Well, this year was not exactly what I had expected. It was a busy year from a sports perspective. I decided to include cycling as a new sport in 2014 to give me something I could focus on for my cross-training. I also did my first indoor triathlon at LifeTime Fitness so I could get a sense of what that sport is like. I definitely see duathlons and triathlons in my future (just haven't decided exactly when that will happen).
I ran 16 road races, and ran/biked my first duathlon for a total of 1,535 miles of forward motion this year. The breakdown: 846 miles of running, 627 miles of cycling, and 63 miles of walking. I completed 4 Full Marathons, 5 Half Marathons, and several shorter distance races.
My four Full Marathons were all difficult, more so that those I ran in 2013. The Polar Vortex here in the Midwest forced me to train differently (three of the four were during the winter months) which made a difference for sure. Plus, I was exhausted/burnt out from my 22-race schedule in 2013 and that resulted in my starting 2014 in a deficit condition physically. Something I do not plan to repeat in 2015.
The most fun competition this year was definitely running the Chicago Ragnar Relay with members of the Diocese of Chicago in June. Our 12-member team, The Steeple Chasers, ran continuously from Madison WI to downtown Chicago (200 miles) in about 34 hours. We ran all day Friday, throughout the night, and all day Saturday. I was still recovering from a lower back strain, so my pace suffered and slowed my team down, but I managed to complete all three of my relay 'legs' (totaling almost 18 miles). Ragnar is tough, but if you have an awesome team like I did, it is a fantastic experience!
This fall I completed the Air Force Marathon, and several Half Marathons, including my second Space Coast Half Marathon (2 down, 3 more to go to complete the Big Bang 5 race series). My friend Kipp surprised me and registered for Space Coast as well so we got to run the race together. I also had the privilege to participating in the Monster Dash 5K with a co-worker named Kelly. This was her first 5K race ever, and we did it together. She did a great job and has an awesome medal to prove it!
On the health front, I got both good and not-so-good news. The good news is that my diabetes is still being successfully managed with just exercise and diet. In October, my A1c level was 5.6 which is the lowest it has been since all this started in 2010. Everything looks great from that health aspect.
But for most of the year, I have been struggling with a lack of motivation, energy, and stamina which I did not experience in 2013. I have also been dealing with PF (plantar fasciitis) in my right foot. So after several tests, it was determined that I am suffering from Adrenal Fatigue due to all the exertion from 2013. My body just needs time to recover from that, and I did not give it that time. But things are improving now that I have the right treatment in place (which are a few supplements and a change in my training schedule/effort). And my PF is improving too.
In 2015, I have several Disney challenge races coming up. But after that, I am going to do something I have never done. I am going to take an 'off season'! That's right. I have no races of any kind planned between mid-January and the beginning of May. I will be taking this time to relax and let my body heal up and rejuvenate. I will still be exercising (mostly cycling, walking, and strength training) but not at a training level. I want to do stuff for 'fun' and not because a race is coming up.
One thing I will be looking forward to in 2015 is my first 100-mile bike ride. I want to raise funds for the American Diabetic Association in the fight for a cure for Diabetes. It is something close to my heart, and a disease that affects millions of Americans. The bike ride is in June so I have plenty of time to prepare. I want to raise $1000 for this important effort, and I would be so very appreciative if you would join me in this fight by making a donation towards the cause. Please help me make a difference in this important fight! Click here for more information. Thank you and God Bless you for your support!