2014: Year in Running

I might be a lazy blogger at times, but I just can’t resist the “end-of-the-year” blog post summarizing the highs and lows of the past year.  I’ll save my resolutions (past and future) for the next post — this one is more of a highlight reel (with some low-lights too).

Copying Miss Zippy’s format, here’s my year in running:

  • Best race experience? No question about it, the Big Sur International Marathon was my “race of the year”, not because I ran a PR (I didn’t), but because of the gorgeous course and fantastic race conditions.  It was also the first marathon where I felt totally in control and executed my race strategy fairly well… up to mile 22-23, anyway. 😉
    Runner up: Kaiser Half, where I finally ran a sub-2 hourhalf marathon, after many attempts, and in the cold, pouring rain, no less.  I loved it!

    Nice beach side stroll at Big Sur in April.

    Nice beach side stroll at Big Sur in April.

  • Best run? It’s hard to name just one run in particular, but I have to say that the (almost) monthly trail runs that I’ve done with Cathryn & friends have been so much fun.  We’ve explored many different parks, as well astried quite a few brunch spots!

    Running shots, continued. (photo credit: Angela)

    With Cathryn and JT in October at Ramage Peak (photo credit: Angela)

  • Best new piece of gear?  Definitely the Mio Link wrist heart rate monitor.  I would’ve never gotten through MAF training without it.

    The Mio Link

    The Mio Link

  • Best piece of running advice you received? This is a hard one… I think I have to go with those of you who encouraged me to skip the Big Basin Trail Marathon.  I’m positive that I would’ve been sidelined a lot longer with my ambiguous hip injury if I had gone for it, and I’m even more sure that I would’ve DNF’ed. So thanks to everyone who gave me sensible advice to help me take a step back and consider the bigger picture.  I learned that DNS stands for “did not start”, and also “did nothing stupid”. (Clever quip credited to Mike.)
  • Most inspirational runner? She’s probably high on a lot of runner’s lists, but I’d have to say Shalane Flanagan.  She really put herself out there at both Boston and Berlin this year and ran with such courage.  Her performances were the embodiment of one of my favorite mottos: “Go Big or Go Home.”

    Shalane fearlessly leading the pack at this year's Boston Marathon.

    Shalane fearlessly leading the pack at this year’s Boston Marathon. (source)

  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? “Roll with the punches.”  This was the first year I had to take a significant amount of time off due to running, and I learned a lot from it.


As y’all know, I’m a data nerd, so no year-end summary would be complete without #ALLTHENUMBERS. (Here are the stats from 2012 and 2013.)

Miles (through 12/30; I may run a few tomorrow, the 31st): 1,038

Races: 10

  • (2) 5Ks
  • (1) 10 miler
  • (3) half marathons – 2 road, 1 trail
  • (1) 30K (trail)
  • (2) marathons
  • (1) relay

Miles raced: 143.5

PRs: (not counting new distances with automatic PRs)
– 1:58:51 half-marathon @ Kaiser.  Bettered previous PR by 1 min 46 sec.

Age Group Awards: 1 — 3rd (out of 35) at 5K on the Bay

When I look back on 2014, I see that I pushed my body too hard in the spring, which forced me to DNS my first trail marathon and take almost all of June off from running.  It was a good lesson to learn, and I spent the rest of the year easing my way back into running, slowly building up mileage and intensity.  In terms of racing, I had some really strong finishes that I was proud of, namely at Kaiser and 5K on the Bay, but also some disappointing finishes where I quit mentally with less than a mile to go.  Tenacity is something I hope to work on in 2015.

Here’s to a happy and healthy new year!


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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15 comments on “2014: Year in Running
  1. Cathryn says:

    Our monthly trail runs have been awesome, we need to sort out dates for the next few months. I’ll email round everyone tonight! This year I’ve been so impressed with your gutsiness (first 6 months) and then tenacity and patience (second 6 months). You’re the bestest x

  2. Angela says:

    A great year, in my opinion!!

  3. Jan says:

    What a great year!! Shalane is my hero too. She works SO HARD. Obviously there’s natural talent there but her drive is what inspires me more than her accomplishments. She always has such a good attitude and you can tell she puts her whole heart and soul (I typed “sole” first which also fits LOL) into it. Tenacity is a great word for 2015! 🙂

  4. Grace says:

    What a great year. I remember I really liked your philosophy about Big Sur. And to run a half PR in some grotty conditions at Kaiser… really underlines the fact that running is such a head game.

    2014 wrap-up/ New Year’s resolution moment of truth – ya doin’ your clamshells? #teamgluteusmedius 😉

    • Jen says:

      LOL. You got me there with the clamshells. I stopped doing them as soon as everything felt better, but I know I should do some regular maintenance — if not clamshells, then bridges and squats at the very least.

  5. Mike says:

    Big Sur was pretty sur-real, wasn’t it? What a fantastic race that was, hopefully I’ll have a chance to run it again on a healthy foot. And if you’re looking for inspiration, don’t forget Traci Falbo’s 242.35 indoor miles in 48hr, punctuated by a much-deserved collapse at the end. Talk about fortitude!

    So glad I could be part of both your year in running and your year-end post… let’s both stay healthy in 2015 and meet at another start line soon!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Mike! Congrats to you on a HUGE year – kicking PF to the door, finishing a multitude of marathons, and launching RaceRaves. Looking forward to seeing what 2015 will bring!

  6. What a wonderful year! Congrats on everything you achieved and the PR! I am so jealous you ran Big Sur. Definitely on my bucket list. Best of luck with everything in the New Year!

  7. […] Also, since I’m a numbers nerd, I like to look back at previous years (see 2012, 2013, & 2014) to compare stats like mileage and races. So, without further […]

  8. […] running and to help me focus on goals for the coming year. (Here are the recaps from 2012, 2013, 2014, and […]

  9. […] stick to my annual tradition of doing a year-end summary. Here are the wrap-ups from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and […]

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