2015 Running Lookback

2015 was an eventful year!

In summary, I ran another marathon, got married and moved.  Not to mention the oodles of 5ks I ran.

Short version:

In early 2015, I came back from an injury.  Then in the depths of winter, I ran my second marathon and finished with a bum butt and hip issue.  I recovered and got married in April.  Then the later half of the year I ran a whole bunch of 5ks, moved yet again and that’s where I’m at now.  If you started reading my blog in the last 6 months, you’ll know I’ve been focusing on shorter races.

This post will be long so I’ll divide it up into two and conquer.

Long Version:

Chapter 1: Marathon Training January and February:

In early 2015, I spent the winter months training for my second marathon.  I was coming back from a stress fracture the previous September. During both January and February, I logged high mileage and long runs through the colder months.  My biggest confidence booster came from the Icicle 10 miler.  I ran a 1:07 on a hilly course.  I hadn’t run that far or that long in months. I felt as if I was finally coming back.

Icicle 10 miler running 3

Then the week before my marathon I ran a disappointing 5k.  The Feel the Love 5k, was fun but not where I was hoping my fitness was during the final week before the marathon.

Chapter 1 Finale: The Marathon

During the last week of February I flew out and ran the Phoenix Full marathon.  Until typing this post out, I forgot about all of the craziness with the travel.  My flight was delayed over 8 hours, the airline damaged my suitcase, and I arrived the night before the full exhausted.  Ultimately I was reimbursed for my luggage which was awesome. Mentally, however, it caused me more stress than anyone wants for a goal race.

A photo of me post race

Anyways I finished Phoenix in 3:14.59 which is a PR for me.

While I did PR, I also finished with a moderately serious muscle issue in my butt, hip and back. It wasn’t the smartest idea to keep running, but I did and I paid the injury price afterwords.

Chapter 2: Recovery After spending March recovering but also (not smartly) running my favorite half marathon, Shamrock, I traded the running shoes for heels and a wedding dress.  I ran Shamrock with a few noticeable twinges in my butt and logged my slowest time in quite a while.  I decided to truly recover after that.  After roughly a month, I completely healed and have had no issues yet.

At least I look jazzy right?
At least I look jazzy, right?

Chapter 3: Getting Hitched

The day before my wedding, I ran the Dismal Swamp 5k, and won. It was a beautiful day and a very flat and fast course. I ran a 19:45 and ended up winning! It was the first race since February that I did not feel muscle twinges. It was the slow beginning of running a ton of 5ks.

With my bridesmaids at the race
With my bridesmaids at the race

My wedding was amazing, and I married the man of my dreams while celebrating with some of my closest friends.  My honeymoon brought me exactly what I needed, relaxation, a break from thinking about running and the return to being 100% healthy.

Dad walking me down
Dad walking me down
Pineapple drink
Pineapple drink on my honeymoon

Chapter 4: Assimilating Back into New “Real Life” I arrived home from my honeymoon and ran the Broad Street 10 miler. Broad Street gave me a lot of confidence because I was only 15 seconds slower than the year before.  It was motivating because I was not in the same fitness as 2014.  I had a great day.

Oh hey guys
Oh hey guys

Chapter 6: The Beginning of the 5k Life

After Broad Street in early May, I began to focus on 5ks and speed.  My last 5k was PR was in July 2013 and I’ve been wanting to focus on that. I told myself to focus on speed and turnover. I ran an 18:35 over two years ago and my goal is to get there.

In May and June, I focused on one race each week. I didn’t do speed work because I was getting speed from the race. I wasn’t ready to add more than one-speed component to my training.

Pineland Striders 10k 1

Both May in June brought a series of mentally challenging 5ks. I was putting in a lot of effort. However, I wasn’t making the fitness gains I had hoped. I repeated to myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I still didn’t see the improvements I had wanted.

On a personal note I did a regrettable thing and dyed my hair blonde.  While blonde looks great on many people, I’m not one of them.  Thankfully it only lasted about a month and once my hair was healthy again, I quickly dyed it back.  Live and learn right?

Back to running: On July 4th, I finally broke through my plateau and ran a 19:15 5k.  It was a surprising but great race for me.  After running a series of 19:45-20:30 5ks, it was nice to see such a huge jump.

cropped-me-trails-5k.jpg

To be continued tomorrow…

Questions for you:

How was your 2016?

Did you reach your goals?