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Throwback Thursday

Today seems like the perfect throwback Thursday and combination of a thinking out loud post. I was going for an early morning run yesterday and caught myself thinking about how my running has progressed in the last year.

One year ago, I had just completed my first marathon and had just moved to New Jersey (on a side note, if you’ve never had your catalytic converter go bad on a road trip…I ended up preying to the high heavens I would make it over the Delaware Memorial Bridge. My trip ended with driving my car in 2nd gear on the turnpike)…anyways now that I’ve given you that visual, on to the actual post.

This time last year I was recovering from my first (and so far only) marathon. I really enjoyed NYCM. I enjoyed waking up at 3:30, freezing my runderwear off and side fiving everyone. I enjoyed dry heaving to the finish line and staring into the twilight zone for a few hours afterwords. However post marathon my running has not exactly been awesome.

Here is a short timeline:

I took two weeks completely off of running. I did some light stretching, a few elliptical sessions (when I felt like it) but no running.

Three weeks later, I begin running again. A week later I pulled my knee and took a few more weeks off. I don’t remember exactly why but I mentally had no motivation and thought running wasn’t fun. I think it related with how cold last December was. In my opinion, life is to short to do workout activities that don’t interest you.

I remember being miserable in this 10 mile race because of the cold rain.  It was so cold, I wore shorts..it was hard to recognize myself in race photos! It was still fun though.

Shorts and a hat..so cold...so sad.

Shorts and a hat..so cold…so sad.

Finally in January I vowed to run again. I ran a 5k and had a painful race. I think I might have dry heaved for two days after. It was the kick in the runderwear I needed to begin training again.

I bounced around that winter between races and training. I had some great races at random distances like a 14k. After some solid training, I debuted my first 2014 half marathon (my first serious race since NY). I won the Lake Effect Half Marathon and raised 2500 dollars for Ophelia’s Place. It was just a great day. It gave my confidence and motivation in several aspects of life, not just running.

lakeffectwin

Then on March 17, I ran the Shamrock half with the Oiselle team. I nearly vomited the last quarter mile but ran one second faster than the Lake effect half marathon. In summary, I felt ten fold worse but ran one second faster on a harder course.

But I did get this sweet photo...

But I did buy this sweet photo so I consider the race a success…

I finally crushed my half marathon PR with a surprise at the April Fools half in Atlantic City. It has been my only PR all year. (That wasn’t the only April Fools surprise I received). That week I ran my only PR and got engaged…You could say it has been the highlight of 2014.

After bouncing around running races just for speed work with no goals, I ran Broad Street 10 miler in May. This was the last race I can say I’m happy with.

Running down Broad Street

Running down Broad Street

After BS (LOL), I took a couple of weeks off to prepare to train for a fall marathon. Then in June, I began training for my actual goal race. I was having good (not awesome but not terrible) training runs. It was hot and gross but I ran through.

After training for two solid months, I got a case of plantar fasciitis. It was never officially diagnosed but with a cortisone shot, two deep tissue massages, lower mileage and rest it seemed to clear up.  I began running injury free again.

Less than a month later, I woke up with a bruised and swollen foot. It was later determined as a stress fracture. Within five minutes of waking up, I knew my fall marathon goals were done.  I knew I probably needed a break from working out, running and athletics in general.

So here I am two months later beginning to run injury free again. In the last year, I have run about 7 of those months. Out of those seven months, I’ve had about 3 good months of training. I’ve had one PR and a bunch of solid races (as well as a few bad ones).

This hasn’t been a great year (running wise) since moving to Jersey but it hasn’t really been terrible of either. I never quite felt like I was at the peak of my fitness. In 2013, I felt I was in much better shape and my PRs reflect that.

Something important to myself  (not necessarily my training) but that I will no longer be racing for Oiselle.  I am not a member of violee anymore or a member of the flock.  I am still great friends with many of the woman and I will obviously support them but for me this was the best choice.

As I sit here beginning to train again, I have decided the flaw in my training was inconsistency. Does getting a coach mean I’ll be more consistent? Does actually writing out a plan (versus winging it) mean I’ll be more consistent?

I don’t really know the answers to those questions.  I do know that I need to actually begin planning runs. I can’t wing marathon training because that will result in injury as well as burnout.  I don’t really know where the next year will take me.  I have a lot of goals and things I want to do.  All of them will take more planning than last year.  For now, I’ll continue recovering from my injury and trying to figure that out.

Question for you:  

Do you have any specific goals for 2015?  

What has been your most memorable (so far) moment of 2014? 

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34 responses

  1. Do you have any specific goals for 2015? I have several running goals for 2015.
    #1: A strong team finish again this year at the Seneca 7
    #2: Another Marathon, right now I am hoping for the Marine Corp marathon
    #3: Vermont Covered Bridge Half
    #4: Stay healthy

    What has been your most memorable (so far) moment of 2014?
    Finishing my first marathon, the TCS New York City Marathon!

  2. It’s been a year of up and downs for you but considering what you have coming up this spring and the direction your running is going, I’m betting 2015 is going to be a year of only ups for you 🙂 My goal for 2015 is to run a marathon PR, basically my same running goal I’ve had the last 4 years.

  3. I loved reading this recap of the past year for you. I often think about my own running history and how it led to where I am now. I’m honestly not even sure where exactly I am now with my fitness since I haven’t had great races lately or really run enough races to know, so I’m nervous heading into my marathon in 2 weeks. My goal of 2015 is to hopefully remain injury free and find a nice balance with running where it’s enjoyable and not too much pressure.

  4. For me I would like to train to get back under the 3 hour mark for the marathon. I feel like I was this fall but I injured my hamstring 3 weeks out from Chicago so needless to say that didn’t go well. Be smart about your comeback and you’ll be back in no time at all. As far as following a plan or winging it. I’ve done it both ways and I think the key while following a plan is to remain flexible. I found myself at times feeling that when it was in the plan I had to do it and you don’t. Listen to your body and you’ll be just fine.

    • Thanks for your advice Rob. I think for shorter races not using a plan is fine for but for longer distances, I will need to use a plan to PR and stay healthy. I do agree though that being flexible is very important!

  5. I think, despite your stress fracture, you’ve had a very successful year (with more to come)! I don’t actually have any running goals for 2015 except for the big one and maybe a 100-miler, but in 2016 I’d like to qualify for a big 100 and PR in the marathon!

  6. I can’t believe it has already been one year since NYCM! I have really enjoyed following your training and you are a huge source of inspiration for me! It always makes me sad when you get injured (in a non-creepy way, promise! ;)) It’s obvious with your attitude though that you will be back in no time and it’s also obvious that you know that. 🙂

    In 2015 I WILL break 1:45 in the half marathon. I’ve only ever ran one in 1:53, but for some reason that number sticks out in my head and I can’t let it go.

  7. My most memorable moment was BREAKING 3 HOURS!!!

    Woohooo! And my goal next year is to Qualify for Kona in the Ironman…so I have my work cut out for me!! The half is the only distance I haven’t PR’d in this year so hopefully I can squeeze in a best time next year too!

    2015 will be your year for the wedding and even faster times!

  8. Ah I’m 3 weeks post Chi Marathon and still trying to figure out my goals. I really want to run Broad Street this year. And qualify for Boston at Chicago again. You know. Other than that? I’m still figuring it out!

  9. Good for you getting back out there! I am a horrible running planner. I always wing it. I recently joined a run club and even having the force of having a planned route and distance is weird to me. I love all your fun running picture you always look so focused in the run and then so happy after. I usually just look like I was attacked by rabid bears. 🙂

  10. I want some PR’s next year! I have one more full this fall then some nice time off of training. I am saying now I am taking 2015 off from the full marathon completely. I want to work on speed that I have lost. Learn how to race a 10K. And PR a half. I would really like to break 1:50.

  11. I think some years are just ups and down with good days and bad days (or races) and some years are just all awesome. It’s interesting to hear how your running has changed over the year regardless – and how refreshing your perspective is on the bad days. This year for me has sucked in terms of being injured what seems all the time. That being said I ran my first two marathons and loved them so I see it as a successful year regardless. You’ve gotta pick out the good bits and not dwell on the bad – live and learn 🙂

  12. Hey, I’ve followed you for a little bit now – and I know you’re local to me.. I live in Audubon and coach xc and track at Haddon Heights. I was wondering if I could chat with you about some running/training stuff I’m working on. My email is trainwithmarc@gmail.com.

    Thanks and hope to hear from you!

    Marc

  13. I just really love that sweet pic you got 😉 hilarious! And sounds like it’s been a busy year!! I feel like I’ve been all over the place this year, but now I’m finally settling into marathon training for a Jan race! Eeeek! It’s my second full and I’m having a hard time deciding if I WANT to try for a pr or just have fun with it 🙂

  14. I really appreciate the honesty of your posts. It makes your blog really enjoyable to read. Well, that and the sweet race pic.

    My biggest goal of 2015 is to complete a 50 mile race! I am running American River 50 in April. Who knows where the rest of the year will take me?

  15. Ah the crazy ups and downs of a life spent running! I think we ALL go through this and a year of racing can span the emotional globe from PRs to DNFs. I loved reading all your recaps (and seeing your great photos!) and just know you are not alone!! I have some lofty triathlon goals for next year so we shall see…

  16. I just discovered your blog and enjoyed this post! I’m just rededicating myself to running again and my goals for 2015 are pretty modest.

    1) Break 2 hours for the half
    2) Go under 4:30 for the marathon
    3) Reach the point where I am running a consistent 35-40 MPW
    4) Set more post-40 PRs! :–)

  17. Most proud of in 2014: a 15 minute marathon PR.
    Goal for 2015: break my half marathon PR. My PR is 1:51 from 2012 and the closest I have gotten is 1:56. It needs to be broken!

  18. What a long year! It feels like you JUST ran the NYC Marathon to me! Wow! I’m curious how your next year will go with being more consistent. At least you’re going to start the year out running!

  19. You have really been through a lot this past year (running wise) and I hope that the next year brings you a injury free one! Its funny to look back and see how much you have accomplished and how much as changed in the year, think how much another year could bring 🙂

  20. It’s tough to look back on training and racing and be completely objective. Getting a coach isn’t the right move for everyone, but so far, it’s worked really, *really* well for me. I’ve made some other “personnel” changes of sorts this off-season (mainly training with new people), which have been beneficial too. Excited to see the big things you do!

  21. That is one heck of a year!
    I hope that either following a solid plan and/or working with the coach helps with your goal for 2015 and especially for injury.

    As dumb as it may sound I haven’t thought at all about a signal all for 2015. Last year it was getting out tomorrow to race my dream radius which I did but this year I’m not sure I need to give it some thought!

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