Probably the biggest move for the blog was my inevitable exit from my 30s — and growing out of this blog a bit. I’m still trying to find my peace and place in it, but it’s likely 2018 will bring with it another rebranding and change in URL.
That said, I covered 942 miles in 2017 — so close to 1,000! And 429 miles over my previous mileage total! I had 5 months of over 100 miles. I finished 3 marathons and my first ultra-marathon (50k); I also finished 5 half marathons. I crossed off 6 new states. In 2017 I traveled quite a bit, which is not something I plan to continue at the same frequency or voracity next year. I’m only registered for two races in 2018 so far and confirmed my deferral transfer to this year’s Night Hawk 20-miler in Kansas (in June). I don’t want to train for a marathon for the first half of the 2018, and I’ll reassess at mid-year if I want to run any road races at all after Drake. I realized that trail running is really my happy place, and I want more of that joy in my life.
January: The year started off with the Capital Striders (our Des Moines running club) Mitten Run, and kicked off marathon training for me. And then my treadmill broke on January 2 (and was inoperable for over a month). Grrrrr!
February: No races, and a LOT of outdoor winter running! And then that one time I tried to run on a cruise ship.
March: I got married! And then at the end of the month, I traveled down to Texas to do my first Ragnar race with Internet “strangers.”
April: I road-tripped to do the Illinois Half Marathon – where I PR’d my 5k – and had my second fastest half marathon time (it was a great weekend!). I ran the Hawkeye 25k (which I don’t think I’ve reviewed?). I took a DNS on the Drake Half because I was over the weather. I’m signed up for Drake in 2018 and plan to make it my half marathon goal race (despite the course); it’s where I’ll be training all winter long, so I should be used to those hills by April.
May: Ran the inaugural Women’s Half here in Des Moines as part of my 20-mile long run. It was my last race in my 30s… and then I turned 40. And then we traveled to Burlington over Memorial Day so I could run the Vermont City Marathon — and achieved a shiny new marathon PR!
June: Deferred Night Hawk and took most of June off to recover.
July: I proved that I was TOTALLY NUTS! in the Nuthouse Challenge in Minnesota (a 10k, 5k, and half marathon over two days), and then traveled to Chicago the following weekend for the BTN Big 10k. I found a wonderful July 4th 5K in Earlham and ran with friends.
August: No races in August!
September: I had another big PR at Capital Pursuit – beating last year by 9 minutes and having a really kickass race overall (averaging 9:32 pace and ran the last two miles of the race sub 9-minute). I took another road trip to do a Labor Day double-header Half Marathon Weekend (Rockin’ Chocolate & NewBo half marathons). AND I started Grad school (hello, stress!). September was also my highest mileage month of all time – running 137.2 miles!
October: October was kind of a bummer month, as I started feeling the effects of overtraining and stress both mentally and physically, and I couldn’t keep up with the imbalance of work/school/training. HOWEVER, I finished the Chicago Marathon, and completed a 50k with the GOATz in Omaha — my first Ultra. Both races I still need to recap. I also celebrated my one-year anniversary of trail running by running To Grandmother’s House We Go 10k again (and beating my finish time from 2016).
November: I finished my final marathon of the year at Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. I also returned to my Thanksgiving tradition of running a morning Turkey Trot.
December: I took a DNS on Hitchcock Experience 50, since my training took a nosedive and I felt terrible running Route 66 and didn’t want to risk injury. While I finished Sycamore 8 trail race, I was feeling many of the aches and pains that I had at Route 66, and knew I made the right decision to stop training.
For most of December, I have been doing a whole lot of NOT running, and it’s been really good for me mentally – I feel like I’m ready to start running regularly again in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I have been doing ALL OF THE CROSS-TRAINING and enjoying the change of pace.