“Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?” – Seasons of Love, from Rent
How do you measure a year? If you are a runner, maybe in total miles run. For me, that is 1248. Nearly 100 miles more than last year’s 1155.
Or possibly in races. Here are mine from 2014. I’ve included times because I am working hard at getting faster and because times matter to me.
- 1/1/14: Bacon Academy Resolution Run. 5K. 26:14. PR! I ran this after staying up until 1am drinking champagne the night before. What can I say? Fast Friend ran it with me and yelled at me the whole way. The woman has powerful lungs.
- 2/22/14: Colchester Half marathon. 2:04:33. PR! One of my favorite races of the year. I had been nervous about this race because you have to train through rough conditions to run a half marathon in February in Connecticut. Race day was gorgeous and I had one of the greatest races ever. Felt like I was flying and the winter scenery was straight out of Currier and Ives.
- 3/9/14: Celebrate Life Half Marathon. 2:06:07. It was cold and snowing. It was hillier than expected. It was a brutal-strugglefest, to be honest. But, it did involve getting to see the Albany Running Mamas and drinking wine with Tiny Dynamo on the bus after the race, so there were some positives about this one.
- 4/6/14: Middletown Half Marathon. 1:59:15 PR! This was a fabulous race. All my local running friends ran and lots of us got PRs. It was the inaugural race and so well put together. Lots of famous Wesleyan running alums came to the race. My dad ran the four miler and we had a big party afterwards. A great day! [Also, note absolutely enormous PR! This is the first race working with Coach Cowboy!]
- 5/4/14: Providence Marathon. 4:33:03. PR! Another huge PR. I ran the Providence Marathon about 54 minutes faster than I ran Hartford in fall 2013. Fast Friend and I trained all spring to run this together. When she couldn’t run it with me, Snarky Girl jumped in to keep me company instead. I am so lucky to have these amazing women in my life.
- 5/26/14: East Hartford Memorial Mile. 7:19. PR! I did this as part of the Fit for Summer challenge at my gym, Innovative Fitness and Wellness. Through a massive comedy of errors, our group barely found the starting line in time. But this was a fun race and I got to run with Charles, one of my favorite gym buddies.
- 7/23/14: Not Your Typical 5K, Middletown. 28:03. Course PR. This is a tough course and the race is in the evening so it’s always wicked hot. Tons of running friends do this race so it’s a lot of fun. Of course that 3 seconds is going to make me crazy. The race did yield the second photo here, which has gotten quite a bit of its own mileage.
- 8/17/14: Bristol Half Marathon. 2:04:44. A half marathon in Connecticut in August? Isn’t that a terrible idea? To make it worse, how about a course that is uphill from mile 7 to mile 10.5? It does have fire fighters serving pancakes at the end, but I’m still not sure I ever want to run up that hill again.
- 9/14/14: Surftown Half Marathon. 1:59:06. PR! This race was a mixed bag this year. Surftown is a gorgeous course. I had friends to run with and a great brunch with Snarky Girl and Nicole from Running While Mommy afterwards. But the hip cramps that bothered me at the Hartford Marathon came back and destroyed my hopes for a much bigger PR. I will be back next year, Surftown!
- 9/26-27/14: Adirondacks Ragnar. [6.23 miles in 57:48; 8 miles in 1:20:27; 4 miles in 40:15]. Fast Friend joined the Albany Running Mamas for an incredible weekend in upstate New York. Ragnar is so much more than a race. You kind of have to experience the insanity to understand it.
- 10/18/14: Runner’s World Festival. 5K. 26:24; 10K. 57:32 PR! The Sub-30 Club had a huge get together at the Runner’s World Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I am happy about the running I did here, but even happier about getting to meet a bunch of the group in person. We were way too big a group to name everyone individually, but it was especially awesome to meet the Godfather himself, Ted Spiker. I also got to meet Coach Cowboy in person, though I didn’t run with him because he’s crazy fast. I also loved meeting Lonnie St. John, Mama Canning, Larry Wapnitsky, The Donohue and so many others!
- 10/19/14: Runner’s World Festival. Half Marathon. 2:05:30. I ran a good controlled race on a hilly beautiful course. I was not aiming to PR just two weeks before the NYC Marathon. Best part of the race was the first mile, which I ran with Coach Cowboy and TJ, oldest and youngest regular posters in Sub-30. Running is a sport that unites across generations and geography and Runner’s World was the place to experience the amazing running community that weekend.
- 11/2/14: NYC Marathon! 4:31:28. PR! I’ve already written tons about NYC. This was my goal race of the fall. It’s completely true that running up the Verrazano Narrows bridge is an experience like no other. I’m SO grateful for my outstanding spectators the Incredible Mervus, Snarky Girl, and Mr. Snarky Girl.
- 12/24/14: Sherri Condon’s Annual Christmas Eve Fun Run/Walk. 1.9 miles. 32:34. Of course, it was a bit heartbreaking to be a walker instead of a runner at this annual event. I certainly hoped to end 2014 with some great runs instead of physical therapy and an awful lot of swimming. But, I got to walk 2 miles with my dad on Christmas Eve and then have breakfast with some local running folks before starting the holiday celebrations. Life is good.
That last event is a very informal one that my friend Sherri [a.k.a. Early Bird] organizes. But if I count that, I have 14 events in 2014, so you bet I’m counting it.
I PR’d 8 times at 5 different distances. Okay, I had never raced a mile or a 10K before, but I’m still counting those. I’m most proud of whittling down my marathon time to 4:31:28 and my half marathon time to 1:59:06. My “gold” goal for the marathon was 4:30, so that is darn close. My half marathon goal was sub-2, which I did twice.
7-4-5: That is the number of chin-ups I did on my last chin-up attempt of 2014. Those are with one purple assistance band around my knee. One of my goals for 2014 was a single real chin-up (thank you, Ted Spiker, for the inspiration for this project!). I’m not there yet, but I’m close.
Also to be counted, 2 injuries. Patella tendonitis in the spring and tendonitis of the butt in December. I have no desire to count the number of weeks of running missed because of those. It’s not terrible, but I wish it were zero. Thank goodness for the Maestro. He’s the best physical therapist ever and he keeps me and my crew on the roads.
Other important events of 2014:
Starting to work with Coach Cowboy. Having a coach has helped me get a lot more organized about my running. He’s also helping me dream bigger, which is really fun. He introduced me to his insane hill workout, which I really like. He gives me tempo runs to do, which I truly do not care for. He’s saving my fitness and my sanity with plenty of swim workouts while I’m on my little running hiatus.
Moving house in late August. I was able mostly to train through the move with a couple of runs missed and one truly horrific long run aborted at 13 miles. I’m very grateful for the friend who drove me home! The new location means new running routes, many of which I’m still discovering. We have definitely moved to a hillier part of town and only five houses down from Snarky Girl. Yeah!
The evolution of running partners and friendships. Fast Friend’s pregnancy has meant that my Best Running Friend has been a more sporadic partner for the latter half of 2014. Snarky Girl jumped in and ran the Providence marathon with me and continues to be a fantastic running buddy, especially now that we live so near each other. I put together a small running group over the summer and into the fall that was incredibly fun. And now Teacher Runner is turning out to be a great training partner and friend. The Sub-30 Club on Facebook is an amazing source of inspiration, fun, advice and friendship. I exchanged texts with Chris and Nicole of Sub-30 every single day of 2014 and I think they heard about every workout I did, as well as how sometimes you need Thursday’s wine on Tuesday, what I’m cooking for dinner, and whether my kids are making me crazy or proud. In 2011, one of my goals was to do something social other than run with my running friends. No matter how fast or how far I run, it’s the people running brings into your life that makes this all worthwhile.