Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - Year in Review

As 2014 has been drawing to a close, and I look ahead to running in 2015 - I reflect back to this year of running.

First, right at the beginning of the year - I was super excited to join team inov8! Even more unreal then being sponsored was that they sent me to their team retreat in Big Sur, California for a weekend in February!

I did a few small local races to start the year out - but my main focus (I use this term loosely) was TNF Endurance Challenge 50 mile in Bear Mt, NY at the beginning of May. Last year, I won and set a new course record. This year, I didn't do a very good job focusing on my training for this race. Time slipped away from me as I stayed busy with a particularly difficult semester at school, and planning for David and I's wedding. Before I knew it, it should be taper time - but from what? Had I even run further then 20 miles this year? And as I am alluding to - I didn't finish the race. It was a pretty big emotional hit. (race report)

On May 24 - I married my best friend! We had a nice ceremony at a local place we run so often, surrounded by our family and friends.

After the wedding, David and I went to Ocean City, NJ - my friend Kelly's parents let us use their beach house for the week. With the semester over, and wedding planning done - it was a nice break!

Right after getting back from the beach - it was straight to Ithaca, NY for Cayuga 50. I went into this race with a much different mindset then Bear Mt. I needed this finish! It was a tough day, but I was happy to surge strong in the end to finish 8th female in a pretty stacked race.

How has Reis missed a mention?!? This girl turned 6 in May! She's the best trail running, swimming, excessive sleeping, squeaker-shredding, cuddly dog I could ask for.

Next race up was Manitou's Revenge in the Catskills of New York. I loved this race last year! Such a brutal, but beautiful course. By now, after Cayuga, I'd at least done the distance - so I focused on ramping up my hill climbing before the race.

My knowledge of the course, cooler temps, and a smarter race brought down my time from last year a considerable chunk (race report). This year was even more fun too as I had plenty of friends running also!

Next up, the inaugural Eastern States 100 right here in central PA. There was a nice block of time before the race, so David and I managed to scrounge up some good training, including running the 42 mile Blackforest Trail loop in preparation.

I felt great for so long in this race! But in 100 mile races, anything can happen - and I ended being crippled by a strange overuse injury in my leg/foot that hobbled me in to the finish, losing my lead after 97 miles. Definitely the hardest race I've ever done - but I'll be back for my axe some year! (race report)

I had to rest more then I wanted to after ES100, and I steadily worked my way back to running. I ran the Dam Full marathon in September as a test race and everything proved to be working well!

David ran Grindstone 100 at the beginning of October - with the main goal of qualifying to run the Hardrock 100. David has had an equally difficult year - struggling with training like I have, and really needed this finish!

He did great; he dealt with the ups and downs that a 100 and a particularly difficult course can give. I paced him the last 40ish miles and he finished incredibly strong! (David's race report)

More R.B. fun!

Next on my schedule was the Oil Creek 50K. Last year I ran the 100K, and the 100 mile in 2012, claiming the CRs for both. This year I wanted to complete the trifecta! I love our yearly trip out to Oil Creek, it is a well run event, and we always see so many familiar faces!

As the year has been winding down, I've been preparing for the next challenge, Bandera 100K in Texas on January 10th. My schedule for next year hangs on this event!

I'm looking forward to finishing up and graduating college and a much more consistent year of training!