And looking for those silver linings
When I picked my word for 2017, I wrote about having the patience to see my training bear fruit (read about that here, and my word for 2018 here). Little did I know, that patience would be rewarded; in spades!
Rachel @ Runningonhappy offered a free month of coaching. Yes, please! And so started a year of a beautiful relationship.
I also started the year with my normal New Year’s Day “race”. What I didn’t do? Record it! And apparently it’s not even in the records of the running group’s Website (unless I dig deeper). Garminconnect had it though — no, I did not start the year off with a PR!
Otherwise, there was just a lot of base building. It was also the start of my driving to my parents every weekend to work on emptying out their house (it’s a 90 minute drive each way).
Nothing much going on in February. Lots of lonely running. The good news was that it was a relatively mild winter and most, but not all, runs were done outside.
More of the same in March. I began to slightly overdress for runs, both inside and out, in preparation for what I knew would be a hot race in NOLA. Little did I know just how hot! I had hoped spring in NOLA would be kind to me, but it turned out to be a hot and muggy day for The Best Damn Race NOLA (read about that here), and yet I still managed to snag another PR — flat courses, I love you.
I also for the first time in my running career wore a new-to-me-top (from Skirtsports, of course) in the race. I’d run in it once; never done a long run in it — it would go on to be my go-to for many long runs that summer.
I also got to meet up very briefly with Tricia @ Misssippipiddlin.com, MB, and Jodi @ My Kind of Fit. Not to mention we had a marvelous time eating our way through NOLA (read about that here) — I definitely think putting the vacation portion before the race allowed me to somewhat acclimate to the weather.
Back home and time to turn my attention to the trails, since my next half was my first trail half marathon. I figured if I was going to visit the MIL & SIL, I might as well find a race, right? Truthfully, when I read about the Mud & Chocolate Half in Runner’s World I just badgered Mr. Judy until he agreed.
I ran on trails twice a week, including my long run (more lonely running, no trail running buddies). It was actually quite hot for some of those long runs and I worried about the 4 hour time limit.
The race lived up to its name, including sucking the sole off of one of my trail shoes towards the end, but the chocolate at the finish line made up for it. My slowest half ever (read about it here). I also got to meet up with a couple of Skirtsports sisters.
No rest for the weary. It was time to train for the next half, Utah Valley Half Marathon. More lonely running up and down Blatnick Hill (for the locals) in preparation for a race that was net downhill. That was tough!
I also signed up again for USAFit Albany with my friends, so some group runs began at the end of the month.
After all that up and down, it was time to see how it all worked. I didn’t have lofty aspirations for a race at elevation, but it was time to meet up with Holly @ Hohoruns, MB, Marcia @ Marciashealthyslice, Teresa @ Findingfabulousatfifty, Zenaida @ Zenaida Arroyo, and Kristy @ Runawaybridalplanner for the Utah Valley Half Marathon.
We enjoyed a vacation hiking through Zion And Bryce National Parks before the race (and very little running) and I was surprised by another PR (read about it here). My love of shorter day hikes (actually, I wouldn’t mind tackling longer ones) was rekindled and we continued to hike when we could throughout the relatively mild summer.
I started off July with the Firecracker 4 race on the fourth. Nope, no PRs at this one, but the best time I had ever done at the race on a hot day.
My next big goal race wasn’t until October, so it was mostly a month of maintaining my base again.
August was mostly maintaining my base with a little speedwork/tempo runs mixed in. At the end of the month, on a whim, because the weather was nice, I decided to run a trail 5k (read about it here) the day after my long run and also volunteered after my race, since they also offered a 10k, 15k, half, and more.
September was the buildup to the race Rachel & I had targeted as my goal half for the year: Wineglass. I also ran Maddie’s Mark 5k with my neighbor, as we have for the last few years. It was a hot day and I decided to treat it like a training run — and actually succeeded with that.
At the end of 2016 I convinced some running friends to sign up for Wineglass with me — making Mr. Judy happy that I finally snagged NY, my home state. They invited a few friends, who invited a few friends . . . before I knew it, it was a 10 women girls’ weekend. And I ran my last half of 2017 at Wineglass, added a fourth state for the year, and snagged a PR all at once.
But I didn’t stop there; I snagged another PR at the Great Pumpkin Challenge, a 10k, even though I just barely made it to the start on time — this was a new-to-me race that I’m pretty sure I’ll do again if I’m in town on that weekend.
Time to run for fun again, if running in snow, insane winds, and extreme cold can ever be fun. Well, sometimes, with friends. I laughed my way with my running buddies through Albany Last Run to a PW and opened my home to them afterwards for some hot soup.
We had some awesome trips in 2017; I added 4 new states to bring me up to 16 states and 4 half PRs (if you count my slowest half, aka my first trail half, as a PR); we added in hiking when and where we could.
Yes, 2017 was kind to me when it came to running. I tackled a lot of challenges (read about that here). On the personal front it was often lonely, exhausting, the sale of my parents’ home fell through, and they are just not happy campers, Bandit drove me nuts going on hunger strikes over the summer, but is thankfully back to eating normal.
Life is never all good, never all bad, and you have to always look for those silver linings. And keep putting one foot in front of the other.
What were your silver linings in 2017?