25 (yes, that's right - 25)
Total raced miles: 279.15
Marathon - 2
Half Marathon - 11
5 Miler - 1
7K - 1
5k - 6
Leadville Heavy Half - 1 (15.7 miles)
Mt. Evans Ascent - 1 (14.5 miles)
Sprint Triathlon - 1
Attempted, yet failed, 50k (24.5 miles)
(notice I didn't run any 10ks. There's a reason for that :)).
Miles (rounding to nearest mile, so you don't think I'm obsessive compulsive or anything):
I'm not going to rehash each and every race or run, but I did want to touch on a few highlights in a year what I consider a big pile of garbage miles. Most of you won't agree with this self-imposed assessment of mine, but I know my abilities and I'll call it what it is - yet the year was sprinkled with some memorable moments here and there, so here we go .....
1. Carlsbad Marathon, January 22nd
This was my first marathon in two years due to the whole foot fiasco I endured from from 2010 - 2011. When I finally got that nightmare fixed and started back running, I thought Carlsbad would be an ideal fit into the time frame I had to work with and I could run a great race. Not so much. My personal life had a different plan and I never got my act together to train for Carlsbad properly. So I went into the race with high hopes of just having fun on the course, spending some great quality time with friends, and the race being a starting point to turn my running around. 2 out of 3 isn't bad, I guess! I never got my crap together all year and turned my running around, but I had a blast of a weekend! It was my first 'ultra' of sorts when I missed a turn and ended up running an extra mile :), running along the ocean was so beautiful and I got to hang out with some amazing running friends.
|Meg, Irene, me, Tara, Marcia, Mary|
|Slurpees on the beach post marathon with great friends = heaven!|
|My favorite medal of all this year!|
I never would believe someone like me could be part of a race team, but when a friend told me a local running store was looking for runners of every ability to be part of their racing team, I instantly applied and never thought I would hear from them again. I can apparently BS a pretty mean resume if I want and somehow I miraculously was selected.
|A few of the 30 race teammates I ran with|
(still waiting for the return of my favorite blue jacket...anyone??!!)
3. Hawkeye 50k (the 50k that wasn't), March 17th
For a race that was my first DNF (ever!!), it will definitely go down as one of the most memorable races, and not because I didn't get to finish. Going back home to my Iowa roots and race my first ultra meant more to me than any ultra I could do here in Colorado. A friend I went to high school with puts on this race and the timing fit well into my calendar so home I went. I got to hang out with some dear high school friends who I still have a very close bond to....
|Look, Meg - you made the blog again :)!|
|Lake McBride. The calm before the storm.|
This was my worst 5k of the year. Per usual Jill 5k race tactics (really, any Jill race tactics - ha), I started out super fast and died the last mile. But what science geek doesn't what a pi race shirt and this shirt wins best shirt of the year....
|White Mountain Ranch|
This was, by far, the only half marathon I ran this year were I was actually happy with my time. I raced smart and finished strong and far exceeded my expectations. The course is gorgeous....
And I got to hang out with my favorite girl for the weekend in Ft. Collins. Fun, fun weekend!
5. Women's Classic 5k. May 13th
From worst 5k ever at the Pi Mile to my best 5k for the year in the course of 3 weeks - and somehow managed to break 24 minutes in the race AND place 5th overall. Best yet, I won a cake! Can it get any sweeter than that? :)
6. Mt. Evans Ascent, June 16th
I love, love, love this race. It's 14.5 miles with an elevation gain of 4000' to 14,130'- all on a road (America's highest road race!). Because I'm a sucky hill climber, this race always is a big challenge for me on a good day and, well, an even tougher challenge when I'm out of shape (the sanity issue into play here - again!). I did exactly ONE training run for the race with a few friends the weekend before the actual race. I thought I was going to die!! Seriously coughed and wheezed the entire time up and pretty much thought I'd bail on the race the following week.
But I didn't bail, and I finished far better than I thought I would, even though it was my worst finish time of all years I've raced it prior. The scenery along the way sort of helps you momentarily forget the pain and that you can't breathe...
And seeing Kathy at the last aid station really lifted my spirits and I finished feeling pretty damn good!
A massive storm rolled in just as I finished the race. I will forever remember the ride down the mountain in the backseat of two Indian tourists sedan - on wet and icy roads conditions. Runners were still coming up; cyclist going up and down; cars going both ways; a helicopter landing the road while looking for a fallen climber...all on a road barely wide enough for one car in certain spots. The Indians were beside themselves with all the melee and asked me if this was "normal." I closed my eyes the whole way down and prayed for my life. At the bottom, I jumped out of the car, thanked the Indians repeatedly, and celebrated the fact I was alive with a beer and a cupcake.
7. Leadville Heavy Half, June 30th
This race has been on my bucket list for years. Not that I have a real list or anything but it's something that I've drooled over ever for a long time - because it's totally badass tough. It is all run at 10,000' and above, topping out at Mosquito Pass at 13,186' with a total elevation gain (and loss) of 3033'. It's a little intimidating for someone like me, to say the least.
|This race pic makes me laugh every time I look at it!|
In an attempt to prep for an upcoming triathlon, I decided to do a series of open water swim races at the reservoir near my house. I am a swimmer, by nature, but I've never opened water swam before, at least not in a competitive race environment, and I was a nervous wreck about all the kicks and hits to the face and body you repeatedly read about in triathlon race reports.
9. Tri for the Cure, August 5th
Ahhh, Tri for the Cure, my first triathlon in 23 years!! I'm not even sure words can describe the emotions I felt when I crossed that finish line - I was a blubbering mess. I saw my friend,Tara, cheering me on just as I crossed and then my son, Brendan, waiting for me at the end with a big hug, and yep, tears! I was disappointed in my run time and how miserable I felt running but I had an absolute blast swimming and even cycling...and so incredibly grateful for the amazing experience. I'm definitely hooked on the triathlon again, a sport I once was so passionate about - 23 years prior.
|Audrey, Katie and I post-race. Their wisdom and support were invaluable to me!|
My dear friend, and fellow blogger, Marcia, came into town to run the half marathon and a embark on a little 'Thelma and Louise' adventurous weekend together. Once again, I was severely under-trained for this race (thanks to that awesome inner ankle sprain and torn ligaments in July) so I just stuck with flatlander Marcia the whole way, who was having some breathing issues running at 6000'. Never in my life have I had so much fun laughing while bitching and moaning with Marcia about how much fitness we both had lost this year. Good times for sure!
|New mom, Tara, came down to cheer myself and Marcia on|
12. Chicago Marathon, October 5th
And just like that, crossing the finish line in Chicago changed my view with my running and made me realize I can still do -and want - more!! Before I even got home from Chicago, I emailed the coach I had been briefly talking to beforehand, and signed on to make me a better runner again. My cup is STILL so full from this race and I smile whenever I think about how magical it was.
|I can't thank Marcia (and Mr. Pumpkin) enough for her generous hospitality and enormous support|
Since this race was heavily reported in my last post, I won't spew out a lot of words about this race, other than to say I'm so grateful that I am re-discovering my passion for running again. I felt fantastic during this race and I can say with 100% certainty that I felt better finishing this race than I have any of the other 24 I did this entire year; it gives me a great deal of hope of all the possibilities that lie in my future.
|Of course I love running with this guy, too!!!|
Finally, one must never close a year without a NYE run - and blog about it :). I had the perfect run today with my friend, Dennis. I hadn't run with him since April so we chose today to toast the end of the year by running about 12.5 miles up Waterton Canyon, a trail on the SW part of Denver. A bit frosty out and I nearly froze to death on the way back down when we headed into a strong wind, but I had a blast and I couldn't think of any better run to end the year.
|Saw this guy early on|
I could sit and write a ton of emotions flowing through me right now as I close the book on the year and embark on what I hope will be a much, much better one. But I'm trying to keep this sort-ish so will just wrap this up and say thank you so much for sharing the miles with me this year, it means a lot; it's been memorable for sure.
Happy New Year! Run strong!
Happy New Year! Run strong!