My 2014 - The year I started.... a lot of things!

2014 was the year I started a lot of new things. I started blogging - in November, so pretty late in 2014! I want to thank everyone who has checked out my blog since I started, and if this is your first time, thanks for visiting. The blogging and running community is really supportive and I have learned so much in the last 2 months - I'm really looking forward to a full year of blogging in 2015.

I started taking running more seriously in 2014. I realized that I couldn't live without it. I've been running long distance for about 5 years, but I get anxiety when I can't run. I also started focusing on my time and logging my miles with my new Garmin. I started weight training to strengthen my core and back to improve my overall strength. It's also the year I signed up for my first marathon, PR'd in my half marathon and realized I could get better with age as 30 is almost upon me.

I run about 4 races a year on average and 2014 was an average year with 5 races. With all of the influence I've been exposed to since starting this blog and getting more involved with social media and the running community, I know that the number of races I run will increase in 2015. Here are my 2014 races:

Seaside Half Marathon (Ventura, CA): I signed up for this race because my brother-in-law and two sisters had signed up for it as their first half. My older sister found out she was pregnant shortly after signing up, so she dropped out. My younger sister didn't feel like she had trained enough and had issues with her knee, so she cut her half down to a 10K. My bro-in-law did a good job, coming in around 2:10. I was set to finish around 1:40 - 1:42, but a bad side cramp left me at 1:47. The race was beautiful - right on the boardwalk and road next to the beach (if you can't tell, I love beach runs). I would definitely recommend it.

Seaside Half with my younger sister, Katelyn.

Seaside Half with my younger sister, Katelyn.

Hollywood Half Marathon (Hollywood, CA): This ended up being an emotional race. It was my first with my younger sister, Katelyn (she ran the 10K in the Seaside race). I've run my fair share of races with friends who want to get into running, and it's hard because they aren't ready for how difficult and demanding running is and they get discouraged. Katelyn set a goal to finish in 2:20. With her previous issues with her knee pain, I thought that was reasonable. She amazed both of us and n 1:55:43! She hasn't really run since, but I would love to run another race with her.

Katelyn ran her first half marathon and kicked some serious butt!

Katelyn ran her first half marathon and kicked some serious butt!

Long Beach Half Marathon (Long Beach, CA): This is my hometown race! You can read my race recap here. I love this race with all of my heart. I PR'd in 2013 at 1:44, but suffered from over training this year and was discouraged afterwards. I had just signed up for my full marathon and was losing my confidence in my body's ability to tackle the longer distance. 

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Long Beach Turkey Trot (Long Beach, CA): Again, another local race on the beach. This was right after I got my Garmin Forerunner 620, and had started incorporating weight and cross training. I placed 2nd Female in my time slot. You can read more about my race experience here. I've never really tracked my 10K time, but plan on running a few 10Ks in 2015 to see how I can improve on shorter distances.

Operation Jack Half Marathon (El Segundo, CA): I closed out the year strong with this race and a new half marathon PR of 1:42:08. You can read a full race recap here. This race was awesome and really kept me on track with training during the holidays, and in shape for the full marathon training schedule I'm going to start in a few days.

Stoked on my new PR!

Stoked on my new PR!

Aside from racing and getting more involved with the amazing running community, I became a brand ambassador for Nuun, Girls Run Fast, and just recently found out I would be a 2015 ambassador for Honey Stinger. I've been exposed to so many new (to me) products this past year that I am excited to use in my training and nutritional goals.

Other fun stuff about me - Ricky and I try to take a vacation every summer, and this year we went to Washington DC. It was an amazing trip. We got to take a tour of the Capitol building and were lucky enough to score a tour of The White House! We booked that more than 6 months in advance and it lasted only 10 minutes, but it was a great experience. I didn't get an opportunity to run while I was on the trip because we had a jam packed trip from start to finish, but I would love to do a race in DC one day. It is gorgeous. I logged plenty of steps though - at least 25K each day according to my FitBit, so that was a plus!

Running had a few ups and downs for me in 2014, but I am leaving this year feeling confident and excited for what 2015 will offer. How did your 2014 turn out??

J