This year was an interesting change of pace for me as a runner. I chose roads over trails most of the time, and did not run anything longer than 25k (16.5 miles). I averaged 21 miles per week, and ran mostly for the love of it. I blogged less, and focused on planning my wedding more. I learned what it was like to run fast again. I recovered from burnout due to an ultramarathon focused 2013.
As much as this feels like an off year, giving my body and mind a break from running and ultras, I cannot forget that I did actually achieve (most of) the goals I set just one year ago.
1) Run short and fast trail races - ACCOMPLISHED
I ran the Ugly Mudder 6.2 miler in January, the Tyler Trail 10k in April, the Dirty German 25k in May, and the Dirty Bird 15k in November. I had a great time at every race, and while I can't say they were all fast, I was very happy to place 2nd in my age group at the Tyler 10k this year.
2) Run my first timed 5k - ACCOMPLISHED
I ran my first road 5k at the Hangover 5k on January 1st, crossing the line in 23:27 and winning 2nd in my age group. I ran my second 5k in April and PRed with a 22:47, which was good enough to place 3rd woman overall. It turns out I'm not that bad at running 5k's but they are still not my favorite distance.
3) Set 10k PRs (sub 53:00 road, sub 55:06 trail) - ACCOMPLISHED
In March, I ran the NERRC Winter 10k (road) and crushed my old PR by more than 4 minutes with a 48:37. At the Tyler Trail 10k this year, I ran a PR of 54:29, which was extremely difficult since I wasn't training on trails much earlier this year. I am really proud of my results at these races, and still consider the 10k to be one of my favorite distances.
4) Set a 10 Mile PR (sub 1:25:49) - ACCOMPLISHED
If I had to pick a race I was most proud of this year, it would have to be the Broad Street Run 10 Miler. Last time I ran Broad Street in 2011, I barely squeaked under 1:30. This year, I ran my heart out and crushed my old PR by 5:33, finishing in 1:20:16. I won't return to run Broad Street in 2015, but since it's Philly's biggest race, I'm sure I'll run it again sometime soon.
5) Set a 13.1 PR (sub 1:50:38) - ACCOMPLISHED
At the Love Run Half Marathon in March, I finally set a new road half marathon PR of 1:48:14. This was something I needed to prove to myself over the last few years, since I hadn't run a road half since 2010. I needed to show myself that even though I've gotten older and my body has changed, I could still run faster than before. Though I still hate road 13.1s and won't be signing up for any in the near future, I am extremely proud of myself for finally putting this one to rest.
6) Strength train 2x per week - NOPE
I didn't even strength train once per week. I hate lifting weights. It's really difficult for me to exercise in ways I don't enjoy. So, I will reassess my strength goals for 2015 and make them very specific to the races I am training for.
While I am extremely proud of accomplishing almost every goal I set for 2014, one of my favorite running moments of 2014 wasn't even on my list of goals:
Ragnar Cape Cod with Team #flockyoulikeahurricane!
Ragnar Cape Cod was one of the best running experiences I've ever had. While I love running trails and running by myself most of the time, Ragnar was unlike any other race I've ever run. I had heard how much fun and excitement could happen at Ragnar races, but I did not realize the bonds and friendships that would come out of it. I cannot wait to run another one in the future!
That about sums up 2014, in my running life at least. I am so excited for 2015 and for all the amazing things that are coming next year!