My 2018 probably looked quite different from most athletes. In fact, when it started, I was just getting back on the horse a few months post partum. I was riding my Peloton daily. I was eating well. And then I got strep. My kids got sick. Again. We spent most of last winter inside trying to stay out of the biting wind and away from the virus cesspools that are every indoor play area. And around mid-February, my fitspiration just sort of died on the vine.
Then, I started signing up for 5k races. I figured, if nothing else. If absolutely NOTHING else, I was going to get out there and do some runs. I lurked in the local MRTT group for a while. I wogged (walked & jogged) on occasion to the playground a mile away. I even rode my bike once a week or so. But I didn’t really run. Not really.
Then the first 5k arrived. I was slightly terrified. But what was the worst that could happen? I walked. That’s the worst possible outcome. So imagine my surprise when I had a time just under 38 minutes. After not having run in a few years. That’s a heck of a baseline – I loved that the race ended in Lambeau stadium, running through the tunnel and around the field. What a fun way to end a race!
Never mind the fact that I couldn’t walk the next day! ha!
The bug bit me. I met up with a MRTT gal and started going on runs occasionally until I tweaked my knee one day. And then I was watching my friend from high school posting, not just about this fabulous Colorado retreat she was going on, but this fabulous gear company called Skirt Sports. I read up about them and their mission, and decided I wanted to be involved.
I knew I needed some new gear, so why not make it fabulous so I enjoyed what I was doing.
So I got some gear, became an ambassador (check out the link in the side bar if you want more info or to start shopping, or my discount code), and…managed to not run very much for a while again. But, I kept signing up for 5ks and was super excited when October 6 rolled around and I got to rock out in my Lotta Breeze capris at the Bellin 5k. Again not after running in a few months. But my time was right there in the 37-38 minute range, so I was thrilled!
I did a fun 1k Spooky Sprint with my son, who ran up and down the sidewalk during my husband’s 10k so much (well over a 1k total) that he was worn out for the actual 1k itself. Yet his superhero self made it work!
Two more 5ks — a beer run, and a post-Thanksgiving Noodlini — rounded out my races in 2019, and a lovely 5 mile Turkey Trot that I finished in just over an hour.
I am still learning about getting good photos of myself in action, but I absolutely love setting out my flat me. Not only does it help me get organized for the race, but it’s super fun.
I also started getting in more runs. It’s tough with our schedules, and my oldest being too big to push in a stroller, yet not quite old enough to leave home alone.
But I did get in a few more Saturday morning social runs and interval runs as well.
I also saw a hilarious quote that I love and I apologize in advance to the future spouses of both my children. Sort of.
I also learned, the hard way, not to trust my husband when he said “this bib is yours.” For the last race of the year, the Noodlini, we managed to swap bibs. It was a freezing cold run, and K finished a few minutes ahead of me. Imagine my surprise when they welcomed “Klark Pennings” as I crossed the finish line.
In addition to learning the importance of a Flat Me the night before a race, I learned that pacing myself is NOT my thing. It’s really something I need to get better about if I really want to run a half marathon this year, which I have signed up for in May.
13.1 miles will be my furthest distance ever and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. But I have a great new Garmin Forerunner 235 that I’ve preloaded with my training plan. I’ve got a race every month, ranging from 5k to 15k, between now and then. It might not be super pretty, but I’m excited to see how it goes! I might even do another half this fall!
And, I’m planning on getting in plenty of cross training with my bike, and with the weightroom in our basement.
2019 is shaping up to be my strongest year yet. I’m still working to lose that baby weight, but more important than anything to me, is gaining strength, stamina, and physical + mental health. I’ll see you on the trails this year.
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