Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in review for JD - the year of the injury!

Well, the year started off pretty rough when I found out in December of 2013/January 2014 that I had two small hib labrum tears in my left hip.  I went to see a few Dr.'s in the Northern VA area and ended up with Dr. Parker.  He looked at the MRA but didn't see any FAI (Femoroacetabular Impingement) but did see the two tears.  However, my flexibility looked good and we thought we would work on PT first before going to surgery.  So I hit PT hard for about 3-4 weeks and slowly began running again getting around 20 miles a week.  Ran the PR "Run your Heart out 5k" and came in 4th in my AG and then ran the Runners Marathon at Reston .  The race was brutal, here was my dailymile log:

Decent run, planned to live in the 10 min range and did on the back half...wanted this to be a relaxing training run. Weather was absolutely brutal....start of the race it was 20mph winds and pouring rain and around 39F to start...It only got worse from there, wind picked up and got some nasty hail by mile 20, then sleet at the end...all with even bigger, I was about a good 20 min from hypothermia...hands were swollen from being so cold....all that said, aerobically, felt good and legs felt decent, left hip aching towards around half point and end of race... - had a blast :)

The marathon consisted of cold cold rain and I got something like a 4:20:31.  Not bad for someone who was supposed to get surgery just a few months prior.
Thats me on the left...some random on the right!
Then I got injured.  I had planned to run a 50 miler (Cayuga 50) and Pittsburgh marathon but strained my upper hamstring/lower back on April 20th.  It wasn't until the end of July, early August until I got done PT and built the strength back into my hamstring.  However, on June 1st I paced Zach to his first 10k in Herndon, VA.  The hamstring was bothering me but I was just running through it which wasn't smart.

After I got back to running in September, I ran the 2014 National Capital 20-Miler, Carderock Park, MD where I ran a PR best 2:53:26 in 20 miles for a 8:43/mile pace.

It felt good to just be able to run somewhat hard again for any real distance.  After the 20 miler, I ran YUTC 50k in which I had a planned DNF and only ran 25k.  I could of probably run the whole thing but told myself I wanted only wanted to do 15+ miles that day.  After YUTC, I paced heather to her first 100k at Oil Creek 100 in Titusville, PA.

The month of November was fun.  I ran Richmond on absurd mileage (20+ miles a week) and almost PR'd my marathon time with a 3:54:48.  Actually, the best part about that race was both Zach and Nic placed in the top 5 at the Richmond 8k.

I was very proud of them running so hard and doing so well.  The Richmond Marathon took a toll on my knees but wanted to do another Marathon two weeks later to become a Marathon Maniac.  Heather was a maniac and I really wanted to do it too so I signed up for the Northern Central Trail Marathon which was on November 29th, 2014.  I ran that race and slugged my way to a 4:31:13 for a 10:21 pace/mile.   It was something I really wanted and finally became a Marathon Maniac:
MM #10300

All in all, it wasn't that bad of a year given I had been dealing with hamstring and back issues.  Currently, I am dealing with some piriformis problems in the same gluteal area.  Next year, I have a couple of 50 milers on the schedule and HOPEFULLY on 100 miler attempt.


Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 in Review and Looking Forward

Another amazing year of running!  I didn't have any personal PRs this year, but I did accomplish my big goal of the 100K.  That was my focus this year. I also had an amazing time watching the boys grow as runners. I ran 23 races for a total of ~269 miles raced of the close to 1700 miles that I will get this year.


Starting 2014 off with a family race at the Resolution 5K in Beaufort North Carolina where Zach got 3rd in his age group
Finishing Reston Runners Marathon in the snow after surviving 5+ hours of freezing rain and sleet.

ScoutStrong 5K with Zach where I placed 2nd overall female, and he won his age group
 Cherry Blossom-just because it's Cherry Blossom, and I love this race so much.  It's my run happy space.
Pittsburgh Marathon because who doesn't love Pittsburgh! Followed by Mother's Day 4 Miler with Zach who PR'd his 4 mile time.
 Herndon Festival 10K where Zach made his 10K debut and Nic got a massive 5K PR!

Summer track season where both boys PR'd their mile and were in the 7:30s, and we won the family relay.

 Youngstown 50K where I finally raced a 50K and felt good about it.  Big confidence boost going into Oil Creek.


 Oil Creek 100K!

Absolute best racing day of the year!  Richmond Marathon and 8K!  Great day for the whole family and the kids both placed in their age group.

Nic won the Turkey Trot 1/2 mile for his grade at school, and I had a ton of fun helping.

TAPS 5K where I won my age group, Nic got a PR, and Zach got 3rd in his age group.
Massive PRs and sub 25 minute 5Ks for both of these guys at the Prince William Turkey Trot.
Last race of the year, and Zach won his age group, and I was third in my age group.

Low Points!

Instant Trail Classic in March was probably my worst race of the year.  The heat got to me, and I didn't hydrate well.

 DNF at Bull Run 50.  Again hot temperatures, and I got in my own head.

So way more highlights than low points.  Even the low points weren't all that awful.  I got a record for distance this year, and accomplished my big goal. 

Big races on the list for 2015 include:
Blue Ridge Marathon
Glacier Ridge 50K
Mohican 50 Mile
Ultra MegaTransect
and maybe Virgil Crest 50 Mile and NCR Trail Marathon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Broad Run Jingle Bell 5 Miler-Last Race of 2014 and Surprise Age Group Win

This past Saturday Zach and I ran the Broad Run Jingle Bell 5 Miler.  This is the third year that I have done this race.  It's a great local race that benefits local trails and is always fun and festive.  Zach decided that he wanted to join me this year since he has been wanting to do a trail race.  This race is mixed road/trail with about 2 miles on paved surfaces and the rest on gravel or packed dirt trails.  It's a good race for newer trail runners so it was perfect for him.  It was really cold on race morning (28 degrees), but there was no wind so it didn't feel too bad.  We got our bibs and ankle chips and our jingle bells for our shoes.  Then we stayed warm in the car until about 15 minutes before race start.
Freezing pre-race

We met up for a photo with some Moms Run This Town ladies.  Then we were off on the race.

My running friend and I have done this race three years straight

This photo has the 1,2,3 40-49 women and the 14 and under boy winner
 Zach started pretty fast, but I hurried to catch up to him because I really wanted to run the whole race with him.  I had just done 12 trail miles on Friday, but my legs were still feeling pretty good.  We did an 8:46 on the first mile which was mostly all paved.  Then we hit the trail section.  He did really well on this section with a 9:21 in the second mile, but I could tell that the trail was starting to get to him.  He was having to work harder than he normally does on the road to keep the pace.  Mile 3 was mostly on the trail, and his legs were feeling tired in this section.  He ran a 10:15.  During mile 4 we got back on the road which he was happy about, but this is also the section where almost all of the elevation gain for the course occurs.  There was close to 100' of gain on one big hill in this mile so he only managed a 10:22 pace.  He was feeling discouraged, but I let him know that he could still get his goal of a sub-50 minute finish if he pushed on the last mile.  The last mile was back on the trail and then a short uphill past the elementary school playground to the finish.  A bunch of the older cross country boys were hanging out at the playground and did a great job encouraging him to finish strong up the hill.  He got his time back down to 9:59 for the last mile and got a 48:41 finish.  We didn't bother to stay around for age group awards because I thought it was 15 and under for his age group and they only award 1st in each age group. 
Zach and I after the race.  He just wanted to drink his cocoa and eat that cookie.

Once we got home we had a results email letting us know that he had won his age group because it was 14 and under.  He had the best time in his age group. The race director was really amazing and dropped his medal off at our house the next day.  He was really happy to get that.  I ended up 3rd in the 40-49 year old women and although I didn't get an award I was happy with that because there were a lot of women in that age group, and I was running with Zach and not racing.  I could have pushed a lot harder, but it was so much fun for us to run it together.  I'm looking forward to an amazing 2015.
Happy to run with my boy

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Run with Santa 5K-Why Do I Keep Running This Same Course?

The kids and I did the Run With Santa 5K this past Sunday.  It's always a fun race, but I forget how much I hate this particular course for 5Ks.  It starts uphill and ends uphill, and I don't like it very much.  However, PR puts on such a good race that I keep signing up for PR Races on that course. 
It was chilly and windy on race morning, but the kids were excited to run.  We pretty much knew it wasn't going to be a race to set any records so we focused on having a good time.  We lined up near the front in the 8-9 minute mile group, but somehow even after race start people were walking within the first quarter mile.
Nic looking good at the start.

Zach being smart and taking the outside lane to get out of the mess.

Heather getting trapped in the pack like a rookie.

 I could see the kids up ahead of me and figured that I would eventually catch up to them.  I figured that I would focus on trying to negative split the race.  I came through the first mile at 8:29.  Zach ran his first mile at 8:15, and Nic was somewhere in between the two of us.  As we turned a corner to go into mile 2 which is normally the flat easy mile in this race, we got hit with a wall of wind.  I managed to keep my pace and speed up a bit to get an 8:21.  Zach slowed down a bit for an 8:26, and I caught Nic at this point.  Zach started to pull away again in the last mile, but Nic was struggling a little on the uphill so I stayed with him.  Zach ran an 8:46 in the 3rd mile.
Zach at the finish

 Once I got up the hill, Nic took off on the flat, and I started to go with him.
Nic mixing it up with a master runner again.  I think he secretly likes to torment these guys by trying to outkick them at the finish.

  Then I saw a boy off to the side crying with his shoe in his hand.  I told Nic to go ahead and stopped to help the kid put his shoe on.  He was still crying and said that he didn't want to finish so I told him that I would run it in with him.
Me with my new little friend

 I ended up doing my last mile in 9:21 due to the time that I lost with the kid in the shoe.  My final time was 27:50, Nic was 27:19, and Zach was 26:51. Decent day overall and a fun way to spend a Sunday morning.  That was the last race of 2014 for Nic.  He has improved so much since last year, and he is developing into quite a little runner.  Zach and I are going to do a 5 mile trail race on Saturday to wrap up our 2014 race season.