This year was filled with lots of miles, lots of milestones and a few setbacks. The highlight reel:
January was a big running month for me, as I hit peak training for my second marathon, the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans. I spent most of the month in DC, savoring the mild winter weather after 2012 holiday storms in Indianapolis left me pounding out a 15-miler on the treadmill.
In February, I decided to cram huge race and a huge vacation to Istanbul and Paris in the space of a couple weeks (brilliant move). Dave and I managed some steamy treadmill runs in a hotel basement in Taksim and enjoyed one glorious day of sunshine in France during a scenic run along the Seine to the Trocadero. But the marathon was a week after our return, and it was a struggle. On the plus side, the race was the most positive split I’ll probably ever have. That first half, though, was so brutally difficult that I earned myself a finish time a full 40 minutes slower than my first marathon three months earlier. Oh well. At least I got some yummy beignets while I was there.
Rave run to the Trocadero in Paris.
All smiles in NOLA, despite our racing struggles.
In March, I was happy to reduce my mileage and spend more time on other sweaty activities I love — mostly kickboxing, spinning and yoga. It was also my birthday month. Yay!
April was momentous for two reasons. First, I ran my first trail race ever: the Xterra Seneca Creek 10K, in the woods where the Blair Witch Project was filmed. The race was all it took to get me hooked on trail running. Second, April was when I launched this nifty blog. The site started as a spot to write about my various fitness endeavors around DC but has now morphed into a mostly running-centric project. Also in April: running through tornado weather at the Crystal City 5K and volunteering at the inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC.
In May, I continued to experiment with new workouts, including my first attempts at Bikram yoga class (disaster), Pilates (win) and Muay Thai (badass). Also in May, I ran what would have been a 5K PR had the ACLI Capital Challenge been an actual 5K, instead of a 3-mile race. Hooray for racing (and beating) congressmen; boo for weird race distances.
June marked my return to rowing, a sport I had left behind a year before. I loved being out on the Anacostia River again and brushed up my technique quickly enough to race with my team (Capital Rowing Club) at the Rockett’s Landing Sprints Regatta in Richmond.
By July, it was time for base-building for my third marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon in DC. I worked in some good scenery, with weekend trips to Prince Edward Island, New York City, the Eastern Shore, Minneapolis and Connecticut. But this was also when my peroneal tendon problems first presented. I had no idea at the time how much trouble these would later cause. Also in July: my first trail runs with the Roam Fitness crew in Glover Park and my first time doing burpees on a standup paddleboard.
August was a whirlwind. I came back from my mild foot injury with a gorgeous trail race in Indianapolis, where my little brother raced for the very first time and ended up on the podium. Baller. Later in the month, I packed up my life and temporarily relocated to Portland, Ore., to knock out a master’s degree in environmental law. Without missing a beat, I snagged an open spot on a Hood to Coast team and ran 200 miles with strangers from Mount Hood to the Oregon Coast. Hands down, one of the best experiences of the year.
September featured more marathon training and reacquainting myself with Portland. I also scoped out some new fitness classes, got to see what the Color Run was all about (answer: not much), and set an actual PR at the Dulles Day 5K during a visit back to the DC area.
October was both tough and victorious in terms of running. At the beginning of the month, I was feeling burnt out on my training, despite the lovely Portland scenery. In an attempt to motivate myself to stick to the 20-miler I had on my calendar, I got a last-minute bib for the Portland Marathon and planned to approach it as a training run. Instead, I went out too fast, kept going too fast, suffered for it a little in the final miles and snagged both a 4:08 marathon PR and another flare-up of my foot problem. Totally worth it.
Still in October, my foot needed a break from running, so I spent the rest of the month hiking in beautiful Forest Park, cycling on my new mountain bike, doing barre and trying a very awful (awesome?) thing called Pyrolates. MCM race day was the last weekend of the month, and I opted to skip the race and nurse my foot, knowing I already had a great Portland Marathon experience under my belt.
By November, I was ready to return to running. I discovered a kickass crew of speedsters at Portland Running Company group runs and also trekked down to Eugene to set a new 10K PR.
Finally in December, I braved the cold weather for running, hiking, snowshoeing, and a holiday race or two. Plus some scenic jaunts in Indianapolis, Connecticut and DC.
Bridge to DC’s Kingman Island.
In all, 2013 was a dynamic year. I tried countless new workouts, handled highs and lows in running, and enjoyed some breathtaking scenery while doing it. What’s on the horizon? A lot more trail running, racing in the Nike Women’s Half in DC in April and plenty more TBD.
Thanks for reading! And thanks especially to all the welcoming and helpful blogger friends I’ve made over the past year.
What new workouts have you fallen for this year?
What was your favorite running scenery in 2013?
- Obligatory Year End Post: 2013 (runinthewoods.wordpress.com)