Runners Tell All: 2014 Reflections & 2015 Goals

Well, this is it. The end of the road, so to speak, for 2014. I started blogging around this time last year and have linked up for Runners Tell All almost every month (a million thanks to Amanda and Beka for hosting!). I've talked about how and why I started running, my favorite running gear, going through a rough spot, my favorite running picture, my proudest running moment, my training tips, my race bucket listmy biggest running fans and finally, today, I'm looking back on my year of running (and ahead to what's next on my list).

By the numbers:
1120* = total miles run
177* = number of hours spent running
9:28 = average pace for the year
0 = number of injuries!
15 = finish lines crossed
4 = number of states I ran or raced in (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, New York)
1 = number of back-to-back race challenges completed
2 = number of new races (full marathon and duathlon)
3 = number of sub-2 hour half marathons I ran (plus 1 more if you count unofficial)
8:25 =  my fastest mile at the beginning of the year / 7:29 = my fastest mile by the end of the year
27:39 = my 5k PR at the beginning of the year / 23:59 = my 5k PR at the end of the year
57:00 = my 10k PR at the beginning of the year / 49:20 = my 10k PR at the end of the year
2:09:59 = my half marathon PR at the beginning of the year / 1:49:34 = my half marathon PR at the end of the year
4:48:59 = finishing time at my first marathon
63.5 = lowest monthly mileage (April) / 122.4 = highest monthly mileage (February), 121.9 = close second (September)
*projected - there are still 10 days of December left!

This year of running was a lot of up and down (and I'm not just talking about the fact that I started running hills for the first time ever): I finished my first full marathon feeling like the champion of the world (or Wonder Woman, as it were), then the marathon turned right back around and humbled me; the half marathon put me in my place, but I later beat. the. shit. out of it; I got intimidated and dropped out of two big races, but doing so led me to some big(ger?) things that had never been on my radar until they happened.

This was a transformational year for me. It was my biggest year of running yet, not just because of the numbers up there, but because I finally felt like I got the hang of running. This was the first time I really ever pushed myself. I learned to run hard and to take risks. My attitude toward running majorly suffered after I moved, but the times I've put up since then make it hard to deny that moving has done anything other than good things for my running. Just as soon as I finally made it to a place where running felt comfortable, even easy, I was pulled out of my comfort zone and running was suddenly harder than ever before. I'm not proud of my bad attitude about my new surroundings; it's something I'm still working through. But through all of my struggles, both physical and mental, running has made me a fighter.

Years from now I probably won't remember how fast (or not) I ran in Charleston during my first marathon, or what time my dad and I crossed the finish line, holding hands, at his first marathon, or how long I stood shivering in the cold rain after the Hokie Half Marathon waiting to see Ben finish his first 13.1, or what pace I was trying to hold in Richmond. What I will remember are those experiences. I'm fortunate to have had them, and even more fortunate to be able to start a new year with legs that are able to carry me however far I ask them to.

2015 Goal: Complete a Half-Ironman.

That's it. One goal for this year. I've been wanting to do this since I started triathlon in 2013, talking about it since last year, and I'm ready to make good on it in 2015. I have my goal race all picked out and I'm ready to sign up as soon as registration opens. I'm excited, doubtful, nervous, and hopeful. I hope I'm ready for what awaits me in September.

Since my main goal for 2015 is the 70.3, I know that in order to accomplish it, I need to make it my focus. First and foremost, that means taking the marathon completely off the table for 2015. While I had a really successful 2014, I think I put way too much on my plate and I don't want to risk burning myself out again. I do have a secondary goal for 2015, and that's to run a 1:45 half marathon in March. It's enough of a dream goal that it's definitely going to take some work, but realistic enough that the training (which officially starts tomorrow!) won't be drastically different from how I would run otherwise. I plan to train for it and do my best, but if it doesn't happen, I can live with that.

I need to treat it the same way I treated my first marathon, with visions of the finish line my head during every training session. I need to eat, sleep, and breathe that race. I know from experience that fully committing to this race is what will make not only the race itself, but also my training, a positive, successful experience. As impressive as the second half of my year was, I have a hard time being proud of it because I don't like the attitude I had at the time. So, maybe that's my big goal for 2015: to be the athlete I want to be, mentally and physically. To get my head right. Then hopefully my legs will follow.  


  1. Your numbers for this year are seriously amazing! I just commented this on Amanda's blog, but I think I really want to keep track of mileage in 2015. I'm such a stats/numbers person that I think having it all laid out in front of me would keep me motivated, rather than just keeping a rough idea in my head of what I've done. Hoping a runner's watch and possibly a new phone that can handle an app will be in my near future ;) So excited to hear all about the half-ironman, what a feat that will be!!!

  2. Wow, your PR drops this year are impressive, and I'm equally impressed you achieved these goals without incurring any injuries along the way! Wishing you all the best in 2015 and beyond!

    1. Thank you, Kari! I've been running for not even 4 years yet, but this was the first year I didn't have any injuries, so that was awesome. I had a few small things pop up but nothing that caused me to miss more than a couple days. So thankful for that!

  3. It looks like you have had a great year! I am looking forward to 'hearing about' your training for the half ironman... what an awesome goal!!

    1. Thanks, Sam! I'm more terrified than excited at this point ;)

  4. What a fantastic running year! Im looking forward to so much next year with running and becoming stronger and better. So happy I read this!

  5. Your PRs are amazing! That's such a huge improvement in just a year. I feel like you're the runner I could be if I cared enough to put in the training effort (I don't know if that even makes sense, but it does to me!). I have no doubt that you will rock that 1/2 ironman. That is honestly something I don't desire to do, but I totally admire people who do it. Thanks for being such a great supporter of our linkup this year! Here's to 2015!

  6. You go girl! Seems like you had an amazing year. I will be sure to read back on it. Keep on keeping on!

  7. Dang, your speed improvement from the beginning of the year until now is crazy! Congrats! I love the idea of a triathlon, except for the whole swimming part. Swimming and me have never gotten along for some reason, but I wish you good luck on your 2015 half-ironman. Cheers to another year of running injury-free!

  8. What a great year! Those PRs are amazing, so inspiring! Looking forward to following you as you tri 70.3 :)

  9. I loved reading your year recap through numbers! You accomplished some great things. I can relate to struggling with keeping a positive attitude through change.

    A 1/2 iron man will be awesome! You sound like you are right on track with your training!

  10. Wow! Your PRs are incredible! It must be so rewarding to see improvements like that! Good luck with the half Ironman!

  11. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Also, keeping the finish line in mind every training run? I need to start doing that. Thanks for the pro tip. Gonna make that RnR goal happen.

  12. I think it looks like you had a fantastic year, despite whatever struggles you faced!! You ran your first marathon this year--that's awesome!!! I always picture the finish line during any training run and that helps me a lot, so I think you'll crush that half ironman :)

  13. i LOVE this! my favourite thing about this year is the 0 injuries!! that's nothing to sneeze out fo sho. i am so excited for your half ironman and the 1:45 half marathon that duh you are totally gonna smash. i'm so excited to follow along this year, and i hope 2015 is to me what 2014 was to you (for running!).


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