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01-02-2012 23:15    Categories: Katie Cordova     

By Katie Cordova
OPW Staff Writer
k.cordova@officialplayerwatch.com

 

2011 pictures and running reflections

2011 has been by far the best year of my life. I have struggled a lot in the past with pretty much everything and this was the year where things really started to pan out and settle down in the crazy department and really pick up in the awesome department.

It started of with my marriage. Me and my husband wed on January 7th, 2011 and took a week long cruise to Jamaica and Haiti. The wedding was incredible, the honey moon was incredible and the whole first year of our marriage, while it has had its ups and downs, has been absolutely incredible. 



This is me and my husband on the beach in Jamaica drinking Red Stripe after horseback riding on the beach in January... It was a good day :)


Shortly after the wedding I made the commitment to start training for my first marathon, the Cleveland Marathon, which took place on May 15th few days before my 26th birthday. The training was hard, and I completed the Earth Day 1/2 Marathon (my 2nd half marathon) for a training run, which was fun, but I injured my knee at some point in time before that and my training was never the same after. This is the finish at the Earth Day 1/2. I would like to thank my husband for the beautiful picture. However, I thought the finish was about half a mile before it actually was and pushed myself way to hard to soon, and this picture does in fact reflect how I felt at the end.
The marathon was hard, and the weather was horrible and my knee was in so much pain. I finished the race at 5:32, about an hour past my projected time, but with the pain in my knee, there wasn't too much else I could do about.   (Pics are before the Marathon and in the final .2 stretch)

 




Defeated, and unable to walk, I took off of running until July 4th when I ran the Bexley 5k with most of my family members that were in town. As I usually do I took the summer off of running, except once or twice a week, and trained for our yearly Bike MS ride that me and my husband do. We completed 125 miles over 2 days on what is arguably the most beautiful weekend, weather wise, every single year. Its amazing really. (Note: the shirt I am wearing in this pic says "No Meat Athlete" provided by Matt Frazier of www.nomeatalthlete.com. I purchased this one from him, and he very kindly donated shirts to sell at our fundraiser. I am a vegetarian athlete)

 


Followed by our annual Bike the C-bus (a 30 mile tour around the city) the week after. We took Corbin along this year. He was the most popular guy out there.


After the Bike MS, I usually get back on a more serious running program. In the past I have always ran in the spring, biked in the summer, ran/biked in the fall, and did yoga all winter long. It has been a great way to keep in shape without getting burnt out in one activity, but 2012 I think will be different. I know I will run much much more then I have in 2011. Unfortunately I didn't keep track of my miles in one place, so I don't have them recorded anywhere. I wish I did. But I will definitely record them in 2012. I will continue to bike when it is nice out, going on cross training rides with my husband, and just biking around town like we really love to do. We are big bikers at heart, but I will run much much more.

I would like to say I will run X amount of marathons also, but with the horrible failure of my first one with an injury, I am taking it one marathon at a time. I am currently training for one on April 1st. If that one goes will then I will do another in May, and so on. I am very excited about the prospects of it all.

Another yearly tradition is the Army 10 miler. It is a race that holds 30,000 participants, and sells out in under 48 hours every year, and takes place along the streets of DC. Its an amazing run to participate in, and as a veteran it helps me remember my military roots. This year I ran it with my brother in law and sister in law, and my husband and my brother in laws wife joined us. It is an insanely busy weekend and the streets are PACKED. This is the pic is at the finish, holding the "finishing coin" (the army gives out coins for everything, not medals). The race started and ended at the pentagon, which is in the background.



I am not really able to afford race fees, or I would have done many more then I did. I hope one day that will change, because races are an amazing experience for a runner. Its like game day for a football player. All the training doesn't matter if you don't have anything to work toward. I hope to one day make my living off of running, getting paid to travel and run and write. It's my dream.

So I wasn't able to participate in the Columbus Marathon, like I would have liked, so I ran a half on my own that morning. It was the deadest I have ever seen the path on a Sunday morning. Ohio may suck in many ways, but we have very pretty fall days.

The last race that I ran this year is the Columbus 5 mile Turkey trot. I have ran it every year for the past.. 4 or 5 years, except for last year because the weather was horrible and I wimped out. It was really cold out, I'm the one NOT in yellow.
This picture is me, my sister and my brother. We usually have a large amount of family running it, but this year the weather wasn't great, and I think a lot of people just were not feeling it. My sister and I are wearing our Turkey Trot shirts. They say "Cleary Clan Turkey Trot: In Memory of Pat Cleary. Father, Brother, Uncle. 2008" My dad passed away in August 2008 from alcoholism. He was an avid runner and ran the Turkey Trot for the better part of his life. In 2008 my entire family got together and ran the race that year and my Uncle, his brother, made these shirts for all of us to wear. That's my dad when he was younger.
I have had an amazing time really fine tuning my commitment as a runner and I feel like this year I have finally made the transition from "someone who likes to run" to being a runner. My time has improved by almost 2 min/mile along with many personal PR's on distance, speed, consistency and weekly miles. I have broken through personal hurdles such as my problem with being a "fair weather" runner which was one of my biggest mental constraints. I have made huge strides to running on my schedule despite what the weather outside is, which is something I have never done before. Making the steps to conquer the little things like running when it is raining out have given me the mental capacity to push onward and start conquering the bigger things in my life.
I have made some "resolutions" for 2012 as a runner. The biggest one is to run at least 5 days a week. I am a busy person with a busy schedule, and have been a 3-5 day a week runner for so long and I think that has been one of biggest things that has kept me from becoming a better runner. I have a lot of other goals involving times, distances and races that I would like to run, but all of that is going to be determined as my training progresses and most of it is out of my control since I have never done them before. But I do know that one thing that I CAN control is how many days I get off my butt and hit the pavement, so that is the one goal that I am going to make for myself right now. And as I get better, my goals will become more defined, as will my abs... hopefully. Another goal :)
God bless in the new year!!
 
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