Well, it might have taken me almost 2 weeks, but I’m so excited about this post because I love to reflect back on all the fun stuff! As a matter of fact I just might not even mention a thing about my injuries in this post because we all know they were a far cry from a highlight =)

January 26th, 2014: The Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon

We sure had one very cold and very snowy winter and it was great to have a half marathon to run in the new year while everyone else was home in their PJs watching TV and staying warm. It was 17 degrees that day. I always feel like running in inclement or extreme weather gives you honorary rock star status.

2014 fred lebow half1

Enjoying some frozen Gatorade

My friend Carey was the only other brave peep with me that day and we ran together from start to finish. She’s such a consistently paced runner and I enjoyed letting her keep us nice and steady.

2014 fred lebow half1a

Carey and me braving the cold for 13.1 miles in Central Park

I also enjoyed swinging past Strawberry Fields on my way to the race that morning and the Gatorade slushies along the course thanks to mother natures 17 degree temps.

2014 fred lebow half3

Now if only these could be served during summer races…

Strawberry field

Imagine

February 15th, 2014: Cold Feat 10K Trail Run

This is a local trail run that I had done a couple of times before but never with snow on the ground. And we’re not talking a dusting.

10k trail running peeps

Lisa, Mike and me before the race

There was a good foot of packed snow still covering the trails AND it was snowing while we were running as well. But oh so much fun. Well, except for Lisa’s blister.

Cold Feat 10K Staten Island

Just running in some snow while it’s snowing

Cold Feat 10K trail race

Me and Elvia stopping for a pic mid race =)

Bloodyfootlisa neilflip

Lisa’s Bloody heel….bisters are no fun

I love the tradition that we’ve created where everyone comes back to my place for breakfast. And Elvia and Mike have placed in their age groups both times they have run it. All of the top 3 finishers in each age group get a jar of Nutella. MMMM! We’re all signed up for this year’s race to carry on our tradition.

March 30th, 2014 The Philly Love Run

The Philly Love Run 2014

Pouring rain didn’t dampen our spirits

Nothing like setting a PR in the pouring rain. It just rained constantly the entire day. But any time I get to hang with Jane is always a highlight. I ended up running in 2:05 which is a huge PR for me. On average I’m a 2:15-2:25 range half marathoner. I’ve eeked out a 2:09 and a 2:07 but truly never thought I’d ever get faster than that. So I guess wanting to just get out of the damn rain pushed me a little more. It was also really cold too. Took Jane and I about 20 minutes to peel off our wet gear in her car and change into dry clothes so we could meet up with my friends Laura and Kevin for brunch. Ahh…good times!

Love Run Finishers Medal

I love spinner medals

This race gave a lot of nice perks including a personalized bib, a tech shirt and a nice size coffee mug. And the finisher’s medal had a little spinning part that I loved.

Philly Love Run 2014 medals

still raining! but we’re done!

Poncho for running in the rain

My shiny new PR! And my soaking wet everything else.

Apri 27th, 2014 The New Jersey Marathon

Best.Day.Ever!!!! This was my 5th marathon and for the first time I never hit the wall! I actually remember being around mile 22 and passing people and smiling and thanking the volunteers at the water stops. I just had one of those “planets in alignment” days. From spending the pre-race hour chatting and stretching with my friends Mitch and Jane to starting off strong, seeing my family along the course, enjoying the fun Jersey spectators and the beautiful ocean views.

2014 NJ Marathon pre race

Before lining up in the corrals

2014 NJ Marathon along course

just running and smiling because that is what i do.

2014 NJ Marathon finish

Sally and Jane cross together

NJ Marathon 2014

I did it! Woo Hoo!

2014 NJ Marathon

Mitch is ready to run

NJ Marathon 2014

Sally and Jane finishers

Sally Mile 23 NJ Marathon

Mile 23 and thumbs up!

I caught up to Jane at the very last mile and we ran it in together! I set a PR of 4:38 which was 10 minutes faster than my 2013 NJ Marathon finish time. And since I said I wasn’t going to talk about injuries in this post I won’t remind you all that this is when I discovered the pain in my pereoneal tendon that kept me sidelined for a couple months. =)

May 24th, 2014 The Spring Lake 5 Miler

I knew I’d have to bail on running this race. I had to back out of the Brooklyn Half the week before and per doctor’s orders I was not allowed to run. I didn’t want to miss out on seeing my running peeps so I decided to go and be a spectator. I was a spectator virgin, but it ended up being the first of 3 times I ended up spectating in 2014. (I saw my boyfriend run a half marathon in October and then I saw a half dozen of my running peeps run the NYC Marathon the following month).

Spring Lake 5 Miler

Spectating at the Spring Lake 5 Miler

2014 Spring Lake 5 Miler

Duncan just chilling just past the start to see some runners

2014 Spring Lake 5 Miler

Speedy men out of the gate

I definitely learned a whole lot about how hard it is to see people at different locations along the course. This was only a 5 miler and I underestimated the time it’d take me to get from the start to the halfway point. Needless to say I basically only saw them once at the start and then just watched a whole lotta strangers run =). Lesson learned that day was that you can still feed off the energy of the event and have a great time even if it’s not in the way you originally planned.

Spring Lake 5 Miler

I screamed loud! But only Elvia heard me. Lisa and Bill kept on running…

Spring Lake 5 Miler finishers

My peeps!

Later on that day I went out on a date with a guy and his dog. We met at a park by my house to walk the dogs. This guy is now THE guy….Mr. SOTSS. It was raining and Duncan hates rain, but we were having such good conversation and I didn’t want to cut the walk short so I turned around and whispered to Duncan “Throw me a bone Duncan….we’re on a date!”

Wet labradoodle

She made me walk in the rain just because she was “on a date”. But it’s ok. I forgive her. He’s a GRRREAT guy!

Duncan must have realized this guy had major potential and decided to suck it up and walk longer. Well lucky Duncan because Mr. SOTSS even brought him a toy. It was a great day.

10376311 10203840556836038 3750071690237312070 n

June 22nd, 2014 The Queens 10K 

This was early on in my return to running after the ankle tendonitis hiatus. I pretty much shuffled along and even walked some of this race. But it remains a highlight for many of the same reasons that spectating at the Spring Lake 5 Miler was. Just to be with my running peeps. The entire process of getting up early, and then driving in to Brooklyn to scoop them up one by one and drive out to Queens. Sharing stories and laughs and all that. I forced us to take a sneaker selfie…

running sneaker selfie

running friend footsies

and then took this pre-race shot of Lisa and Mike with the famous World’s Fair globe in the background

Queens 10k

We also got to run past it…

Photo 35

Marathonfoto got some stellar shots too! First we have my weird hand shot

Midwave But the best one has to be at the start of the race when I’m still getting my earphones and iPod situated.

Fixing music

classic

I really liked our swag…medal, shirt and banana.

Queens 10k

Queens 10k

banana

Is that a banana in your…..nevermind =)

and then when the race was over and we were walking back to my car I noticed these heart shaped leaves scattered on the asphalt.

heart shaped leaves

Love(ly) leaves

I was still in the early stages of dating with Mr. SOTSS and a little preoccupied with heart shapes I suppose. =)

July 27th, 2014 The San Francisco Marathon/Half Marathon

Well this could have become a lowlight. I was originally signed up for the full. But because my training was delayed so long while my ankle healed I couldn’t make it far enough to be adequately trained for a full and I made the decision to drop back to the half. And in the long run it didn’t really change a thing about my entire trip. First, there was the shakeout run the day before the race where I finally got to meet one of my first and very loyal readers Shane (aka: The Silent Assassin)

blogger friends

Blogger friends!

Shakeout run

Shakeout run

San Francisco Marathon 2014

We all started together

Lisa was having back issues and also made the choice to drop back to the half. We actually ran some of those miles together. That was a nice treat. Plus, we still got to start with Lisa’s sister Valerie who was running her first full and we were there at the finish to see her officially become a marathoner (side note: Valerie ended up running a second full and a 6 hour race completing 27 miles so she is now an ultra marathoner!)

San Francisco Marathon

I love San Francisco! I love running! I love wearing pink!

I love San Francisco so much. Here’s the post where I share the top 10 things about this trip.

SF Marathon

The happy drop-backers with medals and smiles

Val finish 768x1024

And Valerie finishes the San Francisco Marathon becoming a marathoner for the first time. She puked right after this photo. =)

Mile 7 SF Half Marathon

Only half the distance I originally signed up for but i got to run across THE GG bridge

And of course we just HAD to celebrate in Napa with some champagne.

Napa

Champage celebrayshhhhh

August 3rd, 2014 The Jersey Girl Triathlon—My FIRST ever Triathlon 

I didn’t even know if I could stay afloat in the water just 3 days before I agreed to do this. Jane always gets me to do stuff. She’s young and fearless and well, she’s the perfect person to have as a friend. I feel like Yoda sometimes when I share my “old lady” wisdom. We complement each other. Anyhoo, she had a friend who got injured and had a free bib for me for this race. So I went to my condo’s community pool and gauged my water abilities.

10583856 10204359780296300 5997683202620616252 n

I could do the doggie paddle and stay afloat for 300 meters. Check! I’m in! Well, pools and oceans the day after a storm are very very different. I almost had a panic attack that morning while trying to get through the swim. But in the end I completed my first triathlon. and I have never felt more proud. And to make the day even more special, Mr. SOTSS surprised me and showed up to see me. He couldn’t spot me in the swim since all the women looked rather identical thanks to matching swim caps and wet suits or similar, but he saw me at the transition from bike to run and then at the finish.IMG 4511 491x1024 Photo Aug 03 9 28 45 AM1 689x1024Triath finishSo much more I can say about this day. Just read my recap. And make 2015 the year you go out of your comfort zone. You WONT Regret it!

September 19th – 20th, 2014 Ragnar Napa Ultra (day 1) (day 2)

Ok, I’ll be honest. Overnight relays are challenging and not really fun the entire time (hey sometimes you’re trying to navigate a 16 passenger van out of a tight parking spot, uphill both ways, with stomach cramps because you’re not ready to accept that you’re going to have to poo in a port-a-potty). There are highs and lows but enough highs that this was definitely my highlight for September.

10176186 10204749219632040 7199308928084356709 n

2/3 of Team Call Me A Cabernet

Running from San Francisco to Calistoga (Napa Valley) was so very picturesque especially as we got closer to the vineyards.

1520759 10204743374365912 3087559517139851860 n

Perty!

10629876 10204749223032125 9209188645910894406 n

And even the legs I ran in the dark overnight hours were awesome, mainly because I had the time to just zone out and take in the experience which was harder to do when I was in the van driving, or navigating.

10687031 10204749225632190 897794272700155592 n

10653369 10204749220832070 3924478594267438420 n

10650008 10152715548817456 7364915769210540112 n

There’s a high you get from doing something so out of the box (just like running a half marathon in the rain or 5 half marathons in 5 states in 5 days!) And this race was really challenging. There were SO MANY HILLS! And hot temps as well. And since we ran as an ultra team there were just 6 of us rather than a traditional 12 person team.

1381843 10152321358816437 2879177456064346612 n

There are silly fun times in the van and let’s not forget about all the post-race fun.

10675743 10205256671802027 967439840077742956 n

Call Me A CABernet mission accomplished!

We had a delicious dinner after the 32 hours it took us to finish the 2 day race. Well maybe the dinner just tasted that delicious because we’d been living on trail mix for a day and a half. =) Then there was the entire day of wine tasting at some really great vineyards.

1551601 10204743374245909 5354113372218046877 n

7409 10100723824107664 5149095464012708377 n

Run-cations are the best. I basically had 2 within 2 months of each other both to San Francisco. Doubly fun!

TIE:  The Staten Island Half Marathon and October 5, 2014 Spectating at the Jersey Shore Half

On October 5th I got to play spectator once again to see Mr. SOTSS run his 2nd half marathon of the year: The Jersey Shore Half. It was an out and back course so I saw him 4 times. He ran a great race and set a new PR (1:48:49).

Jersey Shore Half

There he goes!

Lookin' good! Always, smiling. LOL!!

Lookin’ good! Always, smiling. LOL!!

A week later he returned the favor to come see me run the Staten Island Half Marathon. This race is special to me for so many reasons. It’s my hometown half. It’s the first half marathon I ever ran (back in 2007). And I always get to see lots of my running peeps. Plus, with it being timed so perfectly for those NYC Marathoners, many runners tend to run additional miles before or after the race to make it their 20 miler. I actually did that in 2011, 2012 and 2013. =) This year I just wanted to enjoy myself. I was dealing with the knee issues. Actually the knee had started to hurt mysteriously just a week prior so I had no idea at the time what it was. Now I’m pretty sure it’s just a muscle imbalance thing.

Staten Island Half Marathon

Just getting started at mile 1

2014 Staten Island Half Marathon

2014 Staten Island Half Running Peeps

Staten Island Half Marathon

approaching the finish at home plate in Staten Island Yankee Stadium

Staten Island Half

Hometown Bling

November 2, 2014 Spectating at the NYC Marathon

I spectated at the NYC Marathon to complete my hat trick of spectatordom (like that?!). What a rush! I got to see so many of my running peeps as well as complete strangers who blew me away as they passed by me on their way to mile 23. It truly invigorated me to get back to the starting line of this race for 2015.

NYC Marathon

I snapped this pic of Pete.

Pete NYC Marathon

And then Pete snapped this pic of us. He carries a camera every year He’s been running the New York City Marathon every year for the last 14 years

NYCM

Carey

NYCM

Jorge looked pretty darn happy for mile 22.5

December 20, 2014 Our annual Holiday Windows Run

Perfect way to close out the year. I love this tradition so much. It’s a great time of year to catch up with some people I haven’t seen in a while and just relish in the holiday spirit. Not to mention, getting to run past all the touristy spots including the Rock Center Tree when it’s empty is such a treat. We can truly appreciate the creative department store Christmas windows without the crowds.

this year's running peeps. a smaller group than most years

this year’s running peeps. a smaller group than most years

I forget sometimes how beautiful this view can be

I forget sometimes how beautiful this view can be

Me and Elvia and a big tree

Me and Elvia and a big tree

She matches!

She matches!

Harry Winston

Harry Winston

2014 was filled with so many fun running highlights. But there was one sad event that happened a few months ago. The running community lost a very special woman, a woman I met in 2013 at a Dicks Sporting Goods photo shoot. We were part of a campaign they ran called Every Runner Has a Reason. Meggan Janota lost her battle with cancer. I dedicate this post to her. I’ve thought of her often and will always remember that weekend and her smile. I’m excited for 2015. I’ve already got a handful of races on the calendar and I’m sure there will be others added as the year continues.

So what is the one biggest highlight from your 2014? And what are you looking forward to in 2015?

4 Comments

  1. This post made me really miss running! I’m 39 weeks pregnant so I haven’t run in about 30-some weeks now. I can’t wait to get back into it this Spring! Enjoy your runs!

  2. What a fun trip back into 2014! I still have some race recaps to write from 2014… I really hope you’ll do the Jersey Girl again. You absolutely ROCK for doing that!! =) Here’s to another year of adventures (injury free)!

  3. I am so behind on your posts! I just read this…It was a better year than I remembered! thanks for the recap!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *