Hello!!! I’m back! Did you miss me? I needed a minute to breathe over the holidays. It’s always a really busy time for me. I kept it together until the day after Christmas, and then I got reeeallly sick. Yup, sick again. I was so sick with a horrible cold over Thanksgiving, so I thought I was done for the year. I was so wrong. I actually think I never quite recovered from cold #1, making cold #2 that much worse. Or maybe it was all the same cold. I don’t ever want to relive that to find out!
I didn’t do any blogging because I was mainly on my couch with a box of tissues, Mucinex and other various decongestants, and all of the comfort food I could possibly eat. I watched a disgusting amount of Netflix and knitted almost an entire baby blanket. I’ll post a picture when I’m done with it.
I figured I’d start the year off with a running/training recap of 2015. I think it’s more just for me to reflect on the good that happened during the year, so I can stop swelling on the shit storm it ended with! I didn’t accomplish my goal original goal, which was to break three hours in the marathon. I didn’t even come close. I did, however, have a lot of great races, amazing experiences, and wonderful memories with friends and family that I’m thankful for.
Started off the year with a healthy dose of Achilles Tendinitis and had a crazy amount of snow in these parts. I was working with a coach as the year began. I was unable to put in a lot of miles due to injury, but by the end of the month, I remember having a really awesome run that I thought meant I was in the clear:
The snow continued, as did my battle with Achilles Tendinitis. It was awful, and forced me to take a few weeks of almost no running right before the Lost Dutchman Marathon. I was able to spend a lot of time at our local ski area, Blue Mountain and that distracted me from my lack of running. I flew out to Arizona, lined up at the start, and ran a sub-3 pace for 15 miles until I seriously blew up and had to walk/run it in. I ran a stupid race that day, but I was so upset and frustrated with my injury that I didn’t know what else to do.
Feeling broken and defeated, I took the whole month off of blogging and two full weeks off of running to try to figure it out. At the beginning of the month, we were still getting pounded with snow so my husband and a group of friends and I shipped up to Jay Peak, VT for some serious glade skiing.
A week after we got back, I started to run again. Slowly. It was still super painful but I knew I had to do something to get ready for Boston. My coach wanted me to stay on the treadmill, but I spent so much time on the treadmill trying to baby my achilles that I had to get out. My first semi pain free run was actually right after a snowstorm and it never felt so good.
I was slowly building mileage and started the month off by pacing the 1:45 crew Garden Spot Half Marathon. It went well, but I remember it feeling harder than it did the year before, which worried me for Boston.
But, Boston ❤ This was a miracle race. Not a PR, but somehow I managed to finish in 3:13. I’d done a few long runs, but nothing super fast. I hadn’t done any speed work. I was just running, and trying to get back some endurance. It was a magical day. My husband had a work obligation so I brought my friend, Ashley, with me.
I got my two seconds of fame when I was on our local TV network, WFMZ, since this was my fifth consecutive Boston and I was present the year that the race and the runners were attacked by terrorists. They interviewed me after the race in 2013, followed a group of us up to Boston in 2014, and then since I returned in 2015 they spoke to me again.
I was a guest bartender for a charity function to support J’s run:
A week after Boston, I paced the 1:50 crew at the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon. That was special for me since that was my first ever road race. I just got word that I was invited back for the 2016 race!
It got warm really fast so I was able to get back out on my bike as I got ready for Grandma’s Marathon. I did a lot of strength and cross training to help prepare. I was sure that I could hit a 3:05 at Grandma’s. My achilles was still an issue, but it was improving with each run so I kept moving forward. I got back on the track, and back on some trails to build strength.
The school year ended with a celebration at my house with my friends from work.
all because of Grandma’s, and meet up with Katelyn (who I met in 2014 at Clarence DeMar)! I was glad for that, because I didn’t run the race that I’d anticipated. A 3:17. 11 minutes off of my PR and slower than Boston, just a few months before. I stopped working with my coach, recovered and began plotting my return for fall.
I also began taking pole fitness classes, which has quickly become one of my favorite activities.
I began racing again. I won first overall female at the Race Street 15K:
It was on the 4th of July, so naturally I brought Jell-O shots to a party later that day to celebrate:
I also won my age group at the Quadzilla 15K trail race, which is a challenging course.
I went to two weddings – one was for a family friend that I’ve known since he was born, and the other was for one of my close friends.
I also learned how to invert in pole class (go upside down!) and do a butterfly.August 2015
It began with a vacation to our lake house and ended with the start of the new school year. At the lake, I trained for my upcoming races and matched my time spent training with a lot of relaxation.
I won my age group at a local Olympic triathlon that I participate in every single year.Kathy and I visited Runner’s World (local for us) for a tour and a lunch time run with David Willey, the editor in chief.
I raced my first half marathon in about five years and ran the first of several half marathon PRs. I won first overall female. It was the hilliest course I’ve ever run and I ran a 1:34. My real PR in this distance came later, but I was over the moon ecstatic.
The end of the month (and most days since then) looked a lot like this:
With school back in full swing, we entered a super hot month of training. I had two of my highest mileage week ever, topping out around 75 miles.
I ran my official half marathon PR at the VIA Half Marathon, a 1:29!! I was so excited to break the 1:30 barrier. It was a great day and I hope I can feel that good running again soon.
I also ran my first ever cross country style race, the Celtic Fest 10K and won first overall female! This was also the first time that I ever got lost during a race. I can laugh about it now!
I learned another favorite move, the janiero (comes from a brass monkey, of course). I also finally got my superman and my cupid, two moves that I was taught in July but couldn’t quite get the hang of.
Started out great, but ended with a shit storm that I’m still recovering from.
It started with the Hartford Marathon. I wanted so badly to PR there but again, ran a stupid race. I did run my fastest marathon of the year, though. It was a 3:12.
A week later, the Runner’s World Festival was held in my town. I got to meet and hang with Hollie!
But like a dumbass, I ran the race. A week after the marathon.
Mid race, I pulled my calf and had to back off. I was on track for another big half PR, but I finished with my friend Kathy in 1:30. It still ended up as my second fastest half ever. Awesome time, except the pulled calf has haunted me since and ruined the rest of my fall running. It’s my own dumb fault.
Also, there were Halloween inspired Jell-O shots for a party I went to:
My husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage!
I thought I ran my worst marathon of the year back in February, but I was so wrong. My calf hurt but didn’t worsen, and I came in under four hours. It was, however, state #30 for me and I got to spend a weekend away with great friends.
Then, after the awful race, I came home and found my poor kitty Zola was sick. Turns out she had a liver infection and I was syringe feeding her for the next month! November was definitely my lowest point of the year.
I had a really nasty cold for Thanksgiving, but we had great weather and deep fried our turkey for the second year in a row. So much fun!
Missy took me to the Andrew McMahon concert, which was the first show we’d seen together in awhile.
I learned a Fleur de Lis, another brass monkey/janiero variation that I’m in love with:
Finally, the year came to an end – and it ended just as rough as it began. I spent the final week of the year sick on my couch. There was a lot of fun non-running related activities, though.
My sister in law is a hairdresser and she does gel nails. I embraced being girly (which I mostly neglected for the past four years) and let her give me some great gel manicures.
I spent over 10 hours wrapping gifts – not because I had that many of them, but because it’s like art to me (I love doing it!).
We got dressed up and went to dinner for my mom’s 60th birthday and had Fiorini Christmas at my in-laws a few days before real Christmas. I started wearing red lipstick, which I was never brave enough to do before.
I threw a Christmas Eve party for 25 people in my unfinished kitchen. The kichen is a project for another post, but the party was a success and it looked pretty in the rustic, bare room. It was 70 degrees outside (Northeastern PA. Christmas. What the actual fuck?) so the lack of insulation in the room ended up being fine!
Oh yeah, and there were Jell-O shots (actually made these exact same ones twice in the month of December!):
I got quite possibly the best cat sweatshirt as a joke from my brother for Christmas.
And my final Jell-O shots of the year…Champagne 🙂 It was a mix of champagne, cake vodka, and cream soda. So good!
As for running, I did finally crest that 2,000 mile marker like I wanted to! Barely, but I clocked 2007.5 miles! Next goal is to hit 2,500 in a year. It took me awhile to crest that 2,000 mile marker, though.
I’m not going to do a goal post for 2016. Not much has changed on the running front – still aiming for a sub-3 marathon someday. Also, I have a goal of trying to make as many flavor combinations of Jell-O shots as I possibly can.
Overall, how was your year? How were the holidays? I have lots of catching up to do, so I hope to read some year end recaps on your blogs!