A Look Back at 2014: Running and Races

Today’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up topic is “A Look Back at 2014”. This is a post I have wanted to write, but wasn’t sure where to start. So today I am planning to look back at the year in running and races. Then, later this week I’ll recap the year related to my goals. 

So let’s go back to almost a year ago. In January I started training for the Raleigh Marathon. I followed Hanson’s Marathon Method and got my mileage up higher than I ever had before. I trained through the polar vortex winter and was running double digits on weekdays somewhat frequently. By February I was hitting 60 mile weeks and the weather wasn’t letting up. 


 My first race of the year wasn’t until March. I ran the Rock N Roll DC half on a whim and it got me excited to be racing again. My time wasn’t anything special but I wasn’t expecting it to be with all the mileage I had done in the days leading up to the race.

dchalfShortly after this race I started to have some pain/tightness in my left quad. I also got a random pain in my right knee just as my taper was beginning. I took almost a week off, and my knee felt fine but quad pain lingered. I went into the Raleigh marathon with less confidence than I would have liked, along with alot of KT tape.

tapeI ran a 4:01 in the marathon, which was a 4 minute PR. However, I REALLY wanted to break 4 hours so I was disappointed about that. The course was really hilly and after running in the cold all winter we suddenly had an 80 degree day. I tried not to be too hard on myself with everything I had working against me. 

postraceAfter recovering from the marathon I switched chiropractors and finally felt healthy again by May. I got into a workout schedule that involved a decent amount of running, body pump, and yoga. I started racing again in June with a 6k and a 10 miler (both of which were PRs). 

baltimore 10 milerI also became certified as an RRCA running coach, and visited Boston and Cape Cod in the process!

image_thumb.pngIn July I took some down time to prepare for marathon training in August. I ran a 5k which was 2 seconds slower than my PR, but had a great time running with my family!

groupshot_thumb.jpgIn August I ran the Charles St 12 miler, which was a really fun event with great weather (for August) and a fun course! I also got to meet a bunch of bloggers that day! (This was an automatic PR since it was my first time running a 12 miler).

bloggers_thumb.jpgImmediately after the 12 miler I went on vacation to the Jersey shore which involved a lot of relaxing beach miles with pretty sunrises. It was just the week I needed to prepare for marathon training the following week. 

sunrise runI created my own training plan for the Philadelphia Marathon and started training at the end of August. I had a great training cycle, especially for the first month. I ran a 5k in September (which was 1 second slower than my PR…this just wasn’t my year for the 5k I guess!)

5kIn October I ran the Baltimore 1/2 marathon and set a new PR of almost 2 minutes (which took me 2 1/2 years to break!) 

lisa3In the weeks after the Baltimore 1/2 my piriformis started bothering me. This had been a nagging injury from 2012 that hadn’t bothered me in almost a year, so I was super frustrated that it was acting up again. I was able to complete my training for Philly and ran a 15 minute PR on November 23rd. However, my hips bothered me quite a bit during the race and I felt like I could have run faster if they had cooperated. 

lisa 3After the race I took a full week off from running (and spent the week relaxing in Florida). Since then, I have run pretty much only easy miles, ranging from 13-42 miles per week. I’ve also started adding in body pump, yoga, and barre. 

body pumpThis year in running has been quite a journey for me. There were a lot of PRs (6 out of 9 races). While I was mostly healthy, there were plenty of issues that interfered with my running. Most of them I was able to manage on my own, others lingered and interfered with my training and/or racing. I learned more about running and injury prevention, and continued to work on core strength. I made huge gains in nutrition by learning about paleo and switching to a focus on primarily unprocessed foods. As of December 29th (with 2 days to go) I have run exactly 1900 miles. I feel really good about how the year went, but I also know that there is plenty of room for improvement. Which is why I am so excited for what 2015 will bring!

If you’re interested, here is my recap of my running and races in 2013

Tuesdays on the Run

 Thanks to  AprilPatty, and Erika for hosting the link-up! 

What were some of your favorite running-related memories of 2014?

How many races did you run this year?

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71 thoughts on “A Look Back at 2014: Running and Races

    • Thank you! I think there is something to be said for creating your own plan and modifying it based on your own needs.

  1. Hmm, how many did I run? Good question – going to count now –I think 8 races? Three half marathons (one I didn’t finish), one 10-miler, 2 10k’s, 1 5k and one 5-mile race. I am hoping to run the same races this year and maybe throw in some other ones too! I would like to get back to Hershey if I can for the half marathon in October this year as well. That’s a great race.
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…The Food Mistakes I Made In DisneyMy Profile

    • Sounds like you did a nice mix of races! I would like to race a little more next year- not all to “race” but more to get used to being in races and hopefully get more comfortable with them!

    • It really seems like its been a great year all around! I’m getting excited for next year already!

  2. I love the whole recap of the year, since I’ve only known you since after the spring marathon. I think I noticed your blog when you mentioned you were signed up for the coach training, and then of course I stalked it! I can’t imagine doing the hanson plan, I know it works for many but I’m pretty certain it would not work for me, or my schedule! I think with injuries it’s a live and learn process, but it always seems like with marathon training, some sort of pain pops up. Hoping for pain free healthy running in 2015!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Best of the Blog 2014My Profile

    • There are some aspects of Hansons plan that I liked, but it was too hard for me to follow the plan as described which kind of defeated the purpose. I think there are always going to be times when things start to hurt, and its all about how we manage it! Hopefully we are going into 2015 smarter and more prepared for a great year of running!

  3. Congrats on a PR-filled year! I’ve heard great things about the Hanson Method but suspect I’d be injured with that intensity. I too have nagging piriformis issues. Much of the reason I’ve backed off and am focusing on strength now. Here’s to a wonderful 2015!
    Marcia recently posted…Feeling Judged in the GymMy Profile

    • It really seems like hip and glute strength is key to keeping the piriformis under control. The Hanson’s plan had a lot of good concepts but I think it was a little too much for me…but it was a good learning experience!

    • Races stress me out too. I’m hoping to do more just for fun so that I get more comfortable with them!

    • Thank you!
      The harbor was soo cold that day- actually I think it was frozen over for most of January and February!

    • Thank you! I love being able to blog about it and look back on my experiences. 2015 will be a great year!

  4. Isn’t it crazy to think back to all the polar vortex running we were doing last winter… and wonder what this winter will have in store for us?!

    You had a bangin’ year! No wonder you didn’t PR the 5K (but gah, so close!) you were too busy kicking butt elsewhere!!!!

    I hope 2015 sees a lot less injuries/flare-ups! :)
    kilax recently posted…Training Week 271My Profile

    • Thanks, I hope so too!
      I’ve been worried about the winter this year too, but I’m grateful it hasn’t been bad so far!

    • It seems like so many running bloggers had a great 2014! 10 races and a first marathon are awesome milestone!

    • Thank you! I was really happy with my time, but frustrated about how close I was to breaking the 4 hour mark. But I made up for it in my next marathon, so I am very happy with that!

    • I think that falling back in love with running is way more important than races or times. Good luck with your 2015 marathon!

  5. Nice job! A full and a half marathon PR in one year is a pretty big deal. I think I’ve been following your blog since the summer (stalking people aiming for a sub-4 fall marathon) but what strikes me is how confident you’ve become in trusting your training plan. I guess I missed the fact that you got certified as a coach – that probably explains how you know what you’re doing! 7 races for me this year but hoping for more in 2015!
    Sarah recently posted…ProgressMy Profile

    • Thanks! I think part of the process of learning how to train came from following other training plans for my first few races. The coaching training was helpful too! I also feel like I actually learn a lot from reading other blogs!
      I also want to race more in 2015!

  6. You had a really great year, congrats! I just realized I was at Rock’n’Roll DC with you too! I ran that this year with a friend – it was her first half. I had so much fun running it with her :) That big hill in mile 6 was pretty steep and brutal though!
    Charissa recently posted…Recovery ProgressMy Profile

    • That’s awesome that you were there too- and so cool that you ran with your friend! That hill was probably the worst one I have ever run. I’m already dreading it for this year- I know I will need to do some hill training for that race!

  7. Wow – so close to getting a 5k PR! Maybe in 2015 :) I think it’s a good sign that you were so close both times when the races weren’t your primary goals.
    It stinks that neither marathon went as well as you’d hoped, but managing to PR at both of them is still pretty darn awesome! Hopefully you’ll be able to avoid any body aches and pains for the most part (or ideally all year long!) next year as you tweak your training.
    Amber recently posted…2014 in ReviewMy Profile

    • I’m hoping that I’ll be able to PR in the 5k this year- both of the ones I did were in warm weather. And thanks- an injury free 2015 would be awesome!!

  8. What an amazing year! Any year with that many PRs and two completed marathons is a winner in my book! Here’s to an even better 2015. Thanks for linking up with us today!

  9. I love this year in review! Congrats on what has been a truly great year for you! Next year will be even better. You worked so hard to finally break four hours-that is Huge! And setting the new half PR is fantastic! I kind of feel like your 2014 was my 2013-I set the same exact PRs you did in the half&full.
    Next year is a BQ year, I can feel it! Cheers to 2015!
    Nicole@Thegirlwhoraneverywhere recently posted…A Better Runner&2015 GoalsMy Profile

    • Thanks!! That is so nice to know especially seeing how far you have come since 2013! I do want to go for a BQ but I’m just not sure when:) I guess it would help if I signed up for a marathon!

    • Thanks! I am actually really overly cautious when it comes to injury. Its good and bad because I overanalyze every single ache and pain. But I typically try to trust myself and my chiro about what I can run through. Most of what I have dealt with could be managed by lower mileage and less intense workouts. But next year I want to avoid any of those issues even more!

    • Its hard to say because all year I pretty much did the same strength workouts. But I did notice a difference when I started going to yoga more and seeing a chiro regularly. I think that the lower mileage probably helped in that I was able to run faster paces for those miles, if that makes sense.

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