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Workout Wednesday 12/14-12/20 + Review of my 2015 Workouts

^Longest title ever, no? For those who celebrate, Merry Christmas Eve tomorrow and Christmas on Friday! Andy and I set up our first tree together the day after Thanksgiving. I am LOVING it <3 christmas-tree We also are planning to surprise each other with stocking stuffers (in addition to actual gifts). Andy’s mom got us some adorable stockings. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. Anyway, another holiday that’s coming up, as you know, is New Year’s. This is a joyful time of year, but also a time of reflection. I want to dedicate most of this post to my running/races/other workouts that happened in 2015. I hope to follow up this post with a more personal one about general life stuff in 2015. But, first, the workouts. It is Workout Wednesday, after all πŸ˜‰ Let’s start with last week Monday: 2.5 mile RUN! Slowly getting back into running, people. This is exciting stuff. Tuesday: Rest Wednesday: 1 hour yoga class Thursday: 2.5 mile run Friday: Weights with Oksana Saturday: Rest Sunday: Elliptical for 30 minutes Not sure why, but running 2.5 miles is the most manageable distance for me right now. It’s not too long and not too short. I can run it between 25 and 30 minutes, then take some time for stretching. I’ll start doing 3 milers soon, but it feels good to start small πŸ™‚ Review of my 2015 Workouts/Races In 2015, I ran pretty regularly. My main issue with my running this year is that it wasn’t quite frequent enough. I probably ran twice a week most of the time, when I really wanted to run 3-4 times. However, I succeeded in never skipping my long runs for marathon training. I made it through the race without too much difficulty. Well, it’s a marathon, so it’s going to be difficult no matter what, but I made it through with what I think is your average amount of pain. The year started as it always does for me: with Shamrock Shuffle training! I had a really tough time with training because I was working 6 days/week and going to graduate school. Obviously, that was not conducive to running. Plus it was winter. I give myself a pass. The race didn’t even go to poorly. I finished the 8k in around 45 minutes and felt good the entire time. I plan to run again in 2016 and maybe even PR! It will be my 10th year of shuffling. More on this in future posts. RunningShamrockShuffle I continued running in between the Shamrock Shuffle and my next race because, during that time, I was accepted into the Chicago Marathon! I wanted to maintain my fitness because I was aware of how tough long runs are for marathon training. I was pretty consistent with my runs when training for the Race Against Hate 10k, but I ran really slowly. Like, REALLY SLOWLY. With many breaks. Due to really slow training runs, I ran really slowly at the race too. But I had fun! That’s what counts, ya know. I probably ran 3-4 times a week, though, because I left my old job and only worked a couple days/week until I went full-time in August at my new job. It was awesome devoting time to running πŸ™‚ run-with-oksana My running partner for all of my summer running was Oksana (pictured above). We had so much fun together and really bonded during those workouts! I miss the free time I had over the summer to spend running with her <3 IMG_2858.JPG

Race Against Hate 10k with Britta!

The big race of 2015 was the Chicago Marathon! This was my second marathon, but I ran the first one in 2012. With so much time in between, I felt really nervous about what to expect from myself. Physically, I knew I was not in as good of shape. Grad school had done a number on me and I was exhausted. However, at the time of marathon training, school was coming to an end and most of my important projects were finished. I was ready to run long and train hard again.

Up until the beginning of August, I stuck to my training plan pretty well. I even ran 13.1 miles during my trip to Minnesota. I enjoyed sporting the shirt my cousin and her husband made for their wedding’s 5k fun run. It is true that you can both run long AND have fun with your family in the same day πŸ™‚

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However, I started working full-time the day after we got back to Chicago from Minnesota. Andy and I also moved into our apartment that week (without the help of movers, I might add). Life got a bit hectic and my focus shifted to other (relatively important, haha) things. One of my midweek runs would usually be sacrificed for longer hours at the office or for sleeping in. As mentioned above, I never skipped a long run – even if I skipped everything else. Running long certainly was not easy because we had a hot fall. I drank all of this (and more) during my 18 mile run:

hydrationforrunningWhen itΒ  race day came, I felt great. It was hot out, but I figured I was used to the heat at that point. And, I did feel great for about 23 miles. Things fell apart at the end of the marathon (due to heat and under training, probably) and I finished in 4:50:37 – about 18 minutes slower than when I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2012. Still, I feel so proud of that run. I am a different person, physically and mentally, than I was at age 24 – of course my pace and experience running a marathon was different this time. I remember feeling happy that I could run 26.2 miles that day and feeling proud of myself for working so hard. I am SO going to try and run the marathon again next year πŸ™‚

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After the Chicago Marathon, I took a break from running. I ran a turkey trot, but didn’t take it seriously at all. Now that it’s December, I have run several times and feel ready to start training for something again. I love running. I also have started lifting weights with Oksana, which I also love. I think lifting weights will really help me get faster at running.

Overall, 2015 was a great year for running. I may not have been fast, but I achieved so much success anyway. I can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring, or really… what I will bring to 2016 πŸ˜‰

What is your fitness goal for next year?