A Career Change: No I didn't become a professional athlete, but I did enter a career that allows me to act on my passion of running. I resigned from my career in education and started a full-time gig at a local shoe store that specializes in running shoes, among other things. The career change was drastic, but I am happy with the move. I am on a path that will eventually lead into owning a business and that is exciting. I get to talk about running with a lot of people, and this has even helped me become more aware of the footwear I choose.
Half Marathons: I set out this year to hit a PR in the half marathon. I wanted to run 1:20:00 and before I get too far...I did fall short, but I saw a lot improvement. I love the half marathon distance, and would even go as far to say it is my favorite distance to run. I ran a total of 3 this year starting back in March in Emmetsburg, IA. I won the half marathon with a time of 1:26. In May I ran the Chicago Spring Half Marathon in a time of 1:25. Then I cam back at the end of May and ran Dam to Dam in Des Moines, IA in a time of 1:24. Although I was four minutes short of my goal, having seen improvement as the Spring progressed I am hopeful to move even faster in 2016.
Ultra-Marathons: With 2014 being the first year I pursued running ultras with the completion of two 50ks and a failed attempt at a 50 miler I cam back in 2015 ready to go. I came back to compete in the Triple D Winter Race in Dubuque, IA after placing 2nd in 2014. This year I placed first and ran a better, though Triple D is not a race to search for a fast run. My training went well and was consistent this time around and in April I completed the Zumbro 50 miler in about 13 hours. It was the greatest accomplishment in my running career to date and I hope to make it back this upcoming April and run a little faster.
I-35 Challenge: Having taken some rest for a few weeks after Dam to Dam, I set out to challenge myself once again and complete the I-35 Challenge, which consists of running the Kansas City Marathon and Des Moines Marathon in the same weekend (Saturday and Sunday). My goal was to back off the speed and simply go under 4 hours for each. I ended up surprising myself by going 3:35 in KC and then coming back with a 3:48. Not PRs by any stretch but I was happy with the times and above all completing the challenge unscathed.
Rest: After the I-35 Challenge I took some time off and then ran periodically throughout the rest of the year. I want to start fresh for 2016 and after a lot of miles built up in 2015 and a lot of long races I felt it was appropriate to let my body have a little rest. I have been doing Crossfit and I feel that is helping with my overall strength and endurance, but once 2016 hits it's back on the roads for me.
I am excited for what 2016 has coming. With an invite to become an ambassador for Zensah, registration for the Zumbro 50 miler, and registration for Run the Year, it should be a year filled with plenty of miles.