Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Year of Running 2014




Today, I'm linking up with Miss Zippy for the Year of Running

I haven't posted much about running lately, but I'm still doing it. I owe you (really, I do it for myself) a few (like 10 or so) race recaps. I'm running 5-6 days each week with typically three weight sessions at the gym. And I've started doing squats. Lots of them. They burn so good at first, but I feel so much stronger.

2014 has been my best race year ever. I PR'd nearly ever race the beginning of the year. I had a very strong summer with my lowest 5K time yet (18:56!) and finished the fall with a PR in the 10K (41:47).  I'm really happy with my year even though I'm not happy with my final race of the season (Thanks to the 102 degree temperature I had during the race. I won, but it wasn't my fastest time, and well, I really wanted to end this season with a bang.). In 2014, I ran 19 races and won all but one (I did a race in Birmingham on a whim when we were in town for a family wedding.). In a few weeks, I hope to have the privilege of sharing with you a really awesome honor I'm pretty excited about.




  • Best race experience?
  • I have a few memorable race experiences from the past year. One of my goals for this year was to break 20 minutes in a race. I'd done it countless times on my own (with my Garmin), but for some reason, it wasn't happening in a race. 
Back in March, I finally broke that mark in a trail race. I love trail races as I grew up running trails, and I was really excited that I broke 20 in that race.

Then, in May, I broke 19 minutes in a 5K which was very awesome. I thought I could get down to 19:30 or so, but the thought of breaking 19 was not something I considered. I had a stellar race that day and have been thrilled since.

My final 10K of the year was also really fun. I PR'd a 10K a week or two prior (41:47), but this race was just fun. I ended up running it from about mile 1 on with a friend from church. It's always nice to run with people, especially in freezing temps and brutal wind. I also broke my own course record for this race, which was cool. 

  • Best run?
  • I had a really good 10K around my neighborhood a few months ago. I really felt like my speed was struggling (my 5K's were around 20 at the end of the summer, but there's that heat and humidity factor in good ole SC) and had been slightly (ok, really) discouraged about that. One night, my husband was cutting our grass and I went out for a 3 or 4 miler that ended up turning into a 10K. I think I ran it around 42:25 and at that moment, on really tired legs due to mileage/workouts earlier that week, I knew I was back.
  • Best new piece of gear?  
  • Hands down, my new Garmin is my favorite new piece of gear. For Mother's Day, Kevin and the boys gave me the Garmin Forerunner 220. I had a 110, but it stopped working and I needed a new watch. 

  • Best piece of running advice you received?
  • Run your own race. I used to have the tendency to stick with certain people at the beginning of each race, but then I realized I needed to run my own race. A lot of people say to start out and build, but that doesn't work for me. I'm much better at maintaining a pace, so I start out strong and I'm usually able to keep up that pace for the whole race. 
    I was also told to remember that it's a 10K, not a 5K when I'm running a longer distance. If you've read this blog for long, you know that I like shorter and faster distances. While I enjoy running 7-8 milers regularly, I'm not a huge fan of the half and I have no desire to ever run a full. It's just my thing. Some people get more enjoyment out of longer races and the training process. I'm not one of those. 
  • Most inspirational runner? 
  • I really like Kara Goucher. She's an elite athlete and a devoted wife and mom. I think she's cool. And Lauren Fleshman is another runner I really like. And to stick with the blogworld, Janae from Hungry Runner Girl is very inspirational. She's an awesome mom and incredible athlete and I think it's be fun to share a run and a donut (or three) with her. 
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Ridiculously exciting and fun!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The First Christmas Party of the Season and the First Santa Picture Ever!

Last Wednesday, my organization hosted it's annual Christmas party for employees kids. It's always a great time and the kids love it. Kaden was counting down the days!

There are gingerbread houses to make.









Faces to get painted.



Food to eat.

Horses to ride.



And Santa to see. But until this year, the boys wouldn't sit with Santa (as in ever in the history of K.C. and Kaden). I don't know if it's that they're older, or the fact that they knew the Santa at the party wasn't the real Santa, or if it was the bag of candy they saw the kids walking out with after sitting on Santa's lap, but whatever it was, for some reason, they chose to sit with him this year. That made for a very happy mama.