2017: Running in Review

Here’s a recap of some of my running highlights in 2017!

Total Mileage: 

2017: 3167 – the most I’ve done in a while!

2016: 2193 – Grandma’s marathon at 20 weeks pregnant since I didn’t find out I was pregnant until mid-April when I had already logged a TON of mileage. Mileage dropped significantly after Grandma’s, and Anna was born in October.

2015: 1142 – the first half of this year I didn’t run much (2 months post-partum to ~8 months post-partum). Struggling with mental health, depression, among other things.

2014 and earlier: ?? – 2014: Pregnant with Greta… probably not a ton. 2012/2013: Probably a ton. Someday I’ll have to clean up those logs!!

2017 Highlights:

  • World record 1/2 marathon pushing a double stroller! SO fun. Awesome race, the MOST AMAZING race director & community feel behind a race, and what an honor to be able to set a record with my two girls. They earned it just as much as I did.

Isn’t this what you bring with you on the drive over to your “A” race?

Winning the Gustavus Alumni race in 18:35 in August (race recap here), which came as a surprise! I knew my training was going well, but I didn’t expect to fell so strong and fast. I was also surprised to take the win by 26 seconds; Sadie took 2nd place and went on to finish 64th at NCAAs later that fall. Yes, she was at the start of her season, but I would say I was at the “start” of mine as well; this was one of a handful of 5ks I had done in my training since Anna (who was 10 months).

  • Running a 1:03 10-miler at Stillwater’s Log Boom (race recap here) despite the heat and humidity and being dropped off at the wrong start. This qualified me for the elite wave of TCM. I’m proud to have been able to do that at 11 months post-partum!

  • Running sub-3 marathon and finishing 14th woman at TCM. Being able to run the first 1/2 with my athlete Michelle Baxter, from Alaska, and her sister. If you don’t already, follow along her running journey. Her improvements are impressive (I’m totally biased).
  • Finding out my VO2 max is higher after pregnancies than before (at 69.9, blog post here). Perhaps I didn’t test well before, but I really wonder if pregnancies haven’t left my rib cage wider, allowing for a higher VO2. Total uneducated guess – and maybe me just being hopeful that my even wider mid-section/no waist has a purpose. Who knows. But this has fueled my belief that I can come back & be fast again after pregnancy!
  • Being selected for inclusion in Standford’s ELITE study on athletes with top VO2 max readings. This study hopes to figure out what genomes help “make” an elite athlete. Can we use those genes to help those that struggle with heart or lung issues?
  • Renewed or new sponsorships with Generation UCAN, Seven Sundays, Brooks Running (as a coach), Feetures! socks, Defeat the Stigma, Dr. Ackerson at Cram Chiropractic, and Stunt Puppy.

2017 Low-lights:

  • Too many miles run from Children’s hospital in St. Paul.
  • At about 6-8 months post-partum I developed significant hip pain and began to limp through workouts and races. This turned into a highlight as I sought out PT, worked diligently on it, and now am actively working on helping my abs heal back together. I know how to engage my TVA when doing a crunch. Compare that to my first PT appointment where I couldn’t contract a single fiber when asked to recruit that muscle!
  • Not being able to pace Michelle to her sub-3 as she fell back 2/3 of the way through the race. The highs that come with coaching also come with lows, and I wanted her “big goal” for her as much as she did for herself. But, it still was a BIG PR for her and I’ve been able to help her re-write her 5k-marathon PRs across the board after pregnancy… so I think we’re doing okay. It’s just that one last goal of ours… 🙂
  • There have been a few bi-polar “lows” this year, but nothing extreme and nothing long lasting, thank goodness. During those times I force myself (yes, force) to stick to my training plan as I KNOW that when my brain is functioning normally that my training is one of the most powerful things I have to keep me healthy & happy. It’s so easy to want to give in & give up during those lows. Bi-polar depression is no fun and even though I wouldn’t ever choose to have it, I can choose how I get through the lows. I’d say I did pretty darn well this year with that (especially considering I stopped nursing, which is a risky time for symptoms – and am now not on lithium!)

2017 Random Facts:

Money found during runs: $11.55.

I always wanted a coin counting machine as a little girl. Now I have one in my OFFICE!!!!

Average amount found per week: $.22. Probably shouldn’t quit my day job.

Maybe I should have a back-up plan for how Nate and I intend to finance a GAC education for our girls…

Average daily miles: 8.68. I hadn’t done the math until just now. That seems like a lot!

Average weekly mileage: 60.9

Highest Mileage week: 92, July 10th-16th, 12 weeks out from the marathon. 5 other weeks between 83 and 86, two before the 1/2 marathon record attempt and three between the 92 mile week and TCM.

Coolest “junk” found during a run: I can’t think of anything. That can’t be right… training partners, can you help me out? There has to be SOMETHING!

Coolest thing of all time was a pair of little kid skis and poles, found in 2016.

Prized possession lost on a run: Nate’s Birkie Buff, lost on a run from Children’s. I ran back the next day when I realized it had fallen out of my waistband, but to no avail. I’m hoping this shows up on someone else’s “coolest junk found” list! 🙂

Coolest race award: Hands down, these two shirts from the Get it Dunn 1/2 marathon. That’s the race director for you – going above and beyond in everything. These are something we will treasure forever!

Hardest workout: First track workout post-partum: 5x1k. Threw up on the cool down. Blog post here. I’m sure there were a couple of marathon specific ones too, but nothing that felt anything like that workout.

2017 Take-it-back: I sometimes wonder if it was worth the craziness of trying to “train” while Anna was in the hospital… all while selling a house, managing a house build,moving twice, working at Bethel (at year end, nonetheless!), and TNC coaching. I barely held it together, as is evidenced by this post. But, I wonder if I would have really lost it if I had let go of my training.

Guess the one thing I might take back is the 5k race in Hendricks (#2 in this post) where I overcooked myself. I felt sick from that for over a week and my legs felt funny for almost two weeks. I wanted to prove I was on the up-and-up with my 5k times at the time, but instead it was a major step backwards.

Coach: Jerry Schaubach. The man who holds me back from my addictive want-to-do-too-much, too-hard, personality and channels that drive into smart planning and long term goals. It’s not easy coaching me – thank you so much for telling me to shut up & woman-up when I need to, and in general, for giving me the ability to believe in myself.

2010, first race under Jerry’s guidance.

Assistant Coaches: Craig, Jeff… and occassionally I’ll listen to Nate 🙂

NEW training partners I’ve recruited to join me!: Leigh, Sedge, and Austin (aka The Fast Unicorn), and Ruth. On occassion Lizzy and Aiden. Add in my typical cast of characters (Craig, Jeff, Teresa, the Moose, and Nate) and I’m one lucky girl to have so many people to train with! Thanks, y’all!

Your turn:
What were your 2017 running highlights? What was a 2017 running low-light?

What race or effort are you most proud of?

Any take-it-back moments in 2017?

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