2017 Year in Review

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Our year was quite busy with a lot of travel and races. 

Much of January and February were spent running long miles preparing for my first Marathon in Little Rock. With the cold weather, I spent hours running double digits on the treadmill watching the Minions movie along with others on Netflix. All the training was successful as I finished the Little Rock Marathon on March 5th and received the gigantic finisher medal. It is 8” in diameter and weighs 3 pounds!

We went on our big trip of the year to France and Belgium with Juliette and Michael in late May. We started in Lyon visiting Eric’s “French” sister, Cathy. Cathy was an exchange student that lived with the Williams when Eric was 5. Cathy and her daughters were amazing hosts. We toured Lyon and the Burgundy region. We did some wine tasting, visited her parents and climbed up to Mont-Saint Vincent for some amazing views. After Lyon, we spent 3 days in Paris taking in all the sights. Finally, we went to Brussels to visit Eric’s cousin Elizabeth and Jim. We toured around the country side of Belgium, visiting Waterloo, Chateau Veves, Dinant (the birthplace of the saxophone) and the site of the Battle of the Bulge. While there, we ran the Brussels 20KM race in 90 degree heat and high humidity which is rare that time of year. We finished the trip eating waffles and stocking up on Belgian chocolates.

In June, we met Phil in Seattle for the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon/Half Marathon. We also travelled out to Rapid City for a quick weekend to surprise Eric’s mom for her 75th birthday. July included a quick weekend trip to Chicago to run the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon and enjoy Chicago style pizza.

We travelled to NYC in September for another destination half marathon. We ran the Newport Liberty Half Marathon across the river in Jersey City, NJ. The highlights of the course were running past the backside of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the amazing views of the Manhattan skyline. After the race, we spent the rest of our time in NYC. We went on the Circle Line Cruise to get the best views of the city. We attended the Twins vs Yankees game at Yankee Stadium. We visited the new National September 11th Memorial & Museum. We finished up our vacation with a trip to the Top of the Rock at night. It is a great place to take in the city lights.

October was another busy month. It started off with a bang with the Twin Cities Marathon Weekend. Phil, Byron, Paula’s sisters, DJ and Eric ran the marathon. I stuck with the 10 mile course. Paula, my mom and Eric’s brother, Tim, were our spectators. It was a miserable day as it was rainy, cold and windy but I had a lot of fun. The best part was Phil finished his 50 marathons by his 50th birthday goal!

A few days later we were made “great” by my niece Danielle as she had a baby boy, our first great nephew, Blake. He is a very cute and active boy, rolling over at 20 days old! We have been down many times to visit including his Baptism in late October. Most of my family was there, including Nancy, who came up from Texas, as well as Dylan and his fiancĂ©e Melissa, they were Godparents.

We saw Dylan and Melissa again in November when we travelled down to Madison to run the half marathon. Melissa was a diehard spectator, braving the elements to see us at a couple points along the course. After lunch to celebrate Dylan’s birthday, Mom and I started our drive to Nashville. We spent a week listening to music in honkytonks, touring the city on a trolley and attending some special shows. The highlight of the trip was attending the CMA Country Christmas hosted by Reba taping at the Grand Ole Opry. It was fantastic!

We went to Danielle and Bradley’s house for Thanksgiving. It was a nice crowd including my mom, DJ and Bradley’s family. 

The first weekend in December we flew down to Austin, Texas to see Nancy and Greg. We ran the Rock n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. It was hot, humid to start and then it rained so we were wet for 10 miles. Fun times! 

My goal of running a marathon before my 40th birthday came 10 months early so I decided I need a new goal – 40 races before my 40th birthday. Eric was annoyed that I decided this 2 months into the year (as we could have done more races in January and February). I’m happy to report that I succeed as race #40 was this past weekend, two weeks before my 40th birthday!

We hope you had a great 2017 and that your 2018 will be even better. 

Love, Eric, Kim and Swirl

40 for 40…Mission Accomplished!

Monday, December 18, 2017

I did it!  I ran 40 races in 2017 before my 40th Birthday!  I’m so happy to complete another running goal!  There were times I was really doubtful I could do it with some of the nagging pains and injuries but I conquered it and succeeded.

Here are the stats:

Types of races
Of course, I ran mostly 5Ks but my second most was half marathons. So that is cool. I had approximately 270 racing miles this year alone.
Races per month
I decided to do this challenge in March so the first 2 months of the year I didn’t do too many races. And it was winter so there are not many races to choose from. August had the most races followed by July which is odd because it is my least favorite time of year to run. Ha!
It is no surprise I like to travel and what is more fun than traveling to races???  My farthest race from home was Brussels, Belgium. But I also got to cross of 6 more states on my 50 States goal. So that was cool too!
Well my rough estimate of just race entry fees for my 40 races was $1,870. Of course there were hotels and flights and other travel related expenses that are not added it…this was an expensive goal!

Would I do it again?  
Absolutely. It was fun. Maybe I should do 50 for 50…I have 10 years to figure that out.

What’s next?
For 2018, I’m running a lot less races. I will keep up my “One Race a Month” goal. I’m currently at 50 months straight!

I’m already registered for 5 half marathons:
Montgomery Half Marathon
Rock N' Roll Raleigh
Colfax Half Marathon
Rock N' Roll Dublin Half Marathon
Madison Half Marathon

And I have plans to 3 other half marathons but I can’t register for them yet.

I’ve also registered for Grandma’s Marathon. It really hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m running another one. I hope my time is better.

Happy Running!

Rock 'n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

Friday, December 8, 2017

Hot, humid and slow

It was the worst half marathon since my injured race in Las Vegas last year.

The weather was hot and humid to start. I wasn't sure I would make it after the first couple miles.

Then floodgates opened at miles 3 and 4. I was cursing myself for not wearing a hat. It was miserable but at the same time a relief because it cooled it down for a bit. Mile 3 was my fastest mile and that was over 13 minutes so you can tell this race sucked.  We also ran past the Alamo during this mile.

At the start of mile 5, a guy stopped to light up a cigarette. No, seriously, he started smoking mid-race. LOL! The people around me looked at him like he was crazy. I found it humorous.

During mile 6, I bit my tongue. I'm not really sure how. I wasn't eating anything but I was chewing gum. Very odd. It hurt like hell and I actually cried from the pain. Most people have cramping issues or strained muscles...I bite my freaking tongue. Days later, the only lingering pain from the race was my tongue. ha!

Mile 7 is the blue mile where they have pictures of military members who were killed. It is a very sad mile and I tried to keep my emotions in check but the pictures of guys with their babies or young kids get me every time. More tears.

Miles 8 and 9 were not very memorable other than running through mud and puddles from the rain that happened earlier in the day.

Mile 10 is when I started having issues with my shoe insert. I think running 10 miles in wet shoes and socks was the reason my insert was slipping and folding on top of itself. I stopped a few times to fix it. Finally I got fed up and took it out. Yep, I carried that insert for 3 miles. It is even in my finisher photos. LOL!  I struggled with this mile trying to determine if I should take the other one out too so I'm not running "uneven" but I was too tired and lazy to do that.

Mile 11 was the Mariachi mile. There were bands every 100 or so feet. It was needed as this was the only major hill of this entire course. Yep, the major hill was during mile 11. Mean!

Mile 12 is where the sun came out and the got hot fast. I was so relieved to be almost done! I also felt sorry for the marathoners who had to keep going straight while we turned to run to the finish.

Mile 13 I met Nacho. I can't remember his really name but everybody calls him Nacho. This was his first half marathon, he lost 100 pounds this year and ran the race to celebrate. That is my kind of guy! I ran with him most of the last mile.

Overall, I finished 2 minutes faster than I anticipated so that was cool. 3:13:41!