Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 in review and what's next for 2014

The past year was ok for my running adventures. I had a goal of running 1200 miles, which I didn't reach. I still ran quite a lot, for a total of 975.5 miles, but even that wasn't close enough to my B goal of 1000 miles. I started out 2013 on a good note, running on Jan 1 with my social running group but then ended up getting sick for a whole week. I didn't quite race as much as in 2012 due to lack of funds. I ran the 50K at the NJ Ultrafest in March. The temps were quite cold and the training was lack luster but I did finish in 8 hr 10 min. In May, I ran the 48 hr race at 3 Days at the Fair. I started the weekend by volunteering 2 shifts on Thursday then ran/walked to a new personal best of 71 miles. This was also while in the midst of a decent running streak. I didn't technically run on Saturday or Sunday but considered walking 29 and 7 miles, respectively, to be sufficient to count it towards my streak. I ended my streak after 74 days and 309.7 miles because I was tired! And I was ok with that.

In July, I decided that I would celebrate my birthday by running my age. I let everyone know I was doing this on a 1/2 mile loop in a park in Parsippany and had a number of people come out and run or walk some miles with me. I ended up spending pretty much the whole day with my friend Steve. We were probably a site since he's a good foot taller than me! I didn't come close to running my age but did run/walk 29 miles. The day before I volunteered all day at Running the Devil and ran one 3.1 mile loop up and down a ski hill. That and the fact that I do not run long runs nearly enough contributed to the "low" miles. I think I will try to run my age again in 2014. In August, I ran the Wildcat Ridge 50K. I ended up DNFing that race. It was a last minute decision to run it since my friend Becky couldn't run it and I took her bib number. I ended up getting bad blisters on my heels (might want to invest in gaiters) and during the second loop my knee really started bothering me to the point that sometimes even walking hurt. I still ran 20 miles on a tough course in the heat of an August day! A week or 2 later, I and Mike hosted the Parsippany 12 hr fat-ass. Its on the same loop where I ran my birthday miles. I didn't have any big goals, which was good since I developed foot issues early on. Took some time to ice and stretch the foot, walked in sandals, changes shoes, and pushed on. I ended up with 23 miles and got to know better a few people I've met before. I ran the cross-country series again this summer and did pretty well. I was consistently finishing the course in the 30 min range, including one or two finishes under 29 minutes. I finished the year by starting another running streak on the day before Thanksgiving. Right now most of the miles have been in the 1-2 mile range because of the crush of a very busy semester, and now snow and cold, but I'm now on Day 38 for a total of 108.9 miles. I hope to at least make it to 80 days at least.

I met my diet and weight loss goals in 2013 but still have a few more (10-15) pounds to go. It was nice to be able to start 2014 weighing less than I did when 2013 began! I started cooking more vegetarian meals and if I tracked what I ate, I would say that I likely ate more vegetarian dinners than not. I plan to continue this as it seems to be working. And hopefully try some new dishes. Between Pinterest and posts from Jessi, I hope to get some good ideas. One thing I need to work on this year is to eat more fruit. I've also been doing a lot better about not eating as much sweets as I've had in the past. I think one reason is that I am eating healthier and don't have as much of a craving for them (though I did bake chocolate chip cookies tonight. But it is also frigidly cold!)

I also need to start doing more strength training. I haven't been in the gym in 2 years and I'm surprised my knees have held up so well. I think its because most runs I do have hills in them. I've been doing some body squats but not a lot, so I will try to incorporate these more into my training. I started doing push-ups in 2011 with the 100 push-up challenge. I am actually now able to do a proper push-up and will be using these more for upper body strength.

So goals for 2014:
  1. run 1200 miles.
  2. properly train for and run NJ Ultrafest 50K with a goal of a sub-7 hr finish.
  3. More sub-29 min cross-country finishes and beat Wendy at least once!
  4. Run my age in July. This would be a personal best for miles in a day.
  5. 135#. Based on the number on today's scale, I have 12 pounds to lose.
  6. Continue my running streak till at least 80 days.
  7. And if I have the funds, run some other races. I would like to run the Finger Lakes 50K again and perhaps run an ultra down in Virginia.

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