Race Recap · Running in Anchorage · Running in Seward Alaska

2014: A Year in Running

Hi everyone!  I can’t believe it’s the last day of 2014!  I’m amazed by how much happened this year.  Obviously there was one big thing:  I quit my job, sold half of my stuff and packed the rest into a trailer, and drove to Alaska with my husband!  I had the amazing experience of living in Seward over the summer, and now I’m finally moved into Anchorage for good  🙂  I finally got back into teaching (through a non-profit) and I’m happier than I was in Philly – especially when it comes to my job, my commute, and my time spent on outdoor activities!  Even though I was homesick over the holidays, ever since I got to Anchorage in October I’ve been feeling like this was the right choice.  And the best part is, that’s only the non-running stuff that happened!

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Today I’m taking a look back at my running accomplishments in 2014.  I feel like I can’t look forward to my race plans for 2015 without reflecting on what I did in 2014.  It was an amazing year!  I ran my first half marathon – and then 3 more after that!  I also PRed in the 10k distance, ran my first virtual race, and even HOSTED my own virtual race!  And I met a goal that I thought was nearly impossible – I ran 14 races in 2014 (or at least I will by tonight – my last race is the Northern Lights Resolution Run at 6:00 PM)!  Each race I ran was an awesome experience and I’m so excited to give some shoutouts to the best races of the year!

Favorite race:  Probably the Hershey 10K.  It was an awesome experience in 2013 and this year was just as awesome!

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Least Favorite race:  Probably the Alaska Sea Life Center’s 5K Wildlife Rescue Run.  It was at the hottest part of the day, it was on my usual running course so I didn’t feel like it was exciting, and it was really small.  Although I did win 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles in their post-race raffle which was pretty sweet  🙂  I also didn’t like the Her Tern Half very much -boring scenery, a weird staggered start time, and crazy post-race food.  Plus it was expensive  😦

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Prettiest course:  If I can say virtual races, I’d have to pick the Brave New Route 10K.  I mean, how can you beat running next to a glacier?  But if it has to be an official race, I’ll have to go with the Love Run Half.  I loved running down the streets of Philly and along the Schuylkill River!

Hardest course:  None of my races were particularly hilly, but the Disney Princess Half was tough mentally.  It was so hot and humid, and the scenery was so boring after we ran through the Magic Kingdom!  And it was crowded!

Craziest weather:  The Love Run Half!  It monsooned like crazy the last half of the race!  I was so cold and wet after the race that Andrew had to leave me in the lobby of some random hotel to warm up while he got the card.  That is a part of my year that I don’t want to relive, even though I PRed by 19 minutes in that race!

20140404-010141.jpgRight before the crazy rain started.  I had no idea what was coming!

Best post race runner’s high:  The Disney Princess Half obviously  🙂  There’s nothing like doing your first half marathon!

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Best bling:  Honestly, Beat the Blerch had a pretty sick medal.

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Race I would recommend:  Beat the Blerch for the fun atmosphere and theme, or the St. Patrick’s Day 8K in DC.  It was fun running past the capitol!

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And now for the most memorable moments from my regular runs!  I spend way more time running for fun and training for races than I actually do racing, so I might as well give them a shoutout too!

Prettiest place to run:  Seward.  Hands down.

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New running thing I tried:  I tried a mini trail run in Seward!  Really hard mentally trying not to trip (and I was so slow!) but it was fun!

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Weirdest thing I saw while running:  I see this all the time now, but I still think that a moose is a pretty crazy thing to see while running!

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Bravest run:  Probably my 10 miler on the treadmill while training for Disney Princess.  I was so scared, but so happy when I finally saw double digits for the first time!

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Craziest location:  In Kenai Fjords National Park!  Way too many tourists but such awesome glacier views!

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Run I’d rather forget: There was this lovely run where I thought I was going to need to go to the hospital because I couldn’t get warm again. That was fun.

Run I want to do every day:  Now that I’m far from Philly, I’d love to run in Ridley Creek State Park again.  It was the perfect 4 mile loop filled with hills, forests, corn fields, hills, historic buildings, and a beautiful creek.  And did I mention hills?  I think it’s more beautiful running here in Alaska, but there’s nothing like running in the park where I trained for every Philly race and even got married!

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How was 2014 for you?  Let me know!  It’s so much fun looking back on my past year.  I can’t wait to see what amazing running things 2015 will bring!  Hopefully more half marathons, some PRs, and tons of beautiful, injury-free miles!

What were some of your favorite running moments in 2014?

28 thoughts on “2014: A Year in Running

  1. 2014 was quite the year for you! I enjoyed following along. Thanks for sharing, especially with the solstice sprint and your Alaskan scavenger hunt! Those were some of my favorite running things in 2014.

  2. Very nice running year for you. You have absolutely beautiful scenery in Alaska and being outdoors with gorgeous views would never get old! I also ran Princess Half and as usual the weather was icky. Having done that race 4 years in a row (it was my first half) I enjoy it, but do not expect to PR! My favorite race moment was qualifying for Boston at my local marathon, the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon in NC.

    1. Disney Princess was my first half too! Part of me is sad I won’t be running it this year, but then I remember how hot and humid it was and I’m kind of class I’m in Alaska instead (no humidity here!). Congrats on qualifying for Boston! That would definitely be the highlight of any runner’s year!

    1. Oh that’s so cool! I don’t know if I could ever run at that pace so I’d totally join your group 🙂 It must be so cool at the end to see everyone’s reactions!

  3. Congrats on a great year! I can’t believe you saw a moose while running!! My favorite running moment of 2014 was definitely running my first marathon in November. 🙂

    1. In the “fall” (putting that in quotation marks since fall is super short here and winter starts early, but I’m talking about October and November here) I saw moose at least once a week while running! I haven’t seen them on the trails in a while but I did see one running down a busy street last weekend! Congrats on running your first marathon, that must feel so awesome! Sounds like you had a great year.

  4. What a great year! It sounds like you’ve really embraced Alaska and it sounds so beautiful in your posts 🙂 They’re doing the Beat the Blerch race in Philadelphia next year, I think. I might try to get up there for it if is happens.

    1. I am all over that! I will so plan my trip back there to do it if it’s scheduled in the fall! I had such a fun time being blerchy in Seattle and I’d totally do it again!

  5. Love this breakdown of races & runs! You definitely win for prettiest races & runs. You could be a spokesperson for how gorgeous Alaska is 🙂
    I’d have to say my favorite race was the Charles St 12 in Baltimore in August. It was my first run in quite a while where I truly felt good, I loved the course, and I got to hang out with a couple other bloggers 🙂
    Have fun at your final race of 2014 tonight!

    1. Haha well Alaska basically speaks for itself, it’s beautiful wherever you look in Anchorage and down in Seward! That race sounds like fun and if I were still in Philly I would think about going down there for it!

    1. Do it!!!! I feel like there’s a lot to consider (do you want it to be big with large crowds and music and people cheering, small with less people and things to distract you, what is the course like, and most importantly – what will your race swag be) but that’s the start of racing season so there will be so many to choose from! I think I used to use runningintheusa.com to find local races because they list a ton on there. I chose my first race because it was small, in the same park where I learned to run/was getting married, and because the cause was for Alex’s Lemonade Stand which is a charity I love. Now I just choose races based on how cool their shirts and medals are and what the weather will be like haha!

    1. It was so much fun! Just read my post about it if you have any questions about the crowding and the weather (which could change every year, but I was seriously not prepared for how hot it was in February!). Other than that the race was pretty great and hanging out in the park afterwards with my first half marathon medal was awesome!

  6. That looks like an incredible year! Congrats on the PRs and sweet bling 🙂 I would have been so worried that the moose would attack me if I ran by one, haha… otherwise it would be so cool to see one!
    The Beat the Blerch race ranks pretty darn high on my 2014 list too 🙂

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