Dec 10

Year of Running 2014: Perfection

I have a huge problem on my hands for 2015. You see, last year was an absolute dream year of running, biking and racing for me. I mean, I represented Team USA in Spain at the Duathlon World Championships! Before that, I won a friggin’ sword! How in the Sam hell am I going to top that? Spoiler alert: I’m not.



No, that’s not me running though the streets of Munich but my good friend Miss Zippy aka Amanda. She hosts this awesome running reflection each year so that those of us who are not so inclined to stop and reflect, are forced to. I have to say, if there was ever I year of running that I just wanted to soak in, it was 2014.

Best Race Experience: Possibly the greatest race experience of my entire living life was becoming the bull and running though the streets of Pontevedre, Spain for Team USA. My family was with me, cheering me on though out the race and spending the next 10 days celebrating with me in Spain and Portugal. I can honestly say that a day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about our time there. It was one of the very best and I don’t think it could ever be duplicated. Perfection.

Finish line!

IMG_4029 20x30-PONE6772



Best run: Again, I have to go back overseas but this time to the beaches of Portugal. After the World Championships I took three days off to eat, drink and rest with my family. On the fourth day I took a nice, easy run though the streets of Portugal and along the sandy beaches, as near to the roaring surf as I dared, with a view of some of the best surfers in the world. Perfection.


What happened to this view?  I want to go back each and every day I wake up back here.

I made a promise to do more yoga after Spain.  I started on the beach in Portugal.


The boys, hand in hand, going down to run from the waves.



Best New Piece of Gear: I now have a permanent mark from my journey in Spain. It’s something that has been inside of me since I was born and I’ve been nurturing for almost 40 years. It’s a very unique piece and no one else in the world has it. It’s my bull tattoo, that I couldn’t wait to have marked on me, after my lifetime journey that culminated in 2014. Perfection.

The mark of the BULL!

The mark of the BULL!

Best piece of running advice I received: ‘Have fun.’ Those were the two words my coach chose to say to me when, during the Shamrock Ten Penny Ale Duathlon, I was the first woman into the bike transition. She could have said any number of things, starting with ‘you’re in the lead!’ but she knows me too well. She knew I needed to hear something to calm me down, and to be reminded of why I was there…or at least why I should be there!

I ended up winning the race by a mere three seconds and the very best award I’ve ever won: A actual sword!

And yes, I've been bringing it with me everywhere.  Wouldn't you?

...and, of course, CRS had to knight me.

My coach (Becky aka Coach Rocket Science!) knighting me after the race. Yes, I have a beer in my hand.

Most Inspirational Runner: My running friends. My BRF (best running friend) Chrissie trained for and ran her first marathon ever and qualified for Boston, a neighbor of mine continues to set outstanding racing PRs not the least of which was a 2:51 marathon this past October, and my bestie set her PR in the half this Fall despite starting a new full-time job, planning a wedding and mothering two sets of twins.

It’s the women I see day after day on the treadmill at the Y where I teach and train. Do you know what a mind-numbing experience it is to train for a race day after day on a treadmill? They do it because they have no choice. Their babies are in the day care and they can’t leave the building. Wait…they do have a choice, they could not run. Yeah right.

I’m so lucky that I get to surround myself with all these athletes. Perfection.

Chrissie and me post race bling!

Pre-race, obviously, since we're smiling.

Shannon and I (like wet dogs!) changing in my car after the half so we could cheer Chrissie into the marathon finish!


If you could sum up your year of running in a couple of words, what would they be? Perfection. Absolute perfection.

As I look to 2015, I’m dreaming big because that’s how I roll. I’m also a realist and although I want to do well and reach my lofty goals, I also think there is just no way to top last year. But you know what? I don’t have to.

Thinking about ‘duplicating’ anything makes me think of my two amazing little duplicates – Miles and Vaughn. They are identical twins in looks only. Each has his own brilliant outlook on life, smile, personality and vulnerability. I was able to duplicate extraordinary kids so, why not ‘mere’ racing? Don’t think I won’t keep that in mind.

How was your year? Did you meet your goals?

Join the link-up or answer any one of the questions in the comments!


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  1. Janine Huldie

    I am not sure how you can top this year, but I know this if anyone can it is you!! 😉
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Confessions Blogging Gets Real Wonderful WednesdayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Let’s hope Janine!! Thank you 🙂

  2. Hollie

    Seriously what a great year of training and life. How cool is that to represent team USA, I am going back to read some of those posts now! I always enjoy reading about people’s years in review.
    Hollie recently posted…Schukyill River Run (8.4 miles: 59:05)My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Hollie. It was one amazing year!

  3. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    You really did have such an amazing year- congrats on all you accomplished!! I’m inspired by the runners I see around me, too. Now I just need some female running buddies in my neighborhood!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Year of Running 2014My Profile

    1. vita88

      I don’t hardly ever get to run with anyone so when I do, it’s a real treat!…even if it’s side by side on the treadmill!

  4. Tina muir

    You had an incredible year Allie, wow! It really was, and it was so special for us all following you in that journey. You accomplished what I still dream of; running in that red white and blue (although mine is slightly different :P). I am in admiration of you for that! I loved seeing all the photos of you with others, you bring sunshine and happiness to all the runners around you, it is infectious! Here is to 2015!
    Tina muir recently posted…My Year of Running 2014: Building for the FutureMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks so much Tina and yes yours is VERY different. I have no doubt I will see your smiling face in the Olympics someday!!

  5. Tara Newman

    Yes, my friend, you had a tremendous year! Do Am Zof next year! That’s a fun race. I abandoned my goals half way through the year but I made tremendous life progress and I couldn’t be happier. Now I am planning 2015 and I feel really good about where I am.
    Tara Newman recently posted…5 Ways You Can Restore Balance to Your Busy WeekendMy Profile

    1. vita88

      You should! You had a battle of a year and look at you now. Amazing.
      I want to do Am Zof but it may get in the way of a few other things. I haven’t crossed it off yet…

  6. Jess

    Drooling over those Spain pics! You had such an amazing year and so much to be proud of, looking forward to seeing you soon 🙂

    1. vita88

      Thanks so much Jess! I can’t wait to see you either!!

  7. misszippy

    Seriously, you had an amazing, incredible year! And my favorite part is that, while you’ll continue to push yourself and do great things, you can also be grateful for that year. My next favorite part is that you said “sam hell”–that’s something my dad would say!

    Love your Portugal run post race. Running in new locales is one of my absolute favorite things in the world to do.

    Thanks for linking up!
    misszippy recently posted…Even the elites rest (guest post)My Profile

    1. vita88

      I have some old saying I always toss out there so I’m glad someone appreciates them 🙂
      Thanks Amanda. I love this link-up!!

  8. Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama

    This I completely agree with! Your running year was nothing short of PERFECT and I enjoyed every single post, training, recap, sick–whatever it was a FUN ride for 2014. Know that you inspire me daily and your love of running somehow jumps out of the computer screen and into my body and fuels me to trot along in my own runs. You really had a spectacular year Allie and I am so proud, there is no need to duplicate, it can NEVER be duplicated. You can just create a new experience in 2015 with more fun adventures, giving it your all like you always do, and it will be perfect in its own way. Well done my friend! xo
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…Weekly Wednesday Workout: A Unique Inner & Outer Thigh WorkoutMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I can’t tell you how much that means to me Nellie!! You are a true friend and the fact that you now share my love of running just makes us closer…if that’s possible!? Thank you for all your support this past year and here’s to 2015 and running through the streets of Brooklyn together!!!!

  9. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

    You did have an amazing year, it will be hard to top, but I think you can 🙂 My year….i’m still in an bronchitis induced fog and haven’t really put much though to it, but I’m hoping 2015 is much better. As far as running goes, it was a bit disappointing with the exception of my half marathon PR that I worked really hard for. The marathon was a disappointment despite the PR and the year was filled with injury. I’m hoping to turn that around next year!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…12 Days of Christmas Giveaway: Day 3–Apera BagsMy Profile

    1. vita88

      You can only go UP from here Sue! You’ve paid your dues and you train your ass off so there’s no reason 2015 won’t be a year of JOY and accomplishments that leave you feel stronger afterward. I hope we somehow get to run together this year…preferably in DC 🙂

      1. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

        Yes, come down and run a race with me…..well, start the race with me and have a beer with me AFTER 😉
        Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…12 Days of Christmas Giveaway: Day 3–Apera BagsMy Profile

        1. vita88

          Hahaha! Sounds perfect!

  10. Kate

    You really did have an amazing year athletically. I was certainly wowed. I need to make 2015 my year of getting in shape (as I say every year). Any tips to get it in action?
    Kate recently posted…Books- love ‘em or leave ‘emMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Kate! My advice is to find something you love…or at least like. You’re never going to make a habit out of something you hate. Find whatever your “thing” is in fitness and do that, regardless of what anyone else says or thinks! Do YOUR thing and it will always be the right thing.

  11. Jess@Flying Feet

    wow–amazing year for you! I am slightly envious of your travels…and that sword! What?! You really are an inspiration. I didn’t meet my BQ goal this past year…decided to plan a wedding instead. BUT I did knock my 5k time out of the park so win-win! I’m shooting for a fast marathon time next April 😉
    Jess@Flying Feet recently posted…Wisdom Wednesday: Running into Headwinds How to Run in the Wind Emotionally and PracticallyMy Profile

    1. vita88

      You seem to have your priorities straight! Congrats on the 5K – those races can be so tough. Good luck with your marathon training. I’m sure you will get that BQ this year!!

  12. Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness

    I loved your recap of 2014 and the amazing pics from Spain and Portugal! You did have an awesome year and I can’t wait to read about your 2015!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…2014 Running Year ReviewMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Kris! I kind of just want to do 2014 over again…

  13. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    You won a freakin’ sword…how can you top that?? I don’t know how but I’m sure you’ll find out as you duplicate an outstanding 2014 into 2014. Awesome year lady!!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Race Week ThoughtsMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I don’t think I should try to top the sword. It’s just not happening. Thanks Angela! 🙂

  14. Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness

    WOW, what an amazing year of running it has been for you!! Congrats on all of your accomplishments!
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…WIAW: My Favorite Eats of the WeekMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Nicole, it’s truly been a great year. I hate to see it go!

  15. Tamara

    I love reading this and Christine’s as well. I followed both of your journeys this year! I remember when you first mentioned Spain and I love that it’s such an important part of your history.
    I’m certain 2015 will hold some surprises too.
    Tamara recently posted…Mountain, Tree, What Do You See?My Profile

    1. vita88

      Yes! You were there the whole way, cheering me on and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. You are a true friend Tamara and I only hope we can see each other more in 2015 🙂

  16. Alison

    It’s been awesome and inspiring, following you on your amazing year of running!
    (also, TWO sets of twins?!)
    Alison recently posted…Through The Lens Thursday #50: PairMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Alison! And YES – two sets…which is why she’s my best friend 🙂

  17. Britt@MyOwnBalance

    You definitely had a truly amazing year! I am so in awe of all your accomplishments. It was tough for me to slow down this year but I’m excited to reach some new goals next year!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Three Truths and One LieMy Profile

    1. vita88

      YOU had an amazing year my friend!! This year will be even better and like a whole new world. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings for your family.

  18. Kim

    Yep – you definitely had a phenomenal year!!
    Knowing you (because I feel like I do:), 2015 will end up being another incredible year for you!!!
    Kim recently posted…A Hobby Should be Fun not a Source of StressMy Profile

    1. vita88

      You absolutely know me Kim! Better then a lot of people I see all the time!! Thank you and I know 2015 has to be better for you!!

  19. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    I love love love seeing your pictures from Spain again. What an amazing experience and what an incredible year for you!! I have to say, it’s kind of infectious your love of running and racing. I have no doubt that you’ll top it in 2015.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Friday Round-Up: Tis the SeasonMy Profile

    1. vita88

      So you’re saying it was possibly ME that got you your running mojo back and not necessarily the Ragnar? That makes a lot more sense 🙂 hahaha Thanks Christine!

      1. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

        YES! That’s exactly what I’m saying! xo
        Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Friday Round-Up: Tis the SeasonMy Profile

  20. Carly @ Fine Fit Day

    What a year, lady, what a year! I am excited to see what you have in store for yourself for 2015, for sure. As you know, you’ve been nothing but an inspiration to me this year. So glad I discovered your blog and got to know you this year! xo
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted…My Year of Running 2014My Profile

    1. vita88

      Me too!!! I really hope we’re able to connect and run together in 2015!…or just have dinner 🙂

  21. Sandra Laflamme

    Wow! You are amazing! I had no idea you represented the US in the Duathlon in Spain. How incredible!!! And then to win a sword. Here’s to another dream year of running! Go after it!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…My Year of Running 2014My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much! It was truly a dream year and I wish I could do it all over again.

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