2016 in Review

Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year again (well, a few days late, but considering how neglectful of this blog I’ve been in the past few months, a few days is nothing!), when we all gaze back on our accomplishments and/or struggles of the previous year. 2016 was certainly an interesting one. Let’s get down to it, shall we?

2015 Goals Recap

A-ha! I had no specific goals for 2016, other than staying healthy and running to enjoy it. Health-wise, well… the start of the year saw me still recovering from a dodgy metatarsal and related bursitis, then I learned that I don’t breathe in the best way possible, which led to a reprise of dodgy ribs, and my knees bothered me off and on. And, while not an injury, I got pregnant a few months into the year and that made running a bit more interesting than usual. On the whole, I think I enjoyed running. For the most part.

In spite of my lack of goals this year, though it took an extra trip around the sun, I did meet 2 of my goals from 2014, namely beating my 5K and 10K PRs (huzzah!). More on that below. I also managed to add one new town to my race map, plus a new country, so that was pretty cool.

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Celebrating a new PR and starting off 2016 happily!

My 2016 in Numbers (Running)

Total miles: 106.84*
*Closest estimate I could get given that I lost my training log from the start of the year and Simon died on me without saving some data

Races completed: 8 (up from 7 in 2015; 3 5Ks, 1 6K, 3 10Ks, 1 half marathon)

States raced in: 3, none new (Massachusetts, Maine, and California; up from 2 in 2015)

MA towns raced in: 3, 1 new (Dedham (new), Lunenburg, and Worcester)

Countries raced in: 2, for the first time! (US and UK)

PRs beaten: 3! 5K, 6K, and 10K

DNSs: none! for the first time!

Firsts and Milestones (Running)

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I unofficially placed first in the Pregnant American division at the QEOP 10K

Firsts and Milestones (Personal)

  • Traveled to my first international conference and visited two new-to-me cities (Dundee and Glasgow)

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    Enjoying a cheeky Clarkies pie in Dundee

  • Sneaked in one last match at White Hart Lane before they started tearing the stadium down (our seats from that match are now a gaping hole in the ground)
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  • Had tea and Turkish Delight at C.S. Lewis’s house
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  • Found out I was going to have a baby… that was a pretty big moment*

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    Already a Spurs fan

  • Attended my second international conference and got to bask in the glory that is Wembley Stadium
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  • Had a mini-reunion with some of my study abroad friends in Colorado, visiting Denver and the new-to-me Fort Collins
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*The whole baby thing continues to be a pretty big moment! Sometimes it still feels completely unreal, despite the Alien situation that’s nearly always happening in my growing bump. And speaking of the growing bump…

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August 16

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August 29

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September 3, post-QEOP 10K, when I realized I had officially outgrown my clothes and had to make an emergency Primark run for a shirt that wouldn’t expose my belly

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October 3

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October 22, bump buddies!

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November 19

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December 23

I look absolutely HUGE in that last picture… I don’t think the angle helps πŸ˜‰

So, yeah. 2016 had a lot going on. And that’s not even taking into account the state of the world with Brexit, Syria, Standing Rock, the US election, and all the seemingly endless other things that gave this year a general feeling of despair. If I’m honest, I’m finding it hard to be hopeful about 2017 as a whole, and it’s all a bit overwhelming. So in light of that, here are my goals/things to focus on for the year:

  1. Get this baby out safely and make his little world as cozy, safe, and full of love as possible.
  2. As soon as I get the OK from my midwife, jump back on the running wagon. I’ve been missing running like crazy, and the new jogging stroller is all assembled and ready to go!
  3. Related to above, I’m hoping to be fit enough to run the Worcester Firefighters race in June. I’d like to keep that streak going!
  4. Read. Read for fun, read to learn, read fiction, read non-fiction, read newspapers. Try to balance staying informed with staying sane.
  5. Do good, no matter how small, whenever and wherever I can.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, hopeful 2017!

How was your 2016?

What was your favorite thing that happened last year, running-wise or not?

2015 in Review

Happy last day of 2015! Or, if you’re reading this after today… happy new year! πŸ˜€

Tired but victorious after salvaging one last race in 2015

Tired but victorious after salvaging one last race in 2015

2015 certainly didn’t go as well as hoped. If you read any of my posts this year, you had about a 97% chance of reading my whinging about injuries… freak rib injuries, runner’s knee, stressed out metatarsals… yeah, it wasn’t a pretty year.

But I did learn some important lessons (the hard way), such as:

  • stretching is not only your friend, but it’s also very important for avoiding injury
  • if you get exercises to do for physical therapy, you should, you know, actually do them
  • cough carefully, lest you throw your rib cartilage all out of whack (I coughed my way to costochondritis back in March and my ribs still feel funny)

Learn from my mistakes, readers, and may your 2016 be injury-free and fabulous!

My 2015 in Numbers: (spoiler alert: it wasn’t stellar)

Races completed: 7 (5 actual, 2 virtual; down from 19 in 2014)

States raced in: 2, none new (Massachusetts and California; down from 6 in 2014)

MA towns raced in: 4, with 1 being a town I hadn’t raced in before (Cambridge, Woburn, Watertown, Worcester; down from 11 in 2014)

5K PR: 33:10 (still not as fast as my all-time PR of 30:49)

10K PR: n/a

Half marathon PR: n/a

Races missed: 9 (the Worcester Running Festival race was canceled, and then I DNSd a bunch; up from 3 in 2014)

My Goals for 2015:

I set the following goals in my 2014 in Review post last December. Surprisingly, I actually met one of the goals despite my crap year – huzzah!

1. Get my 5K PR under 30 minutes: Nope. My Moby Dick of 30:49 lives to haunt me another year.

2. Get my 10K PR under 01:10:00: Nope. I ran no 10Ks in 2015.

3. Beat my fastest Garmin mile (currently 9:25.5): Wait, what?! I actually beat this goal!!

Boo yeah

Boo yeah!

4. Add 3 more towns and 1 more state to my map: Nope. I did add one town (Watertown), and was on par to pass the 3-town mark, but had to DNS all the other races in new towns. No new states added, either.

Looking Ahead to 2016

I’m taking a page from the books of Fallon and Rae this year and not setting any formal goals. Goals are great, but… if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know how badly I struggle with motivation and how that makes me fall short of so many goals. It gets discouraging, and, maybe even worse, it makes me just stop caring about the goals in an effort to not feel discouraged. Basically, setting goals hasn’t been helping my motivation problem, so I need to figure out something else.

I still hope to beat my PRs and add towns and states to my race maps, but mostly I just want to be healthy in 2016. I want to be able to run to enjoy it, without getting injured every time I start loving running again after having been injured and discouraged. I want to run regularly with the Shammies, and I want to get back to track workouts. I want to have fun with my running, and be able to enjoy how awesome I feel after going for a run.

Having fun whilst running... it's a lovely feeling!

Having fun whilst running… it’s a lovely feeling!

I am registered for a half marathon in 2016 – the Worcester Running Festival Half – and I’d love to be able to train properly and go into it prepared and uninjured. We all know how well my training went for my first half marathon, but this time I want to actually try. We shall see.

Until then, Happy New Year!!

How was your 2015? If you set goals, how did you do?

Are you setting goals for 2016, or taking the year as it comes?

Any fun plans for New Year’s Eve?
Drew and I are planning on watching some movies while eating Chinese food. The excitement never stops around here! πŸ˜‰

2014 in Review: Going Strong Despite Setbacks!

This past January I wrote a 2013 in Review post, looking back over my first “real” year of running. It had been a pretty big year for me running-wise… I ran an entire mile in one go for the first time ever, ran my first race, and considered myself a runner for the first time. It’s fun to look back on that post and see how far I came in just one year… and then to think about how far I’ve come just since January! So, to continue that tradition, here is my 2014 in Review.

First race of 2014 - ready to take on the year!

First race of 2014 – ready to take on the year!

2014 saw a massive increase in mileage for me, compared with 2013. Last year was big too, going from a quarter-mile being the longest I could run without needing a break to being able to run a 5K without stopping. In 2014, I started small by completing a 4-miler in March, and ended the year having completed a half marathon (I did take walk breaks, but still… the miles got done!) I’m not entirely sure how far I could go without needing to walk… 4 miles might still be my limit, but it’s definitely an improvement.

2014 also saw more injuries that put a damper on my year. In 2013 I suffered a bad back/neck injury that kept me from running for quite a while, and then I had a foot niggle that made running not fun at the end of the year, but otherwise I was mostly whole. 2014 saw a tendon tear that benched me from April to June, dodgy shins, dodgy toes, dodgy knees, and now a bout of peroneal tendonitis to end the year with. Hopefully the plan of attack laid out in my last post will help 2015 be a year of less injury!

2014 was also my first year being part of a running club, the Shammies. I joined in January, hoping the camaraderie would help snap me out of my first bout of running doldrums, and it’s been an awesome year of new friends, new races, and new experiences. I’m looking forward to (hopefully!) many more years as part of this club!

And now, my year in numbers:

Races completed: 19 (up from 15 in 2013)

States raced in: 6 (Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Washington, New Hampshire; up from 4 in 2013)

MA towns raced in: 11 (Worcester, Lunenburg, Boston, Cambridge, Woburn, Shirley, Somerville, Newburyport, West Newbury, Salisbury, Winchester; up from 7 in 2013)

5K PR: 32:43 (still not as fast as my all-time PR of 30:49)

10K PR: 01:14:52

Half marathon PR: 02:37:58

Races missed: 3 (Spring Classic, Kick In For Kids 5K, and WFPL 5K; same number missed as 2013)

And now, let’s see how I did on the goals I set last year:

1. Get my 5K PR under 30 minutes – not met. I tried, but that shiny PR of 30:49 is still my Moby Dick. I’ll keep trying.

2. Complete a 10K – heck yes! In fact, I ran two – the Old Wethersfield 10K in August and the Beat the Blerch 10K in September. Boo yeah! (And for good measure, I completed a half marathon in October! This time last year I would have laughed in my own face at the thought of running an entire half marathon. My, how a year can change things!)

3. Run in a BAA event, hopefully the 5K – I did this too! I was injured, but slathered BioFreeze all over my ankle and ran gleefully around the city with 9,999 of my closest friends. It was awesome, and totally worth the extra time I had to spend resting after running on an injured ankle.

Two out of three ain’t bad, right? Now, my goals for 2015:

1. Get my 5K PR under 30 minutes (worth another shot!)

2. Get my 10K PR under 01:10:00

3. Beat my fastest Garmin mile (currently 9:25.5)

4. Add 3 more towns and 1 more state to my map

It’s tempting to add “get injured less!” to my list of goals, but that’s just tempting fate. So we’ll leave it at that.

All in all, it was a pretty good 12 months! Here’s to an even better 2015!

How was your 2014?

What accomplishment from 2014 are you most proud of?

Have any goals for 2015?