Since I didn't start this blog until September I don't have a blog post with my goals for 2011 and let's be honest here I probably didn't really have very many. I think we made one New Year's resolution and it had nothing to do with running or fitness. If I can't recap my 2011 goals why not recap 2011 instead? I promise it will be fun.
Okay, I know this blog focuses primarily on running and fitness but this was an exciting event in our life! On January 30, 2011 (we actually adopted him on January 29th but we had to get stuff ready for him) we brought home Bernie the then Chow-Chow/Bullmastiff mix (yes, then).
Cutie, with a mud mustache
We have actually learned (or deduced) that Bernie is a Chow-Chow/Black Lab mix and might have some Bullmastiff in there, but I doubt it. We prepared for an over-100 pound dog (his crate is HUGE) and now have a perfect 60 pound dog. I just wish he could run with us!
When I decided that Mike and I were going to do the Couch-to-5K, which we started on April 12th (I guess Facebook Timeline is good for one thing - I can find my old statuses easier!), I didn't know which 5K we were going to run. I researched local 5Ks and found the Rochester School for the Deaf River Ramble 5K. After training and basically completing C25K we ran our first 5K together on June 4, 2011!
Even though our time was pretty slow, but not bad for our first 5K, I was really happy that we ran the entire thing together. It is the only race that we crossed the finish line together and to me it makes it that much more special.
Even before we finished C25K, I knew we were going to move on to the Bridge-to-10K program. We signed up for our first, and only, 10K - the Ten Ugly Men Festival 10K.
Let me just say that this was probably my worst race, ever! I struggled (and walked) so much, mainly because of the heat but also because I was mentally not into it. Mike and I did not run this race together, which I knew was going to happen since we didn't run our second 5K together. I probably would have done better if he had been by my side, but I have worked on my mental toughness since then!
I can't wait until our next 10K because I am going to have a massive PR. I have already unofficially beat it a few times but I want to officially get rid of the 1:11.34 PR in 2012 (stay tuned for my actual goal in my next post).
First Half Marathon
Our half marathon was probably our defining moment this year. After we finished B210K, we started Hal Higdon's Novice Half Marathon training program. In the beginning we didn't know if we wanted to even run a half marathon, but that quickly changed. Our sights were originally set on the Cape Cod Half Marathon but after looking up the directions I didn't think it would be a good idea to run in a Saturday race that was 9 hours away from Rochester.
Enter the Fall Foliage Half Marathon!
This race was HILLY! Mike, Mike's mom and I all ran in the race and it was a challenge, but a good one. I would run in the race again and just train on terrain that better resembled the race's terrain.
Even if we don't accomplish anything else, we can confidently say that we are half marathoners!
First Virtual Race
A few weeks ago Mike and I participated in our first virtual race! XLMIC at Taking it On hosted the Jingle Bell Hell Virtual Run and we ran 8.7 miles for it. This was probably my best long distance race, ever! If I had been able to hold the 9:45 minute per mile pace that we ran I would have crushed my 10 mile time and my half marathon time!
Not everything in 2011 was great, although the good times outweighed the bad. Here are the firsts that I wish never happened, but without them I may not be the runner that I am now.
Ugh! This was so disappointing. Throughout our entire half marathon training (including our 5 mile and 10 mile race) I felt some pain in my feet. I was able to manage the pain adequately enough to finish the half marathon, but the hills eventually destroyed them.
When I went to the doctor I was thrilled that I didn't have a stress fracture, yet, I was so disappointed that I had to take some time off from running. During that time Mike had to run by himself a few times and he said that it was weird!
Unfortunately, it had to take not one but two injuries for me to really learn to take it easy. Which leads me to my...
This may have been even more disappointing than my injury. I had a feeling that this was probably going to happen as Mike and I prepared for the Stockade-athon 15K but I wanted to try to run in the race.
Unfortunately, less than 2 miles into it I knew that I wasn't going to finish the race. After finding Mike's dad I stepped out and got my first DNF (did not finish).
When Mike found out I DNF
I took even more time off from running and I am happy to say that I am now officially recovered. I can't wait to get my official 15K PR to rid myself of the DNF label.
Well there you have it, the ups and downs of 2011! We have trained hard, raced hard and learned a lot of valuable lessons. How will this all come into play for 2012? I guess you will just have to wait and see!
What were your highs and lows for 2011?