Weekly Therapy: CRAZY PANTS.

the week:
Oh, hey! I took the last couple Fridays off from my weekly posts to focus on vacation and honeymooning and stuff. And let me tell you, there was NO time for scheduling posts in advance. I was thankful to have the weekend back after traveling to recover from the boat sways and all. the. laundry. Although I came back to a LOT of change at work, including getting a new manager my first day back, and then the office building catching fire a day later. I didn’t go back to work until Thursday.

This week has just been crazy pants. But at least I got to enjoy some of this beautiful weather Iowa is was having!

weekend:
Tell me how to work a 12-mile training run and a hair appointment into one morning? Because I’m not sure why I did that.

seven things, seven days:
1. Pretty sure that I sleep-shopped on Amazon this week.
2. I also finished the WORST book this week. No thanks to Book of the Month Club for that suggestion.
3. We Anchored Down for TRB XVIII!
4. Oh HEY, roller derby retiree finds running (sounds familiar!) {via Oiselle blog}
5. How to get stuff done after work (when all you want to do is watch TV) {via Elite Daily}
6. How to go Faux Pro (Marathon Edition) {via Running Starfish}
7. Willpower is a myth — and you should stop using it as your scapegoat. {via Nautilus}

Vermont City Marathon: Training Weeks #5 and #6 — the Vacation Edition

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

vermont marathon training blog runner
Things seen on my recent runs — including an amazing riverfront trail in Tampa, a water stop on the trails in Iowa, a “jogging” track on a cruise ship, and… alligators?!?!

One of the best parts of having a running coach is the ability to adapt my training program when life (and fun) comes first, like during vacation. I like the balance of working out on vacation — and running outdoors always helps me explore a new city or neighborhood. Being gone for 8 days though was TOUGH. And I can tell you that running on a cruise ship is even tougher (particularly if you experienced a day-long nausea spell at sea and drank too much definitely). This was my 3rd adventure on The Rock Boat — and this was my favorite boat so far — but this post is only about my marathon training adventures. 😉

I worked around my travel days, making airport days my rest days. Though I had 6 scheduled workouts (4 runs and 2 cross-training) during my trip, getting in only 3 runs was still a success. All things drinking and sea sickness considered. My goal for for the next couple of weeks though is to get back into my cross-training and strength training because I’ve let those important workouts slide. I also hope to get in a better blogging routine and return to weekly training posts.

Week 5 was a drop-back week, and I had a Tempo and Easy runs before vacation — and two easy runs while I was away (one with Strides).

MONDAY: Rest Day

TUESDAY: MY TREADMILL IS FIXED!!!!! Good lord that took way too long. ProForm finally sent out a technician, and both the motor and control board were replaced. And my first workout back on the ‘mill was intervals (one additional than the prior week) — alternating .75 mile fast and .25 recovery. I’m aiming for consistency on these — and running based on effort level.

Warm-up mile: 11:31
1: 9:21 / 10:56
2: 9:39 / 10:59
3: 9:24 / 10:57
4: 9:35 / 11:10
Cool down: 10:40

Finished up with a runners-based core workout.

WEDNESDAY: 3 easy miles + plank work

Average 10:36 pace

THURSDAY: Travel Day (and Rest) — WOOF! Such an early flight!

vermont city marathon training blog ambassador

SHORTS! And testing out my new Saucony Triumph ISO 3.

FRIDAY: 55 degrees in sunny Florida! Some older gentleman runner laughed at me for wearing shorts & tee shirt — he was bundled up completely like it was winter or something. hahah

My training plan called for a 40-minute easy run, ending with Strides.

4.45 total miles / 42:40 / 9:36 average pace

Splits: 9:39, 9:51, 9:31, 9:35, 9:40 [.14]

Strides (4×20 sec):
7:43 / 9:36
7:49 / 13:02 (not sure what happened here?? Thanks, Florida!)
7:09 / 10:13
7:36 / 9:50

SATURDAY: Boat sickness caught up with me, and I had to skip my “long” run. Only 5 miles on the plan, given that it was a cutback week; but 5 miles that I could NOT do (besides, you know, even keeping food down).

SUNDAY: I was feeling better, but skipped the Strength workout on my training plan and enjoyed all the wobbly stair climbs at sea.

Week #6 at a Glance — and almost back to my normal schedule (and surroundings):
Easy Run, Tempo Run, Long Run, Recovery Run

cruise ship running mexico blog

Running on a cruise ship is NOT easy!

MONDAY: Ran on the cruise ship, which was super hard, super hot and super windy. Got 2 miles in before giving up (4 miles on the plan).

Average 11:39 pace

TUESDAY: Skipped my strength workout again (I know, I know) – but I did SO MANY STAIRS on the boat, you guys!

WEDNESDAY: Rest Day – and Debarkation Day (booooo!)

THURSDAY: Outdoor running on the paved Sarasota trails – such a great place to run (and flat!). I was working it for those high effort level paces, and felt like I was going to puke near the end and had to slow up. Felt really, really easy though considering how fast my paces are (all things relative).

Iowa blogger running in Florida trails sarasota

Stoneybrook Nature Trail in Sarasota, Florida.

5:00 total miles / 48:30 / average 9:42 pace

Splits: 9:38, 8:59, 9:14, 9:42, 10:56

FRIDAY: Travel Day back to Iowa (and a scheduled rest day)

SATURDAY: Woke up early to join the group run, but ended up staying in bed a little later. Instead, I drove to the Greenbelt Trailhead near my house. It was 48 degrees in Iowa in the AM (got to around 60 when I was done). What a beautiful day for a long run! :)

vermont city marathon training fuel blogger

Time to figure out double digit run fueling!

This pace felt like I was running an effort level 7 for majority but I was moving soooo slow – yay, vacation hangover! I also am testing out how running on Cytomax feels. I used it on the course during my first marathon, so I’m interested in how it may aid my energy and performance for the duration of the race. In training, I’ll take a couple sips after 30 minutes, and then a few more every 15 minutes.

10 total miles / 1:48:09 / 10:49 average pace

Splits: 10:34, 10:55, 10:52, 10:47, 10:41, 10:44, 10:46, 10:43, 10:39, 11:25

vermont city marathon blogger

Solo long run on the Greenbelt Trail

SUNDAY: Recovery Run + Strength Workout

2 easy miles / 22:40 / 11:18 average pace

Made up for the absence of cross-training by doing a kettlebell-based strength workout following my run. I also had an afternoon massage, which was the perfect addition to my recovery day.

Back to work and normal life and training schedule commences!

WEEKLY RUNS: 3 (week #5) + 4 (week #6)
WEEKLY MILES: 13.45 (week #5) + 19 miles (week #6)
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 77.36 miles

bibrave ambassador 2017 blogger

Run a marathon with me & BibRave in Burlington, Vermont this Memorial Day Weekend! Use discount code BibRaveDsct17 to save $5 on your registration!

Vermont City Marathon: Training Weeks #3 & #4

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

vermont city marathon ambassador blog running

It’s been a rough start to marathon training. I missed two of my runs in training week 3 and generally felt defeated at anything I attempted (thanks, PMS!). I don’t want to make a habit of having every other week be awful, so I’m letting it go and reconfirming my dedication to the remainder of this 20-week cycle. I’ve got vacation coming up and “destination runs” to plan — and there’s no time to feel bad about missing a couple workouts (or complaining about my STILL-broken treadmill). I used Week #4 to get recommitted to my goal and determined to get all 4 of my runs completed.

So since Week #3 was mostly a bust, here’s how Week #4 of Marathon Training went:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Tempo Interval Run + Core
Wednesday: Easy Run + Strength
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Long Run with Fast Finish
Sunday: Recovery Run + Core

MONDAY: Mondays are my usual rest day — alternating bi-weekly with a call with my running coach. I always have a good takeaway from our chats and she truly keeps me honest, accountable and POSITIVE!

TUESDAY: The last couple weeks my speed workouts have been on Tuesdays, and… if I’m being honest, it’s HARD after having a rest day. Though I’ve somehow lucked out with every other Tuesday having some crazy ice or likewise weather concern.

Week #4 was a longer tempo interval (1200 repeats). I don’t really know how this type of workout translate yet into marathon pacing, but it keeps me focused on my running effort levels and awareness of when I’m pushing myself to a faster pace. Though sometimes I feel like I’m running much faster, which can be a little deflating. I try to remind myself that even a 10- or 15-second increase in pace is faster.

I didn’t complete my Core workout post-run, since I was surprised at the door with a glass of wine and a diamond. As far as excuses go, that one takes the cake, no? lol

Mile warm-up [10:31]
Speed intervals: 9:47 [400 rest: 10:38] / 9:52 [10:53] / 9:49 [10:48] — I like the consistency!
Mile cool down [10:47]

WEDNESDAY: ARGH, this week was SO COLD. I didn’t realize until I was back inside that it was only 10 degrees. But man, it felt even colder. I couldn’t finish my entire three miles because I couldn’t warm up (no thanks to you, $140 thermal North Face pants), but completed a respectable 2.13 miles given the conditions. I had to get into a hot shower immediately to get warm, so I didn’t do my strength workout either.

2.13 miles / average 9:48 pace

THURSDAY: Yoga Roots at LifeTime Fitness — this week’s class was probably my favorite session so far, since returning to a regular yoga routine. The instructor was in a sassy-but-silly mood and I laughed (at him and at myself) a lot during practice. But I felt better afterward then when I entered and really felt like I “blissed out.” It’s a wonderful feeling!

FRIDAY: YAY! REST DAY! We went out to celebrate and I had my once-a-year steak. haha

SATURDAY: I’m really enjoying the weekly Striders group runs — despite the 7:30 am start — and it’s been awesome running with and getting to know some great people and the Des Moines city neighborhoods. The Saturday morning events always have at least 2 routes (a long and short route) and sometimes an in-between third option. There is usually a water stop worked into the map at the shorter distance turn-around (though we somehow missed it this weekend).

This week I had 8 miles on the plan, with a Fast Finish for the last mile. It worked out well, as I was with the group for the 6-mile short route and finished my workout around Drake University again. I DID THE FAST FINISH — and actually felt really, really good (but, cold OMG WINTER).

Splits: 10:23 (1) / 10:17 (2) / 10:47 (3) / 10:32 (4) / 10:40 (5) / 10:56 (6) / 11:45 (7 — oops! forgot to pause my watch when I went inside to use the water fountain!) / 9:22 (8)

I also got myself an Orange Mud seat wrap for the new car. For some reason, all this fleece-wearing in winter makes me super sweaty and I don’t want that stank to invade my vehicle. Is that how “moisture wicking” works? It’s weird. I love that the seat cover transitions into a wrap to help you change with some modesty outdoors (or, in my case in the summer, my work parking lot). Also, it comes in hot pink.

SUNDAY: Easy recovery run, followed by a Core workout. I will say it again, how much I HATE having to bundle up for the temperatures for only a 20-minute run. Last week I went to the gym’s treadmills before my massage, which worked out well; this week, while it was sunny, I cursed my way through the cold outdoors again. I love winter better when it snows.

2 miles / average 10:19 pace

WEEKLY RUNS: 2 (week #3) + 4 (week #4)
WEEKLY MILES: 9.7 (week #3) + 17.1 miles (week #4)
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 44.91 miles

I have a cutback week for this upcoming week, and have already packed for all my planned runs and workouts while on vacation (and yay, some vacay running buddies!). Once I get back, the double-digit long runs begin. 👌

bibrave ambassador 2017 blogger

Want to join me in Vermont this Memorial Day Weekend? Use discount code BibRaveDsct17 during your online registration to save $5!

Weekly Therapy: I can’t get enough of this kind of love

the week:
Well, I shared some big news this week. Kinda overshadows my news of getting a new car. 😉

weekend:
Can you believe that I’ve made it to 7:30am group run THREE Saturdays in a row??? Still not a morning person, but it definitely feels good to get my long runs out of the way and have the entirety of my Saturday free.

I have no horse in the race for tomorrow’s BIG GAME, though we’ll be consuming a bunch of calories with friends.

seven things, seven days:
1. I wore heels (like, actual stiletto dress heels) for the first time in YEARS. Thankfully, sitting for dinner didn’t require much STANDING on them. 😂
2. Did you know all seasons of Desperate Housewives is on Hulu? It was one of my favorite shows. I started watching agin from the first season — this series still holds up!
3. I can buy Jeni’s ice cream in Iowa!!!
4. How do you feel about self-help gurus? {via Vox}
5. Why old friends matter – this piece warmed my heart. I have girlfriends that I’ve known since elementary school, and I’m so excited to have them visit me this summer in Iowa! {via Book of Life}
6. How being part of a crowd can change you for the better (what’s up, my Women Marchers?) {via Science of US}
7. COUNTDOWN TO VACATION!!!!!!

Product Review: NuGo Dark

Disclaimer: I received a box of NuGo Dark bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

NuGo Dark Pretzel

It’s three p.m. Your stomach roars. The snack machine calls you with its siren song of empty calories. Think…YES! Top desk drawer! You open it, and there, among the pens and paper clips, is the NuGo Dark bar you had stashed this morning. You bite down. The decadent REAL Dark Chocolate flavor floods your senses. Hunger defeated. You have finally found a truly delicious gluten-free, vegan, OU kosher pareve and Non-GMO snack!

WORD.

About NuGo: NuGo Nutrition Bars make such a wide variety of healthy, great-tasting snacks in line with a variety of dietary needs: organic, gluten-free, low sugar, or no soy — NuGo Dark is also made of antioxidant-rich REAL Dark Chocolate. The cocoa butter in NuGo Dark may aid in reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure. No cheap vegetable fats in these bars!

NuGo bars are made in the Pittsburgh area, so I feel something of a special connection to their company. I initially discovered their products when I ran the Pittsburgh half marathon but I couldn’t eat the bar included in the race bags because it was unclear whether is was gluten-free. That’s why I’m so happy about NuGo Dark — certified gluten-free right on the label!

NuGo Nutrition case bibrave review

First Impression: Boy, do I love dark chocolate. Also, YAY! GLUTEN-FREE! I received a case with four different flavors of the NuGo dark: Dark Chocolate Coconut (it tastes like a Mounds bar — it’s incredible!), Dark Mint Chocolate Chip (my least favorite; I’m not a huge fan of mint and chocolate together), Chocolate Chocolate Chip (so.much.chocolate), and Dark Chocolate Pretzel (MY FAVORITE).

NuGo Dark product review run blogger

10g of protein + only 200 calories!

Side note: I really need to order a box of Dark Spicy Chocolate with Chili Peppers and Dark Peanut Butter Cup because those also sound amazing

NuGo Dark bars make for a great HANGRY tamer — I stashed one in my carry-on when traveling, always had one in my lunch bag for work, and even kept one in my purse while I was out car shopping. They work great as an emergency snack AND for post-run fuel. I didn’t carry any with me ON my runs — I was worried about the melting factor — but another BibRave Pro confirmed that they didn’t melt! So, I’ll be stashing one of these on my next trail run.

NuGo Dark bars traveling blog review

Don’t get cheated by fake chocolate! Join the movement and sign the petition for accuracy in food labeling.

BibRave Discount: Enjoy 15% off NuGo Dark with code BIBRAVE1, good through 2/8/17.

Check out NuGo Nutrition on Twitter and Instagram. And join us during BibChat this Tuesday 8pm CST on Twitter — follow @NuGoNutrition and chat along with the hashtag #bibchat to get more familiar with NuGo brand (and likely a chance to win free NuGo Dark product 😉).

Vermont City Marathon: Training Week #2

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

Vermont city marathon run blog

Because of the upcoming double digit distances this training plan, I worked with my coach to swap my long runs to Saturdays to participate more often with the Capital Striders (the Des Moines area running community) group runs — which are, painfully, at 7:30 am. I did something similar in my last marathon training and getting the long run over with early Saturday seemed to work well for me. Though getting up at 6 am on a Saturday is definitely not the easiest, I usually take a nice afternoon nap — and I wait to do my Sunday recovery run in the afternoon.

Week #2 of Marathon Training Plan looked like this:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Tempo Interval Run
Wednesday: Easy Run + Strength
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Recovery Run + Core

Iowa blogger run marathon

My treadmill is still busted, despite receiving two replacement motherboards from ProForm. So, that meant a couple evening runs in the dark after work and ALL of my runs this week outdoors. The whole situation is totally irritating seeing as how we’ve had the equipment for less than a year AND purchased a 4-year warranty — and bundling up just to do an easy 20-minute outdoor run pisses me right off… but I’m working through it. But if I don’t get a promise of a replacement treadmill by next month, I’m REALLY going to lose my shit on someone.

Monday: GLORIOUS REST — and another recognized holiday at work — has me feeling finally (mostly) back to normal. We got a crazy ice storm in the Midwest on Monday, but the above-freezing temps melted mostly everything away overnight.

Tuesday: Short run — 3 miles, followed by an at-home kettlebell-focused strength workout.

Average 10:25 pace

Wednesday: Tempo Intervals — 6x400s (with a mile warm-up and mile cool down) in my secret stretch of sidewalk near the backside of my development. I love it; it’s a near-perfect .25 mile block (a little over, actually) and only slightly uphill that I just run back-and-forth.

Finishing these intervals was TOUGH, and I slowed down quite a bit on the last set. Looking forward to seeing myself get more consistent for a full set.

Thursday: Yoga Roots at LifeTime Fitness. Some weeks I love this class and others I hate it. I guess that means it’s working. Recently the instructor changed the programming to hold poses for 10 breaths instead of 5 — and holding some of the poses are really, really hard. The instructor tried to adjust me in triangle and I nearly collapsed.

Friday: Rest Day! I ended up meeting some friends after work for happy hour at Wellman’s Pub.

Saturday: I had 6 miles on my training plan, so I joined the Capital Striders group run (at 7:30 am) for the short route (which ended up being about 5 miles). After my running friends departed, I explored the Drake University campus to finish out my last mile. It was a pretty nice day in Des Moines, and I can’t believe I got my ass out of bed that early.

Average 10:21 pace

Des Moines running group blogger

Sunday: Easy 20 minute run — and despite it being 37 degrees, it felt REALLY really chilly.

Average 10:11 pace

WEEKLY RUNS: 4
WEEKLY MILES: 16.1 miles
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 18.11 miles

Want to join me in Vermont this Memorial Day Weekend? Use discount code BibRaveDsct17 during your online registration to save $5!

Product Review: The Runnerbox

Disclaimer: I received The Runnerbox to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

runnerbox-logo The Runnerbox is a bi-monthly box of athletic awesomeness — hand-picked products and accessories geared towards runners to enhance their active lifestyle.

Runnerbox monthly subscription review Iowa blogger

About Runnerbox:
The bi-monthly subscription box costs $20 and is stuffed with products and accessories geared towards runners. Runnerbox contains items hand-picked by athletes and can contain everything from gels to chews to protein shakes/supplements, and nutrition bars, energy boosters, healthy snacks, personal care, and other running gear or accessories. Some of the products are brand new to the market while others are tried and true favorites. I’m a huge fan of being able to be be something of a public “first tester” of new products.

The box I received was winter themed and contained items focused on keeping runners warm and fueled when the temperatures drop (and keeping motivation up!).

Here’s what my box included:

  • HOTSHOT (2 bottles)
  • Louva Shorties (in black)
  • Banza Mac & Cheese (Chickpea pasta)
  • Zest Tea (cinnamon apple)
  • Oatmega Whey Bar
  • biPro (2 packets)
  • Chosen Foods Chia Bites
  • REDD Superfood Energy Bar
  • Runa Energy Drink
  • Hyperice Hypersooth (sample packets)
Runnerbox so much stuff blog review bibrave

So. Much. Stuff!

First impression: As someone who is obsessed with monthly subscription services, there is a LOT of stuff in this box! It looked as though most of the products were gluten-free, too. Gear that has adaptable uses get a gold star by me, so the Louva shorties sound like my kind of product.

Favorite Products: Banza mac & cheese, biPRO protein powder, the chia bites, and Zest tea.

runnerbox fuel products running blog review

30-Something Runner Approved: I love finding out about new stuff, and Runnerbox is a great way to test out new items — particularly for fitness-oriented products and fuel that is already tested by other athletes. I was SUPER pumped about all the gluten-free products! I like subscription boxes (a lot) and I like them even better when I can eat (and enjoy) everything. I also appreciated the mix of items — mostly food or fuel-based, but with some non-edible items.

runnerbox gluten free pasta review

Check out The Runnerbox for the subscription options — and if you’re looking for a great gift idea for that special runner in your life, there’s a limited edition Valentine’s Day Runnerbox.

runnerbox bibrave review product

Vermont City Marathon: Training Week #1

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

pub_vtcitymarathon_logo_highres

It’s here, it’s here! Marathon training has begun. I can honestly tell you that I was excited to see a tempo run as my first workout of the plan (and also told my coach to remind me of that further on in training). But that workout didn’t happen. And neither did my mid-week easy run or my yoga class or my weekend long run.

When I got sick over the weekend, I messaged my coach asking when to do certain workouts based on my symptoms. And the short answer was: Use your energy to get better. And it was definitely the right decision as I battle whatever cold/flu combo sickness that has knocked me on my ass.

That said, I am committed to seeing through these 20 weeks of training — despite conditions seemingly conspiring against it (yep, treadmill is still broken despite them sending a new replacement motherboard). I intend to train hard though and do what I need to do to complete my workouts when I am fully capable to do them. This week, unfortunately, was not that week.

iowa run blogger winter running buff

Winter Warrior!

Week #1 of Training looked like this on paper:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Tempo Interval Run
Wednesday: Easy Run + Strength
Thursday: Yoga Roots at LifeTime
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Long Run with Capital Striders
Sunday: Recovery Run + Core

Skipping to the weekend, I was finally well enough get through an at-home Strength routine on Saturday and an easy run on Sunday (before this giant ice storm came through, thankfully).

Iowa runner 180s tights winter running blog

Warmest winter running tights.

WEEKLY RUNS: 1
WEEKLY MILES: 2.01 miles
TOTAL TRAINING MILES: 2.01 miles

Want to join me in Vermont this Memorial Day Weekend? Use discount code BibRaveDsct17 at registration to save $5!

Weekly Therapy: What day is it, even?

the week:
I’ve had one helluva week. I got really sick last weekend, but felt OK by Monday morning (despite not being able to eat for the duration of Sunday). Tuesday, I left midway through my day with major chills and fever symptoms, and then had to take Wednesday off altogether. I felt SO much better to return again Thursday and complete the week (and my annual performance review), but now I need to make up some work hours over the weekend and try not to lose a lung with these random coughing fits.

And I totally hulked out of a Banana Republic silk cardigan, splitting it from the armpit down the side.

SEE?! One helluva week.

weekend:
Try to get my marathon training started with a couple easy workouts, and thankfully an extra long weekend to get my shit together with the Monday holiday. We’ll be hunkered down and cranking up the heat in anticipation of a major ice storm expecting to hit late Sunday.

seven things, seven days:
How about 7 things I watched when I was home sick this week?
1. Magic Mike XXL
2. Days of Our Lives (lolz)
3. 3 hours of Property Brothers
4. Some kind of donut baking challenge show on the FOOD Network
5. Thelma & Louise
6. Along Came Polly
7. You Got Mail

Looking Forward to 2017 (and the Big Goal Failures of 2016)

Hooray! Marathon Training Week has arrived! I’m starting off my 20-week training cycle with a Rest Day (duh) after a few weeks off of training (two weeks off running altogether) and working a lot on strength and attending regular weekly yoga classes. This seemed like a good day to reflect more on last year’s goals, as I set off for new achievements in 2017.

A lot of things changed in 2016, including the goals that I set for running. For starters, I had no idea in setting these goals that I would be living in a different place; so by March when we made our big move to Des Moines, I knew it would take some time to not only adjust but also get back into a running grove. Strangely, I spent the early part of 2016 dealing with some weird knee pain during my runs and then another 6 months or so of a foot issue – I was convinced it was a stress fracture. Though an x-ray showed nothing… and it basically stopped bothering me after that same doctor’s appointment. WEIRDNESS. In any event… these were my 5 Goals for 2016:

Run a 2-hour half marathon
700 miles for the year
Run another full marathon
Do a Ragnar or 50k
Run in costume

WELP.

I did PR my half marathon, but I have another 12 minutes to shave off before meeting that 2-hour goal.
I ran 512.97 miles in 2016, and while an increase over the 28.18 miles I completed in 2015, it was not anywhere close to 700!
Maybe if I trained and ran that full marathon. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There were no ultras or Ragnars for me — but I did discover trail running!
And I never had enough confidence to be in costume during a race (though I did have a lot of fun this year).

I didn’t feel like this year was one big failure though AT ALL. I really enjoyed most of my race experiences and the challenge of trail racing completed a really awesome year for me. I left 2016 feeling REALLY accomplished and ready to take on bigger challenges this year.

So what’s next?
What’s that saying: If at first you don’t succeed, try try again? I had a lot of fun getting faster this year — when a PR slaps you in the face multiple times, there’s no way to not feel a sense of accomplishment from all the hard work. This year while I’m not quite so focused on time goals, I do want to be sure that I realize my full potential.

And that’s what I plan to do: TRAIN HARD.

Oh yeah, and in 2017 I’ll find myself in a new age group and being called things, like, a Masters runner.

That said, my 2017 goals look pretty similar to 2016:

running-goals-for-2017

I have a pretty full running schedule for the year (with accompanying PTO already requested), and I’m really excited about how this year will unfold — particularly the destination races that I’m registered for. I’m running 2 marathons in 2017 (Vermont City and Chicago), so there’s a good chance of maybe possibly getting a marathon PR (Though it’s not really my focus this year, I know sometimes these things happen organically).

Chicago will be something of a training run for MY FIRST 50K. Yep, I signed up for the GOATz 50k that happens in October. Several people in my trail running circle have said it’s a great beginner 50k. Plus there is a really amazing trail running community in the Omaha area!

I’m signed up for my first Ragnar race in March — with complete strangers (well, with internet friends who I haven’t met yet IRL)! I have a lot to learn still about these races and I’m sure the experience will push me out of my comfort zone in a completely new way.

Another goal this year is to volunteer and continue supporting the running community in different ways. I intend to sign up for a race day Cheer or Aid Station to support my fellow local runners and be more involved with organizations like Girls on the Run and the Courage League. I participated in Girls on the Run this fall as a Running Buddy, and it was an incredible experience; I really want to focus on giving back even more next year.

Mileage goals? Meh. The miles will come, and I know a year with two marathons and a 50k will likely push me over the 1,000 mark in 2017. But I’m going to let all that come naturally. I was intentional with my race scheduling to allow for some down time, with plenty of recovery weeks to prevent burnout and injury.

I may or may not gain enough confidence to wear a costume in 2017, but I want to encourage those who do. I want to be surrounded by people who challenge me and who can also make me laugh and help pass the miles — because there will be a lot of them this year! I’ve already made some amazing connections being part of the BibRave community as an ambassador in 2016, and I get the opportunity to continue that partnership in 2017. Likewise, I’m already looking forward to exploring more trails with the CS Turkeys and gaining All The Knowledge about running an Ultra.

This is going to be an awesome year! But first… MARATHON TRAINING.