Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 In Review

I want to take a moment to review how 2014 was for me.  I started off the year with some goals for myself.  I met most of them.  All but the getting back down to my goal weight.  When 2014 started, I had a goal to run at least 900 miles throughout the year.  To help me make sure I hit this goal, I did up a list of total miles I'd need to run every month throughout the year.  This is what I came up with:
• January: 50 miles
• February: 57 miles
• March: 62 miles
• April: 69 miles
• May: 75 miles
• June: 80 miles
• July: 85 miles
• August: 85 miles
• September: 85 miles
• October: 85 miles
• November: 85 miles
• December: 85 miles

It started off great.  I ran 50.5 in January, 60.2 in February, 68.5 in March.  Then, it all started to go a little wrong.  I only did 54.6 in April.  May was just 55.8.  June dipped down to 43.8.   My all-time low was just 19 miles in July.  There was no way I was going to hit my goal of 900 for the year.  But then, I registered for the Dallas Marathon and started training like crazy.  August's miles were 54.5 and that was pretty much all in the last 2 weeks of the month.  September I really started hitting the pavement and racked up 148.4 miles (my second highest monthly mileage ever...highest was September 2013 with 148.75...just missed it!).  I was set to do over 160 in October when I hit a speedbump and strained my calf.  This forced me to cut out some runs and drop the mileage of others, leaving me with 135.95 for the month.  November I cranked out 131.75.

In December, I ran my very first full marathon.  I trained for it all on my own with a training plan created completely by me.  I found a few marathon training plans in books and online and used those as guides when I was creating my own.  I will be up front and say that I did NO speedwork, NO repeats, NO tempo runs.  All I did was straight running...just logged the miles.  I did gradually increase my long run mileage each week until I hit that final long run of 22 miles that was just hell in running shoes.

But I made it.  I ran my first marathon.  And I didn't just run it.  I rocked it!  Granted, 5:14:59 (official) isn't exactly a fast time, but when I tell you that my goal was to run it around 5:30:00 and that I was convinced I'd be lucky to finish in under 6 hours, then it puts it into perspective a little.

On top of organized events that ran this year (19 races), I also ran a number of virtual races.  These are races that you sign up for, pay a small registration fee for, run on your own and then turn in your time on the website, and then they send you a medal.  The proceeds of these races go entirely to a charity.  I participated in 6 virtual races.  3 I did as a 5K, 1 I did as a 10K, and the other 2 I did as half marathons.

I worked a good amount of overtime at work this year, which paid for my trip home to Oregon to visit friends and family.  It was a wonderful trip and I got to see my maternal grandpa for the last time as he passed away in August.  I was so happy to see him and, although he was very tired the whole time I was visiting, he looked well and happy to see me.  While in Oregon, I ran the Helvetia Half Marathon and it was gorgeous.  It took us through Oregon wine country and was very scenic.  If I'm in Oregon in June again, I will run this race again...hands down a great race.

My adorable VW Beetle died and I replaced her with a brand new Kia that I named Dori (after the blue fish in Nemo).  This car is everything I ever wanted in a car and then some.  I am very happy with the purchase.

As I mentioned, in August, I lost my beloved grandpa.  He had a long battle with blood cancer and kidney failure and he finally succumbed to it.  When I ran the Hot Chocolate 10K on September 6th, it was the same day as his memorial service, so I ran the race in his memory.

In 2014, I actively started paying attention to my credit rating (I know, I know, I should have done this YEARS ago) so that I can build it up and hopefully get approved for a good home loan in a couple years.  I started paying off credit cards to help with this and hope to pay off some more in 2015.

I tested for promotion in my career.  I did well on the test (especially when you consider I didn't study one bit for it), but not well enough to proceed to the next step in the promotional process.  I plan to test again in 2015 and I plan to do well enough to get to that next step.  While I did not promote, they did give us a very small pay raise.  It amounts to about $1300 a year before taxes.  That's like $55 before taxes a pay check because I get paid twice a month.  Ugh.  Almost not even worth it.

To wrap up this summary of my year, I want to say that I really did have a pretty good year.  I'm very happy with it as a whole.  I blew my goal of 900 miles in one year out of the water with a total of 960.75 miles!  The only thing I'm not happy about is how I conducted my attempts at weight loss.  I am ending this year weighing about 8 or so pounds more than I started it weighing.

Here's some fun stats from the website I use to track my mileage,

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