This was one of those years that just flew by. It was the year I got married, turned 30, and finally got my running groove back. A year ago, I didn’t think I’d ever be as fast as I was in 2010, when I PR’d in the marathon and promptly had to stop running due to a combination of a tibular stress fracture and a strained hamstring. My life has changed a lot since 2010 — back then, I worked full-time at a running store and well, running was pretty much what I did. While my lifestyle is very different, I think having less time to run might be better, since the problem before was running too much. Five years ago, a friend might ask me to run in the morning and another ask me to run in the afternoon. And I’d say yes to both.
Now, things are more balanced, and I think that contributed to a very strong running year in 2014. I joined a great gym and have done infinitely more strength training than I did before. Pilates, arms, abs, the whole deal.
Generally speaking, I try to keep numbers out of my column, at least in regards to my own race times and such. But, to cap off a 2014 I’m very proud of, I’ve compiled a little “by the numbers” review.
Miles run: 1,915.62. Not the most in a year, not the least. And only 100 miles off the popular “2,015 miles in 2015” challenge. Count me in, Kara Goucher.
Miles run out of country: 8. I’ve never had this statistic before, because I had never been out of the country until our honeymoon in Jamaica. I had unrealistic expectations of how much I would run on that trip (I think I had planned to run 4 of the 5 days — yeah right), but I did run 4 miles on two occassions. Better than nothing.
Average distance run: 5.4 mi. I used to hate running 5 miles — a thing against odd numbers. I’ve come around.
Longest distance run: 16 mi. No marathon this year, so no need to do more than 16, if you ask me. That was a good distance to hit before the two half marathons I did.
Average pace: 8 min/mi. I took a look at this split between the two halves of the year. In the first six months, I averaged more like 8:13 per mile. In the second half, I was down to 7:47. Now, grain of salt, because sometimes I run more trails than others, and that slows down my pace. I’m going to do a better job labeling things in Garmin Connect this year so I can run those reports.
Races run: 9. Favorite race moment? Probably around mile 10 of the Indy Monumental half, when I realized I was under 1:30 pace — with rough weather, I had given up on breaking that barrier and was just out running. Wasn’t even looking at my watch. When I figured it out, I felt great and threw down sub-6:30s the rest of the way.
Races won: 6. Okay, I sandbagged here a little. I picked some smaller 5ks throughout the year to build my confidence.
PRs set: 3. In the 10k and twice in the half marathon. I really thought my time of setting new bests was behind me, and I would look longingly at my old race times. Such a good feeling.
Pounds lost: 15. I packed on quite a few when I worked for a newspaper and kept crazy hours. Definitely helped me get faster. There’s a bell curve to how much weight you can lose and get faster, and I think I hit the sweet spot.
Minutes to shave of marathon PR: 5. In 2014, I was pleasantly surprised to set three new personal records and break two major barriers — sub-40 in the 10k and sub-90 in the half marathon. No reason to stop now. Here’s to 2015, and I wish all of you the best in pursuing your own goals.