Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Running Streak: The Final Days

January 1, 2014. 35 days. 35 runs. Today is the official last day of the running streak and the official start of the New Year. I think that I am happy to be finished with both the calendar year 2013 and also my running streak.

2013 was a challenging year with some difficult disappointments. I worked through everything mostly with the support of my husband and family. Having fitness goals was definitely a help. It was wonderful to have things that I could plan for, follow through on, and succeed. In 2013, I did a lot fitness-wise. I started off the year with the intensive Asylum: Volume 2, headed into the summer with a great training schedule that made me ready for my first Tough Mudder (and gave me a love of OCRs in general), and finished off the year with the Runner's World running streak.

I'm looking forward to 2014. I think it's going to be a big year for Seth and me. I'm hoping to start graduate school in the fall, something that I think will help move me forward in the direction I want my career to take. I also have joined a running group and already have some races already on my calendar. Seth and I signed up for the June 1, 2014 New England Tough Mudder. I also just signed up for the Hogsback Half Marathon. Hogsback was the first half marathon I did in 2012 and on my 2014 bucket list. I was able to sign up earlier this week and can't wait until September to run it again.

For those of you who didn't get to see my original 2014 races bucket list when I posted it this fall, here it is with updates.

2014 Bucket List
  • Tough Mudder New England on Sunday, June 1 (All signed up and ready to go!)
  • Spartan Super (This is still a maybe. Back in the early fall I was waiting to hear the location and the finalized date. I am still waiting. I'd really really love to do this one, so hopefully it works out.)
  • Bone Frog Challenge (I had really wanted to do the Bone Frog Challenge, an OCR put on by the Navy Seals, this year, but the date coincided with the Gulf Beach Half Marathon. The race is local, in Charlemont, and I had hoped it would work out for 2014. Unfortunately, the date is set in May on a weekend that I absolutely have to work. Crossing my fingers that I can do this race in 2015.)
  • Newburyport Half Marathon (Still a maybe. I want to see the date in October. I might want to not do a half marathon again after Hogsback. That's fine. I'd rather do Hogsback than Newburyport.)
  • Hogsback Half Marathon (I just signed up. At $40 it's the best deal around, and I need a good deal.)
  • Runner's World Heartbreak Hill Half on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8 (I'm still contemplating this race. Yes, I would love to do it. Yes, it's the weekend right after Tough Mudder. Can my body handle it and do I want to try?)

I've also started to think ahead to 2015, based on having to move the Bone Frog Challenge. I've been thinking I might be interested in trying a relay race, such as Ragnar, and might be considering the Ragnar Cape Cod race.

For now, I am excited that I was able to finish my running streak. I gave you most of my last thoughts and impressions about the streak in my last blog post. Overall my thoughts haven't changed much since then, but I had a fun time on the last four runs of the streak.

Sunday: I did a short little trail run at Wentworth Farms on Sunday. I decided to keep it short after Saturday's troubled run and did about a mile. The run was uneventful, but I got some nice pictures.

Monday: On Monday, I was feeling better and the weather was fairly nice, in the mid-30s. I had to go to the bank. The local bank where I go is a mile away down Route 9, a very heavily trafficed road. Not wanting to go all the way down Route 9 on foot, I contrived a running route through Wentworth Farms and along back roads to get to my destination.

Things started well. I headed about three quarters of a mile into Wentworth Farms and was ready to edit the conseration area and hook up with the road I needed when I came to an impasse -- a large section of trail was completely flooded. I tried to contrive of a way to get around, but it was impossible. I had to backtrack the entire way and run down Route 9 to the bank. Fortunately, I was able to return from my bank trip using some of the back roads I had planned.

While Monday's run had it's inconvenience, I loved getting to use my fitness, in this case running, for practical purpose. It kept me oddly focused during the run, and I had a great time. I had a pleasant four mile run in some pretty good weather.

Tuesday: Looking back at my training log from yesterday, one item stands out -- my note, "F-ing freezing!" Yes, yesterday was cold. So so cold. I did a forty-five minute kickboxing workout and headed out to do a quick one mile run around Echo Hill.

Today: The last day of the streak! It was another very cold day with a temperature of 19 degrees when I set out for my run. Because of the temperature, I again committed to just doing a one mile run. Since it was the last run of the streak I decided I wanted to have some fun and headed over to run around Wentworth Farms and take some pictures. The weather was cold but sunny. I got some great photos.

I bet you can see why I love running there! Taking my time running through one of my favorite areas in Amherst was a great way to finish off my running streak and start off 2014.

I hope 2014 ends up being a great year -- Happy New Year!

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