Weekly Workouts & Happenings 1/13 – 1/19

Week of January 13 – January 19:

This post is going to be short and sweet.  I wasn’t very good about taking pictures this week, so I don’t want to bore you with nothing but text.

Monday (1/13): Yoga, 60 minutes.  Bought my mom her very own yoga mat for her birthday and it was enough to convince her to come to a class with me and my friend Katie.  Unfortunately, I failed to notice that this was a Level II class and my mom didn’t look to happy with me as we sped through sun salutations and flows and other more complicated asanas.

Wednesday (1/15):  No workouts.  However, my mom, her friend, and I attended the ’50 Shades! The Musical. The Original Parody.’  It was a musical joking the book and how ridiculous the plot is and taking stabs at the absurd drama that unfolds.  I mean really, the writing level was equivalent to that of an eighth grader.  The musical was raunchy and hilarious. It was a fun girls night out with my mom!

Thursday (1/16):  3 miles (intervals)/Hot Yoga (75 minutes).  Met up with RunFriend and another runner from our local running club at 6AM; it was freezing!  We ran to the local high school track and took on some intervals…

  • 1/2 mile warm up run to the track
  • 4 x 400 sprints with 400m recovery after each (first interval @ 6:20 pace; the average pace for intervals was @ 6:41 pace)
  • 1/2 mile run back to cars, for a total of 3 miles

After work, I headed to Hot Yoga for 75 minutes of pure sweat.

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Intervals

Saturday (1/18):  Meg’s Miles.  2.25 miles (21:35; avg pace:  9:35). Ab workout. I wasn’t planning on running on Saturday, but I woke up and wanted nothing more than to go out, get some fresh air, and have some quiet alone time.  I knew that although I was alone, I was really in the company of hundreds, even thousands of runners who were out there running for Meg.  Usually when I’m out running, even when I’m on a crowded trail, it doesn’t occur to me that there are countless runners out doing the same.  Saturday’s run, although quiet, was tremendously loud.  Right now, the Facebook page for Meg’s Miles says 99,003 individuals declared themselves as “going” to run last Saturday.  That’s a very loud run.  The running community continues to surprise, fascinate, and warm my heart everyday.  It’s undeniable that we, runners, are a breed/species/type of our own.  I will continue to appreciate every stride, every run, every ache and pain that I experience, and every runner who does the same.  We just need to keep on running, and keep on running loud… for Meg, for every runner who’s passed on, and for every runner who can no longer run.

Sunday (1/19):  10 miles (Long run with fast finish; 10:19 pace).  Ran the local sidewalks Sunday morning with RunFriend and another runner from the local running club.  The plan was to run 14 miles but my knees and ankles were giving me some issues unfortunately, so we cut the run to 10 miles.  I decided that I needed to end on a good note, and ran the last two miles fast (9:18, 9:27).  Then I headed straight to Starbucks for my favorite drink:  Grande Non-fat Cafe Misto.  Nice and strong!

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Week’s Stats:  15.25 miles, 135 minutes of Yoga, Ab workout

Run This Year, 2014KM Total:  78.38 km

2014 Race Schedule Update

I posted earlier this month about my “goals” for 2014.  In that post I mentioned a few of the races I was planning on running and a few tentative ones… Welllllllll…. I am excited to tell you that I have officially signed up for two (well, technically 5) races in the upcoming year!

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First, I will be running the Flying Pirate Half Marathon and 5k in the Outer Banks, NC, May 2014.  I will be running both races for the Flying Pirate Double Dare Challenge!  

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The challenge is to run the First Flight 5k on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday.  Luckily, my boyfriend, Trae will be running the 5k with me, as he promised he would run a race with me for my birthday… this is a month late, but I’m not complaining.

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The 5k route is being changed from last year, so as of right now, I don’t have a course map, however, I know that it will take place somewhere around the Wright Brother’s Memorial (hence the name, First Flight).

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Photo taken from Flying Pirate Half Marathon Website

The Half Marathon starts in Kitty Hawk and takes you through the Wright Brothers’ Memorial Trail.  This runs along the Albemarle Sound.  A few miles in, runners will make their way through a residential area of Bay Drive.  Mile 8 takes runners to the Wright Brothers Monument (this marks the location of the first aviation flight – December 17, 1903).  Mile 10 begins the trail portion of the race, leading runners into the Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve.  Mile 12 is where things get a little tough, a narrow trail leads runners out of the woods and onto an off-road route that includes sand…  Here’s a look at the finish:

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Photo taken from Flying Pirate Half Marathon Website

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Then, in October, I will be heading to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the Runner’s World Half & Festival to run the Runner’s World Hat-trick (5k, 10k, & Half-Marathon)!!!

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5k Start – Photo taken from Runner’s World Half & Festival Website

I will be heading up there on Friday to check out the Expo.  Saturday morning, 8:00am I will run the 5k, followed by the 10k starting at 9:30am.  Sunday, I will finish up the weekend with the half-marathon.

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The Stacks – Photo taken from the Runner’s World Half & Festival website

The race weekend also hosts seminars, live music, movies, and guest speakers like Bart Yasso.  You might even catch the editors running next to you during a race.

The race courses feature Bethlehem’s historic neighborhoods, including some of the town’s original 1741 settlement, two renowned colleges, Lehigh University and Moravian College, and the former Bethlehem Steel complex–where the backbone of the nation was literally forged. – Runner’s World

Here’s a tour of the course compliments of Bart Yasso and David Willey (this video has the dates for the 2012 race, so ignore those!) :

I have some really awesome races to look forward to this year!  I am ridiculously excited for all five of these races and can’t wait to experience them all.  I am a little nervous about running the Hat Trick, that’s 22.4 miles in two days, but I will be in the last portion of my Richmond Marathon training, so I’m thinking this will be the perfect endurance challenge.  However, after seeing how many hills are incorporated into the Runner’s World course, I really need to go find some hills to run!

Anyone else running these races, or have run them in the past?  Which races are you most excited about this year?

Weekly Workouts 1/6 – 1/12

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This post is a little delayed, Monday and Tuesday were non-stop days for me and this is the first moment that I’ve had some free, sitting still time.

Monday (1/6):  The beginning of the FREEZE, and day after the 10-miler = Rest Day.  I did, however, discover Orange is the New Black on Netflix… and I can’t stop watching it.  It’s a little risqué and therefore cannot be watched while running on the YMCA treadmill. But, if you have Netflix (and you like a lot of the shows on HBO and are not offended by the things seen on HBO) you should definitely check out this show.  I feel a little behind because apparently the Season 2 trailer is already out and about.

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Orange is the New Black, Netflix

Tuesday (1/7):  Deep Freeze.  There was no way I was going out in the morning before work.  I read a lot of blogs from runners in the North that deal with these temperatures daily, but I am not quite used to that, nor am I extreme winter-weather gear prepared.

Wednesday (1/8):  3.95 miles, (5k:  30:23, 9:48 pace).   Headed to the gym to run on the treadmill.  Did some warm-up jogging, ran a 5-k, and did some cool down jogging.  Now that I have Netflix on my phone, I can basically watch whatever I want to, so I decided to watch a movie that I have been meaning to watch for a long time, The Spirit of the Marathon.  (I know, I know, I can’t believe it took me this long either…) The people on the treadmills next to me probably thought I had some crazy running obsession (hmmm…), watching running while running; seems perfectly reasonable to me.

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Spirit of the Marathon, 2007

Thursday (1/9):  2.31 miles, (2.11 miles, 19:14, 9:06 pace, .20 cool down) and 75 min Hot Yoga.  It was a really really nice day compared to the beginning of the week and I took complete advantage of that.  I woke up and went on a short run around the neighborhood.  After work, I met my friend Katie for some Hot Yoga.  It has been awhile since I’ve gone to a yoga class, so it was much-needed.  (And geeeeeez I was sore the next day!!!)

Friday (1/10): Unbelievably stretched out and sore from yoga the night before. Plus, I had some plans for today… For the first time in 11 years, I went to a hair salon and had my hair cut.  Until Friday, my hair went past my hips.  It was very long.  I was gifted with a certificate to get my hair done for Christmas, so I thought I’d be brave and finally go for it.

 I told a lot of people that I was doing this to my hair

(Yes, that’s my face and Gwyneth Paltrow’s hair):

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But this is what really happened (before on left, after on right):

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I know it isn’t super drastic, but that was a lot of hair for me to part with, especially after having that same haircut for 11-ish years.  Maybe next time.20140115-071657.jpg

Saturday (1/11):  Had to work all day… and then I indulged in this delicious cookie… No shame, it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

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And then THIS happened… Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet from Chili’s

Sunday (1/12): 13 miles (2:33:00) It was a GORGEOUS day here in Virginia Beach on Sunday.  RunFriend and I met up and headed to the trails.  We decided to change-up our normal route and take a completely different trail.  We both had run it before, but not in a long time.  It was tough, lots of hills, and due to the storm the night before, LOTS of mud.  We even had to basically forge our own path through the woods on the side because there was about a mile of pure mud on the trail.  It was a tough, slow, but really great run.  On nice days like this, you have to stop and admire the scenery.  It wasn’t a race, I was out there enjoying the day and nature and my run.

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Sunday evening we celebrated my mom’s birthday at HK on the Bay.  It was delicious as always.  I enjoyed a Dragon Fruit Masonjito (the drinks are served in Mason jars) and some Chicken tequila lime fajitas, a few bites of steak nachos, fresh tuna steak, and lettuce wraps.  We had a smorgasbord.   The guys were happy because they were able to still catch the playoff game.  Happy Birthday Mom!!

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Masonjitos! … and my sister’s finger?

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Week’s Total Miles:  19.26 miles

Run This Year 2014km Total:  53.84 km

Just Run: The No Watch Theory

Going back to the run from New Year’s Day… I forgot my Garmin that day and ran the 1.4 mile loop I knew from previous measurement. I looked at the clock as I walked out of my parent’s garage and then again when I finished. It was a great run, and I could tell that it was faster than my average. Sure enough, when I got back into the garage I calculated that I had run the 4.2 miles in a little under 39 minutes, 9:17 pace.

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…This Run

So I have a theory about this run. I didn’t wear my Garmin and I didn’t take my phone with me, and I ran faster than I have since being injured this fall. It made me question my electronic running devices. Was that the reason I ran faster than usual? Or was I just having a perfect settings kind of day? It wasn’t too cold, there wasn’t much wind, I had good company, and I felt good. But maybe it was the freedom of not having a number looming at me from my wrist…

Sometimes I wonder if we define ourselves and our runs with the numbers displayed on our watches and GPS devices. When I look down and see a number that I’m comfortable with, is it possible that my body automatically feels as if this is the definite pace it can or should only go ? Could a faster, lower number look wrong and therefore, I subconsciously feel the need to slow down?

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The New Year’s Day run felt great, I wasn’t struggling to maintain pace. Quite frankly, pace and time weren’t even on my mind because I wasn’t constantly peering down at my watch face, I was just running. Maybe we all need a “free run” every once in a while. (I guess in all honesty, my run wasn’t completely free because I noted my time of start and finish.) However, during my run, that was the last thought on my mind. I was just out there running because I wanted to…because I was enjoying time with my family…because it felt good…because I love to run… I was not running to meet a certain time…a certain distance…to meet someone else’s preconceived ideas about what a good pace is…

I was simply running.

& I loved it.

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So… I dare you to go take a run without electronics, without a GPS watch, without your Garmin. Even if you take a route that you know the exact distance, and even if you take note of the start/finish time on the clock, just go run and don’t keep track of your pace. It’s an experience that every runner should have. I think it brings you back to the reasons why you fell in love with running in the first place.

Tell me how the experiment goes. Or tell me if you’ve already done it, did you find that it was a different kind of run?

Weekly Workouts: 12/30 – 1/5

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Hills for Monday

Monday (12/30) – HILLS! 7.00 miles running, .75 mile walk cool-down.

Met up with my running friend/partner, from now on will be referred to as Run Friend (it’s easier than having to explain who she is every time I discuss a run we did), at a coffee shop.  We like meeting at this spot because 1. There are clean bathrooms, 2. When it’s cold, we can grab a cup of coffee/tea/croissant to warm up 3. If we forget snacks, fuel, water, we can always just grab it there.  Plus, we live on opposite ends and it’s a spot right in the middle.  We were shooting for 7-8 miles, with a hill thrown in.  We headed for the hill first and it was tough; I hadn’t purposely gone and run hills in a very long time.  By the time we were over the hill, down the road, and then looping back over the hill we were at 4ish miles and my stomach was misbehaving.  The temperatures had dropped at least 5-10 degrees at this point and rain clouds were moving in.  We decided to do an out and back loop of the two side neighborhoods we would pass on the way back to the cars and then call it a day.  I couldn’t find a good rhythm or a comfortable feel during this run.  I was more concerned with my stomach, how cold it was getting, and the wind that was picking up.  Needless to say, this was not my best run by a long shot.

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New Year’s Eve Dinner

Tuesday (12/31) – 0 miles; New Year’s Eve.  Trae and I had tried to make reservations for P.F. Changs, but they were booked as early as 3:30PM.  Who wants to go to a New Year’s Eve dinner at 3:30?? Then we decided to try a local café, which we were sure wouldn’t be crowded… Much to our surprise, we walked in and it was PACKED! (2+ hour wait!)  So we decided to just go to Chili’s across the street and meet my parents for dinner.  We walked right in,  had no wait, and sat right at the bar.  Trae and my dad were very excited about this, the Duke and Texas A&M bowl game was on, and they could easily watch it from where we sat.  I certainly wasn’t arguing about going to Chili’s on New Year’s Eve.  I love Chili’s, especially their chips and salsa.

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Wednesday (1/1) – 4.2 miles, Went over to my parent’s house so I could make use of their circular neighborhood loop.  I really like running in their neighborhood because I can go without a watch and know exactly how far I’m running.  It also allows me to go water bottle/pack free because it’s a short loop, and I can stop whenever I feel like it or add just a little extra distance.  The loop that I go around is 1.4 miles, perfect.  My mom decided to hop on her bike and join me; my dad even came out for a loop around.  I went a total of three times around for 4.2 miles, my first miles for 2014.   I was really excited to add them to the Run This Year: 2014 log as soon as I was finished.

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9-Way Abs

Thursday (1/2) – Abs & Arms, Met up with my mom for a quick morning workout.  We both completed a circuit of 9-Way Abs.  Then we did our own circuits of arm workouts; I followed along to Blogilates Arms on Fire, and wow, this is killer (or maybe I just have really weak arms)!  When I got home from work later that evening I completed the Erin Motz:  Yoga for Abs 10-Day Challenge, Day 1 Video.

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Race attire for the 10-miler

Friday (1/3) – 0 miles, saving up for the race tomorrow!

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Distance Series Race #1

Saturday (1/4) – 10 miles, Tidewater Striders Distance Series, Race #1 (don’t want to spoil too much, as I plan to write a review of the race sometime soon).  I felt really, really good during this race.  My toes and feet were pretty much numb from the cold during the first 3 miles, but I warmed up enough over the course of the race.  I don’t think the temperature reached higher than 30 over the course of the race.  I finished in 1:38:58 (my watch), 1:39:00 (race clock), with an average pace of 9:53/mi.

Total Miles:  21.95 miles

Run This Year, 2014 km = 22.85 km

This week I plan to get a run Tuesday morning (3.1 miles) if the windchill isn’t too bad, Wednesday (4 mi), Thursday or Friday (5 mi), and a Sunday long run (12 miles), for a total of 24.1 miles.

How’s the wintry weather in your area?! It’s about to be very cold in VA! 

2014: A Peek into This Year

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It’s officially 2014. Resolutions have been made, goals have been set, and today is the day they all begin. Tomorrow is today. To be quite honest though, I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions, as I find that if I really wanted to change something, I shouldn’t have to wait for a Monday, or the first of the month, or a new year. While day turns into night and back into day, I believe that time is man made idea, so your new year could start whenever you feel like it… Anyways, whether it’s a new year, a new day, or a new hour, I hope that everyone who has made resolutions, or has accepted a challenge of sorts, begins on a high note today and sticks to their word.

While I have no “resolutions” that will be set into motion, I do have some plans for the new year…

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14 in 2014

Jill from Fitness, Health, and Happiness is hosting 14 in 2014, a challenge to run 14 races in 2014. These can be any kind of race from 5ks to Ultra Marathons, virtual races even count. So far I am signed up for 4 races this year already, and the 14 in 2014 hosts 4 Free Virtual Races during the year, so that gives me 8 races already. I also have ideas/plans for what the other 6 races will be. I’ll be running the 14 in 2014 Combination goal. There are even sponsors and prizes to be won! Here are the details straight from Jill’s blog:

Details:

  1. Pick a goal (5K, 10K, Half, Full, Combination, Trails) and sign up.
  2. Run 14 registered virtual or real life races in 2014.
  3. The number of participants will not be limited.
  4. Prizes throughout the year. Hint: Some of my favorite running and fitness products!
  5. We will have a 14 in 2014 Facebook group to support and encourage each other and share the experience.
  6. To support everyone reaching their goal Jen and I will host 4 virtual races throughout the year.
  7. Share with Instagram and Twitter using the #14in2014 hashtag.

JOIN THE 14 in 2014 Challenge and race 14+ races with me! So far the community that has been established has been so supportive, and we hadn’t even started racing yet.

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Running 2,014 km in 2014

Run This Year (2014) is a free running community that challenges and inspires you to run as many miles as you can in one year! Run This Year is for anyone who strives to run all year and maybe even run the year in miles or kilometers!

I am taking on the challenge to run the year (2014) in kilometers. This equals out to about 1251.4 miles. In order to to this I basically need to run 24 miles a week or roughly 3.5 miles a day. Here is three different sample weeks (a “spread it out week,” a “weekend high” mileage week, or a “run to rest” week) for how this might work…

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Go register to Run This Year! You can pledge to run 2014 miles, 2014 kilometers, or challenge yourself to whatever number of miles you want to run in 2014. This challenge allows you to log your miles daily, weekly, monthly, and will keep track of them for you. There are also lots of prizes to be won here too!

So now that you know what I am challenging myself to, I have no excuse but to get outside and start running. As for my races? Here’s what’s on my agenda for the year.

2014 (already registered) Races:

  • January 4, 2014 – Tidewater Striders Distance Series Race #1, 10 miler
  • January 25, 2014 – Tidewater Striders Distance Series Race #2, 15 miler
  • February 22, 2014 – Tidewater Striders Distance Series Race #3, 20 miler
  • November 15, 2014 – Richmond Marathon

2014 Virtual Races:

2014 Prospective Races:

There is lots of running to be had in 2014!! I am definitely excited and can’t wait to tell you all about my race this weekend.

Tell me about your running, racing, and 2014 challenges!!!
What are you most looking forward to in 2014?

2013: A Year of Running

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(Grab the image button above and share your Year of Running too!)

Miss Zippy has posted a link-up for bloggers to share their Year of Running for 2013. I thought this was the perfect way to end my blogging hiatus and start fresh for the upcoming year. I changed a few of the questions to better represent the year that I had with running.

Speaking of hiatus, I took a break from blogging in October for a couple of reasons. 1. I needed to focus on grad school term papers (25 pages!!) and final projects and I had a group project to attend to (mind you, all three of us lived in three different states!). 2. After my injury, I was feeling a little less than inspired and needed to find myself in terms of running. I was having a hard time adjusting to a much slower pace when I had come so far with speeding it up. I was frustrated and angry and talking about it was one of the last things I wanted to do at that point. The injury is all healed and I’m back out there running. I have signed up for multiple races in 2014 already and I have found my motivation again. I am so looking forward to blogging again and sharing the journey that will be 2014 with you. On that note, here is My Year of Running: 2013!

Crossing the finish line.

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon, The Run for the Dream Half.

  • Best race experience? I ran my first half-marathon this past Spring. The Run for the Dream Half-Marathon was held in Williamsburg, Virginia and took runners through Colonial Williamsburg, over a beautiful bridge with a great view, and finished with a lap around William & Mary’s Stadium. This experience was so amazing and had me itching for more running.

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  • Best run? My best run was actually a shorter 4ish mile run that I did when I was on vacation in the Outer Banks. I went running one afternoon by myself on the beach and through the neighborhood. I wasn’t aiming for a specific time or distance. I just wanted to run and enjoy the day. I ended up running with an average pace of 8:30-something. This was a breakthrough for me and encouragement that I needed. I realized that I could push myself so much more and that I had the potential to be so much faster.

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  • Best new piece of gear? I love my Garmin Forerunner 10, but this year my favorite piece of gear would have to be my Camelbak. This hydration pack goes on every long-distance run with me. It holds my keys, my phone, all my snacks, and enough water to last me 15 miles on a hot summer day (seriously, that’s how far it got me on a trail run back in August).

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  • Best comeback moment? Running the Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon after being injured and untrained for two months. I had already deferred my entry to the Richmond Marathon (which I now plan to run November 2014), I was not going to defer the half. I was so determined, but I was terrified just the same. I ended up running a faster time then I had hoped for and had zero ankle pain during the race.

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  • Goals accomplished? I ran my first “official” half-marathon.  I tried my first hot yoga class and loved it.  I started a blog.
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My injury had a few silver linings… Wild Thing Pose

  • I surprised myself when… I joined a running group and attended meet-ups by myself, and then made a friend whom I run with on a regular basis now …I attended a yoga class at a random studio while on vacation by myself …I took up other activities during my injury and improved my flexibility and overall strength …
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Color Me Rad 5k with family, November 2013

  • Moment of Pride? My little sister who is in no way a runner, ran her first 5k with me and my two cousins.  I was a proud sister. Speaking of cousins, the cousin on the right who I’ve talked about before, the cross country runner, has also made me extremely proud.  She joined the cross country team this year as a freshman and not only did amazing, but dropped her average pace 2:00+ minutes in a matter of two months.  She also started indoor track for the winter season and broke her school’s record for the mile (1600m) at the very first meet. She has an incredible future ahead of her with running and I can’t wait to see it happen.

How was your year of running in 2013?
Did you accomplish your goals?
What was your favorite running moment?