When I look back at 2014, I’m quite pleased with what the year has brought. I had no idea I’d run a full marathon, develop new running interests and tons of new running friends!
I kicked off the year with the Lost Dutchman 10k, then ran the Mermaid Half Marathon here in AZ and achieved a new PR – 1:50:06! I took home 3rd place in my age group for both races. Then I tried a race I hadn’t done before – the South Mountain Classic 20k. That was a tough course, but incredibly scenic. And somehow I managed to win my age group! This whole age group placing thing is very new to me, but I Iike it! Then, thanks to the influence of one of my new Twitter friends (more on that later), I finally took on the task of completing Marathon #10 – something that had been an unchecked item on my to-do list for the last 8 years! There were many other races this year, but running the Detroit Marathon was definitely a humbling experience!
Once I had accepted the challenge of running in the Detroit Marathon, it occurred to me that I would be doing the majority of my training in the worst of the AZ summers – July, August and September. UGH!!!! After slacking off for the first few weeks of my training program, I realized that I needed help and that came in the form of running groups. I joined a women’s running group that met at 5am Tues and Thurs. Even though their pace was slower than mine, I really needed the accountability of meeting them in the morning to get me out the door. Once I did a few miles with them, I was able to continue on and get the rest of my miles in. Thank goodness they were here when I needed them, and I’ll be back next summer for more!
I also started doing Sunday long runs with Cadence Running Company. It got me out on the canals bright and early (actually in the dark before sunrise). There weren’t many other crazy people training for races at that time, but it was enough to get me through it.
I was lucky enough to join an up and coming social running group called RunEatTweetAZ. I had been Twitter friends with the founder, and he recruited me to be a “Chief Running Officer” for the group. We’re a group of runners with a social media problem!
Throughout my marathon training I was running on canals or other paths with soft dirt as much as I could. Although I used to hate it and find it boring, I now appreciate the softer surface and wide open space. I seek it out as much as I can. I also got the opportunity to volunteer at the Javelina Jundred ultramarathon and holy moley it really made an impact on me. The setting in the McDowell Mountains on the Pemberton trail was so gorgeous. I definitely see some trail runs/races in my future!
What’s on deck for 2015?
- Hilton Head Half Marathon
- Leavenworth Oktoberfest Half Marathon
- Still scouting for another full marathon in 2015 - Tucson?
- Got bit by the ultra bug – thinking of doing a 50k!
Speaking of friends, I can’t say enough about all of the wonderfully encouraging people I have met through Twitter and these new running groups this year! They have exposed me to new things, new ideas, new adventures, and pushed me to new limits. You rock!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!