{Better Late Than Never-2014 Review}

Some say better late than never. I suppose this is true for looking back on last year. I almost didn’t write a review as I felt like I had little running wise to share. Then I remembered I ran my butt off the first half of the year running a half marathon, three marathons and a 50k in a two and a half month time period. After finishing the year running 2 5k’s, 2 10k’s, 1 half marathon, 3 marathons and my first ultra marathon (50k), I’d say I ran plenty. Here’s a look back at a few running highlights from 2014 in top ten style!

#10-Running another Color Run
IMG_7381
Always fun and a great way to take the seriousness out of your training and racing.

#9-Running solid miles all winter

20140119-090531.jpg
Last winter was brutal for training in Wisconsin. We had school cancelled in my district four days because of the cold (windchills of -30 to -50 below). I still managed to run 100 miles during each of the coldest months of the year as I trained for my busy spring and summer racing schedule.

#8-Running a 10k at 15 weeks pregnant
IMG_6663
Running pregnant has been a whole new world of unexpectedness. I’m embracing it as best I can, and I am super proud of this hilly 10k I ran at 15 weeks while still experiencing all day sickness, pressure on the bladder and tiredness.

#7-The Big Ten 10k
IMG_7140
This was such a fun weekend and race for the husband and I to combine two of our loves-running and Wisco sports.

#6-Signing up and completing my first obstacle course 5k
Dirty Girl 5k-4
Sometimes I’m scared to try new things, but this is one thing I’m so glad I followed through on. It was a blast and I can’t wait to run another.

#5-Running the Med City Half Marathon with friends
20140526-183007-66607017.jpg
It’s not often I get to run with a group of people. Especially those who made this race so much fun. I hope someday they would like to run another half together or perhaps a Ragnar Relay.

#4-Cross Training and Overall Cardio
Screenshot 2015-01-13 14.01.56
While I didn’t come close to meeting my running mileage goal for the year, I’m going to chalk that up to getting pregnant. Despite missing out on some miles on foot, I still managed to cardio my way to almost 1000 miles. I biked more this year than any other year. I hiked well over a hundred miles this year. I went to yoga more times than any other year before. I’m proud of my cross training efforts and nearly reaching 1000 cardio miles.

#3-Completing two more states in my journey to run a marathon in all 50 states.
20140723-132245-48165652.jpg

IMG_7178
Going West on a road trip was the perfect opportunity to complete two more states. Add to it that the races were nine days apart and you have an extra challenge. Even more crazy was I ran my first ultra marathon just a month before the first of my go west marathons.

#2-Completing my first ultra marathon (50k)
Screenshot 2014-06-08 22.28.40
This was one of the scariest things I’ve done and never before have I doubted myself more. In the end it made the finish that much more rewarding. Having run a marathon and a half marathon the month before only made me stronger. Not sure when the next ultra will be, but I’m guessing it will happen.

#1-Running with my husband as he completed his first marathon.
20140508-231418.jpg
As it would turn out, my favorite running memory of 2014 has little to do with my own races. Training and running 26.2 miles with the husband in his quest to complete his first marathon was more rewarding than I could have thought possible. I was so proud of him and excited for his accomplishment that it trumped any I could achieve. I still look back on this race with pride as he really didn’t ever want to run a marathon except to do it for me. Now he says he done forever, but the pride of finishing your first lasts FOREVER!

What 2015 holds exactly is a bit of a mystery. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, miles and missed runs, and new firsts abound. 2014 was a great running year, but I can’t wait to see what the next year holds.

Happy 2015 everyone!

Sarah

{Friday Fab 5-Cross Country, Katy Perry, Chip Free Nachos, Shalane Flanagan…}

You all probably thought I disappeared on you.  And, I guess I sort of did.  With back to school and coaching high school cross country, these 60-65 hour weeks are leaving me with little time to blog or do much else.  Add to it that my iPhone 4s is officially full on the memory front and will no longer take photos…as in ANY, and you don’ t have a good recipe for blogging.  I’ve still been catching up on the blogs I read (drastically behind, but getting there) and today’s day off from school is giving me some time to finally update this here blog.

While I don’t plan to do a Friday Fab 5 every week as I’m just too busy, I do plan to pop in here or there with updates and of course will be posting race reports or anything I feel I want to write about.

So what have I been up to lately…

{#1-Cross Country}
IMG_6469
At the end of August I was contacted by an organizer for David Kuhn to see if I or someone I knew would be able to help David out in reaching his goal or running 11,000 miles around the United States to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic condition his granddaughter has.  Why would David need people’s help?  David is a blind.  David was in an accident caused by a drunk driver that left him without his vision.  David runs on city trails and tracks and relies on people in the communities he visits to guide him.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for our cross country team to learn some valuable lessons about perseverance, determination and overcoming challenges.  The team also learned about Cystic Fibrosis.

One morning before practice I picked David up at his hotel, took him to get breakfast and brought him to join our cross country team. Members of the team took turns guiding David on our 5.5. mile run.  We all ran one mile on the track and then 4.5 miles around our city trail.  The kids had to hold a rope that David held and let him know when dips, bumps or curbs were coming and when upcoming stops were near.  It was a great day for our entire team with many lessons being taken from the experience.  You can learn more about David and his journey on his blog or in this Runner’s World article.

{#2-Kacey Musgraves and Katy Perry Concert}
photo
Lets just say they were amazing.  I’ve always liked them both, but after hearing them live I’m a much bigger fan!

{#3-Color Run Fun}
IMG_7377
A full post is coming about the second Color Run I did a few weeks ago.

{#4-Shalane Flanagan and Sauvie Island}
20140819-185747-68267651.jpg
I saw this advertisement in the August edition of Runner’s World and it instantly brought back memories of running the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon in Oregon this summer as one of my race all 50 states. I can’t believe Shalane (notice we are on a first name basis πŸ˜‰ ) often trains on the same route as the marathon. So cool to think I ran in her training grounds. Little things like this remind me of how awesome running a marathon in all 50 states is. The places it takes me and the adventures I get to have!

{#5-Healthier Chip Free Nachos}
20140819-190447-68687999.jpg
I made these for dinner for the husband and I a few nights ago. Football food made healthier. As I try to keep eating clean as much as possible, I’m on the lookout for new recipes all the time and ways to make foods I love healthier. This dish was perfect for that. My photos do not look near as good as the original recipe creator’s, but I made mine in a glass dish with the intention of eating mine with a fork so it was less messy. The bottom photo shows the bottom of the pan (zucchini alternating with red and yellow peppers.) Some recipe modification I made: I added green onions, onions and jalapenos, made a pound of turkey instead of 3/4 and used an entire zucchini instead of half. This was awesome and would be the perfect healthy take on tailgating food this football season.

Happy Friday!

Sarah