A year ago, I was about 3 months into running again having started over from nothing in September 2017. I was taking the approach of one run at a time, taking my time and not putting any pressure on myself. Around this time, I was just starting to do slow 10 mile runs and imagining that I could run half-marathons again.
I signed up for what would be my first half-marathon in 22 months – the Cocoa Half in San Antonio, Texas.
I was training for the Cocoa Half and it was cold. I often sported my bank robber look and my water bottles would sometimes freeze.
Everyone in my house got sick a week before the race, but we recovered just in time. I went to San Antonio with my mom since the girls had school so Tom stayed behind.
It was cold which I loved but I think the course was a bit short. I finished and got the horrible picture to prove it. Texas was checked off for my 50 state list.
My mom and I had such a great time in San Antonio and I’d love to go back sometime so Tom can visit.
Since I had more races to come and training never ends for me, I ended up doing the Reston 10-Miler. It was a last minute decision and it was just because I was tired of running boring loops around my neighborhood. I was really surprised by how strong I felt, especially because the course was hilly and I hadn’t felt as good in San Antonio where it was flat.
I don’t often run 10-milers and haven’t done many but this one ended up being a PR.
I started thinking about maybe doing another marathon. MAYBE. I figured I’d try the 17.75k which gave me guaranteed access to the Marine Corps Marathon in case I decided to go for it. The race was tough. It’s was cold, hilly and trail. My knees hurt, but I finished.
Of course, with access code in hand, how could I not sign up for Marine Corps??
In April, the whole fam headed down to the Outer Banks which we had never been to. We actually had a really nice time there pre-race checking out sights and the Wright Brothers area. The weather was beautiful.
The weather was actually a little too beautiful and warm and I had to adjust my race expectations but it was another finish and I checked off the state of North Carolina.
The week after Flying Pirate, I convinced Tom to do the Parkway Classic 5k with me. I have done it every year since 2012 but never with him. We got a hotel room and a babysitter and made a night of it.
I had been doing a little speed work for months in anticipation of this race. I wanted a PR and wasn’t sure I could beat my 5 year old time but I did it! Tom got a PR as well. We had such a good time that we already registered again and got our hotel room for 2019.
I signed up for the National Women’s Half at the last minute. I was doing great and on pace for a PR when stomach issues derailed my efforts in the last few miles. I missed the PR by just 2 minutes. This happens to me from time to time at half-marathons only because it’s the only time I run hard for an extended period of time and as many races as I’ve done, I haven’t been able to figure out the cause. Still, I had a good race.
I turned 44 in May and also celebrated 14 years of marriage.
In early June, I headed to Vermont for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon. The race was one reason for my trip, but I also went to visit my father’s grave. I think about him a lot when I run and of course, I miss him always. The course was beautiful and I checked Vermont off the list.
Later in June, the girls finished school and we headed north. We spent a night in Massachusetts and took a quick tour of Boston before continuing to Maine. We had such a fantastic trip visiting Acadia National Park for a second time – the first being when our girls were little. After leaving Bar Harbor, we took a detour to Stephen King’s house in Bangor and took some quick pictures trying not to be intrusive before continuing south to Portland.
We had a nice tour of Portland and I finished the Old Port Half checking off Maine.
This ended spring racing for me. At this point, I shifted my focus to basically just continuing to run, surviving summer (which I’m not a fan of) and marathon training with my Galloway group that I hadn’t trained with in 4 years.
Having had such busy winter and spring, I was kinda glad to be through with race training. I don’t have too much to share about July. Just took it one run at a time.
We did manage to get in a quick trip to NY where Tom and I ran down to the bay and back. I miss NY and I really wish it were as flat at home as it is there. Running would be so much easier!
August was a fun month but probably not the best in terms of running. We took an incredible vacation first driving to St. Augustine …
… then a Bahamas cruise with friends and family …
… and a short stop at Universal Studios in Orlando before heading home.
I barely worked out during the trip but I did manage to get a run in in St. Augustine and once on the ship in the middle of the Atlantic.
Once I was home, I picked up where I left off.
I did the most miles all year in September. I was also still doing BBG in the Sweat app. As much as I was getting out of the BBG workouts, I think it affected my running sometimes as my legs would often feel tired.
Tom and I did the WIFLE 10k, a small, local race. He came in second overall and I was 3rd in my age group despite us not being fast runners. It was fun to get prizes though!
In September, I headed to NY for the Hamptons Marathon which was supposed to be a training run on my plan. At the race, I was ok for the first 14 miles and feeling strong but in the later miles, dehydration got to me and my calves started cramping badly. I suffered through the last miles of that race and finished hoping to correct my mistake and have a better race at Marine Corps.
In October, I didn’t run a lot of miles and just took it easy with Marine Corps coming up. I drank gallons of water in the days leading up to the race to avoid the problems I had at Hamptons.
I met Kathrine Switzerland and Roger Robinson at the expo! A real highlight of my year!
Unfortunately, the Marine Corps Marathon didn’t go my way either. I started having random knee pain walking to the starting line which had never happened before and not having brought my patella straps, I knew I was in trouble. Again, I was ok for about 15 miles before the pain started and I suffered terribly through the last few miles barely finishing.
The disappointment of 2 marathon failures after so much work broke my heart. I didn’t take any finisher pictures that day. That was my lowest point of the year.
Not running related, but in November, I cut my hair and I love it. No more long hair for me.
I wasn’t sure how to proceed after Marine Corps. I found a Hal Higdon recovery plan and followed that. Two weeks after Marine Corps, I had a 60 minute run on the plan so I decided to just do a local Veteran’s Day 10k – another small race. It was a beautiful race through a park and I think the course was just a bit short but I was first in my age group. No prize, but still a fun accomplishment.
The weekend following the Veteran’s Day 10k, I ran my first Magic Mile in 4 years and did it in 8:09 – my fastest time!
December brought the holiday races. After doing so well at the 10k, I started thinking I need to mix it up more and do a variety of races and not just half-marathons all the time so I signed up for a 5k. I also wanted the holiday shirt!
I had no plan for the race. Just have fun and finish. I ended up getting a surprise PR by 2 seconds! Tom and the girls were there and we had a nice breakfast afterwards. It was such a good day.
The following weekend, was my last race of the year. I had no plans to race this one – just a long run – but it meant a lot to me because I wanted to do it last year and couldn’t because I had only been running a few months and wasn’t sure I could make the time cut-off. It was a cold day but I ended up meeting a fellow Oiselle Volee bird at the race and we ran the whole race together.
5ks – 2 (PR both times!)
10ks – 2
10 milers – 1
13.1 – 6
26.2 – 2
Total 2018 Miles – 840
Not bad, considering I only ran 243.9 miles in 2017.
So, what’s next? There are a few things I want to work on that I’ll save for my next post.
On to 2019 …