Meg’s Miles

megsmilesThis morning I joined with my Athens Road Runners group to run for Meg. Meg Menzies was tragically killed by a drunk driver on a morning run earlier this week. I finished 6.2 miles with positive thoughts in her honor. The Facebook event created for Meg’s Miles describes it like this:

This Saturday, January 18, 2014, no matter what your distance, no matter where you live, run for Meg. Take in the fresh air, be aware of your surroundings, keep your headphones on low, feel the heaviness in your lungs, the soreness in your legs, and be grateful for it–for all of it. The sweat, the pain, the wind, the cold…everything. Be grateful for that moment.

I read that statement multiple times. I read it slowly and I read it fast. On our cold run today I was better aware of my surroundings and grateful for my ability to run. Very grateful.

CET Signature and heart

2013 Goal Recap

Last December I set goals, not resolutions, for the year 2013. My goals fell in two categories: Health/Fitness and Personal. I am excited to turn annual goal-setting into a tradition. Setting goals helped me make small (and big) positive changes in my life. So on the last day of 2013 I am taking a look back on the past year. How did I do?

I started running in the fall of 2012 when I moved to Georgia for graduate school. I set a goal to continue running and log 250 total miles in 2013. Guess what? I overachieved on the running goal and ran 830 miles in 2013! I’m amazed at the amount of running I did, with September (the month before my half marathon) being my highest month, a total of 98 miles! I also set goals to run a 10K and a half marathon. I met both of those goals and even finished with a sub-2 time on my first half! These accomplishments will be tough to beat in 2014.

race collage

830 miles – 1 half marathon – 3 10ks – 1 8k – 4 5ks

My personal goals did not get as much attention as my health and fitness goals. I saved $500 in 2013, but I wanted to save $100 a month. Saving $100 a month would have meant collecting a savings of $1200 dollars. I also withdrew money from savings to pay for my fall graduate school fees. Savings is overall something that I can improve on in future years.

I did not keep a professional journal as planned, but I went to 2 concerts and stayed in touch with friends. It has been difficult to stay in touch with friends from a distance, especially with everyone getting settled in jobs and graduate school, but I made intentional efforts to text, call, tweet, and visit my friends more often in 2013!

5 pictures of me and friends

middle right photo by Carrie Richardson Fry

My last personal goal was to blog regularly (once a week). I posted 54 blog posts (including this one) in 2013. Although they were not as evenly spread out as I hoped, especially during my summer NODA internship, I am excited to continue the posting momentum started during the first year of this blog.

Thanks for reading my 2013 recap! What were your goals for the past year? Share your accomplishments below. Let’s celebrate 2013 together…

Happy New Year!

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Running Dreams

“Dream big! Your dreams are your own and they are not silly. Dream of a marathon, a 5K, or to run a mile without stopping. Dream to help other runners learn from your mistakes. Dream to find more joy in the time you spend giving your body the gift of exercise. Dream what you will but do not stop there. Happiness and satisfaction are not found in dreaming alone, but in intentionally moving in a direction to make your dreams come true.” –Run the Edge

A year ago today my friend Evan started his running adventure. As he says, it “all started with a pair of shoes last Christmas.” I am inspired by his commitment to running, and thankful for a running buddy that wakes up early to run with me in the dark in Athens at 6 am (and sometimes even earlier). I would not be as committed to my health and running if it was not for him.

CSAA Friends picture after AthensHalf

CSAA Ath Half Finishers: Evan T., Dr. Linder, Lenet R., & Me!

I saw this quote on my Facebook feed today and it reminded me how much joy I get from running. Are you thinking about starting to run or want to create new fitness dreams (resolutions) for 2014? I hope this quote and Evan’s story inspires you to make your own! Share those dreams below.

Speed Workouts – Birthday Edition

As I reflect on 2013, I am very appreciative of the Wednesday morning 5:30 am track workouts with Athens Road Runners. I know this might sound painful if you are not a morning person, but there is something special about meeting this community every week early in the morning at the track. Since starting this weekly workout, Wednesdays have become one of my favorite days of the week; I am up early and usually feel great all day after pushing my limits at the track (runner’s high anyone?). Speed workouts are an important addition to every runner’s training, and I encourage you to try it if you have not yet! I am not in Athens this week so I got Coach Al to email me the workout. It was not as much fun without the group but I did it on my own Wednesday morning to celebrate turning 24 and now I am sharing it with you, give it a try sometime in the next week! (or on your next birthday, if you want to make it your birthday workout too!)

Athens Road Runners Members at the UGA Track

“I was thinking about you this morning …Happy early birthday! We are going to do 3 individual miles after a mile warm up.  The concept is to drop down the time with each progression. So you want to run the first one at about 75% effort then rest a good 3 – 4 minutes then the 2nd one about a 85 – 90% effort rest 3 -4 minutes than the last one give it what you have left. Then a good cool down. I really want to start working y’all into a tempo run per week. Tempo is defined as an effort that is just difficult enough without being race pace…I like to call it barely a talking pace…kind of like a one word answer pace if that makes sense. A good tempo workout would be about 3 m iles or 20 minute sat that pace. This workout for tomorrow is designed to start zeroing in on that desired tempo pace.” – Al Jeffers.

I did this workout on a straight mile-long sidewalk near my house and here are my results:

Mile 1 – 7:44
Mile 2 – 7:55 (into the wind)
Mile 3 – 7:21

As you can see, I went a little faster on the first mile than Al suggested, but still was able to give everything on mile 3. These are great times for me, and I never knew how fast I could be until I started working out with Coach Al and Athens Road Runners members at the track. Oh and fast is a relative term, different for every runner. Let me know how it goes if you try this workout! And if you live in Athens I highly recommend joining Athens Road Runners for 2014 :)