My last blog post was almost a full year ago.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well, it took a while for me to come around, but I can finally say that yes, I do miss blogging.
Where to begin?
2012 was very good to me, both on a personal and on an athletic level. I ran my second marathon in May 2012 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It was rainy, windy and I didn't execute my race plan very well, but I did earn myself a 6 minute marathon PR.
Since the marathon has been my focus for the past year, my participation in triathlon was limited. I competed in two races, both sprint distances and had pretty good results for not being in triathlon mode. At the Great Clermont Sprint Tri in March, I placed 2nd in my AG and 5th female overall. At the July Englewood Sprint Tri, I finished 1st in my AG and 3rd female overall. At Englewood, I was actually the first woman off the bike and that feeling was absolutely incredible! I knew that I was not going to actually win this event as eventual winner of the race was in a swim wave behind me (and she's pretty much Pro level), but just to have people screaming at me at the dismount line,"First Female! First Female!" Holy cow!
The week after the July sprint, I attended a USAT Level 1 coaching clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah. I've been coaching for a while now, but I understand that to some folks shopping around for a coach, credentials are everything. I had a blast in SLC, learned a fair amount and met some amazing people!
Upon returning home from SLC, I began chatting with an old friend from NJ who was beginning her prep work for the Philadelphia Marathon. I had absolutely no intention of running a fall marathon, but her excitement was contagious. So, I decided to join her and a whirlwind marathon training cycle followed.
I should say that I adore the Philadelphia Marathon. I grew up right outside of Philly and it was also my first marathon in 2011. This year we had perfect weather (and I do mean perfect), but I was overcooked. I rushed through the training cycle, squished in too much mileage in too short a time span and arrived at the finish line... already finished. I knew in mile 1 that I was not going to have a good race. My heart rate was already near half-marathon bpms and I wasn't even hitting marathon pace. Not good. I ended up finishing in 3:52... a mere 40 seconds faster than I had ran the year before. Lots of lessons learned here.
The month of November also included settling on my priority race for 2013... Ironman Florida. I volunteered in PCB for the 2012 event and honestly, I was not 100% sure about signing up for the 2013 race... until the car ride up. Lots of energy and excitement. The race itself put the exclamation point on it all and now I'm scheduled to attempt my first Ironman in 11 months. It's no secret that I'm a short course triathlete at heart (mostly because I don't like long bike rides), so this may be a once and done for me.
I also had a few personal highlights in November! A brand new specialty running store was set to open in my town on December 1st and the owners approached me about not only being an ambassador for the store in terms of coaching, group runs, etc... but they also wanted to know if I would be interested in working part-time there. Woah... dream job alert! What a perfect compliment to the private coaching that I already do from home! I now have the honor and privledge of working for perhaps the two best bosses EVER, while maintaining a flexible schedule that allows me ample time for working with my clients and for my own training, with the bonus of getting to talk about running all day... and handle tons of awesome running gear day in and day out. Did I mention the new shoe smell? Yes, I'm pretty darn happy!
And finally... this weekend I'll be tackling The Goofy Challenge with MSL and a few of my clients. I signed up last April, before running Philadelphia was even in the picture. Philly really beat me up this year and after that race, I needed a good break. I knew that Goofy was on the horizon, but the smart thing for me to do was to take some down time. I dramatically reduced my mileage and have just been doing the minimum needed to keep me "somewhat" marathon fit. Hence, I'm approaching the Goofy as more of an "event" than an actual race.
We are having unseasonably warm temperatures right now and are looking to possibly set some heat records this weekend, so I'm thankful that I have no real goals for this race other than to finish upright and celebrate big afterwards. I'm also aiming to minimize recovery because triathlon season is calling me!
It's good to be back, Blogland!