Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Goals: Better Late Than Never

January 21st, Happy New Year!?

I've had a pretty busy start to the year with two races and a trip to Buffalo, NY (wedding).

Friend's of Josh's conveniently planned their wedding in early January when it's nice and warm. When I landed, I collected my luggage from baggage claim and immediately put on another layer of clothing. I squeezed in a great workout a CrossFit Buffalo (uhh, there was no way I was going running in -2483°) and otherwise stayed inside as much as possible. Other than the freezing temps, the wedding weekend was fun.

The following weekend I ran a half marathon here in town with Ginny! She drove up with some friends as one needed South Carolina for her "half marathon in half the states" goal. I had a blast hanging out with them before/during/after the race. Ginny and I ran together for a few miles, including during a downpour with swirling winds and through a shin-deep chilly puddle (twice) caused by the rains. Race-wise, I ran easy. I hadn't ran since New Year's Day (erm... yeah still suck at that) and my glutes/quads were sore from 100 jumping lunges 3 days prior. I felt fine from a cardiovascular standpoint, but my legs were definitely a little stiff and heavy.

Resolution Half-Marathon - 1:57:17
2nd place age group

A week later, I ran one of the larger area 5k's (~1500 runners) on a chilly morning. Ok, it was 28°, chilly is relative! I started too far back, it took me :25 to cross the start line, and as a result my first mile was 8:00. The crowd thinned a little but I still had to weave here and there. I had hoped for a 21:xx going into the race (again, hadn't ran since the half marathon the weekend before) and after the first mile I knew I needed to pick it up. Miles 2 and 3 came in at 6:53 and 6:44. Luckily the race was fully chip timed and I met my goal! I felt great running - from a cardio standpoint I thought I could have gone faster, perhaps if I hadn't been held up at the start. My low-calves were hurting in the last mile on a hill but feel fine after a day off.

Greenville News Downtown 5k - 21:49
5th place age group

Since my last "first race back" (August 2013 5k - 25:25) I've made steady improvements and I hope to continue to build on this in 2014. As for those 2014 goals and aspirations...

- Run a marathon (it's been almost 3 years!). Probably something in the Fall.
- Sub-20 min 5k (current PR 20:33 from 2011)
- Sub-12 min 2-miler (current PR 12:32 from 2008)
- Honestly, a PR in anything would be sufficient...
- Run 1000 miles (I need to get back to this level!)

- Lift my body weight in 3 lifts (perhaps Back Squat, Bench, & Power Clean). Deadlift doesn't count, I can do that already. This can be achieved by losing weight and/or getting stronger...
- 100 unbroken DUs
- Get a muscle up (since I didn't in 2013)...

- Dress better for work. No more baggy man khakis! I've started a Pinterest board to 'journal' this in case you're interested in following along. Disclaimer: I'm no fashionista.
- Limit the junk. A bag of cheese poofs is not a lunch. I'm still on the hunt to figure out what's triggering my skin to be so bad. Sucks.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

That's a Wrap 2013

It's official. Chasing the Kenyans = girl eating cookie off shoulder.*

December 2013
Run Stats:
- 12 days
- 56.25 miles
- 8:49 average pace
- No races
- Longest run: 9 miles

CrossFit Notables:
- Power Clean 1RM: 135# (up another 5# from Nov)
- Squat Clean: 105# (squat needs work... lots of work)
- Thruster 2RM: 95# (front squat + press overhead)
- Fran: 7:42 (21-15-9 reps of 65# thrusters and pull-ups); a 0:40 PR
- Max Unbroken Double Unders: 59

2013 Mileage: 255.10 - yeah, needs improvement.

Well 2013 has come to a close and (once again) it was not a stellar year for me in the running world. Some days I accept where I am with my running fitness, others I don't - it's a constant battle. Though injury and my ongoing health troubles threatened to keep me down, there were still victories to be had.

After 6 months off from running, I got to start running again in July! While I was thrilled to run again, my motivation was (is) still lacking. Perhaps it knew I needed to ease back into it. I've built up to 9 miles since July; taking the "slow and steady" approach to getting back into things.

Got back to CrossFit too! I did all-upper-body exercises from January to early May when I thought my high-hamstring was injured. I took off all-exercise for about 8 weeks in May-June-July when I learned it was my L4/L5 vertebrae. I got back into the gym in mid-July and took things slow, but happily saw consistent strength gains as the fall and winter months passed.

Dabbled in a few short races - mostly 5k's and one 2-miler. No PR's, but improved little by little over these past few months and can't complain about that.

Ran another Ragnar! Met up with good friends in Vegas and survived 17+ miles. Hopefully this will translate to good distance running in 2014!

Happy New Year! Here's to many miles and PRs for us all.

*Sorry, no music video this year. Let's face it, I can't sing anyway.