Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013, You Were Great!

This has been a wild year.  I went from just toying with the idea of running a half marathon to running 4.  FOUR!  Three "official" and one virtual/justbecause one.  I accomplished everything and more that I'd planned to during this year.  It was not entirely easy or smooth sailing the entire trip, but I did it.  Even though I'm still waiting out what I hope to be the final stages of this injury, I can still look back and amaze myself with all that I've done.  I think if I had to pick one thing, I'm most proud of the fact that even when times got tough, I never gave in to "I can't do this".  Heck, that's part of the reason WHY I'm injured at the moment - I just don't have the "I quit because this is too hard" thing in me!  LOL

I ran 1076 miles in total! Wow!  For someone that couldn't even run 1 mile at the beginning of 2012, this is huge!

In addition to running, I also reignited a fondness for strength training as well as intense cardio (T25 was great).  I planked for over 100 days straight and got to being able to plank over 5 minutes at a time!  Once I'm back to normal (whatever that means!) I really want to do the new P90X3!!  It's killing me that I wasn't able to just order it and start right away.  I mean, I could have half assed it, but that's not me.  I don't half ass anything.

A few months back - I became a certified personal trainer!  I didn't make a big deal or whoopiedo announcement everywhere about it, but I did take the online course through NASM and I passed my test no sweat!  Really... it was pretty easy for the most part, but I think that's because I have a medical background and have had Anatomy & Physiology shoved down my throat so much.  I honestly felt bad for the people in my class that had to learn all the bones and muscles and planes and positions from scratch.  Oof.  But anyway, I'm hoping to really use the info for myself and maybe get into teaching some classes/sessions somewhere once I'm back on my feet if I so desire.  It has already impacted my personal workouts and how I envision my recovery going from here.  Until then, I'm loving being the "health and fitness expert" of the family.  ha!

Here's my 2013 fitness journey in a nutshell:

I started off the year being named the very first Runner Girl of the Week by the Runner Girls Podcast!

A week later, I ran my first (and only, thus far) five mile race: Frigid Five Miler that didn't end up being so frigid at a nice 60 degrees.

I began a love/hate relationship with 400m repeats.

I learned the importance (and decadence) of GOOD running socks - hello Swiftwick and Smartwool!

I ran my first 10K for a great cause... one I would definitely consider running the marathon for. RSG1 Foundation

I had an IBS flareup that thankfully didn't last long, but did hinder my crosstraining a bit.

It became apparent that varying my routes was necessary to keep from being bored out of my head, especially on the longer runs.

I did double digit long runs for the very first time starting in February and by the end of the year I was doing them consistently!

MyFitnessPal became a godsend to me as I came to the realization that 1) I wasn't eating nearly enough for my increased activity level and 2) I wasn't eating the right macro-nutrient ratio to support my goals.

I started and finished a health and fitness challenge though RunToTheFinish which helped me stay on the right track with eating better.  I'm still embracing the concept of "getting all my freggies in" on most days.

After spending countless runs (and dollars!) on experimenting with various running supplements/gels, I came to the realization that what works for me is a combination of GU Espresso Love, GU Roctane Chocolate Raspberry, and Hammer Gel Apple Cinnamon.  Oh, and lemon lime Gatorade mixed with equal parts water.  Not G2, no Powerade Zero, but straight regular Lemon Lime Gatorade.  I have no idea why this is what works for me, but it does.  So I'm not messing with it.

I ran FOUR Half Marathons Between the end of March and end of October.  The slowest was 2:12 (ran at long run pace, in the pouring rain, while another race was going on that I didn't know about) and the fastest was 1:39 (on a morning when I was sick and had other issues happening).  I'm still just "wow" that I even finished one.

My kids both caught the running bug and did a few races themselves!  We also ran the Liberty Mile together and that was just a wonderful experience to do something WITH them instead of worrying about my pace and time.  They're already talking about the Kids' Marathon in May, which just might be the only part of the Pittsburgh Marathon I get to be a part of this year, but if that's the case I'll be just dandy with it.

I dabbled in heart rate training after the Pittsburgh Half, but wasn't a big fan.  Staying slow and easy when it is hot as hell outside and your heart rate is already getting pissy over the humidity and heat sucks.  It was hard for me to accept "having" to run at a 10-11 minute mile when I'd gotten used to running 8-9.  I'd also developed a bit of a leg niggle around this time and after resting it a bit I really just wanted to run again, so I scrapped the HRM.  Maybe I'll give it another try in 2014.  I don't know.

In July I started Focus T25 and it changed my body and got me into the best shape I've probably ever been in!  I dropped a running day to make the workout schedule work for me, and boy did it.  I'm still wondering if I'm not just someone who does better with 4 days of running and a lot of cross/strength training.

I absolutely annihilated my 5K PR at the Steelers 5K.  It was a hot race but it was awesome.  This was another event the kids were part of too!

Believe it or not, I've gotten some great recipes, workout, and general tips from Pinterest.  Yes, it can be a time sink of gluttonous proportions, but if you use it well (haha) you can actually get something from it.

I returned to the Great Race with a goal of running a sub-45 minute 10K -- my main goal for the fall racing season and what all of my training was based around.  I did it! 43:53!

I learned my lesson in bad decisions when I chose to run the EQT 10 Miler anyway after barely being able to get through any runs during the week prior.  I finished the race in a painful manner and was diagnosed in the days after with a stress fracture of the pelvis and stress reaction of the femur.  I have not ran a single stride since.  Word to the wise?  No medal is worth that.  Like I said - lesson learned.

My final weeks of 2013 have been mostly spent resting and working up to doing simple core and bodyweight workouts.  Just a couple of weeks ago I started a new weightlifting plan without legs and just this week I added a light leg day to the rotation.  I'm already feeling stronger, but very unstable.

BUT - I think I rocked 2013, all said!  In 2014 I'll come back from this injury and rock some more!  My goal is a fall marathon.  Until then, it is strength and balance training.  I'm not saying that I want to be Dana Lynn Bailey or anything, but damn... just a touch of those arms and abs would be nice!  I'm hoping for a return to cardio by the end of January.

Happy New Year, everyone!  Stay safe and happy!

Medals EARNED in 2013!

1 comment:

  1. You had a pretty successful year! Sorry about your stress fracture!