July: July was not a highlight in my running year. It was full of frustration, crappy runs and crazy decisions. I took two weeks off from running and then decided to run a trail 10 K (57:40; 9:17 pace). And yeah………that went about as well as you’d expect. What added to the frustration was the fact that I in previous years I had placed in my age groups in these races and now I was definitely nowhere near those paces. It was hard not to feel down about it. So I did the only sensible thing – take another 10 days off and then ran 4 more times in the last two weeks of the month.
August: Finally things were looking up. My mileage was still on the lower side and I was mostly pain-free. I managed the trail series 15K (1:30:07; 9:36 pace) at the start of the month – although there were some walk breaks – and then we finally managed to have some vacation time. We spent a weekend camping near Navajo lake in southern Utah. A beautiful location for an epic trail run. About 11 miles for me circling the lake and crossing some lava beds, and a little longer for my husband who was training for his first 50 miler. In the evening we drove down to Cedar City and watched King Lear in their replica Shakespearean theater. Would definitely recommend. A couple of weeks later we saw the Book of Mormon in Salt Lake City. Such a great show and I can’t think of a better place to see it (literally a couple of blocks from the Temple). And finally, on the last weekend we headed towards Colorado.
September: September started in the Rocky Mountains. A wonderful night in Steamboat Springs enjoying great beer, great food, a random spring in the river followed by a morning run along the creek. Then it was on to Rocky Mountain National Park. What a beautiful place! A must-visit if you ever get the chance. My husband and I even managed a trail run despite the signs specifically warning not to run because of mountain lions. Whatever – we like to live dangerously! We also stopped in Boulder and got to explore the Flatirons. Running was getting back on track and I finally got to run the Park City Trail half marathon. This is the one race in the series that I hadn’t never run before. And it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I ran the whole thing – all 13.7 miles – in 2:13:17 (9:49 pace) – along single track in perfect weather. Definitely the best race of the whole series and one that I am itching to run again.
October: Burn-out month. It was official I was done with running for the year. I had no races left and no reason to run. Instead, October was all about this girl. We adopted her as a 7 month mutt and were immediately smitten.
November: Base building. After a month off I was ready to go. My goal was to work on building my base so that it would hit the low 20s by the end of the year. Slow and steady with no pressure on paces. No injuries. No pain. No little aches. I also started tracking my walks with Sophie. It turns out that having a dog really gets you walking. In November, I walked an extra 50 miles – including some beautiful hikes. The only hiccup was a week off after having all four wisdom teeth removed – at least it only happens once?
December: Base building continues. Plus snow. Turns out that two people in my house love snow. Lots of frolicking. Plus consistent running. Bring it on 2016!