chicago, then retire.* Did it!

Goal #2 - Run a half PR. Nailed it! First try! I PRed by almost 11 minutes at the Rock CF half. I later did the Martian half, the DXAA half and the Columbia City half, each of which got one minute slower...

Goal #3 - Run a 10k under 1 hour. The only 10k I had scheduled for the year was in Cincinnati as part of the "5-way" challenge. I ran a 58 something - 58:23? - and didn't run another 10k all year.

Not a goal, but a bonus was a 5k PR. Again, it was at the first race of the year, the Twinkie run. I did two more 5Ks - Cincinnati, which was an hour after the 10k and I didn't try all that hard, and the Lightning Bolt, where I got 2nd place and a pint glass.

Another unplanned bonus was running a PR in the mile - twice! At Cincinnati I ran a 7:52, then slashed it down at 7:10 in Ann Arbor in July.

I set a PR this year for every distance I race. Awesome!

It was a good year :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sick sick sick

So far I've run a whopping 28.97 miles in December. That's about half of a normal week when I'm fully immersed with the Hansons program. I'm not actively training, just maintaining a little, and I've been sick all. month. long.

I woke up on November 30 with a sore throat, which is always the first sign that a cold is coming. The cold lasted about a week, then the drainage problem was mostly gone, but the hacking cough at night remained. The next day it started all over again with another sore throat and kept happening for the entire month.

I'm so sick of it.

I've gotten to the point that I run when it's sunny. I can't wait until I feel well, because that hasn't happened since before Thanksgiving. I don't feel any better after a run, but I don't feel worse either, so I force myself to get it done. If I keep my gaze steady and don't keep looking up or down, the wooziness doesn't seem to bother me...

It's mid-40s today, but now that I'm ready to run, it's raining. I don't start training until next week, so I guess this is another non-run day. So sick of it all.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This weather is killing my running! grrr

According to the calendar, it's still fall. Go outside though, and anyone will say it's winter, and it's killing my running!!! I haven't run since Monday because the average temperature has been about 28 degrees, with an average windchill of 19. There has been NO sun all week and it's killing me! I have no motivation or desire whatsoever to run. I just can't get excited about going outside in the cold nasty gross weather, yet I want no part of the TM either. So rather than choose between two bad options, I'm just not running right now. The forecast says it should be in the upper 30s this weekend and sunny, but they also forecast sun for today, and they've proven themselves to be incompetent lying pieces of stuff once again >:(

If I were actively training, it would be different because I get in the mindset that I HAVE to do the prescribed run, regardless of whether or not I want to. My maintenance plan between Chicago and training for the Pig has been 3-4 times a week, usually around a 5k, sometimes a little more, but never less. With this gross weather, I come home from work, lock the doors, put on my PJs and don't leave until the next day. grrr I HATE this weather!!!!!!!

The worst part is that I KNOW how ridiculous I'm being. A 5k takes less than 30 minutes, or about 2% of my entire day. I always feel better after a run, but I still can't bring myself to do it! Then I get cranky with myself because I can't woman up and get it done. If it were sunny, I could totally handle the cold, but this dark at 3:30 pm nonsense is ruining everything.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The shoe shopping scavenger hunt

Merry Christmas to me
After I found eight pairs of Mizuno 13s for about $60 each, I have it in my head that I should always be able to find running shoes for around that price. I can't fathom paying the sticker price of $129 for one pair that will last about six months, so after I tried out my new Mizuno 18s and determined them satisfactory, I began scouring Amazon, Zappos, etc. for a price I was willing to pay.

The week after Thanksgiving, Amazon had them for $111.06 each, and
clothing purchases over $100 were eligible for a 30% discount, which brought them down to $77.74 each. Then I used my credit card points to subtract $19.90 total. Amazon doesn't charge sales tax in Michigan, and I spent enough to get free shipping. Final price: $69.79 each. Nice :)

I opened my last pair of 13s in October, and along with the pair of 18s I bought at the Ann Arbor Running Company, I have four good pairs of shoes, so I'm set until spring 2017. I'll keep looking though because the 18s are pretty much the most comfortable running shoes I've ever worn. And they're so pretty!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A runner's Christmas tree


Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree.... the weight of the medals actually broke the tree stand...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New race - instant PR Gobble gobble

Just for fun, I signed up for the Gobbler Gallop in Milford on Saturday, to finish downtown before the parade. There was a 1-mile and a 4-mile. The 1-miler is primarily designed for kids and I wasn't sure of my ability to beat my 7:10 PR in the cold with possible snow on the ground. Besides, it might have felt like a hollow victory if I beat a bunch of 7 and 8 year old kids. My nephew and brother were doing it though, so I ran with them for a little bit as a warm up for the 4-miler.

Some people don't like to be posted online :)
It was cold. It was really hilly and it was cold. Thankfully it was sunny! My goals were to break 36 minutes and to finish in the top 8 of my age group. My finishing time was a 35:27, although my watch said I ran 3.85 miles. Brother stayed to see my race and he said the first fifteen or so runners were routed wrong and they ran closer to 5 miles. Oops

There were seventeen runners in my age group and I finished number 4! Whee!!! I've only finished better once (at the Electric Bolt 5k). In some ways, 4th is the cruelest position to finish because turkey medals were given to the top three and I was so close! Not really though - I was 3 minutes+ off of the 3rd place finisher. I saw a woman in the last block or two and thought she might be in my age group, so I should probably pass her. I did, and she was. I beat 5th place by 4 seconds.

Later on, it was still sunny and 40+ degrees. Why couldn't we have run after the parade??? Ah well, cute shirt - tech with no sponsor logos, nice race. I'll probably be back next year :)