a year of running

I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run to savor the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that.

- Dean Karnazes

Last year, I had met a HUGE goal of mine which was losing my baby weight and becoming more active. I was so happy with the progress I had made, and the person I had become. Not only was I down the baby weight, but I was also the healthiest I had ever been. Fitness had become a daily routine for me, and I was proud of myself for that.  I am also proud that I have maintained that weight and that lifestyle, through 2015.

 I knew I would need another goal, because after all it is not just about the number on the scale. So, I made a goal to make running a BIG part of my year. I have never been a lover of running. I barely made the softball team, because my mile and half was seconds away from the slowest cut-off. I dabbled in the whole running thing, but honestly I would complain the entire run. It is amazing to me how much I have changed my mind about running. I love the saying that if you don't find an answer to your problem during a long run, than there isn't an answer. 

Trail running has become a huge passion of mine. My uncle introduced me to trails, over a year ago and I have not looked back since. My favorite thing about trails is that you have to constantly look around you and soak in everything, because if you don't, you will end up on your face. About half way through this year, I started to run just to run. Before that I would always run for a certain amount of time or run to burn a certain amount of calories. I eventually realized it is so much more fun to just hit the trails, and run. Who cares how far, who cares if you are forced to walk some, all that matters is that you are running and just enjoying the surroundings. 

Before this year, I had only ever done 2 races, and both of them were with my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Rick. I had been running, sure, but mainly to get back into shape and get over the baby weight. After doing a trail run towards the end of last year, I knew that I had opened a whole new world. Races give you something to look forward to, they give you a goal to set and most importantly they are FUN!  This year I ran 8 races, and all of them were such a fun experience. 

Running was a huge passion of mine this year, so I thought it would be nice to end the year with a half marathon. 

I registered for the Vail Half Marathon, which was a trail run and labeled as "mostly downhill." Honestly, I didn't really prep for it as much as I should have. I did a few 11 mile trail runs, but the trails I used were relatively flat and packed dirt, not so much like the real thing. I cross trained, and made sure to work on my endurance. I had big plans of doing one last long run on a local trail, but I got a horrible cold about a week and a half out from the race. So, that last run never happened and honestly not much happened the week leading up to the run. I could barely get out of bed, let alone train, so I crossed my fingers and hoped. 

I woke up Saturday morning, knowing it wouldn't be the easiest race, but I was excited.  They loaded us onto a bus and drove about 25 minutes to the start. Talk about a rough mental start, we were just driving and driving and all the time I am thinking, "umm, this is a half marathon not a full, right?" We finally arrived at the starting point. I used the tent toilet at the start, said a little prayer and tucked myself into the back of the pack.

The first 4 miles were rough! It was mainly uphill and was no where near a flat and even trail. I found myself letting my mind wander and I would quickly lose my footing. I hit my first high around mile 4.5 and ran with that for a few. I updated my cheer team (Ryan and Luke) when I was nearing 7.5 miles and at that point, I was feeling OK. Than came mile 10, I hit a wall. My legs were aching, my lungs were filled with the flem and I was THIRSTY! 

Mentally, I was spent. Physically, I was tired. I knew Ryan and Luke were waiting for me at the end, which was huge motivation, but I was just done. Honestly, the last few miles I did a lot of walk/running and just focused on finishing. I reflected on my year, thought about where I was just a short 16 months ago and I trekked on. Running has become a passion. I started running to prove a point, I kept running because I am naturally competitive, I am still running because somewhere along the way I have realized that it calms my inner crazy better than anything else. 

Yes, I finished. No, it was not the time I wanted. But, I did finish and I did cross that finish line to a smiling and dirty little boy. 

Thank you to each and every one of you who have been my running "partner" throughout this year.  To my husband, Ryan, thank you for being my constant and for pushing me to be the best I can be, I love you! To my parents, thank you for letting me to continue to run even it means taking Luke the second you get in the door from a long work day. You both are the reason deployments don't suck so bad. To my Uncle Rick, thank you for inviting me to Dances with Dirt and thank you for always having a smile on your face when you finish a race, you are such a motivation. Thank you to my best friend, Briana, your smiling face and conversations in the gym are half the reason I have been so successful at this whole "living a healthier life" thing. And thank you to Luke (you can't read yet but someday you will see this), your patience in the jogging stroller amazes me each and every time, and your little voice saying, "Go, MOMMA!" is reason enough to finish any race. And to anyone who has supported me throughout this journey, thank you! I love you all! 

I am so excited to be joining a few runners and complete the January Reset. I am really looking forward to improving my time and learning more about how weight training can help my running. If this is something you are interested in, let me know! It is through mommyrunfast (Laura Peifer) and more information can be found here. Ready to sign up? Use code "blog" for 10% off and register here

21 Day Runner's Reset - http://www.laurapeifer.com/

Next year, will be all about the trails. I want to improve, I want to run an ultra and I want to continue to conquer the inner crazy. Thanks, for sharing my journey! 

Happy running, 


  1. My goal this year is to GET BACK into running. I would so much rather lift heavy things and swing from bars! But, ultimately, running is what leans me out and gives me endurance... I've run 3 times in December... Which is the most I've run since I found out I Was prego July 2014!!!!! (I refuse to run while pregnant or nursing!!! Haha!) PS- Come link up! http://www.akreativewhim.com/100-happy-new-year-days-11/

    1. Yes, running will always be one of my favorite activities. Lifting is a close second, but nothing clears my head like a good run! Thanks for reading!

  2. I need to get back into running. Much like you, I find a reason to complain the whole time and find my time is better spent doing other workouts. I can't remember the last time I went for a run, but this post inspires me to give it another try. Happy New Year!


    1. I used to complain the whole time, took me about 6 months to truly enjoy running! Now, I run to run, it is so much better than having to push yourself out the door. Good luck!!!

  3. You are so inspiring!! I love where your journey has taken you. So glad you're in the reset too!