Sunday, December 31, 2017

One Gear


http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

I tried to make a switch to use Tumblr which has a much easier friendlier type of blog commenting...except for some reason I couldn't get the link or comments (bahahaha) πŸ™ˆto work across all formats. I tried to do some troubleshooting but long story short I just couldn't make it full proof and I gave up. Hence it left my Panama City Beach recap a bit messy, but for now I am back at my usual spot.





I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap! But this week I am talking 2017! 
Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin

If I had to sum up 2017 it would simply be to say "one gear."
It has been a year of solid running, with 1,085 miles but it has also been a year of struggle.
One gear is all my body seems to have since last Spring. Who runs all those miles and feels weaker!? It is odd.

I have some theories but no real solid answers.
Typically when the temps cool, my pace starts getting faster...this year not so much. I still feel kinda weak. πŸ’© I am not even close to where I was pace wise in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and even the beginning of this year!






















It could be several factors.
Post menopause...sure, my numbers say I have been in this phase for more than a year now but I still feel like things are changing. It has become even harder to keep my weight in check and my energy levels are low, low, low. I have some symptoms, like the morning hangover feeling (when I have NOT had a drop of alcohol) that can be very intense some days but it comes and goes. I am not sure if this fatigue is really impairing my running, but it is present in my daily life.

This past Spring I started on two blood pressure medications. I was thrilled I experienced minimal side effects from the meds...but it is curious that is when the big change seemed to take place in my running. I went for several tests and scans and the cardiologists did a thorough job making sure I was okay to run. I do have an enlarged heart (from the untreated blood pressure) but the cardiologists didn't feel it was enough damage to keep me from my normal activity levels. I do wonder now (after months and months of dealing with this) if I am just a tad weaker overall...I certainly feel more challenged during high intensity activity.

The first few years I ran my yearly mileage was almost always evenly split between the treadmill, trails, and pavement. Since my stress fractures I have shied away from trails and the TM because it seems to aggravate that area on my tibia. Maybe the trail and TM runs were making me stronger?!

This year out of 1,085 miles only 80 (mi) were on trail...and 12 (mi) were on the treadmill.

Last thought, the issues with my feet are progressing, slowly (luckily), so maybe I just can't expect much from my tootsies anymore. I don't know which issue is the culprit...maybe it is all of them.

While I am grateful I can still run, I would be dishonest to act like my lack of progress this year has not impacted me, it dampened my spirit a bit. I never give up, but sometimes it is good you don't know what is coming down the road. I started 2017 so optimistic!

There are lots of awesome moments I accumulated along the way even with all the challenges, so part of me says just keep pushing on...

If I had to pick the best race from my half marathons I guess it would be running Glacier in Montana. What a fabulous course!!  I felt great for most of the race and I loved every second of the views and milder June temps. I wasn't speedy, but with more than a 1,000 feet of up I wasn't trying to be. I am very sad the race date was moved back a week for 2018. The race is being held during the last week of school for me, so there is no way I can repeat it. I would have gone back for sure!




What's not to love!

High Bridge (trail race) in September was another awesome day. Again, I wasn't speedy but I ran every single step, no intervals, for the first time in a few years. Encouragement from Coach Holly, a less humid than usual morning, soft trail... it all came together for a pretty happy day.

When I was in good shape and running considerably faster back in March and April, it turned out to be a very brutal (HOT) Spring in Central VA. Heat destroyed any chance I had at capitalizing on my training.

2-26-17 Sentara Colonial Half Marathon 2:20:12 - not feeling great 
but I enjoyed the afternoon start time and some nice stranger gave me his banana while I was still on the course. I was abnormally wiped the last few mile of this one. 
4-22-17 Petersburg Half Marathon 2:22:17 - SOoo flipping humid and hot that morning...happy moment...I got a beer at the end lol  
4-29-17 Run the Valley Park to Park Half  2:20:34 - HOT! So hot...but I got to hang out with Mary, my Instagram buddy :) 
6-24-17 Glacier Half Marathon 2:30:53 - totally awesome :) 
9-9-17 5th Annual High Bridge Half Marathon 2:18:55 - pretty great ~ steady running :) 
10-21-17 Petersburg Halloween Half Marathon 2:19:43 - warm and humid ~I only had one gear...traffic was awful for this one.  
11-11-17 Anthem Richmond Half Marathon 2:20:51 - one gear again...it is a fun course though, lots of race hoopla to distract me. 
12-2-17 Panama City Beach Half marathon 2:45:09 - no hydration ~ hot mess LOL ...but the best running buddies to hang out with ever :) 


Park to Park race course in Waynesboro, VA 


1-22-17 Frostbite 15K  1:33:02




















During April I raced every weekend, but I only got one nice breezy cool day. It gave me a chance to nail the 10K PR I had been chasing
56:53  - I felt accomplished 

































After this April day I only had a few more speedy runs in me and then one gear began. 

However, one gear served me well for my October marathon and I PR'd by 5 minutes. This was a pretty incredible day! 4:46:10 - I think I am retired from that distance..but never say never right!



















I have gone round and round trying to decide if it was time to let the half marathon distance go and keep my focus on my daily running, then I received word I was going to be a Bib Rave Pro for 2018!

I thought... maybe I have one more year left in me :)

I am super excited for this opportunity and I am hopeful it'll bring new experiences my way. It gave me the boost I needed to try to reinvent myself a little in the upcoming year.

Truth be told even though my races weren't great this past year I still had a whole lotta fun!

I enjoy the challenge of 13 miles. I enjoy running different course and seeing new places. I enjoy all the race day hoopla. 2017 kept me coming back race after race, with one little hope...maybe the "next one" could be that awesome one. Even tough races hold some very happy moments :)

So far I've only signed up for one Rock N Roll race in Raleigh in April 2018.

I am not feeling ready to dive head on into a full race schedule yet...SO I  am going to try to ease on in, hoping the crescendo will happen.

I have my head down right now logging miles, putting around in one gear, trying to go with the flow. I am not pushing speed-work and I am trying to come to terms with the new me.  The way my running is going right now it will likely take me longer than 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete a half marathon. With all the issues my feet give me, spending more time on my tootsies to complete a race isn't totally motivating, BUT I sill have a mustard seed inside that believes things could still start clicking for me. I know if I start feeling stronger during my runs it will motivate me to start seizing some moments again.

I am not sure what 2018 holds, but I am ready to hit reset and see what unfolds.

Wishing you happiness, success, and achievement in something you truly desire in the year to come!

Karen 
Tell me about it!! 

What is your first race going to be in 2018? 
Are you ready to leave 2017 behind yet? 
What was your low or high in 2017? 

43 comments:

  1. We ran almost the exact same amount of miles this year! And yes, Marcia used to tease me about only having one gear. This year, I guess I found more gears. Have you considered doing run/walk intervals? That has really turned things around for me.

    Congrats on being selected as a Bib Rave Pro! I hope we get to meet up at a race this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) I am excited to join the Bib Rave team!
      I have been using intervals for all my long runs for a few years now, I guess i will just keep chipping away at it and see what happens :)

      Delete
  2. I ran almost as many miles and would have run more but the last few months have been impacted by work and then frigid temps.

    As I always say - you are too hard on yourself.

    I know. Been there, done that.

    So I try not to think about my race times. I've had some dreadful halfs and then some surprisingly good ones.

    I am impressed by anyone who can train for 26.2 miles and even more impressed by anyone who can run that distance. To me you are a rockstar!! We are you know our own worst critics.

    Plus, you get knocked down and always get up. You never quit!!!You are so inspiring.

    Hope we can meet again during 2018!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the pep talk Darlene :) I am waiting for that surprising good half to come along - trust me I am ready for it LOL
      I hope we get to meet up too!

      Delete
  3. Congrats on Being Bib Rave Pro!

    "One Gear"...hehe thats clever. I felt like that too. Although my paces have slowed down this year I feel I had one of my best years of running because at least I was consistent and NO Injuries which is always a plus! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! Happy New Year :)
      Yes, running and being injury free is always a great thing :) maybe we'll gain a gear in 2018 lol

      Delete
  4. It is very frustrating when you work so hard and don't see progress. Believe me, I know that! It does sound like maybe there is some underlying cause, and I hope that you can find it.

    And sometimes it can take time for that work (with Coach Hoho) to really take effect. Don't write yourself off yet! I do hope that 2018 holds something exciting for you -- of course being a Bibrave Pro Ambassador is pretty exciting -- congrats & Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Judy! Happy New Year to you :)
      Progress is what we work for and it is hard because 2017 didn't really have a big pay off for me weight wise or running wise...except for the marathon :) I think that is my highlight but I do realize I can't keep pushing my feet that much.
      I am excited to get rolling with the Bib Rave gig and see what happens :)

      Delete
  5. Only 12 miles on the treadmill is impressive! I don't have a race for 2018 lined up yet, but there will be running! Wishing you lots more miles in 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) One of my missions is to run on treadmill a little more in 2018 - should be easy right lol
      Happy running to ya!!

      Delete
  6. I think you had an amazing year! You worked through so many issues! Congrats on the Bib Rave Pro gig!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much I am looking forward to new experiences in 2018!

      Delete
  7. Congrats on being a Bib Rave Pro for next year! You'll do great. One gear is better than no gear, so I'm sure you'll keep plugging along. Cheers to 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! You are right, one gear is better than nothing ...plugging into 2018 to see what happens :)

      Delete
  8. I know you truly love running because you go out and do what you can even when you are dealing with humidity, tootsies, etc. You just like to go out and run and have fun and connect with people!!!

    I want to go to Montana! My MIL wants to go run trail there and someone said not to because there are a lot of bears. But she figured if she runs a trail RACE it should be okay, right? Lots of people....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would say a big yes to a trail run in Montana, but yes there are bears and yes to carrying bear spray and wearing a bell lol The trail race near my Mom is always a good one...no bear encounters. Let me know if you decide to go! I am trying to add a race in when I go next time.

      Delete
  9. So in your ONE GEAR, you PR'd at the 10k and marathon distance? Sista, be darned proud of your year. The Glacier race looks amazing. I'm all about scenery. I hope we can connect in 2018. I enjoy spending time with you -- in air boats, petting gators, at Margaritaville, in the spa... Happy New Year and thanks for linking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) I got lucky and snagged that PR before I started having major pace issues lol I was quite bummed when I saw they changed the Glacier date, I really wanted to go again!
      I hope we can have some fun in 2018 :) You made 2017 a better year!

      Delete
  10. Girl, you have way more than just one more year left in those running shoes! Never give up! As I've been saying ...older and slower but still moving! It's all good. I'm so glad we finally got to meet this year and hoping for more meetups with one of my dearest Southern Sole Sisters!! Happy New Year my friend! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) I hope so, I'll have to see how these feet hold up for 2018. I am so glad I was able to have some adventure with you this year! Hoping for more :) xo

      Delete
  11. I have definitely had years where I felt like I was in just one gear...I think it just comes with the territory. Still, you had a great year and ran some really cool races! Congrats on joining the BibRave Pro Team - it's such a great group! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) I did have some really great experiences, hopefully I can get one good race time in 2018 lol
      I am excited about being part of the team at BibRave!

      Delete
  12. Congrats on being selected as a Bib Rave PRO! I've heard awesome things about the program and the members are super friendly!

    This year I felt like I was in one gear as well. I haven't had any PRs in about 2 years due to various injuries so sometimes I feel like I'm just trucking along.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much :) I am excited to join the Bib Rave team!
      I totally relate to just trucking along and injuries...but I try to find happiness in just being part of the group. I hope 2018 hold great things for you!

      Delete
  13. I know how frustrating the "one gear" feels. Although my pace is different from yours, I seem to be in a plateau with my 13.1 finish times as well. That said, I am thankful that my times are pretty consistent. As much as I would love to be a tad bit faster, I realize my finish times are still FINISH times...there's probably many others who would love to have our "problem." ;-) Chin up, Friend. You are still able to run and have fun with so many like-minded friends...I hope I can join you someday for a race ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SO true! I worked hard for all my finish times and I am thankful for each step I took.
      I hope I get to see you in 2018!

      Delete
  14. Despite some struggles, it sounds like you still had a great year! I feel like usually when it gets colder I get faster, but right now we are at a point where its so cold that now its slowing me down again. I wish there was just a happy medium! I have felt like I have plateaued over the past few years, and its frustrating. Im hopeful if I can stop getting injured that maybe I will see some progress again. Congrats on being a Bib Race Pro this year! I wish you all the best in 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much :) It is frustrating when you hit that plateau point but I bet you will make progress again soon! Healthy is the main goal :) Cheers to staying healthy in 2018!

      Delete
  15. You had a great year although I'm sorry you are feeling weaker. I hope you had an amazing Christmas and a great New Year! Happy 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much :)
      It has been odd to feel so different but I am bound to adjust...hopefully sooner than later :)
      Happy New Year!! Enjoy Disney :)

      Delete
  16. Congrats on the Bibrave opportunity, that sounds great! I'm sorry to hear about the struggles. I've gotten slower this year too and my pace is so much slower even though I still feel like the effort is the same for race/hard runs. I'm beginning to wonder if it's hormone changes too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much :)
      What you described has been me to a T, slower but the effort feels enormous...hormones must play a role. It is tough, but let's keep pushing on! Happy New Year!

      Delete
  17. I had some of those same symptoms you described this year. I had a really awful few months this summer and I am finally starting to feel better. Ugh getting older is not so much fun

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad you are feeling better! Things seem to come in waves...getting older is not faint of heart for sure lol

      Delete
  18. Wow - you had a great year of running and racing! I understand wanting to take a break, I've been there before, changing things up with a different focus (strength training) helped me find my groove again. Have a great 2018!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Happy New year :)
      I always have a bit of time balancing strength and running, but I am committed to getting stronger overall!

      Delete
  19. Great year! It looks like you did some really beautiful races! Somehow my little sister has me talked into a marathon in the spring and my other running friend is talking me into one in the fall.. so we will see, I really prefer the half distance, but why not~!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christy! Happy New Year!
      The half distance is easier to recover for sure, but why not run the long while you can :)

      Delete
  20. I think the earth’s rotation in 2017 caused both of us to be out of whack (ha!). I’m in the same boat as you - but I think with more injures it seems, but wondering where my speed went! You had some beautiful looking races and a well rounded year, so that is awesome. I hope 2018 brings only the best for both of us. I could really use a turnaround!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope we get that turn around we need! It is awful when you feel like you are missing out of because of injures...
      I am working on the strength :) Cheers to a happy 2018!

      Delete
  21. Sorry I'm so late on this, but I did want to say that I love following your running journey and really admire you so much for your honesty, commitment, and positive attitude. I think you are amazing because of our dedication and all your heart you put into running, regardless of how fast or slow you run. You had a great year, and I hope 2018 brings you more great things!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you so much Jennifer! That means so much to me. I totally get feeling late with blogs, you know I run behind a lot myself :) but anytime you can come by is always a compliment :)
    I hope 2018 brings you good things as well! Happy runs are the best kind of runs.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you ❤