2021 Running – Year in Review

Happy New Year Running Friends!

Where did the year go?! Looking back at where I was last year at this time, it’s amazing how much has changed, yet how much hasn’t (how are we still in a pandemic?!). As tradition goes, it’s time for me to look back and see how the year went.

Compared to other years, 2021 meant much fewer races, not as many miles as 2020, and an end to my running streak. Some of the highlights of the year include:

My longest running streak, ever: I made it 411 days of running at least a mile every day. As I became more and more pregnant, this turned into a run/walk streak (emphasis on the walk), which lasted 537 days. My last day was 7/13, and my baby was born 7/22! I also did the #RWStreak from Thanksgiving to New Years, but I think that’s enough streaking for me for a while.

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photo from the day I hit one year!

My most pregnant miles: While I was much faster running with my firstborn, I ran and walked the most this pregnancy. Thanks partially to my running streak. I’m hoping it was what helped my labor go by pretty quickly, and me be able to get back into running at six weeks postpartum.

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The return to in-person racing: 2021 only included 3 races for me – 2 virtual and 1 in-person. The in-person was just a 10K (as part of the Cleveland Marathon race weekend), but it was SO great being back out there and running the streets with others racing!

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Running with my kids: My oldest has shown some interest in running, and we’ve run a mile together! It’s just a mile usually, but when the weather was nice, it was great to go for a run with him or get out and run around the block after I would come back from my run.

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Total mileage for 2021: 1,375.1 miles

Goal mileage: 2021 km or 1255.8 miles

2022 Goals

  • Add in something else besides running into my schedule. Yoga? Stationary biking? Hiking? I don’t know what it will be, but I need to start doing something besides running sometime. Even if it’s just stretching, abs and/or kettlebells!
  • Continue to run, injury free. I had some bad plantar fasciitis in 2021, but when I got pregnant it went away. I’d like to keep it away, as well as any other injuries!
  • Run in-person races again! With the new baby, I know I’m challenged to fit in running. But, hopefully I can make time to train for some races or at least fit in some events in 2022.

Questions for you:

  • How did your 2021 end in terms of running?
  • Any goals for 2022?

I’m linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Run Down.

Weekly Run Down: Longest Postpartum Week

Running is my stress therapy. It helps soothe my anxiety. It makes me sane. 

So it should come as no surprise to me that my first full week back of work was also my highest postpartum mileage week. At least I have a coping mechanism?

The week included a mix of outdoor and (mostly) indoor runs. I became familiar with my treadmill again, and was so grateful to have it when it was very dark, cold and snow/rain was coming down!

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Weekly Run Down: Time Change

I’m one of those people who likes “fall back.” I’m an early riser, and I don’t mind it being light in the mornings. I like the fact that my body thinks it’s later than it is, which makes a 4:30 a.m. wakeup alarm that much easier. And I don’t mind it getting dark at night. I have 3 kids, and we don’t spend much time outside after 7:30 p.m. anyway!

So, the time change helped me this week. It wasn’t quite light when I went for runs in the early mornings, but it was nice to feel almost rested in the mornings when I woke up — or at least as rested as one can be with a 3-month-old nursing baby.

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Weekly Run Down: BuhBYE October

WHERE DID OCTOBER GO? 

Excuse the all caps, but I have no idea how we’re suddenly a week into November. I’m not ready for that. I’m not ready for winter running (brr!) and ready for another year to be over (what happened to 2021?). But yet here we are, again, and about to start a new month. 

Luckily for me, October was a mild month. We even had some warm days that felt like summer again, which I loved. I did my first race this year, the Cleveland Marathon 10K. I had one fall (whoops) and may have hurt a groin muscle (pain is mostly gone now hopefully). And I got in nearly 100 miles of running, which isn’t bad for my first full month of being cleared to run again after baby #3.

And now, November is here! Here’s how my first week looked. 

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Weekly Run Down: Virtual 5K and 10K Training

I know that it’s October and fall officially began a few weeks ago, but WOW, it has been warm. It has been in the upper 70s all week, and while I’m not eager for winter to be here, I don’t mind the warm weather when I’m not running! 

Luckily, I’ve been able to get outside when it’s not too hot and I had another good-ish week of running. Why the -ish? Well, I’m still nowhere close to where I have been or was before pregnancy (or even where I was at this point postpartum after my first kid), but I’m so happy to be out there! I’m grateful to be (so far) injury free, able to run during the day when I want and enjoy daylight (since I’m on maternity leave), and I even got in a virtual 5K this week AND a 6 miler that made me confident enough to run the Cleveland Marathon 10K in a few weeks.

Here’s what the full week looked like:

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September Runs Done

So looong September and hello October! With the entry of October our weather has gotten cooler, and I do LOVE fall running so I’m not mad about it! 

I was cleared to start running again, postpartum, in September. With this news, my total mileage for the month was 88.87 miles.

I’m pleased with that number! Yes, it’s a really odd number and if I had realized it, I may not have taken the last day of the month off and instead run 1.13 miles, but it perfectly sums up my running. 

In other running news, I ran 6 miles without stopping this week! This was a huge accomplishment for me, and I now feel confident enough that I can run the Cleveland Marathon 10K. 

Here’s how my running looked this week:

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1 More Week

In one week, I’ll have completed 365 days of my running streak!

It makes me nervous to put that in writing. What if I’m jinxing it? What if I get sick or injured in the next few days? What if I can’t complete a year? Who knows what will happen in the next few days, but hopefully the next time I share a running post, it’s to say that I’ve completed my year of running.

Again, this week had its ups and downs. I had a good run one day, but most of the days I felt tired, big and ready to quit. I’ll blame it on being 26 weeks pregnant and bigger than I can remember ever before. But, the one good run powered me through my week and gave me hope that I’ll be able to run more in the future!

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Good Run Bad Runs

It’s amazing what much one good run can do for your mood, self esteem, and overall well being.

For most of this week, I had so-so to bad runs. Runs where I told myself, just get to one mile without stopping and then you can walk for a minute. Where I reminded myself that I had “less than 2 weeks to go to get to a year in my running streak.” Runs where I also completely doubted myself and doubted my ability to keep running throughout this pregnancy.

And then Saturday came along and after a full night’s sleep and beautiful weather, I finally had a good run. No, a great run. A run where the walking was minimal, the weather was PERFECT and I was able to get in under 12 minutes/miles, even with walking, for the entire 5 miles. And at 25 weeks pregnant and day 352 of my running streak, I’m really happy about that.

So, even though this week is my lowest mileage week in 2021, I ended the week on a high note.

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21 Days

As of Friday this week, I had 21 days left. 21 days left until I get to 365 of my run streak.

It’s crazy to me to think that in just under three weeks, I’ll have run every day for a year. I started in 2020 during the pandemic after doing my virtual half marathon. And, I just haven’t stopped. I’m now 24 weeks pregnant, which means if I keep this up, I’ll be about 27 weeks when I get to 1 year!

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. This week was a pretty good week, and “very Cleveland” as they say in terms of the weather. It was in the 70s two days, which meant we at outside for lunch AND dinner. And then it snowed at least an inch on Thursday – and the snow stuck for a little over 24 hours! I’m hopeful that that was our last April (and spring) snowfall and we are in the clear for at least 8 months….but we’ll see.

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It’s Getting Harder and Harder

I’m now 23 weeks pregnant and it’s getting harder and harder to run. I find myself out of breath sooner, going much slower, getting cramps and my heart rate skyrockets even if I’m running at what feels like a snail’s pace.

This was a walk/run … For as much walking as I did, I shouldn’t have had my hear trate so high!

But, I’m still feeling glad that I’m able to run at all and hope i can keep it up for a little bit longer. I’m at day 338 of my running streak and hoping to keep it up just a little longer. I’ve never ever run this many days in a row and I’m surprised and amazed at what my body can handle, especially this far along in my pregnancy!

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