Reflections on 2017 and Year in Review

Can you believe we are already over a week into 2018?? I feel like just yesterday, I was writing my 2016 recap! This year has really not turned out how I predicted and planned, and I am ok with that.  Initially, I thought I would complete several big races: O24, Mohican Marathon, BT50k and Burning River front 50. If you are a consistent reader, you probably are aware that I only completed one of those races and ended up crewing/volunteering for the others.

Early in the year as I began to DNS races, I felt a deep sense of disappointment in myself. Though, I have to remember a sense I had in early April as I was closing out my training for O24. I admitted to a friend that I was feeling burnt out from training for that race and *jokingly* questioned whether I was even motivated or inclined to continue training for 3 additional months and 3 more races.  I pushed that feeling aside for a while, but following 024, the decision was made for me as I faced yet another injury to my back and forced rest from running.

But when one door closes, another opens. I found EpiqX Fitness and Performance and finally found a way to achieve some goals that I couldn’t with running all of the miles.

As I close out this year, the lingering disappointment is replaced by a renewed sense of motivation to chase my goals.  I have some amazing things coming up in 2018 that I am really excited for which I’ll share soon.  In the meantime, here is a recap of the year!

January: Total miles 118.3

I spent time on the track, the trails, and the roads this month.  I felt good and was doing some semi regular strength training with light kettle bells. I trekked out to Westlake for the Cleveland Marathon kick off run which was a great time! I also officially registered for a ton of races and learned that is a very dangerous place!

The dirty snowflake prediction run

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon AmbassadorsHitting the snowy trails with Leighanna

February: Total miles 131.12

I really ramped my training up here as I found out I got in to O24 after being waitlisted several months prior.  I consistently ran 5 days per week and added in regular speed work. I also completed my second round of Whole 30 this month.

Whole 30 eats Ramping up the mileage (and taking a mid run break)

March: Total Miles 187.95

March was my highest mileage month to date.  I basically just ran nonstop all month (at least it felt that way!) I participated in three races including my first 10K (which was actually in the middle of a 22 mile training run so I don’t know if it counts) and my first virtual run-the RockCF half marathon in which the proceeds went to support those living with cystic fibrosis. I also completed the Buzzard Day 25 which takes the cake as one of the more unrunnable courses of 2017 thanks to days of rain and snow beforehand.

Post one of my highest weekday miles (13.1 on a Tuesday!) my first 10k (mid 22 miler to be exact)

The mud fest at Buzzard Day  -This is actually one of the only non muddy sections

April: Total miles 170.9

I spent the the first week of April peaking for 024 with my longest weekend of back to backs ever-24 and 10 miles respectively on Saturday and Sunday.  I tried out my mental endurance training method of running the same 2.5 mile stretch of Towpath over and over.  I finally waved the white flag at mile 20 and headed off for some new terrain. I spent the remainder of the month tapering and dealing with the associated taper crazies.  And on April 29 and 30th, I completed my furthest ever distance with 63 miles over 20 hours at O24.  I will forever treasure that race.

About 40 or so miles in and taking “peg leg” for a lap

May: Total miles 63.79

May is where things got interesting.  I had some hamstring and than calf pain as I began the process of recovering from O24.  I chalked it up to typical recovery.  But after a few weeks, I realized it was a reoccurence of the herniated discs I first experienced in 2016.  I continued to run with it and even completed the Cleveland 8k and 1/2 marathon challenge with decent-ish times but finally acknowledged it was time to stop when I started experiencing that old familiar numbness in my foot. May wasn’t all bad though; I found a new challenge at Epiq and quickly fell in love with pushing myself harder in a way that I never have.  I ended the month with completing one of the harder benchmark WOD’s (workout of the day) with Murph (1 mile run, 100 pullups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats, 1 mile run) and though I walked the running portions, I completed it in about and hour and vowed to improve on it in 2018.

Checking things out at Epiq

And a fun (though injured) weekend with the Cle 8k 1/2 marathon series

June: Total miles 3.1, Epiq workouts: 19

I ran once in June at the Gathering Place 5k.  It’s a cause close to my family’s heart as the Gathering Place was really helpful as my mom dealt with her cancer journey and we dealt with her loss.  I pushed Liam in the stroller and we paced my sister in law in her first ever race! I became more familiar with the weight lifting world and started working on the basics of Olympic Lifting.  I pr’ed a ton and found my strong. I also spent some time in PT working on relieving pain and dealing with some resultant muscle atrophy.

Gathering place 5klearning the ropes with lifting

July: Total miles 33.47, Epiq workouts: 18

I got the green light to run again in July and slowly starting building back.  I loved my first 5@5 with Amy and even enjoyed re acclimating to the NE Ohio heat and humidity. I continued to build muscle and hit PR’s at Epic and got into a little bit of a groove with managing strength training and running. I crewed and paced Leighanna at Burning River and learned about untapped reserves of energy when Leighanna outkicked a women behind her at mile 49 (unbelievable!)

Lots of time spent here.

And here

and finally here- on the trails

August: Total Miles 73.5. Epiq workouts: 20

In August, I hit my 50th class at Epiq and celebrated with lifting more weights! We travelled to The Appalachian Trail and put my glutes to the test while hiking with Liam on my back for 8 hours! I also had the chance to run on the famed C & O canal trail with Chris and Liam.  Long distance friend Alethea visited and Amy and I immediately talked her into joining us at the gym for some insane WODS. I capped out the month with my build up for a marathon and balanced 4 strength workouts per week and 4 runs which is actually crazy and I don’t know how I managed that.

Perfecting my snatch Balancing lifting and running got to be a bit much but we made it work and spent some quality time in the woods

September: Total miles 96.87. Epiq workouts: 16

Early in the month I helped Leighanna achieve 100k at NC24.  I then got my own chance to race in what turned out to be one of the most fun events I’ve ever participated in: Ragnar ADK.  At the gym, I faced fears by getting into a handstand for the first time ever and continued to push myself harder each day.

Ragnar ADK- EPIC

October: Total miles 83.27,  Epiq workouts : 12

October brought with it some truly fun races: The Ohio Northern Half Marathon, The Doan Creek 25k, and Run With Scissors Half Marathon.  The end of the month also marked my “retirement” from running which actually was more of a retirement from training and racing than an actual plan to stop running completely.

Toms of racing this month- making up for lost time!

Ohio Northern Half 

Doan Creek 25k

Run with ScissorsPlus lots of time spent building up these biceps

November miles: 19.16, Epiq workouts: 22

November brought an abrupt change in my routine-I think I only ran about 3 times total during the whole month. The few times I did run were always alone, with no set route or distance which was just the change I was looking for.  As in the previous months, I continued to workout 5 days a week at Epiq and hit lots of PR’s.

December miles: 17.35,  Epiq workouts: 21

As the year started to come to a close, I shifted my focus as I began to mentally and physically prepare for my first crossfit competition (I finally signed up!!)  I focused on adding in small explosive movements and really began to try and push myself as hard as I could during long metcons.  I still made a little to time to run including a pretty fantastic day on the trails with Leighanna with a lot of snow, a lot of climbing, and a lot of therapy.  At this point, running has become my recovery work and really something that I do for fun but not for fitness. I did hit 1000 miles for the year on 12/31.  Funny story; I thought I had hit that milestone a few weeks earlier but as I was editing this post, I realized that I was about 5.5 miles short for the year.  And well, logically, I laced up and finished the mileage in the last few hours of the year.  Nothing like waiting for the last minute and unfortunately, a common character trait with me.

Trail time with LeighannaWorking on the muscles

I’m choosing to look at 2017 as a great year.  The year I had planned wouldn’t have been able to hold a candle to the year I got.  I’m grateful for the things that were beyond my control such as my injuries, for that opened a door much bigger than I had been able to to open on my own.  I am beyond excited to see what 2018 brings!

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