Another long hiatus from posting. Juggling grad school and two jobs got the best of me there for a while, but the semester is over so I finally have time to breathe and post. Since my last post I have run three races and have one more on the docket before 2012 comes to a close.

In early November I ran the Richmond 8k, dropping down from the marathon due to lack of training and my bum hip. It was nowhere near an ideal race and I'm pretty sure the time was a personal worst. The silver lining of that weekend was finally meeting up with R in person for a long overdue dinner. She's such an amazing person and a huge support in my life. She was in town to race the half, and did a killer job.

Later in the month D and I raced the Arlington Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. I still hadn't been running much and my hip was still giving me trouble but we were both hoping to beat our previous 5k time from the September race. It was a brisk morning and neither of us were fully awake when the race started. It was hillier than we expected but were able to duck under the September time with a few seconds to spare. I ended up running the last half mile with my shoe untied but there was no way I was going to stop. Glad I didn't trip and fall on my face...

About ten days later a group of employees from PR got together and raced the Jingle All The Way 8k. In costume. This was my third 8k of the year. For some strange reason it was a regular fixture in my racing season. Dressed up in various holiday garb, we hit the streets and tried our best to place strongly in the team competition. It was another weak showing for me and just added to the anxiety I had about marathon training. My time, slowest of all, didn't go towards the group total. Thank goodness. The rest of my team did great and we placed ninth out of fifty teams. Consensus was that had we raced sans costumes we would have gotten sixth place. A lesson for next year I guess.

Once I got home I pulled up my previous 8k times out of curiosity. Until this year I hadn't run once since 2007 and it was my fastest of the lot. As this year went on I got slower and slower. Strangely enough the fastest of this year was in the heat of July on the day I'd run 12 miles earlier in the morning. I guess I was just in better overall shape. Either way, I am not eager to run this distance again any time soon. Similar to the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, I feel like this might be one that requires redemption.

Next up is the Fairfax Four Miler on New Years Eve. This will be my third time running this race but it will also probably be my slowest. I had a great PR last year but I am nowhere near the same condition. I've also registered to run the New Years Day 5k at 10 am the following morning, so I need to be smart with my racing strategy. It might be a little crazy but I'm looking forward to it. I don't particularly like New Years but this gives me something fun to do and a great excuse to go to bed early.

Santa brought me an awesome race bib holder that I'd had my eye on for a while now. I loaded it up with all the bibs I could find, going as far back as 2005. I am definitely missing a few but I pretty much filled the dang thing up already. If my counting is correct, by the end of the year I will have raced 14 times in 2012. Not all were planned and not all that were planned came to pass. Either way, I'm happy with that number.
As 2012 comes to a close, I'm in the midst of marathon training for the Shamrock Marathon in March 2013. Between my hip and a complete lack of motivation I am way behind where I should be. I do not have a base built up yet so my long runs are falling short of the schedule. I did go out last week for my first track workout in months and it was a pretty positive experience. I like 800 repeats, even though I was struggling to get through the required amount. I had planned on attending last night's track workout in the inclimate weather but the drive home from NY took 9.5 hours instead of 5 and I was still an hour away when the workout started.

Grr. I'm also missing the group long run on Saturday morning so that I can drive to West Virginia for my sister's baby shower. The goal was to get in three runs this week and build from there, but at this rate it is not going to happen. I ran Monday with my Dad while I was home and that was it. Tuesday was Christmas Day and yesterday was the epic drive. I don't have a good reason for not running today, aside from the 50 mph wind gusts. If I can get a ride home from work tonight, I could run there. I plan on attempting my long run tomorrow so that I don't fall farther behind. The hope is to do 10 miles but each run has been unpredictable lately so who knows what it will turn out to be.

I'm going to scale back expectations for 2013, compared to what I had laid out for 2012. I only have 2 solid races on my calendar and I'm leaving it at that. The first being Shamrock in March, the second being the North Face Endurance Challenge 50k in June. Not exactly small potatoes, eh? I love signing up for races and I love racing. I have, however, discovered that I hate training. It just isn't fun. But nothing worth something is easy, so I'll keep on pushing through. The 50k is both terrifying and exciting. I can't spend too much time thinking about it yet, as my full attention needs to be on Shamrock. I convinced R to race the full, my brother in law to race the full, and for D to race the half. We've already got hotel reservations squared away and it looks to be a great weekend.

I think I've covered the last two months pretty thoroughly. Thanks for staying with me this far. I'll be back in a few days with a recap of my New Years double. I hope everyone is staying warm!  Happy Holidays, and thank you for getting me through the intensity that was 2012.