Running into a New Year!

It is difficult for me to believe that the 2014 year-end has arrived.  Looking back on everything that happened in this year, I should be happy to put it behind me and head into the uncharted territory of a new year.  In February I was rear-ended and got a concussion that forced me to sit out several races.  Six weeks of no running was a tough pill to swallow.

Then I fell during a training run in September and broke my arm in 4 places.  With my fall I crushed my goals of running in the Berlin Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, and the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Yet another 6 weeks without running was made worse by the loss of mobility in my arm.  These days my husband does not tell me to have a good run when I lace up and head out the door; instead he tells me not to fall.

Today I ran my first 5K race since I broke my arm.  Although it was very cold and windy, it felt great to be out racing again.  As I ran, I thought about my racing achievements for this year.  In 2014 I mostly ran multi-race events like the Dopey Challenge, the Nut Job, the Hat Trick, and the Dumbo Double Dare; I only ran 2 single races.   Multi-race weekends are challenging but next year I plan to dial it back a bit and not do any of those.  Instead I hope to run half marathons in at least 12 more states and make headway towards completing my 50-State Endurance Challenge.  I have my eyes set on some fun races all over the country.  It will be a year of adventure!

Since I am planning so many races, it will be very important to stay healthy.  With that in mind, I am making some resolutions aimed at keeping me in top shape.  First, I plan to make stretching a regular part of every day, just like brushing my teeth.  In the past I have noticed that when I stretched regularly, I had fewer aches and no injuries.  My 2015 motto will be “Just think Gumby!”

Second, I plan to drink more water.  I don’t drink nearly enough and I bet my muscles are like a dried out piece of meat. If I want my muscles to carry me through all those races I want to run, I need to treat them a little bit better.

Finally, I plan to work on strengthening my core.  In the past, I focused on getting in all my training runs.  I was less concerned about strength training.  But in the last month or so I have been working on my core and it is helping me.  I am happy to say that my time in the 5K today was within 2 seconds of my 5K PR set in 2012 – and I am still on the comeback trail from my fall!  I felt terrific when I finished.  I credit my strength training for that.

As I run around the country, I plan to take advantage of my travels and have fun.  I have had so many adventures in my races in the past – from California to Florida, Missoula to Boston, Nevada to North Carolina.  If it wasn’t for races, I probably wouldn’t travel to some of the places I have gone and there is so much to see.  It is a big country – somebody has to run it.

Yes, 2015 is going to be an exciting year.  I hope to see you at the start line!

If you are interested in the 50-State Challenge, check out the 50-State Half Marathon Club.   The club members share a passion for running plus members get discounts on race entries. I am taking the 50-State Endurance Challenge so half and full marathons count towards my goal as well as half and full Ironman Triathlons. 

My personal favorite app for keeping me stretching is Sworkit Pro (available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle).  Very easy to use (and no I don’t get a referral fee).