Friday, January 24, 2014

First race of the year!!

I'm racing in the 20th annual Try Melon Tri this weekend.  I have competed in this race one way or another (sometimes as a part of a team, other times individually) 13 times.  I did not compete last year because we were in Florida (oooooh, how I wish we were going this year!!)  Here is a snippet from 2 years ago, the last time I raced, this gives you a run down of my 13 race times.

1997: 1st year.  I was 20 years old, married & had my 1st child by them.  Was just getting into swimming.  Finish time: 1:06:35
1998: Competed this year as a team with Jim, my husband.  I was 14 weeks pregnant with baby #2, hence our team effort.  People were astonished that a pregnant woman was competing.  Finish time: 1:01:46
1999:  Competed as a team again.  This time I swam, Jim biked and I ran.  Finish time:  57:44
2000 & 2001:  did not compete due to giving birth to January & February babies.
2002:  I have no record of this race.  I don't know why I wouldn't have done it.  But I guess I didn't.  Hmmmm????
2003:  Finish time:  1:00:06  Best swim time to date.  Was psyched to be "so close" to the 1 hour mark.
2004:  Finish time:  1:00:25.  D' close again!!!!
2005:  Finish time:  1:01:47.  Frustrating that I could not seem to break the 1 hour mark.

2006: I was signed up to race this year, but had to pull out at the last minute.  Andrew (baby I had just given birth to the previous November) was very sick & in the hospital.  It just did not work out for us to make it to the race.
2007:  Finish time:  1:00:44.  I'm into my 30's now....that must be it....RIGHT?!?!?!?
2008:  Finish time:  1:08:57  I had just given birth 6 weeks earlier.  Not my best performance, but I got it done!
2009:  Finish time:  59:00, FINALLY broke the 1 hour mark.
2010:  Finish time:  57:48 and another PR.  Now I'm rolling, must be like wine & get better with age : )
2011:  2 of my daughters also want to compete, but they can't swim (note: they know how to swim, just more for recreational purposes).  We competed as a team, I swam, Mandy biked, Nina ran.  Finish time:  1:04:28
2012:  I completely revamped my swim form.  I fixed some lazy tendencies I had and I forced myself to learn & implement alternate breathing.  First time with the new bikes.  LOVE them!  I think it helps that a few years ago I was a cycling instructor so I'm used to riding on these types of bikes.  Finish time:   *drum roll please*..........56:47  A NEW PERSONAL RECORD!!!!!!!!  

This race is an INDOOR triathlon, which being winter in Iowa is probably a really good idea!!!!  It's held at a YMCA in my hometown.  So I'm actually working in a visit home (yaaaaaaaaaay!) for the weekend since I'll be there to race.  They start a new heat every 30 minutes & I'm assigned a counter who personally keeps track of my splits, transitions and actual distances (they count my laps for me, etc.)  So the race takes up the entire day.  We are placed in heats based on our predicted swim times.  That doesn't mean that the first heats are the fastest, someone could come in at a later heat and finish faster.  In theory though the faster racers go first, but it's not until the last heat is finished that you know how you did overall.  That has it's pros and cons, but it leaves the door open for me to just race to my personal best and let the rest work itself out.

Last time I raced I finished 3rd female overall, but :26 seconds is what separated me from 1st place.  I've never won this race & would like to, even if only once.  I know it's more than just coming in 1st, winning isn't everything.  But I openly admit I'm super competitive so that drives me to win and to do it in my hometown.... heck ya, I want that!!  Just being honest.  I do know that PRing would be just as satisfying as well and more than likely if I don't get 1st then someone I know and like does and they deserve that win just as much.  I'm not losing sleep over it.  Hopefully it drives me to give 100% and be happy with that no matter what happens.

Be watching my Instagram to see photo updates from my race.  I start at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.  I can't wait to come back & give you a full update you on how things went.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday's Motivation: Martin Luther King Jr.

I've always love this quote.  It's gotten me through many times & many runs.  I even think I posted a similar version of it at one point last year.  However, I didn't realize until today that it was said by Martin Luther King Jr.  So in honor of today's holiday, which honors his birthday (January 15), I'm posting it again.  It's something that I have to keep reminding myself of all the time!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014


When tragedy strikes around me that doesn't directly affect me, but yet it's out there, I tend to hold it at arms length.  Not out of disrespect or lack of caring.  Quite the opposite.  I tend to have a tender heart & even if I don't know the people I tend to take things really hard.  So I've learned to not pay too much attention or at least not on a deep level when such events happen.

It wasn't easy to escape the news of Meg, a young mom of 3 who was hit & killed while on a run by a drunk driver.  Out of that tragedy Megs Miles was formed and word of it quickly spread over the internet.  So while I kept it at arms length to prevent me from being an emotional cry baby I still set out on my run today in honor of her.

It was a cold snowy day & for the most part I stayed home all day & in my jammies.  I ditched my music for some peace & quite to be able to think and be purposeful with my miles I ran in her honor.  Plus with the snowy streets I needed to be paying attention to my form & footing.  I was only going to run an easy 2 miles, but then I talked myself into 4 and before I knew it I had 5 miles in.  I had to keep my pace slower because of the street conditions, but it also gave me time to really think about each step, each breath I was taking.

When I got home I was trying to be thoughtful & creative about how to mark my run to post on facebook, instagram, etc.  I tried several different things, but then an angel came to mind.  So I made a snow angel to honor Meg:

and added my shoes to her angel.  I may not have ever known Meg, but she was a mommy & a runner and that forever binds us together in a strong unspoken way.

I was covered in snow & my feet got cold really quick.  I actually stood there a few moments longer taking in the cold, the quiet, the sweat on my body from my 5 miles.  I was thankful to be alive.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday's Tunes: Too much of a good thing

Tuesday's Tunes:  I haven't done this in a long time!  I'm too lazy to go look, but I'm guessing it was before Christmas break.  My Tuesday's have not been the norm for the last month.  Typically Tuesday I run & teach pilates by 7a.m. and then be showered & ready for my day.  Then it's my "day off" at the Y so I don't go in to get anything done, although today I did check email from home & took care of some matters.  This is hard for me as there is always something to do.  But I wanted to set 1 week day where I don't go in, I stay home & focus on getting things done here like blogging or "wasting time" on facebook.  Truthfully it usually is my most productive day in terms of getting things done around the house.  While I've taken plenty of days off from work recently they have been kid filled as my kids were home on Christmas break.  So, now that they are back in session (woo hoo, glory hallelujah) I finally took a day off from work & got somethings done.  Hence my resume of Tuesday's Tunes, here is what I listened to on my run this morning.

Miss Independent - Kelly Clarkson
Now I Lay Me Down - Noel Stookey & Pam Mark Hall
Friend Like Me - Robin Williams/Aladdin Soundtrack
Toy Soldiers - Martika
Smurfs - TV Theme Songs
Bonanza - TV Theme Songs
Runaway - The Coors
G.I. Joe - TV Theme Songs
Lord, I Lift Your Name on High - Go Fish
We Got Annie - Annie Soundtrack
God With Us - Mercy Me
Will You Be the One? - ??
Consider Yourself - Oliver!  Soundtrack
God's Not Dead - Newsboys

So, I realize that I have a habit I need to break.  It's not really a bad habit.  and maybe I don't need to break it.  But I sort of feel guilty & I realized recently that I kept it hidden how often I was indulging in this habit.  So, what is this habit?  I eat guacamole.  *shock*   *gasp*  I know, right?!?!  The dish, the down low, the secret life of 6packmomma!!  Ok, I have worse habits that I could revel to you all.  But as I indulged AGAIN today I decided to blog about it.  Yes, because that is a great use of my time on my day off!

I think guacamole gets a bad wrap because avocados are high in fat.  Now we're talking good fat here & lots of omega 3 & other nutrients that are good.  But they kind of fall into the category of eggs.  Yes, I eat eggs almost every single day!  I'm big on getting nutrients and calories from REAL food.  Now, yes, you can go into the deep argument with eggs about how chickens are fed who knows what & manufactured to lay eggs, etc.  But A) my focus in not on eggs today and 2) I'm not claiming to only eat all natural organic foods.  I pick & choose my battles and do the best with what resources I have that are what I feel are most beneficial for me and my family.

When I prep my guacamole I mash the avocado with a diced tomato & add some Tabasco sauce (not a lot though, I don't like spicy stuff).  If I have some I'll squeeze in some (fresh) lime juice.  That's it.  No extras, no sour cream or whatever else some may add.  Plain & simple.  You may think, what's the big deal.  I will admit that what gets me in trouble is the chips I eat with it.   Even without the chips though the huge amount of calories I'm ingesting is....WOW!  But remember the other day, I fully admitted I was a justifier.   So calories, smalories it has good healthy nutrients in it!!  And I DID run 5 miles AND do pilates this morning.  Total justifier!!

Anyway a few weeks ago I was whipping up some guacamole for the simple reason that I wanted some & had just gotten the ingredients from the store.  Here is the conversation that happened between 6packdaddy (who was in the next room)  & I:

6pd::  Who's coming over?
Me:  No one. Why?
6pd:  You're making guacamole.  You never make that unless we have company coming over.
Me:  That's not true I make it ALL THE TIME!
6pd:  No you don't.
Me:  Yessss, I do!  Like at least a....couple.....of.....times....a.......month.......
*odd silence coming from the other room*

Ha ha...oooops, did I just admit that out loud & completely bust myself.  Yeah, that is when I realized I make guacamole quite frequently and eat ALL OF IT BY MYSELF.  Today, I went to the store to pick up milk and eggs.  That's it.  No extras.  Except as soon as I walked in the door my first thought was "I wonder if that avocados are any good?"  Lo and behold they were fresh and ripe and *perfect* for guacamole.  Like a true addiction before I even knew what I was doing I bought the necessary ingredients and wham! guess what I had for lunch.  In my defense, I didn't eat ALL of it.  Just a lot of it!

Do you have a favorite good thing that you like to indulge in?
Do you think it's possible to have too much of a good thing?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Fun: Who Are You

I came across this video the other day & thought it was funny.  Being that I've worked in the fitness industry for 17+ years I'd say that a lot of these are spot on.   Watch:

Hopefully you laughed, that's one of the main points.  Life is too short and for many other reasons serious, so why not laugh as much as you can & make the best of it!!

Since I'm a gym rat myself, it got me thinking.....what kind of person am I at the gym?

My first reaction was 'The Singer' because I love to sing & do so all the time.  In my aerobics class that I taught years ago my class knew that I'd burst out singing at any moment.  My favorites:  Tommorrow by Annie & Oklahoma from the musical.  Who can't sing that at the top of their lungs when those songs come on?  Upon further thinking I realized I don't sing too much in the gym (aside from my outbursts in class) because I fully realize that others didn't come to hear me sing.  That's not a knock on my vocal abilities.  I mean I'm not the next American Idol, but my many years of voice lessons had to amount to something.  I can sing!  So unless the place is empty or no one is within ear shot, I don't actually sing.  But I do hum a lot & if I'm really in the mood I lip sync.

I'm also the justifier.  I can't say I do this ALL the time, but definitely pretty often.  I don't walk around shoving food in my mouth & say or think it's ok.  But I think that in many ways people really scrutinize my eating for me.  So when I'm inhaling a piece (or two, who am I kidding three or more) of pizza people are looking at me all bugged eye and thinking, or saying, "Are you really going to eat that!"  Ummm, why yes, since I just ran "100 miles".  Ok, I've never ran 100 miles, but to most people I know they treat my 10 to their 100.  It's always in a joking fashion and what else can I do but laugh about it.  Just go with the flow and joking mock myself while I'm at it.  If you can't beat them, join them, right?  So I'm guilty of indulging on a regular basis.  Obviously it's not too often or out of control, my body weight speaks otherwise.  And I do burn a lot of calories within my workouts, so......

One I thought they should add is The Dancer.  That is me.  Just as I can't control myself when I want to sing, I have a hard time keeping still when the groove hits me.  Which I fairly frequently.  I am self conscious about drawing attention to myself (perhaps shocking with my clothing choice and my love of performing, but that is another topic for another post) so if I think people are watching I will try my best to keep in contained.  If we could mount cameras around my home or in my van you'd see me completely busting a move ALL. THE. TIME.  If I'm at the gym & can get away with it (explains why I love teaching aerobics & Zumba so much) I will dance & sing.  Lately I've noticed that while running on the treadmill I dance on there too.  I mean, I am really....really....REALLY bored!  I find that I zone out and my mind focuses on the music I have blasting in my ears.  So I sing-ok, mostly lip sync- and dance, as much as I can while running to help pass the time.

So, who do you think you are?  

Even if you don't go to the gym do you have some interesting, funny habits that you do while working out?

Have any funny things/people you've seen while working out?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hello 2014

Now that the kids are back to school I'm getting back to somewhat of a schedule.  Plus I'm not fighting for computer time with all of them around.  Or feeling guilty that I've spent too much time on here hanging out on facebook even if it's for good productive purposes.

I've put plenty of thought into 2014 and what I'd like to accomplish.  I don't really believe in resolutions.  I do like goals.  However coming off of last year, which I will remind you was pretty epic, I'm actually looking forward to not having goals.  Run This Year was WONDERFUL, I know I wouldn't have ran as much as I did without it.  But, more toward the end I was having plenty of "I'm so done with this" moments.  I knew weeks ago that NOT having a goal is exactly what I was going to need.  That's the important part, knowing when to step back & re-evaluate.  Luckily my struggle didn't happen much sooner.  It was close enough to the end that I knew I could and would finish, but not far enough out to have it over fast enough.

The thing with running is that it gives me PLENTY of time to think.  Music playing or not my mind is always thinking.  So what I came up with is no specific mileage goal.  Sure, I still want to run a lot.  Duuuuuh!  Aside from everything else it is still my number 3 passion/priority (next to God (#1) & my family/husband & kids (#2)) in life.  I've thought & re-though this because I really wanted to come up with some kind of number.  But I can't seem to find a happy medium with it.  I don't want to aim too low or too high.  So, NO mileage goal.  We'll just see what I end up with.

Streaking, of course, will continue.  I'm not going 500+ days to just give it up for no good reason.  Technically streaking only needs 1 mile a day to keep going.  I started that way, but after 6 months or so I found 1 mile way too easy so I personally set a minimum of 2 miles a day.  On rare occasion I do still run the 1 mile, but it's not often & for good reason like an injury.

Speed.  I know running in not ALL about speed or being the fastest.  However I can't ignore my desire to go faster.  I seem to have an natural ability to push hard, run fast & often beat others.  At least the others in the most common fields that I compete.  I fully realize that if I were to ever run against world or even national class athletes I would likely be dead last.  My fast is their slow.  I'm totally cool with that.  It all falls into the apples vs. oranges area anyway.  When I break it down to my own personal abilities I know I am capable of more and faster times.  So for 2014 that is my A goal - to lower all of my PR times.

For the first 4 months of 2013 I was able to work on my speed and handle all the miles.  Then it all fell apart.  I didn't care or work enough to figure out what I was doing wrong to contribute to that imbalance.  I do know that lack of strength training was a large factor and I'm working harder to add that to my workout regimen.  More importantly I need to not let it slip.  I'm great at bringing it on from time to time.  But when push comes to shove it's one of the first things I drop.   *tsk, tsk, tsk*  Bad 6packmomma!  I not only benefit from this in the form of physical appearance (let's be honest it makes my body look really nice & toned!!) & in my nearing 40 years I need more help than before.  But I have noticed a huge difference in my running abilities when I have a good strong body.  When I drop weight lifting I see little things here and there that take away from me running my best.  Over time and with enough it all piles up to nagging injuries & not so great running.

I also want to cross train more.  With miles as my goal that's all I seemed to do last year.  I wanted to do a few triathlons last year, but by time I ran for a good chunk of time, my desire to train in other areas was lacking.  It's more than desire too.  I have a life, a home, a family, a job to balance with all of my time too.  If I could get away with training for 4-5 hours every single day I would, without a doubt, do that.  But that's not the reality of my life.  On my heavier training days I still workout for 2, sometimes 3 hours.  When a majority of it is spent running then I don't have time for much else.  Backing off the miles will allow me to still run, not worry if it's 2 or 10 miles and also focus on quality workouts that are more detailed than just getting X miles run.  So, more cross training & let's tackle a few triathlons this year.

Going back to my A goal & to wrap this post up (because I could talk non stop analyze and drag this post on forever) here are some specific times goals that I want to work on and reach:

2 miles:  Typically I run 1 2 mile race each year.  I found & have my eye on a 2nd one, but we'll see.  I'll just plan on this one shot, one kill race.  Anything extra will be bonus.  My current PR is: 13:40.  That includes all of my high school running times.  I never ran sub 14 in high school, but that is another book I could analyze to death story.  However, during one of my 5k splits this past year I clocked a 13:14.  If I can do that in a 5k, I most certainly can do that, if not more, overall.  In the big picture, I'll set a goal to lower my 2 mile PR.  In my reach for the stars, the sky is the limit I want to run closer to 13 minutes or even *gasp* sub 13.  Yes, I believe I can do it!

5k:  I set this PR last April.  Yes, I ready to break it & lower it again.  Current PR is: 20:41.  When I was finishing my last 5k on New Year's Eve I had the crazy thought "wouldn't it be awesome if I finished in 20:13"  That would be beyond awesome, not to mention a new PR.  But I wasn't even close, which was not too surprising, but it put a crazy thought into my head, one that I do believe is possible.  Big picture, lower my PR.  Reach for the stars, the sky is the limit: run a 20:14 5k.  Since 20:14 is a very specific time with only 1 second room for miss, I'd be happy to run anything lower than that as well.  I will not lie, going sub 20 would be beyond awesome and if for some reason I hit that, then.....WOW!  But for this year it's all about 20:14.

5 mile or 10k:  I rarely race this & don't have any planned for this year.  I don't even know what my PR's on for these distances.  So IF I run them then I'll look it up & just set to lower my PR.

13.1:  This year marks 5 years since I started even running/racing longer distance like the half marathon & above.  Every single race I have done nothing, but lower my PR.  My current best is 1:40:48.  I don't race them often, but I really like this distance.  You can still push the speed & for me running 10+ miles is not that big of a stretch.  I can run that on an almost daily basis & not think twice about it.  So (for me) there is not a ton of planning and/or stressing over racing this distance.  However because this is sort of a middle ground distance for me I don't have a very big, super awesome goal for this.  Since it's a big pre-cursor to my marathon I'd just like to see my time lowered to 1:30.

26.2  I have not stopped dreaming about my goal for this year since I finished my marathon last year.  Last year my big goal was simply to BQ and I hit that without any problem with 10+ minutes to spare.  Make no mistake, it was hard & it took a lot of work.  However once I crossed the finish line I knew I was capable of running it at an even faster pace.  I was so focused on my end time that I never did the math to realize that I ran that race averaging an 8:09 minute pace.  I know...I KNOW a lot of people can only dream about doing that, but for me it's not enough.  In adding to simply lower my PR time (3:29) I'm going specifically for no slower than a 3:20.  I do actually think I can run it even faster than that.  But I really am trying to pace my goals for this year.  One thing is for sure, the sky is the limit.

Ultra:  I mostly do 50ks, but have my 1 timed ultra I do in August.  I really, really want to do a 50 or 100 miler.  But there are not too many in close traveling proximity to a make this easily fit into my busy family life.  Just like last year, my big goal for Howl at the Moon, 8 hour ultra is 50 miles.  I'm within a few miles of reaching this.  I CAN DO THIS!  If I can focus more on training my body vs. just getting the miles run then I think I have a better shot at this than before.

So I have a big year planned for 2014.  With the right training, balance & simply believing in myself/abilities I think each of my goals are very realistic.  Please understand that all of this comes from me & me only.  I never feel outside pressure to do more or run faster.  My family could care less if I run faster.  They are proud of me no matter what.  My friends all think I'm fast enough as it is.  I'm sure I've already gotten plenty of eye rolls from some of you just reading what I've said so far.  But I'm really just being honest & laying out my thoughts & dreams.  I expect no one else to have my same goals & dreams.  And if yours look different or happen to be slower times, then I'm just as happy for you & think what you are doing is awesome too!  NOW......let's get rolling into 2014 (oops, we already have).  I'm excited and can't wait to see what happens!!!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

So Long, Farewell 2013

Without a doubt 2013 was a pretty epic year for me.  I'd even say my best running year ever or so far in my journey of life.  That may or may not be fair to say since sometimes comparing year to year is like comparing apples to oranges.  There are so many factors to each year.  For my life the biggest factors are my 6 children.  I had several turning points in that area & those changes are one of the many reasons why I had such a great year.

To get to the main reason why this year was so epic it goes beyond any external reason or factor.  On a surface level I'd say that *I* was the reason for this great year.  Yet, let me pause for those who may not really know me & my beliefs to say that at the core of me lives my Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is the only reason I have any good in me at all.  God is my ultimate motivation, the one that moves & inspires me to look deep down at how He created me and my running abilities & to use those gifts & talents to honor Him.  I hope that those that truly know me see this lived in my life and my running every single day.  My personal faith is not the focus on my blog nor do I believe in "forcing" my beliefs on others so I often tend to not talk about it openly or frequently or unless asked.  However I won't ignore or deny my faith either.  It's a fine balance, but everyone once in awhile I put it out there nice & bold to address the topic.

Anyway, going back to all that surface-y stuff, I'm pretty much the one who made 2013 epic.  I've expressed before that in a literal sense I pretty much run solo.  I do have a lot of running friends (both in real life & some virtually), even a running partner.  Their verbal support & encouragement takes me a thousand miles more than I could ever go.  Without actually calculating though I'd say I only run with other people about 10% of the time, if even that.  So I don't consistently meet up with anyone or have someone to push me to go further or faster.  I just have to do it on my own.  I have a 101 excuses as to why I should not have been able to accomplish what I did in 2013.  According to 99% of the people I know, they just scratch their head, look at me in astonishment & say things like "that is crazy.  how is that even possible".

In the big spectrum of other runners out there what I do is not that much.  I'm very aware that there is always someone out there that runs more miles than I do.  Or runs faster (definitely a lot more faster).  Others run in harder conditions that I do.  The list is endless if you want to start the comparison games.  A game that I, yes, am guilty of playing sometimes, even if it only internally or in my head.  But definitely a game that I hate to have forced upon me.  Aside from taking note, I really strive to not play those games.  I focus on me.  Unless someone has lived my exact life then DO NOT compare your running to mine.  I have enough to think, worry, focus on with my own running I don't need to take on anyone else's.

Ok, no clue where that rant came from and I'm rambling before getting to my point of this post, a wrap up of 2013.  So let's just move to the facts of what I accomplished last year.

Miles ran:  2021
I started this year with the goal to RUN THIS YEAR.  Meaning 2013 miles in 2013.  This proved to be a little harder than I imagined.  Not that I thought it was going to be easy, but if you do the math it averages out to approx. 5.5 miles a day.  THAT doesn't sound too hard or very much.  I mean, now days 5 miles is a short run.  After my injury mid year & muddling through that recovery I fell behind quite a bit.  At one point I was going to have to run 10 miles a day just to catch up.  In October I got very serious about this and pushed myself more than ever to not only get out the door, but to keep going.  Yes, it was challenging & I agree, I should have been resting more.  But, with lots of TLC I made it through and a few days before 12-31 I reached my goal & celebrated by running this special route:

I set down to analyze my numbers & after some recalculating I was coming up with some different numbers, depending on which way I was calculating.  Now, let me clarify that I'm not a numbers person at all.  In fact, I rather loath math & numbers, but when it comes to calculating miles I get all excited.  So I took my usual form of entry (writing it on my daily calendar) and dumped it all into a spreadsheet & let the computer do the math for me.  Turns out, at least on this particular run I was a few miles short, but rest assured, I met my Run This Year goal before the end of the year and added a few miles for good keep.

Since I did get all the info into a spreadsheet then I was able to sort & do all sorts of fun things with my numbers.  Here is a break down of my distances* & how many times I ran them:
1 mile - 10
2 miles - 77
3 miles - 27
4 miles - 48
5 miles - 70
6 miles - 41
7 miles - 29
8 miles - 23
9 miles - 8
10 miles - 9
11 miles - 4
13 miles - 2
14 miles - 3
15 miles - 1
18 miles - 1
19 miles - 1
20 miles - 2
26 miles - 1
31 miles - 2
45 miles - 1

*I rounded down for these numbers.  So I may have ran 5.5 miles, but I only counted it as a 5 mile run.  So as you can see, I had more 1 & 2 mile days more than anything else.  Showing that even though it's not easy,  it's very do-able.

Days I ran: 365.
Yes, every single day.  My running streak continues and my overall total is 583 days.  I don't have a date that I plan to stop my streak.  It will more than likely be on a day where it is literally humanly impossible for me to run (or even walk in worse case scenario) for even a mile.  I am beyond blessed that I am not faced with this on a regular basis.

Races Ran:
2 mile - 1
5k - 2
13.1 - 1
26.2 - 1
50k - 2
8 hour - 1

My busy day to day life makes it harder to commit to racing a lot.  I had a lot of races written on the calendar, but only a few actually completed.  My racing was very rewarding as I PR'd at almost every single race.  I ran 5 of the 8 races by April, 4 in April alone.  I was able to handle all the speed & high miles up until that point.  That is when things fell apart, mostly due to my fall, but let's face it I was falling apart anyway.

Overall, I'd sum up 2013 to be a year all about the miles.  While I had some speed in there I was more focused on just getting the miles done.  In the end, regardless of my speed, I came out a much stronger runner than when I started the year.  MUCH.  STRONGER.  Run This Year ended up taking me to new heights & pushed me more than I imagined.

What's on tap for 2014?  You'll just have to wait & see.  I'll give you a big clue, it's not another Run This Year.  As much as I loved it for 2013, I'm not purposely going to do it again in 2014.  My next post will take a look at my 2014 goals, thoughts & ideas.