Trail Running and Obstacles and Kettlebells, Oh My!

As the days are getting colder and the snow piling higher, this can only mean one thing:

It’s time to register for races months away and hope for epic training, feats of strength and podium finishes!

This skirt was made for running.
This skirt was made for running.

In reality, I’ll register for some races, pray to God that I can stay healthy and not get injured and hope some poor soul drags my lifeless corpse across the finish line before I get run over by the truck that picks up the race signs and pilons.

This past year, I decided that racing wouldn’t be a priority and was even considering taking the year to really work on conditioning and endurance to get myself back up to snuf after having baby number 3.

Then I signed up for 6 races and started praying. Soooo….yeah….

Need I say more?
Need I say more?

I wouldn’t say that my endurance came back in full force but I did run my strongest 10k and 5k races in years. I set a massive PR in my 5K race and ran 40km for the first (and probably last) time in my life in an epic 12 hour trail relay. I also conquered my first 2 obstacle races and developed a bit of a bug for doing them.

So all in all…I’d say I had a very epic racing season. Unfortunately, the racing was peppered with injuries and overuse issues with my knees (i.e. running 40k when you haven’t done more than 12k…not smart. Lesson learned…)

Metallic booty shorts and crimped hair pretty much guarantee a PR
Metallic booty shorts and crimped hair pretty much guarantee a PR

So what’s on tap for next year? Well, hopefully more awesomeness! There will be at least 2 obstacle races (I’m already registered for the Dirty Donkey in June!), maybe one or two more depending on timing and budget. I also really fell in love with trail running so I may take part in a couple of those over the summer as well. I’m also hoping to get back up to half marathon distance by the fall because it’s been over 2 years since I last tackled the distance and I really miss the challenge of it.

A lot of how my season will look will depend on health. Specifically my knees. They have been pretty beat up as of late and before I start taking on a butt-load of training miles, I need to have a plan to treat and maintain them if I hope to be successful at any of these goals.

Other training will also play a part in what I’m physically capable of. For example, right now and for the last couple of months, my training has been focused on my Strong First Kettlebell level 1 instructor certification. I’m training 4 days a week on kettlebells and not much else. I love this training but it’s mostly strength based which means my cardio endurance is pretty much gone. This was evidenced to me the other day when I did a test run on the treadmill to see how my knees were going to feel and nearly died after 5 minutes. I’ve got some work to do. Even the baby was appalled at my lack of endurance.

Swinging the rainbow!
Swinging the rainbow!

Overall, I’m just looking forward to getting stronger and having fun in my training and events. I’ve decided that I need to continue to try things that scare and intimidate me because those are the areas that have allowed me to experience the most growth. Sure, it’s hard and it doesn’t always go as planned but you only live once and I want to live this one life well and have fun. For me, that just happens to mean jumping over 6ft walls, throwing spears and swinging heavy things. I’ve never claimed to be normal. But I’m sure claiming to have fun doing it all!

What do you have on tap for 2016? What’s one thing you’ve never tried but have always wanted to do?

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