Gone with the old and in with 2016!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a fun and safe holiday with your family. I have been gone for quite a while and I missed the running community a lot.

I am back in Kansas again (finally!) after traveling pretty much all over our hemisphere. After Utah I left for Virginia for a week and then I went home to visit family in South Florida. Frank and I then flew from Fort Lauderdale to Cabo San Luca in Mexico and traveled up the length of the Baja peninsula to San Diego before heading home. I have been pretty exhausted from travel, but now I’m back and ready to train (although I should have been training prior to now, but really, that’s water under the bridge).
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Frank and I enjoying Mexico
 

Elly was pretty thrilled to see me after I got back. Honestly I was a little worried she would forget about me.
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Elly burrito-ed herself into my blanket. I guess she was cold. She still remembers and loves me.
I have some crazy stories about our travels, but now I’m just glad to be home and getting back into a rhythm.
I want to take a moment to reflect a little on 2015. I had a crazy year, with a big move, big travels, new friends and jobs, and a whole lot of running. I ran my first half marathon, and then PRed twice on the half (including at Estes Park, CO). I trained for the Chicago Marathon, and even though I turned my ankle and couldn’t run it, I still trained hard and learned a lot about what I am capable of.
So 2016 is here and I have a few goals. I guess it’s easiest if I list them out…
1. Get back to real training again. I haven’t really gotten back to the level of training I was at before I turned my ankle, so first and foremost, that is my goal. I know it’s possible because I already did it. I want to get back to running 35+ miles per week.
2. PR the half marathon either at A1A in February (that’s so freaking soon), or at Rocky Mountain in July (this is where my current PR is).
3. Run the Colfax Marathon in May… and not get injured this time, so no mountain biking for a while. I have no time goals. I just want to finish injury free.
4. Run the Chicago Marathon in October. I need to redeem myself from last year.
5. This may seem like a crazy one… but PR in the Marathon at Chicago (since I’ll have a time from Colfax).
and finally (and most importantly)… go injury free this year. No ankle turns, no knee issues…just some good ole’ injury free running.
I think in 2015, although I did manage a lot, I got too caught up in race times. This year I want to run by feel, and if I run a little slower sometimes, honestly, I don’t care. I don’t want running to stress me out, which it occasionally did last year.
So, there you have it… and I can’t wait to see how it all goes! I’m super glad to be back!
How was your holiday? Any cool new travels? What is your big 2016 goal?

First Time Pacer

I had a ton of fun this weekend down in Fort Lauderdale at the Yoga Journal Conference! I always feel like these conferences really push my practice to the next level and inspire my yoga teaching. I’ll post more about it later.

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I hate backbends, but I took a workshop on them that really helped me tolerate them.

I have some pretty cool news!

I am pacing the Bill Snyder Half Marathon in May 2016! I just received the email of our assignments, so it’s official. I will be pacing the 2:25 group. I am super excited and feel that it will be a really great experience.

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably read about when I ran my first half marathon at the A1A Half. I used a pacer to get me to a sub-2 hour finish. Honestly, without them I would have gone out too quick and not run the smart race that I did. I really wanted to pay it forward and get people to the time they want.

I’ll be back to post more later, but I was super excited and wanted to let everyone know!

Have you ever paced a race or used a pacer in a race? Any tips for a newbie pacer? 

Two weeks of great training

I know that I did not post a recap of my training last week, so I’ll go ahead and add it to this one. These past two weeks have been wonderful! I’ve finally gotten back to consistent running and without ankle pain. I certainly wouldn’t call it 100%, since I doubt I could run on trail, but I’m getting there. I managed two long runs (one was 6.4 miles and the other was 8 miles), along with some shorter and quicker runs. I have also been practicing yoga and doing core work every day. I do have some pretty lofty goals for the A1A Half, so it’s important that I get my running base back.

Week of Oct 26-Nov 1

M: Rest
T: 3.1 miles at 8:55/mi with running group
W: 3.2 miles at 9:18/mi
T: 3.3 miles at 9:00/mi
F: Rest
S: Biked 15 miles along Native Stone Scenic Byway
S: 6.4 mile long run at 9:23/mi

I thought this was a great week back. I kept the mileage low at 16.2 miles. It was nice to be out again running and I felt surprisingly strong. I wanted to keep the mileage low to kinda test out the waters a bit. I promised myself that if I felt any pain, I would just back off and skip a day or so. Luckily, that didn’t happen and I managed to stay consistent!

The bike ride was beautiful!

Frank and I at the top of a hill on our ride. Perfect day for it!
Frank and I at the top of a hill on our ride. Perfect day for it!

I also got to dress up as Tim Tebow for Halloween to support my Gators!

Go Gators!
Go Gators!

Last week

M: Rest
T: 3.8 miles at 8:57/mi with run group
W: 3.5 at 9:43/mi with Frank
T: 4.5 at 8:42/mi
F: 3.5 at 9:38/mi with Frank
S: 8-mile long run at 9:20/mi
S: 27-mile bike ride

I ran about 24 miles last week and it was the first time in a while that I actually felt like a runner. The weather has been perfect and all of my runs felt great. I ran my long run as a progression run, with each mile about 10 seconds faster than the one before.

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On Sunday, four of us went for a ride along the Flint Hills Nature Trail that runs about 60 miles through Kansas. We had a few bike mishaps, and I had to herd a calf back about a half-mile that had gotten lost on the trail.

Back to the car after 27 miles. I was pretty happy to be back.
Back to the car after 27 miles. I was pretty happy to be back.

These two weeks have been great! I’m starting to feel more confident again. I have some big goals in the spring, and I think these next few weeks are important in making sure these goals happen. I’ll post about these goals once I’m ready…

This week I am doing a lot of traveling and running will be pretty hard to get done. I’m heading to Fort Lauderdale for the Yoga Journal Conference with my mom and I’m pretty excited!

How have you been these past two weeks? What are your goal races for the spring?

A New Path to 26.2

I have been avoiding writing this post, since I knew it would make this more real. But the thing is… it’s pretty real. So I guess I’ll just let it spill.

I deferred my entry for Chicago until 2016.

Several weeks ago, I was climbing a few 14ers (mountains that are over 14,000 feet) in Colorado, and on the way down from the last one, I twisted my knee a little. I didn’t think too much of it, so the next day, I still ran my prescribed 18 miles. It went horribly. I couldn’t go very fast and I spent a lot of it limping. I finished when I probably shouldn’t have.

Top of Mt. Democrat. This was the first of 4 14ers I did on the day I tweaked my knee. At least the view was beautiful!
Top of Mt. Democrat. This was the first of 4 14ers I did on the day I tweaked my knee. At least the view was beautiful!

I took a bit of time off, and it helped. I got back to running and everything was ok. But as soon as I got back on my feet, I got a terrible upper respiratory infection that included a high fever and lots of coughing. I couldn’t run at all for a full week. So… since I had basically missed out on my peak marathon training, I decided to defer until 2016.

HOWEVER… I am officially running the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa Oklahoma on November 22. I am back to running, and my knee feels good (my lungs feel okay). I realized that Chicago wouldn’t be very fun, but with training and hard work, Route 66 is gonna be awesome. The best part is… I already have a race to PR my marathon time next year!

Route 66 , here I come!
Route 66 , here I come!

Route 66 is going to be especially great. I’ll be running it two days before my 29th birthday and as soon as I’m done, Frank and I will be driving out to Utah for some canyoneering and mountain biking. I couldn’t be more excited.

Instead of being sad about this… like I was when I pushed the button to defer, I am using this as an opportunity. This is going to be tons of fun AND Chicago 2016 is gonna be awesome!