Running and racing for me this year has definitely been a lot different than it was in 2013. Obviously. 2013 was one of my best years by far in terms of training and PRs. However, I knew 2014 was going to look much different as I went in to the year knowing that I would hopefully be spending part of the year pregnant with our second baby.
However, even though I didn’t set any new PRs (OK, one by default because it was a new racing distance) or really train and race nearly as much as I have in the past, I still feel like my year in running has been pretty good. Of course, at this point – 10 days out from having a baby – I’m starting to feel much more uncomfortable and running is definitely about as hard as it can get. But, running, even while pregnant, has been pretty successful for me in 2014.
One of the first things I did this year was change the way I was training. In January, I read the book “You (Only Faster)”, as I was really looking to get a boost in my training, since that is something I always struggle with and I wanted to continue progressing as a runner, instead of staying stagnant. This is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read and I really do feel like it had a huge impact on how I was training. It pushed me harder, helped me recover better, and actually helped me break 20 minutes in the 5K for the third time – something I definitely did not expect to do this year.
My first race of the year was in early January at the Creve Coeur 6K, which was part of the Winter Park Race Series. I had run this course several times before, as it is a pretty popular training loop, so I knew the course well, but went into the race not knowing what to expect as far as time goes. But, I ended up as the 1st place female in my age group, setting an automatic PR at the 6K distance, running a 24:38 (6:36/mile).
I ended up taking February off from racing due to busyness and getting our first home ready to sell. But, I hit it pretty hard in March, which I’m glad I did because I was pregnant by the end of the month! I ran the Celebrate Fitness 5K at the beginning of the month, which is directed by Katie of Mom’s Little Running Buddy. This was definitely my best race of the year, not only winning the race, but breaking 20 minutes in the 5K for the 3rd time ever! Definitely one of the hardest races I’ve ever run before and I felt it afterward.
Toward the end of March, I ran the Undy 5000 in honor of my father-in-law who is currently going through treatments for colon cancer. It definitely was not one of my best races (I was 1 week “pregnant” during this race, even though conception hadn’t even happened at that point), but I still won the race, even though I was definitely not exactly happy with my time.
The last 2 races of the year took place almost 6 months apart and I was pregnant for both of them. Oh, and both of them just so happened to be in Branson, so of course, regardless of not really being able to “race”, were still worth running. I ran the Dash to the Splash 5K, pushing MacKenna in the jogging stroller, which is not exactly an easy feat while pregnant. No medals or PRs in this race, but I enjoyed getting to spend time with my Kenna Girl and letting my hubby get to actually compete and place in his age group in a race.
My last race of the year was just a few weeks ago and still probably one of my favorite races every year. Matt and I were able to run the Run to the Lights 5K together, and even though I had to walk in several parts of the race due to the massive hills, I enjoyed every single second of the race, especially having my hubby by my side.
With only a little over a week left in my pregnancy, I’m still amazed at how great running has been this year for me. Is it easy? Of course not! It really never is, especially while growing a child. But, it definitely is my passion in life and it surely has kept me sane during a very hectic and stressful year.
1st Place Finishes: 3 (2 overall, 1 age group)
New PRs: 1
Total Races: 5
Total Mileage for the Year: 1,018
Next week will be my last week of running in 2014 and I have no idea when I will get to run again. But, I’m determined to continue running and start training again once I get the all-clear from my doctor. And believe me, I cannot wait to take Moose out in the stroller on his first run and, as crazy as it might sound, I really am looking forward to pushing both my kiddos in the double stroller once it warms up this spring! I’m hoping 2015 lives up to be another great year of running and racing!