I always feel like time flies and that’s been the case this winter. It’s been a while since my last entry – I’ve gone back and forth on whether I wanted to keep up the blog or let it go. Needless to say, I decided on the first. So, where have I been? Well, Brian and I spent the Christmas holiday in warm Key West. It was a nice getaway from the very cold and snowy winter we’ve had here in Arkansas. We actually got a glimpse of spring yesterday (sunny and mid-60’s), but I fear that will quickly be taken away as the week starts! Aside from my normal work travel and the Key West trip, things have been pretty low-key.
As a quick recap from last year, I ended up running 5 marathons and setting a PR twice (3:43 being the fasted time in Portland, OR). Then after my November marathon in Savannah, GA I came down with tendonitis in my foot. A new injury for me and not a fun one. I thought I could run through it at the beginning…not something I recommend trying to do. Word to the wise – when your body tells you to take a break – do it! So, I took just over five weeks off running and spent more time on my (much neglected) bike and in the water. I am now entering week six of eight building back to mileage where I was pre-injury. Speed is another story! I feel like I’ve lost all my speed and the 8 mile run today was quite tough. It’s amazing how quickly the body forgets distance and speed when you don’t keep it up! All that to say, I dubbed last year the ‘year of speed’ and am declaring this year the ‘year of endurance’.
So, what do I mean by endurance. Last fall I signed up for Kansas Half Ironman in early June. So, I’ve been building my base biking and swimming all winter and officially started training this week. So, week 1 down, 15 more to go! I’m excited though. This will probably be one of the most physically hard things I’ve ever done. Definitely the longest race I’ve ever done (for those who aren’t sure what a half ironman is, it’s a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and then a 13.1 mile run). I’ll complete it the week after I turn 30, so it’s my birthday present to myself!
As for other tentative races, Brian and I are thinking of running a 50 mile race July 4 in Tulsa. Yes, 50 miles in July. It starts at midnight and there is ample time to finish. It seems like a lot of fun and a challenge we’ve never done. Lots of run/walking…eating…hopefully laughing and enjoying the scenery! We’ll decide on this one for sure a little later in the spring, but barring any injuries or sickness it’s something we’ll do. Now for the marathons… I try to do 4-5 new states a year and this year with the tendonitis I am not able to run a spring marathon (or it would be really hard to do so without risk of getting hurt again), so I’ve decided to find three fall marathons. Right now I’m looking at Virginia, West Virginia, and South Carolina in October. There is a series that does 5 marathons in 5 days, but since I’ve already run NC and GA, I thought why not do 3 in 4 days (I’m going to run quite slow and just focus on checking of states) – again, the ‘year of endurance’! That’s the plan. I’m not dead set on anything just yet, but as long as my recovery runs and half ironman training go well, I’ll run those 4 races this summer and fall. I’m excited about trying new distances, seeing how I feel about them (for those of you who know me biking isn’t one of my favorite things to do, but I’m hoping it grows on me!), and finishing well.
As for random travel, last week I was in Las Vegas for market for the shop and found time to sneak out to Red Rock Canyon my last day in town for a run. Such a beautiful park! I enjoyed a two-mile uphill then turned around for a wonderful two-mile downhill out and back! The views, weather, and crisp desert air were a much-needed break from the interesting place that is the Las Vegas Strip. It’s not a city on my favorites list, but since I go twice a year for work, I’m going to make it a point to visit this awesome park each time I’m in town. I only hate that I didn’t find it sooner! Here are some shots from my morning run on Thursday…