2015 Recap

I haven't been feeling like a "real runner" the last portion of this year because I wasn't racing and was focused on school instead. However, when I look back at the year as a whole I did a lot of running and accomplished some pretty major goals!

I ended up running 1167 miles total! I also biked 627 miles and got in 142.5 hours of cross training!

I started last year with a lovely long run on the Eastern Trail. I did't know it at the time, but it would be my last long run where I didn't battle the cold and snow!

January and February were then spent trying to marathon train in one of the coldest, snowiest winters I remember! I also ran the Midwinter Classic 10 Miler in February. Despite frigid temperatures, I really liked the race. 10 miles was a fun new distance to race.

At the end of February we were more than ready to leave the snow and head to New Zealand for our belated honeymoon. We had so much fun exploring both islands in our rented campervan. And of course, I also ran a marathon! The Bayley's Mountain to Surf Marathon marked my 6th continent complete!

Once we got home I made the impetuous decision to book a trip to Morocco to complete my goal of running a marathon on all 7 continents. So I jumped back into marathon training and started nursing school. Over Memorial Day weekend I made a quick trip to Morocco and knocked off those 26.2 miles.

It was a really tough run and not quite the triumphant ending I had imagined to my 7 continent quest. With time though, I made peace with it and was able to celebrate my incredible accomplishment. Many years and many miles later I had finally done it!!

Over the summer it was all about shorter distances and fun. I ran the Peak's Island 5 miler at the end of July. As always, it was a fun day out on the island. 

The following weekend I finally ran the Beach to Beacon 10k. It is Maine's most well known race, so I was glad I finally got to experience it. I even managed to surprise myself by running really well in the heat.

Once fall semester started I was super busy with school, but I did manage to make time for one race. I ran the Trails to Ales 10k with a group of friends from school! 

Although I didn't have any particular training plan or mileage goal throughout the fall, I still managed to log quite a few miles. Running really helped me keep my sanity during this stressful semester. 

In November, my long run mojo finally returned and I found myself craving longer runs again. Yet I've resisted signing up for any longer races early next year. For the first time in 8 years I want a winter where I don't have to constantly battle the elements for hours. I'm not sure what next year holds. I think it's going to be a year where a lot happens in my life outside of running, so I am a hesitant to commit myself to too much. I am eyeing a couple relays (a new one in Maine from Bar Harbor to Portland or one in Prince Edward Island). For now I'm content to still bask in the glow of finishing my 7 continents and run whatever I am feeling each day. 

Happy New Year!

Running Presents from Santa

Hi Friends! How were your holidays? I had about 5 days straight of fun, food, and family. It was wonderful, but I am also really enjoying having a quiet, snow day at home today.

Santa knows me well and so I got a few fun running related items for Christmas.

I desperately needed a new pair of shoes for the gym, so these were my Christmas present to myself. The color is so fun and they feel great on my feet. Plus they were a super bargain at $64!

I am old school and run with an i-pod (I don't like to have my phone with me). I've always worn it on my arm because I like to be able to adjust the volume or easily skip a song while I'm running. However, the cord connecting my i-pod to my headphones always drove me nuts. I love these wireless headphones. They are super light and comfortable and stay right in place (which is always a problem with earbud style headphones and my tiny ears). I can even adjust the volume and skip tracks just by tapping the headphones, so I don't even need to keep my i-pod on my arm anymore!

I often run in the dark in the morning and I know how important it is to be seen. I've tried a few different vest style reflectors but they all chafed and annoyed me. This light up band is awesome. I can wear it around my wrist or arm on whatever side is closest to traffic. Once it gets light out, I can simply switch it off. A bonus is that I can wrap it around Sushi's collar when we walk at night so cars can also see her!

What did running Santa bring you?

It's Beginning to Feel a (little) Like Christmas

How is Christmas in 3 days?? I love the Christmas season, but I'm just having a hard time feeling the Christmas spirit this year. There's just so much working against being merry and jolly!

I was so busy with school until the end of last week.

But I did take time right after Thanksgiving to put up our tree
And it has been so strangely warm here. Where is my snow!!

I watched the boat parade in a sweatshirt. Usually I have on about 9 layers

Rory and I both came down with an awful cold

I basically spent a whole week lying on this couch blowing my nose

But now I'm on winter break and I am feeling better (it's still not snowing, but 2 out of 3 isn't bad.) I am determined to feel festive. 

I spent the past few days baking and bringing treats to friends and neighbors. My friends and I had a particularly good time decorating sugar cookies yesterday. Tonight is my first (of many) family parties. It is finally feeling (a little) like Christmas.

Halfway There

Phew, I made it to winter break. Which honestly was not a given. I never had to work this hard when I got my first undergraduate degree, or my Master's!

This also marks the halfway point of my nursing program, which is both encouraging and discouraging. It is like mile 13 of a of a marathon. On the one hand, I've already covered so much ground. On the other hand, I'm tired and I still have a long way to go.

In fact, I've found a lot of similarities between nursing school and marathons.

Have faith in yourself
I always get freaked out at marathon expos. I look around and feel like everyone else looks like so much more of a "real runner." I felt the same way going into school. As someone with no science background, I felt like I was at such a disadvantage. In both cases, I have to just remind myself that I do belong and I can do it.

Run the mile (or semester) you are in
I am queen of worrying about what is to come. In a marathon I cross mile 1 and already start worrying about mile 25. In nursing school, I worry about a paper due in 2 months or how hard next semester is going to be. Not only does this cause me needless anxiety, but it takes my attention away from what I should be dedicating myself to right now. I'm really trying to check myself when I find that I am worrying about something way in the future.

Take care of yourself
You won't get through a marathon if you don't hydrate and take in energy throughout the race. At the start I school, I was trying to treat it like a sprint. I was going all out all the time, and not taking time to sleep, eat, or relax. I eventually realized that sleeping and yoga and taking time to relax with my family and friends was just as important as school.

Enjoy the little things along the way
I've run marathons on all seven continents, and yet I couldn't tell you much about the courses themselves. I was so focused on my goal of finishing the race, that I didn't pay any attention to what was happening around me. I probably missed out on a lot of amazing sights. So, in school I am trying to remind myself to slow down. I sat and just talked to my patient for more than an hour in clinical one day, instead of just completing my assessment as quickly as possible and leaving the room. As a result, I heard an amazing life story and left clinical feeling like I'd made a real difference in that patient's life.


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