I went into 2014 knowing that I was going to go outside my comfort zone when it came to running. In August of 2013 I registered for the Women Rock Half Marathon. As time went on I started to rethink that being my first half since it was in August, I wanted to do something sooner. That got me to thinking about when and where it would be. After looking at my options, I decided on the Fargo Half Marathon on Mother’s Day weekend. That gave me time to train but it would be sooner than Women Rock.
I hired a coach and started training in January. I have to admit, that when I decided to run a half I had never run more than a 5K. So I knew that I would have a lot of training ahead of me. While I was training I registered for a few races to mix it up but still get my distances in. Two of them that were a lot of fun, they were Hot Chocolate 15K and Get in Gear 10K.
The Fargo Half Marathon, was so exhilarating! I had trained well and was more than ready for this race. The only thing that I wasn’t prepared for was the bathroom stops. I listened to everyone and now know that was not the way to go. I was told that if I felt the need to go to the bathroom I should use the first port-o-potty I see. So that is what I did, it was mile 4, and I stood in line for over seven minutes! When I finally get through the line and start running again I see that there are port-o-potty’s about every mile and a half, yep I could have held it. My guess is that everyone followed that same advice I had received. Lesson learned!
I end up finishing the race a tad slower than I would have liked but within my original goal. When I started training my goal was to finish under three hours but as time went on I really hoped to finish in under 2:45. I finished the race in 2:54:06, which if you take into consideration the long bathroom break I was really close.
Which leads me to another comfort zone issue that I needed to face, strength training. I have been working out for a long time but I will not lie I avoided strength training like the plague. But with the IT Band issue, I couldn’t avoid it any longer. I did my research, because if you know me I research everything prior to committing to anything, and found a local fitness studio that would fit the bill. I ended up falling in love with it! I think part of it was that I had an awesome trainer but I also think it challenged me in ways that I hadn’t been challenged in the gym. Sadly, my trainer moved away and I just didn’t find anyone that I liked working with as much as him. So I had to start thinking outside of the box.
That brought me to PiYo and Body Pump, two of my favorite workouts! PiYo has helped with toning and lengthen my muscles as well as giving me more flexibility. Then I added in Body Pump and that was the strength training I needed. If you read my weekly workout post you will notice that you see those often.
I discovered those two items I was training for my second half marathon which was in August. Women Rock is one of the races I enjoy and had decided that I would be doing the half this year. Again, I went in to the race fully prepared but did encounter some issues during my training. I started getting shin splints, which I knew was due to my shoes. I only had 250 miles on them but have always found I don’t make it much past that with shoes. So I needed new shoes, two weeks before the race. I went to the running store to buy the same shoes I always get. They ended up being out of them and wouldn’t be getting them in for another week. I couldn’t wait that long, I got fitted for a new brand of shoes so I would have them for the race. Problem is that I had completed all of my long runs and I didn’t go over 5-6 miles in them.
Fast forward to race day, I just felt off from the get go but I pushed myself. By about mile six, my legs were achy but I could still go. Then at mile nine, my legs just hurt. Mile 11, my left leg went numb and I could no longer run. At the finish, I hurt everywhere and was so upset because I did not accomplish my goal of PR’ing. I ended up finishing that race in 2:54:54, which isn’t as bad as I thought since it was only seconds slower than my first (but I also had a bathroom stop in the first).
During the summer, I really pushed myself with races. In a two week span, I ran six races! It was a great time and I enjoyed every minute of it. I hope to do the same thing this coming summer, in fact I hope to find a few more races to fit in to those two weeks.
This fall, I have taken a break from running/training. I have been working out here and there but not like I had been in the past. I think I needed a break to really think about what I wanted to do going forward. It has been really good for me to step way form working out/training because it also has me looking forward to starting a regimented training schedule again.
On a non fitness note, this year brought a lot of exciting things as well! I got to see my brother and future sister-in-law! They live in Seattle so I do not get to see them as often as I would like. But I love spending time with them so I will take what I can get. My boyfriend of over nine years proposed to me! I was so surprised and excited I cannot put it into words. And lastly, I started my blog! It is something I have wanted to do for well over a year but I was so scared to start it. I am so happy I have because it has been almost therapeutic for me to get my feelings out!
Happy New Year’s everyone! How was your 2014?