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) 🙈to 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. 💩 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!
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?