Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Before 2007, I was a runner girl wanna-be, an on again, off again runner, dieter, and work out girl who had run a few 5ks. I started off the year really no different. This may be longer than some other recaps but I think it will do me good to write about it and look back, learn and re-motivate. This is first and fore most, for me, but you are welcome to read it if you have the time.

January and February (approximately 75 miles??)
I started off in January and February being pretty serious about a total body workout regimen which included cardio, weight machines and some toning exercises. I logged more "steps" on the company wellness website than ever. I had used Favorite Run to track mileage when I just went out for a run, but did not use it for mileage that occurred as part of working out. I began to see noticeable results and become a fitness mag junky.

March and April (maybe 30 miles???)
These months included the good fortune of some award trips that will never be forgotten. Running was forgotten but the trips were fabulous. We went to Palm Springs and Italy. Unfortunately the forgotten resolve to be fit and have six pack abs, as well as the loads of pasta and nonstop eating all over Italy led to some unwanted pounds that I have struggled with the rest of the year. I realize that I had the bulk of the bulk off but let go of it here, and then spent the remainder of the year heavier than I wanted to be.

There are many amazing memories of pizza by the Grand Canal, sleeper trains, take out delivered via moped, fountains, Coliseum, ruins, St. Peter in Chains, the Vatican and the beautiful private estate where our gala was held. However, one of my favorite memories is taking an article from Runner's World that gives you running routes from different cities and basically following it on an adventure with my husband at the crack of dawn. Unforgettable. (not truly a run, but ranks right up there as one of my favorite routes and experiences of 2007).

May (14 miles) and June ( 37.4 miles)
The poundage led to me trying to run again and hubby coming up with the grand idea of following the Nonrunner's Guide together. I trained to get ready for the schedule and actually logged some miles with the onset of planned regular running. - my attempt to be Regular Runner Girl and Marathon Girl.

July (77.5 miles) and August (101.7 miles)
These months were spent in a total zone, both hubby and I following the training schedule despite travel, rain, or busy schedules. We experimented with all the gear and nutrition and hydration and lived and breathed it for awhile. Hubby started this blog for me and I was opened up to a new world of friends and support!!

July included major accomplishments, dedicated running while on a business trip, first 7 miler, first 8 miler and one amazing run that taught me so much. I realized that negative thoughts will flow if you let them, but you can beat them back if you want to. By the end of the run, I was beating the uglies back with a club and Cavegirl was born. People all over the net (well okay, a few of my nearest and dearest blogging buddies) :D have borrowed the club on numerous occasions to beat back self doubt and nasty negative self talk. Amy, this is a favorite run for sure!

The best part is I have a lot of trouble with negativity in my personal life and this (and running in general) started to teach me that I can change it. You can see references to this in the tag line of my blog and is primarly why I don’t change it. I work at it literally every day and thankfully found a man/saint who will put up with me and even love me on this journey.

August brought our first 14 miler which proceeded to derail both of us. Weird that it happened in the same week. Curt's heel and my feet pretty much exploded, he had to stop and I had to cut way back. We both sought out professionals with limited to some success. I kept on somewhat of a schedule but reluctantly let go of the Full Mary dream for October 21st. It was difficult, but we did feel a sense of accomplishment that we had come so far and were starting to feel like runners. Some of the best times were spent on the porch with the kids waiting for each other to return and cheer for the latest long run accomplishment.

September (88.3 miles)
I met blogging buddies, Amy and Tom, and found immediate friendships and support from both. I ran my first longer than 5k race (Capital Pursuit), a 10 miler in a fast crowd, and it was absolutely unforgettable -- heartbreaking in a way to realize just how far at the back of the pack I would be but incredible to experience and showed me what I might be made of. Thanks, Tom, for the encouragement to do this race, and wonderful race crew family for keeping me company behind the cop car. :D I tried to hold on to the precious base despite constant nagging hip pain and feet that would blow up when I ran long, but basked in the memory of that 10 miler where I held a constant 12 pace and kept my spirits up.

October (49.8 miles)
I relied on the base I had built to run the Des Moines IMT Half Marathon and I will certainly never forget the feeling of accomplishment. It was amazing although I still felt like a fish out of water and ended up at the way back of the pack with the old gals, the old men and the big girls. Sadly, I think I am one of the latter. I did finish in under 3 hours which had been a goal. My feet held out somewhat well, but my hip continued to hurt.

October also included another favorite run. Tom and Amy opened Runner’s Lounge and we had a celebratory jaunt around a favorite lake. Cavegirl was spotted and even made the Des Moines Register later as she greeted fellow blogger friend, Bowulf. I also made a lackluster showing at Race for the Cure 5k.

November (15.8)

The big plunge in mileage with nothing on the schedule and the hip still nagging. I did have some accomplishments as I ramped up physical therapy and core work and the feet actually started to improve with orthotics but the hip issue continues. I had one amazing plank when it really counted! I decided I better get a race on the calendar pronto to keep some mileage up but still the miles suffered.

December (20 miles)
I hung in there to race and host 8 on the 8th and had an absolute ball, both realizing I could still do the miles and putting together the race results. Travel (fabulous award trip to NYC) and holiday chaos ensued, then a major back spasm put me out of commission for 2 - 3 weeks (doing laundry of all things!). Physical Therapy and mileage went to hell in a handbasket. I tried to salvage my dignity with a couple runs at the end of the month while my back was healing, but they showed me just how far I have slipped.

I also realized that I really really need to have a training schedule and something on the calendar. I promptly came up with 9 on the 9th (of February): Sweetheart Shuffle, another Virtual Race for ME and ALL OF YOU :D. (Thank you Curtis for indulging me the amount of time that this takes to put together. He knows how much the running means to me and how much fun the creative side is for me to exercise as well.)

Oh yeah, and as if I wasn't already feeling old and questioning myself, I turned 40. With the decline in miles and the increase in holiday eating, the weight is as high as it has been this year. In a way, I finish the year how I started it, on again, off again, sporadic dieting…

So, admittedly some defeats, but also some major accomplishments. Two longer races under my belt, orthotics to help my feet, more miles than I have ever done, great friends met, uncovered a positive attitude that I didn't know I had and tried to parlay it into other areas of my life. I think this gives me somewhere around 510 miles for the year... and several realizations:

1. I am capable of being a runner
2. I still have a long way to go
3. I can still let it slip away even after working like a dog to build a base
4. Travel can throw me off if I don't have a schedule
5. My body is very efficient at storing energy….I can’t keep eating everything I want

6. I can run a HM for sure, maybe more - for now I am HALF MARATHON GIRL
7. I love blogging and running, both have done so much for me

I have a lot of work to do in 2008, but it can be really great if I seize the opportunity, both in running and in personal things. 40/2008 will be what I make it.


Greg Johnson said...


You have the right outlook for 2008 to be an awesome year for you.

Keep pressing toward the finish line,


Wes said...

Happy New Year, Nancy! The world is your canvas. Run us all a pretty picture :-)

Nat said...

It's all about goals missy. :)

(I loved that toe picture.)


Laura N said...

You accomplished a lot in 2008, Nancy. Just from a running perspective, those are impressive miles for a new runner. Your 2008 is going to be super duper--no doubt about it.

Hang in there with the weight loss--we'll get it off together!

Jess said...

You've had a great 2007 -- looking forward to what you have in store for 2008!

PS: So jealous of your trip to Italy!

Tri+Umph said...

Great post, and year, Nancy!

Theres one big thing that has changed about you this year that you're ignoring. Before, it sounds like your "on again off again" habits were due to motivation. But now, most of them are due to injury.

Did you mope about it and beg for pity? Nope! You got to the PT and did whatever you could to fix it; way to go!

Nitmos said...

Nice job in 2007! Keep the momentum going in 2008. You'll knock out that half mary before you know it!

Bill Carter said...

Thank you for sharing. As I have said many times before you are a great inspiration to me with your kind and friendly nature. Although you have certainly had your share of ups and downs this year, look at all you've accomplished. I would agree that you are definitely Half Marathon Girl and when the time is right you will pass that test with flying colors.

Btw, I loved your pictures.. I am so jealous of that trip to Italy and am secretly planning to take my family either this year or early next year.

Thanks for being such a great RBF (running blog friend).

RunToTheFinish said...

what a great journey! I'm sure 2008 will be even better.

Have fun at the ISU game, my fiance will be jealous he is a cyclone thru and thru.

ws said...

oh, I've got the time. Thanks for sharing. I thought about doing a year in review, but my posts are too long on a daily basis so that would've been a book - kind of like this comment.

I'm turning 30 in 2008, but most people assume I'm barely legal...I suppose that is a good thing.

Good luck with your goals - if you want it, I'm sure you can transition from half-marathon girl to full marathon girl.

akshaye said...

That was a good year :)

Have an awesome '08!

Bev said...

Nancy, you are echoing the sentiments of many women, me included. I wish it was a one time battle that could be over and done with, but it is a constant thing. Secret is surronding yourself with people that will help you get to your goals. Keep that up and the sky's the limit. We are all here for you. And let's help each other make 2008 unbelievable!

J said...

You rock "half marathon girl"! Have a Happy New Year!! I can't wait to follow your progress for a WHOLE year! Yay!

Unknown said...

Nice year-in-review. I predict great things for you in 2008. :)

Marcy said...

1 and 2 are definitely me too! You had a spectacular year Nancy!! You so rock!! ;D ;D ;D Here is to next year and all the future fab posts you write (or should I say type LOL) to keep the rest of us all going ;-)

My Life said...

Yay for you and your amazing 2007! Can't wait to hear about all you'll accomplish in 2008!

teacherwoman said...

What a great post, Nancy! :) I think 2008 is going to be a wonderful year! :)

J~Mom said...

Wonderful review!! I loved reading it! Can't wait to read about 2008!

Amy@RunnersLounge said...

What a great year! I can still feel the emotion from the Capital Pursuit run. Just thinking about it still gives me goosebumps.

Celebrate all that you have done. 2008 is going to be alot of fun!

Stuart said...

Here's to a great 2008 and a build out on 2007's base!

But yes you're right, a plan or program is essential.

Unknown said...

I'm so glad I peeked at your blog - 9 on the 9th! I'm so in!

I think 2008 is going to be a great year for all of us. :)

The Laminator said...

So glad to have joined in on the fun this year with you Nancy! Here's to an even better 2008.

L*I*S*A said...

Welcome to 2008. It's gonna be a great one for us all.

Great job on everything you accomplished in '07!!

Anonymous said...

Happy new year. what a year you had. Hope all is great for you in 2008

zanne said...

happy new year nancy!! 2008 is all yours - right in front of you ... grab it & run run run!

Marathoner in Training said...

Catching up on your past several posts. Happy birthday, I never knew you were that old, I had you pegged for mid 30's. It is also so wonderful to have a great spouse, and kids that truely love you. You did a lot in 2007, and I am sure that you will complete more in 2008. Keep smiling.

Vickie said...

Nancy, it has been a privilege getting to know you. Wishing you all the best in 2008, and looking forward to our next run "together."

Viv said...

Nancy, thanks for the recap. I see no big girl on your blog anywhere. I looked at all these pics and saw an awesome, motivating runner!

Viv said...

Nancy, thanks for the recap. I see no big girl on your blog anywhere. I looked at all these pics and saw an awesome, motivating runner!

Lori said...

This was such an awesome, inspiring post! I can't wait to see what '08 has in store for you...or wait..I think I mean what you have in store for it :)

P.O.M. said...

Oops - late to comment here.

Great list. Sounds like an amazing year.

Bill said...

Wow Nancy! A great review of your year and a great blog! I'm glad I found you at the Runners Lounge!

I'll be definitely subscribing to your popular blog and following your 2008 exploits!

- Bill

Dan Seifring aka "OBRATS" said...

It was a pleasure finding your blog in 2007. I look forward to doing the same in 2008.

Mendy said...

Nancy, I know this is VERY late, but I had to comment.

I'm amazed at your accomplishments. You are amazing and a great runner that has the passion for it. I cant' wait to see what's in store for 08 for you.

BTW, David and I have that same picture of Italy (right pic) of us standing in the same place. So weird. LOVED Italy.