I can’t quite believe we’re already at the end of 2015. It feels like it has passed in the blink of an eye and yet I know SO much has happened this year. I always like this chance to look back at my running year, especially when I get to this “meh” time of year with no races on the horizon. Reminding myself of all I’ve done this year is a huge motivator to get in gear again!
Favorite Race I’ve pondered this a lot this month, knowing this post was coming, and I think I’d have to say it was the Des Moines half marathon this year. I learned a lot from all of my races this year, from the tough finish in Lincoln to the joy of running “just for the fun of it” in Papillion to the night race that didn’t turn out quite like we expected at the Wine & Dine half marathon. Des Moines was special though, because A) I totally told lupus to suck it and ran the steady, strong race I wanted and B) at least according the Garmin, I met my goal of running 13.1 miles in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes! Mostly A though. 🙂
Favorite Run This has got to be Italy. From the gorgeous scenery, to the realization that running is so much a part of my “thing” now that I was antsy without my running shoes (to the point of running in flats because I couldn’t resist!), this was just a great time all around. I need to add an honorable mention category of countries I’ve run in to my 50 states page (up to 24 states now!).
Favorite Gear I switched to Brooks shoes about a year ago and have really loved them this year. A little birdie told me there’s a new pair waiting for me under the Christmas tree! That’s good because I totally trashed my current two pairs with the 6-day-a-week modified Hanson’s plan I used for Des Moines.
Favorite Piece of Running Advice Speaking of the Hanson’s plan, I think the best piece of advice (although really it is more of an approach than specific advice) I got this year was the idea that running more makes you a better runner, from the Hanson’s book. It’s more complicated than that, of course, and I wrote more about it here, but it really paid off for me on race day in Des Moines and I felt strong throughout my training. I definitely want to use this approach for future big races.
Favorite Running Role Model It’s weird to say this, I know, but I used myself as a running role model to get through Des Moines. When it got tough, I reminded myself how I didn’t give up in Lincoln and kept running despite the miserable heat at the end. The fact that I didn’t let my brain wimp out on me during that race served as great inspiration in other races and tough runs through the year.
Phrase that Described my Running This year, I think the mantra of “I can do hard things,” which was in my head for that hot Lincoln race, the tough Hanson-esque training cycle for Des Moines and the race in Des Moines, definitely describes my running best. Running has helped me through so much of this year, especially in managing a lot of big work stress and the lupus diagnosis. I am grateful that I’ve had it as a stress reliever during hard times.
Last year, I had a total mileage for the year by the time I did this post but I have no idea what my number is this year! I’ll do the math by New Years. I’m just not great at keeping up with that!
In terms of my goals for 2015, I totally smashed the “100 miles of races” part with a grand total of 117.8 miles of races this year (a little less than planned because of that shortened Wine & Dine). That goal was a lot of fun and prompted me to sign up for some runs I might have otherwise skipped. I’d also set a goal of running a half marathon in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes, which I did at least per the Garmin but getting it as an official race time is still hanging out there in front of me. I also planned to run all of a 5K but that one never made it on the priority list. I’ve gotten better about strength and flexibility, but I wouldn’t say I’m consistent so I definitely need to keep working on that one too. Still, it was a successful year all in all.
How was your year in running (or whatever your exercise of choice is)?