2013: How Did We Do?

report_card_30We’ve been through a lot this year, Angels. The question is: how did we stack up against our 2013 goals?

MAGS

1. Set a 10K PR: I haven’t truly “raced” a 10K since my first year as a runner, when I made great progress and recorded a 52:09 at the Mercy Metric 10K on Labor Day 2009 in Cincinnati. It was good enough for a medal and second place in my age group (a very small race indeed). But, seeing as how I have now run a half marathon at a faster clip, I feel confident I can crush my PR at the Chi-Town 10K in March — the site of my aforementioned half marathon PR.

A couple weeks before the race, I was taken down hard by a sinus infection, and I wound up skipping the 10K altogether (as I later blogged about). I don’t regret my choice to bail, but I do know I have some unfinished 10K business to take care of. Maybe 2014 will be the year.

2. Run the Boilermaker 15K: As described in my origin story, the Boilermaker was the first big road race I ever experienced up close, and it’s definitely on my race “bucket list.” This is the year I finally cross it off. Maybe my appearance there will even garner a blurb in the Utica Observer-Dispatch sports section, where I toiled as an intern and copy editor. (Hint, hint, guys.)

I crossed this big little race off the running life list on one helluva hot Sunday in July. Hilly and packed with spectators, I got the job done and even had some fun along the way. I also stand by my assertion that the post-race party is the best I’ve ever experienced. If you have the means, I highly recommend adding this race to your calendar.

3. Break one hour at the Bix 7: I’ve come so damn close the last two years! Missed it by 34 seconds last year and 17 seconds the year before. I’ve also gotta keep my streak of beating Bad Angel Keith alive. Whatdya say, Beatty?

Helped in no small part by a bizarrely unseasonable 50-something-degree July day, I crushed my Bix PR and easily finished under an hour. OK, “easily” is probably the wrong word. It was still a damn hard race, and I worked my tail off to do it. And, double bonus, I kept my winning streak against Bad Angel Keith in tact. BEST RACE OF 2013!

OVERALL: As a wise man (Meatloaf) once said, two out of three ain’t bad. It was a difficult year for me, but the races on my calendar gave me something to look forward to along the way. I have big things in mind for 2014, and I’ve already started making adjustments in order to keep improving as a runner and as a person. Stay tuned …

AIDZ

1. Tackle the Pig: I’ll be a few months post-baby, so this will be my first race outta the gate for 2013. I learned my don’t-bite-off-more-than-you-can-chew lesson after attempting a half marathon too quickly after my first daughter. So this year, I’m going to go whole hog on the Flying Pig 10K.

I was very, very, VERY tempted to run the Flying Pig Half since I had trained up to 12 miles, but I wisely stuck with the 10K and had a great race. I prepared properly, ran the race I wanted and kicked my post-baby running season off right.

2. Beat the Bix: My last few Bix 7 attempts have been either run pregnant or out-of-shape post-baby, so this year, I’d like to RUN run it. Breaking 70 minutes would make me pretty damn happy, but I’ll set an official time goal as we get closer to the hottest weekend in July.

This year’s Bix didn’t turn out quite as I had planned. I had a fool-proof training plan, and on the first official day of training, I tripped down a curb and sprained the daylights out of my ankle. No less, I ran a solid race — and even pleasantly surprised myself with my time (even though it wasn’t the original time I had set out to run).

3. Really Run a Halfer: I’ve half-assed the last few half marathons I’ve participated in, and this year (since I’m done having babies for a good long while), I’d really like to properly train and run a half marathon. I’ve got my sights set on the Columbus Half Marathon in October, which is the site of my half marathon PR in 2008. I’m also hoping to bring Bad Angel Sara along to run her first half mary.

I ran the Cincinnati Half Marathon instead of Columbus, and it was a great decision. Despite some of the lousiest race weather I’ve ever run in, I ran my fastest half marathon since I started cranking out babies four years ago.

OVERALL: I’m really happy with how my year in running turned out. I bounced back much faster from pregnancy than I anticipated (which I think helped me deal with life as a mother of two), and have figured out how to work regular weekly runs into my new routine. More than anything, I finally feel — for the first time in years — that my body is MINE again, and I look forward to what 2014 will bring.

AMIE

1. Run four times a week: I realize that this doesn’t sound very challenging, but with my schedule, it really is. (I won’t go into it; your brain would explode.)

I had weeks of achieving this goal, then it would putter out. Then another six weeks of success! Then it would wither and die. Looking back, I’m proud that I was able to fit in as much running as I did, I even revived the early-morning run, which was essential in the hot months. I helped my daughter prepare for soccer try-outs by running ‘stinkers’ with her (ugh, hard!), I had a rock-solid running routine all summer that included weekly downtown runs, and even incorporated a date-night run to motivate my hubby to get back out there. It was all going great until September…

2. Record a PR at the Flying Pig Half: Not a half marathon PR, but a Flying Pig half marathon PR. This race is one of the most challenging I’ve ever run. So, I plan to bust out the hill repeats and beat my best time. For now, I’ll say a 1:50.

Well, I have no excuses. I just didn’t run the Pig this year. I tried to remember why I didn’t do it, but nothing comes to mind. I think I just let life get in the way. Apathy toward racing all spring and summer, then I vowed to run a half in the fall.

3. Race a half marathon in the fall: I have a sneaking suspicion that my PR (1:39) is behind me, but I can still race. A 1:45 would be lovely.

I decided to run the Cincy Half (with the other Angels), and training was going great! I was gaining speed, feeling great and ready for a ‘flat’, fast halfer to add to the books. Then I did that 10-miler (I know, you’re all tired of hearing about it), but it literally changed everything. I am still out nursing my injuries, unable to run more than 3-4 miles without pain. I’m even hitting the pool, hoping to gain some fitness and relieve some pain. And I hate swimming. Loathe.

OVERALL: I will refer to 2013 as “the Year of Injury and Race Apathy.” Looking back, I had very little motivation to race in 2013. I also endured a lot of stress throughout the year, which no doubt contributed to my overall physical ability and well-being. The irony is that running is my primary stress-reliever, so to be out for an extended time is tricky. It’s hard to rest and heal when all I want to do is run. I am doing everything under the sun to get well, so I’m hopeful that 2014 will be a kick-ass year full of PRs and flashing horns.

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