Running for my Life (and 2017 Fitness Goals)

It's been over seven years since I became a runner.  Last year, for the sixth year in a row, I ran a half marathon.  Actually, I ran two and got a PR in the second one, in August -- 2:11:50, or 10:03 average pace.  

Hobble Creek Half in August of 2016

I hope to continue that streak for many years to come. I almost missed doing it in 2015. Benji was born in mid-July so I had to train for a Thanksgiving Half in order to fit one in before the end of the year. I got in just enough mileage to do the race, but I had spent most of November up at night with a sick baby and then I was really wiped out and sick myself the day of the race.  Plus, it was really cold and I'm a wimp about cold. I almost decided to forget it, telling myself I'd just run an unofficial 13.1 on my own later, but with the encouragement of my husband, I got out the door and finished the race.  
After 2015's Thanksgiving Half marathon -- I earned my turkey that day!

I've been tracking my exercise on Dailymile since 2011 and recently took a look at my stats.

Lifetime Stats

My lifetime running miles are 3,668.  Not bad for a gal who couldn't even run a mile once upon a time.

2011 -- 558 miles run (this was the year I trained for a marathon, learned a whole lot of life lessons, and ran it when I was 15 weeks pregnant.  Plus also, I lost 35 lbs.)
2012 -- 397 miles run (this was the year Cami was born, in February)
2013 -- 774 miles run, 848 miles total (this includes walking, elliptical, and the occasional bike ride) 
2014 -- 837 miles run, 1063 total, 269.5 hours spent exercising
2015 -- 416 miles run, 673 total, 233 hours spent exercising
2016 -- 686 miles run, 926 total, 219 hours spent exercising

Graphing the Last Two Years

It's rather fun to look at the graphs on Dailymile.  Last year followed the same kind of curve as most years, with my mileage building up to a peak in the summer then dropping off. Each year, I think I will keep up the mileage during the winter and each year, I just don't.  I find I like the elliptical better than the treadmill on cold days since I can read while I'm on it and even when I do get out to run, it's hard to want to go more than five miles on a day that's 25 degrees.

When I put in "All" instead of just running, though, I'm rather proud that my total mileage didn't really drop during the last months of the year this time (thank you, elliptical!)

My only year where the curve was reversed was in 2015, when I had Benji mid-year then ramped up for a half marathon at Thanksgiving:

 2017 Goals

In November, I will turn 40. Somehow, that seems a lot older than 39. I am really happy with my life and what I've been able to accomplish with it. I'm thankful for my good health.  Still, I have a lot of improvements I want to make this year, starting with getting rid of my sugar addiction. I'm hopeful that changing up my routine and training for a triathlon will help me finally lose the weight I gained during my last pregnancy. I'm working on weaning Benji and my husband is helping with getting him to sleep through the night (mostly going in and letting him know we love him, but he's not allowed to nurse all night anymore!).  I have a really hard time with sugar when I'm sleep-deprived -- my body seems to scream, "well, if you're not going to let me sleep, at least give me cookies!"  

This month should see a lot of changes for me.  I'm weaning my almost-18 month (the longest I've nursed any of my kids).  I'm hoping to finally sleep through the night. I'm also doing a "No Sugar January" challenge, where I cut out all sweets and most foods with added sugar (fruits are ok, as is whole wheat bread). I'm three days in and other than a headache last night, I'm doing okay.  Sarah decided to join me and that's been nice.  And finally, I have signed up to take a triathlon class with my husband and my running partner.  It starts on Saturday. 

My goals for the year:

1. Train for and complete a triathlon
2. Run two half marathons
3. Successfully complete a No Sugar January, then reduce sweets to once or twice a week.
4. Run a 10K in less than 60 minutes
5. Improve 5K time. (I came in 3rd place in my age group in my last race, with a time of almost exactly 30 minutes, a 9:42 average pace.  That should be easy to beat when I am running more regularly)
6. Improve diet and bring weight down by 25-30 pounds.

My last race was a Santa 5K along the beach in California.  My husband placed first in his age group, I was third, and Allison was also third.

The five of us had a great race!


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