Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014: Year in Review

This year has been unlike any other in my life as a runner. So many firsts. So many miles! New friends. Welcome to the year in review. 

Shiny New PRs
I think I'll remember this year best as both the year that Utah felt like home, and the year that I sub-4'ed a marathon. Running had a lot to do with the former, and everything to do with the latter. Here's how it all went down.  

PR #1: Salt Lake Half-Marathon, April 19, 1:53:03. 
This PR was hard-won. The race itself is more memorable as the race I joined a training group for, and the race through which I made some great friends here in Utah. I smiled the entire day after this race. 

PR #2: Utah Valley Half, June 14, 1:48:04
This PR was everything you could ever ask for in a race. I got to spend time with a friend from STL, it was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous course, I felt great, and I PR'ed. It was fun to come barreling down the canyon, turn, then apply a full helping of bad assery heading into town and toward the finish line, where my running partner in crime was waiting for me, having just handed in a PR of her own.
Part of the course
PR #3: Top of Utah Marathon, September 20, 3:56:13. 
Somehow, unimaginably, I sub-4'ed a marathon. Don't get me wrong, I trained more than I'd ever trained before. It's all in the math. But even now, I can hardly believe it. I did it! I also got to spend time with a friend, and see my boys a few times during the last few, crazy tired miles. 
At Mile 19
PR #4: Mileage
Here it is: I ran 1200 miles in 2014. This is a PR for me by 370 miles. And I loved it.  

Rave Runs
Don't get me wrong. I love running in Utah. I feel so lucky to get to watch the sun back light the mountains so many mornings, then begin to rise in every color God created. But this was a year of travel, and that travel gave me some new running spots worth a shout-out. I was all over the place this year, so if I leave one out, please tell me in the comments!

Rave Run #1: The Monon Trail in Indy
While in Indy for a wedding reception, I hit a local trail for a 13-miler. It was one of the best running paths I've ever been on. So well maintained, with excellent signage, shade, water, attractions. Plus it was a gorgeous day. 

Rave Run #2: The River Walk Trail in San Antonio
Sadly I lack pictures. I hopped on the trail downtown at my hotel (work travel), and followed it several miles south and back. 

Rave Run #3: St. Augustine
Yeah, it was July in Florida and I was sweating my ass off, but who in the world cares when you're running here? Gorgeous. 

Rave Run #4: Provo Canyon
I really cannot convey just how beautiful the Utah Valley course is.

Products Discovered
  1. The Garmin Forerunner 220. It's just as good as the reviews say. I've loved it every step of the way since April. 
  2. SmartWool Pattern Reversible Headband (available here). I was skeptical, and I was wrong to be. My other ear warmer is a much thinner material, and when the temps really dropped, wasn't warm enough. But hats often don't satisfy either. This is a great in-between, as a warmer yet breathable material. 
  3. Salted Caramel Gu. You're welcome. 
Other Highlights
  • It's not running related, but the biggest part of our home renovation is over. It was a difficult process to live with and through, and we're still working on smaller projects. Watch for another post on this. 
  • Also not running related, my parents will be living in Utah for half the year (warm months). 
  • My husband and kids are healthy and everyone is doing well. 
  • I love my job, and had some important accomplishments there this year. 
Goals for 2015:
At this point, I have two:
  1. Lose about 10 lbs. My doctor says I'm a healthy weight, and my clothes all fit just fine, but I'd like to see a lower number on the scale. 
  2. PR the Utah Valley half in June. Last year I bought the 1:45 training plan and adjusted the paces to be a bit slower, and I got a 1:48. I think after that year, I'm ready to really take on the 1:45 plan. 
Beyond those, I'm not sure. I'm still considering whether to do a full marathon in 2015, and while I'm sure I'll do another half (at least), I haven't decided on one yet. 

There you have it--my year in review. It's been quite a year! Happy New Year, runners!!