2015 Year in Review

A lot went down in 2015. I moved, I switched to my dream job, I lost a friend, I helped my brother recover from a terrible injury, I traveled to a new country, I made lots of new friends and I did a whole bunch of running. The main goal for 2015 was to stay / get healthy. While that didn’t strictly happen, I ended 2015 in a much better place than I started it and feel confident that I am on the road to fixing he strength imbalance that has been causing 99% of my problems. I didn’t achieve either of my time goals (1:25 for a half, 3:15 for a full) mostly because I only gave myself one opportunity for each early in the year. I ran not one, but two 50k’s and totally caught the trail bug. Here are some high – and low-lights.

January 18th Pacifica 10K  – Win and CR!

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The NP crew at ITR’s Pacifica Trail Race, with me tucked under Sam’s arm

This race was super fun and it was my first trail race. I managed to come away with my first ever race win and created a new course record in the process. We had a good group from November Project there which made it even more fun. This was also the last race I got to run with my friend Sam who was killed in a kayaking accident the next weekend. She was starting to get into a groove on the trail races and she was so excited about it. Her energy was totally infectious. I will be racing here again next weekend (this time taking on the half-marathon) and hope she will keep me company on the trails.

February – Kaiser Half Marathon – 1:28:32 (PR)

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Best Cheer squad a runner could ask for

I had no expectations for this race. The week preceding was one of the hardest in my life and I had been drinking a lot of wine, not sleeping and expending pretty much all of my emotional energy and not running. While not physically prepared for a PR, my heart (as in the emotional side of it) had other plans. I didn’t reach my goal of 1:25 but did much better than expected under the circumstances.

I enjoyed reading this race report so I am going to re-share it: https://amythepunisher.com/2015/02/02/boston-training-week-7-re-cap-kp-half-marathon-race-report/

April 20 – Boston Marathon – 3:18:32 (PR)

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Look at that grimace.. no seriously.. look at it!

Yet another less than satisfactory Boston Marathon experience. My nagging hamstring tendinitis caused by severe lack of activation and strength in my L glute, compounded by months of training, finally had enough. Cold and wet conditions did not help the cramp creep and by mile 15, I was in some of the worst pain of my life. I made it to the end faster than I ever had before, but far below my goal time that I knew I could hit. I had pretty extreme hypothermia and walked the mile to my Airbnb in about 45 minutes, crying and convulsing with full body shivers. So yeah, when people ask if I am excited to go back.. you bet I am!

July 18 TRT 55k

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My own personal finisher’s tunnel.. thanks guys!

In the 3 months between Boston and TRT I ran 145 miles… in 3 months I ran the equivalent of 3 weeks worth of mileage. Oopsies. I went into TRT with only one goal: Survive. My lack of preparedness or training for my first ultra is not even funny. I think this quote from my pre-race blog post sums it up

” I have never done more than about 3,000 feet of elevation gain in a single run at tomorrow I can expect about 8,000 feet over 34 miles.”

Well I survived, and even managed to squeeze into the top ten women finishers. I caught the ultra bug and had a blast, but the 7 and a half hour finish time still haunts my ultra signup ranking 😉

August – December

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The motivating influence of a team is a super awesome

I ran a whole bunch of races in the late summer and fall, mostly because I joined the super awesome SFRC Baybirds racing team. The cross- country season made me feel a burn I haven’t felt since college, and the extra racing just begot more racing. I nabbed another win and CR and the ITR Oakland Hills half marathon and got third in the ITR Mount Tm 30k tuneup for the TNF 50k.

The North Face Endurance Challenge Series – 50K ; 4:44

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My favorite race photo of the year – and it got shared by Oiselle! Life goal accomplished!

I ended what turned out to be a pretty tough year on a really high racing note. I got 2nd place and broke 5 hours at the North Face Endurance Challenge Series 50k. I ran a lot on the course in preparation for this race and really worked on my fueling strategy. Both the mental preparedness and the energy management really paid off and I had a great race. I may even be brave enough to attempt the 50 miler next year!

Reflection is an important part of growth and I learned a lot in 2015 – hard life lessons, discovering strength in community and finding untapped sources of strength within myself – only give me more courage to take on hat 2016 has to throw at me.

Also, when I say I ended the year on a high note I really mean this:

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Team Unicorn Daydreamz at the Christmas Relays

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