Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 in Review

In a year that was pockmarked by family illnessesmajor life changes, new realities, and civic unrest, running remained a bright spot and a source of happiness and fulfillment.  Focused on running alone, I couldn't be more pleased with 2014.  The one goal I set for myself for the year was to run a half marathon. I tackled that in April then went one better by adding another in October.  During the training process, I learned how to fuel, recover, and cross train in order to find race day success.

2014 also brought me oodles of support from running friends near and far.  Emily and I logged TONS of miles together, racing side by side for both 13.1 adventures and all the training miles that brought us to those starting lines.  I'm soooo lucky to have such an amazing BRF who lives a mere 22 houses away :)  I also met loads of BAMRs through Strava, and I cannot even begin to express their huge role in my running success.  They keep me motivated, inspired, and entertained.  If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be in Strava-ville.  So many positive people working to better themselves and encourage others to do the same.  Love, love, love!!

My BRF, Emily, who provides miles of laughter, companionship, and motivation.
Besides tackling new distances and solidifying friendships, 2014 also brought several big PRs at a variety of distances.  In July, I set a 10k PR on a hilly course.  I surprised myself in September with a smoking 5k PR, which gave me an age group award, too.  To round out the fall, Emily and I set a half marathon PR in October, blowing our April time out of the water.  Lots of hard work and many miles went into those PRs, and I couldn't be prouder of them.

5k age group award.  I'm ridiculously proud of this little medal.
When I wasn't setting PRs, I worked to expand my running comfort zone.  Formerly a sufferer of new route phobia, I broke free of that in June during my memorable run commute.  I ran 7 miles home from work just ahead of a massive thunderstorm; badass doesn't even begin to cover how I felt at the end of that run.  I continued to enjoy running in new places by running during our family beach vacation in July.  Sunrise run with a beach view?  Yes, please!  But the most memorable runs of the year were in August during our Alaskan cruise.  Running on the cruise ship was an experience unto itself with round-and-round monotony broken up by breathtaking views and crisp fresh air - and quizzical looks from the few passengers up in the wee hours to witness my endless laps.

A beach shoe selfie - a lovely end to my week of running in paradise.
Looking ahead, I'm excited to see what 2015 will bring.  I'm training for my first marathon in April - a guaranteed PR!  I'm looking forward to the marathon journey both in training and on race day.  I have no idea what those miles will hold, but I can't wait to find out!  In the fall, Emily and I want to try for a new half marathon PR.  Solo, I'm not sure that I could do it, but I think we can work together to make it happen. 

What were your 2014 highlights? Any big goals on the horizon for 2015?