Here we are at the end of 2014. I was about to say I can't remember what I did on New Year's Eve last year, but I just remembered--we ate a nice dinner (maybe steak and lobster tail?) and went to see Les Miserables, the movie. Loved it.
This year we're at Wapato Point, on Lake Chelan, for a few days. We're heading home tomorrow, early enough to see the Rose Bowl. It's been very cold here, 10-20 degrees every day. I have been wearing long underwear and fleece tops every day, even inside (although it's plenty warm inside). I have been running despite the cold, six sluggish miles yesterday and 8.25 pretty good miles today. I don't know if I'll be able to run tomorrow before we leave. It may be a topic of contention.
Today I added up my running mileage for the year. You know I had two months with almost no running in June and July (except for my marathon on June 1), due to my knee injury. A few weeks ago I added up the miles and thought I was on track for 1500 miles. But today I was more careful and ended up at 1496.86. 😩 Oh well.
I pulled my bicycling miles from Garmin (I did a lot of riding over the summer!) and got 1496.83!
Even though I am sad about all the running I missed during the summer, I would never have had the opportunity or idea to ride long distance (for me) if I'd been running regularly. In addition to long solo rides every weekend, I did four group rides, from 30 miles to 100K (62 miles). I really want to resume riding in the spring and summer next year. As well as running all the miles.
2014 is really divided into two parts for me. Part 1 is pre-knee injury. I started a new training plan, hoping to regain speed after all my marathons in 2013 made me slow. I wasn't looking for PRs but instead building a solid base. I went just barely under two hours at the Mercer Island Half Marathon, but missed two hours by a minute or two at the Whidbey Island Half (the first time ever in the seven times I've run it). I had solid but not spectacular times in the Shamrock Run 15K, Portland Rock 'n' Roll Half, and Bloomsday.
All this was leading up to my mid-year goal marathon, the North Olympic Discovery Marathon. I ran it in 4:28 in 2013, and felt like I had more to give.
Turns out I didn't. This year I did 4:31, which I consider pretty much equivalent, because they changed the course and the first half was a bit harder this year. I think my second half was actually faster in 2014 than 2013. But still, I don't plan on doing NODM again, at least for a while. I might do the half marathon someday, because I love the event and the area (Olympic Peninsula).
Then Part 2.... After NODM I really wanted to turn up the training a notch and build speed over the summer for my big goal marathon, CIM in December.
Well, we know how that went. A week after NODM I hurt my knee and that was it for the summer. Well, that was it after a few failed runs and no doubt making it worse. I cycled and cross trained like a maniac, which hopefully kept me somewhat fit, but was not at all like running.
In August I was able to start running again. I spent the month run-walking and getting used to the feeling of running. (So awkward! So heavy! So slow!) In September running felt normal again and I was able to increase mileage and start doing speed work.
Over the summer and fall I dropped out of so many races I had preregistered for. Seattle Rock 'n' Roll, Anacortes Half Marathon, Bellingham Bay, Portland Half Marathon, and finally CIM in December. There were a few others I might have done, but luckily hadn't registered for.
In October and November I made my racing comeback with the Snohomish River Run 10K and Fowl Fun Run 10K. My first half marathon back was Seattle--which I had registered for a year in advance. Thank goodness that $60 (or whatever it was) didn't go to waste! I think my time for Seattle this year was about the same as last year. I don't want to check because I don't want to be sad.
So that means I feel like I am at about the same place this year as I was at the end of last year. Which is obviously somewhat discouraging. But maybe my spring build-up will be faster and better this year. Or if not...that's okay too. I'm not going to let it ruin my life.
One thing I think I have gained in the last few years is a greater sense of "who cares." I have had the experiences of being crushed by a missed goal, especially if it was so close. I spent years feeling bad about the Newport Marathon--which was my second fastest marathon ever. WHY? Finally I can remember it as a good race that I ran quite well, and a great trip with my parents by the way.
The reality is that I may never have another PR. I'm not saying I won't, but I'm getting older and while I know I can get faster, I don't know if I can get fast enough to beat my times from five years ago. That's no reason not to train hard, work on improvement, and enjoy running most of the time. There's enough suffering in running (speed work!) to be suffering about running.
So here's to the end of...a year...and to the beginning of another. See you next year!
January addendum...I wasn't able to post this yesterday because of a problem with the pictures I had included. So today I deleted the photos...sad (and boring). And I did manage to get in five miles this morning before heading home!
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