Thursday, January 8, 2015

2014 Year in Review

2014 is one running year I won't forget. That's why I'm glad I have a blog. I won't forget it because it's documented! I just read my 2013 Year in Review with a smile!  So, without further adieu...


I completed 11 half marathons, 1 full marathon, 1 ultra marathon, a sprint triathlon, a duathlon, and a few other things (5k's, 8k's, helping friends train for their first marathon, etc).


I completed 11 half marathons. Wow. That is a lot. In my 2013 recap, I had done 6 and that had been the most in one year. This year I got a few free (maybe 5) and did a couple vacation half marathons and that's what really did it for me.  My goal for my half marathons was to learn to "run happy". I know you have all heard me talk about it but the entire spring was dedicated to running happy, being consistant, shoving negative thoughts out and continuing to push on even when it was hard. I didn't care about time. I wanted to enjoy my runs, look around and take in the surroundings. It worked. Slowly but surely, I was able to remain positive even when I was tired, sore, or hot. One foot in front of the other. Keep moving forward. Smile. Slap hands of spectators. Take photos. Whatever I had to do to keep my thoughts positive.

1. Get Lucky Half Marathon, Chicago, IL (March 15) - I originally signed up for this race to keep me running through the awful cold winter months that preceded the race. (Recap Here)

Me and Derek
2. Mustang 50th Half Marathon, Las Vegas, NV (April 19) - Vacation and checking a state off my list! This is the first and only half marathon for Mustang's 50th Anniversary. Hot, no shade...but an awesome medal and ran the whole thing with Becky! (Recap Here)

Me and Becky
3. First Midwest Bank Half Marathon, Palos, IL (May 4) - Managed to get into this half marathon for the first time ever (for free). Local half, tons of friends doing it and supporting, and it was also my cousin's first half marathon! Go Nick! This was also my fastest half of 2014 (although a far cry from my PR) (Recap Here)

Me, Gayle, Nick
4. Chicago Spring Half Marathon, Chicago, IL (May 18) - Ran this half for free also! Went down with some friends.  This half was the first one of the year that I started noticing my progress in the "run happy" department. I was enjoying the gorgeous weather and Chicago skyline. There is nothing like the Chicago skyline on a gorgeous and clear day! (Recap Here)

Marty, Ryan, Lynn, Julie, Melanie, Me, Derek
5. Michelob Ultra 13.1, Chicago, IL (June 7) - Also free (blogger benefit). Met up with a friend from out of town since she won my giveaway! It was hot and I tried not to die. Decided a run/walk interval was the way to get me through this one (Recap Here)

Susan, Kim, Violet, Melanie, Jill, Me, Meg
6. Rock N' Roll Half Marathon, Chicago, IL (July 20) - I actually was less than impressed this year with this race. And it was hot. Lets say, I was happy it was over. My positive attitude had to work double time on this race! (Recap Here)
Me and Derek
7. Zooma Half Marathon, Chicago, IL (August 2) - free since I was an ambassador of the first time being an ambassador! (Recap Here)
Me and some of my fellow ambassadors
8. Double Half Marathon, San Antonio, TX (Sept 7) - Vacation Half Marathon. Also probably the hottest half of the year but had a decent amount of shade so not too bad. (Recap Here)
Me and the love of my life!
9. Tri Town Community Half Marathon, Merriville, IN (Sept 28) - Signed up for this half since it was on a groupon and fit into my marathon training schedule. A few of my friends were doing the half and a few were doing the full. Um... wow. This half was something else. And not to be repeated (especially for the full). (Recap Here)

Karen, Becky, Carol, Me, Derek
10. Valparaiso Half Marathon, Valparaiso, IN (Nov 9) - Won a free entry. Hard since it was the weekend after my ultra and my positive attitude was shot out the window during the ultra. But it was free. And my friends were doing it. And it was well run. (Recap Here)
Melanie, Me, Julie, Jimmy
11. Schaumburg Turkey Trot Half Marathon, Schaumburg, IL (Nov 29). Always wanted to do this one. Signed up. Regretted that I still needed to run a half marathon as I was ready to quit running. Ha! Made it through relatively ok. (Recap Here)
Me and the FNRC
WHOA! Now I'm tired just recaping my half marathons!  On the the rest of the year!

Esprit De She Triathlon - I did this triathlon the day after the 13.1 half in June! (Recap Here). I dislocated my shoulder at the start of the swim, got it back in, and continued and didn't even do that bad! I was on cloud 9 when I finished and officially earned badass status!
Me with my supporter!
Grand Rapids Marathon!! (October) - I PR'd. That was my only goal this whole year. It's been a couple years and my marathons last year were rough so I really made this goal my priority. I hurt the last 5 miles and definitely lost tons of time but still a 5+ min PR so I'm happy. Thanks to Julie for running 15 miles with me! I know that helped! (Recap Here)
So happy crossing the finish line!
Julie, Derek, Me
Lakefront Ultra 50k (November) - Two weeks after my marathon (13 days actually) - I still had not fully recovered from the pain in my leg/IT Band maybe. And super windy day. I was miserable. It was the hardest race of my life. But I finished. This is the race that really did me in. I didn't want to run afterwards. Ever again. lol (Recap Here)
Don't let the smile fool you. I'm crying on the inside. I'm just happy I'm a few feet away from finishing!

Jan (first ultra), Melanie (Second ultra), Me (Second ultra) - They both had a great time, btw.
So to recap my review...I had A LOT of races in 2014. A LOT! I didn't plan to have that many half marathons, they just happened. And I think that's why I'm so burnt out right now. I need a break. I'm taking 2 full weeks off of running to recouperate! Luckily this break comes with the coldest temps of the season!

I also did some barre classes too, and that was a nice cross training break! I need to strengthen up my core!

Before I forgot, I couldn't slack off the entire month of December because I also had a goal of achieving 1,000 miles for the year. And with about 60+ left for December, lack of motivation, and no big races left to run, it was a HUGE challenge to get it done. I finished with 1,000.04!!

So even though I didn't PR any of my halves or 5k's, it wasn't really my goal in 2014. I did PR the triathlon, duathlon, and my marathon! I also completed some of the longest bike miles ever! (I just keep adding on to this recap as I remember things I did! So sorry!)

4th of July Metric Century Ride - Recap Here. 62 miles done!

Venus De Miles - August. Recap Here - Not really a recap but whatever. I did 66+ miles because we got a bit lost at the end. Longest ride ever! Lots of hills too so it was rough at times. But still tons of fun!
Me and Melanie!

Because this photo needs to be posted as often as possible.
Me and Derek dressed for the Men in Drag Support Crew!
Ok folks. I think I'll let you get back to your lives. I had a busy year. I'm planning a less busy 2015! :)  More to come on that!


  1. Congrats on a great year! I hope to see you again out at the races or on a ride!

    1. Thank you! Yes hopefully!

  2. Oh my goodness! It makes me breathless just reading through your half marathon summary, let alone the marathons, triathlons, ultras, and rides. You didn't even talk about the shorter races like 5Ks! What an AMAZING year you had! That is just awesome how well you completed your goal of running happy, too. Cheers to running even MORE happy in 2015 and always!!!

    1. Yes! I did a couple 5k's and the Shamrock Shuffle too! SO MUCH RUNNING. lol

  3. You had such an amazing year! Will you run as many races this year? I need more half-marathons on my schedule so keep me posted. Congrats, lady! You are such an inspiration!

    1. I'm not planning on doing nearly as many races. Right now I've signed up for the Lincoln Presidential half in Springfield at the beginning of April and the Palos half in May. Those are the only halves I have scheduled. I'm planning on keeping my race schedule to a minimum this year! Thanks!

  4. Woah, you ran a lot of halfs last year. Plus you PR'd in the marathon. Congrats!

  5. Great Post and nice article.Thanks for sharing.