Every year there are several link ups devoted to discussing our year in running and racing. I participated in one already, but decided to also do the link up Tuesday’s on the Run because there are so many more things I wanted to talk about regarding my running year! This time I plan on going month by month because SO MANY AMAZING THINGS HAPPENED THIS YEAR! (Thanks to the awesome hosts: MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice for hosting!)
This month I didn’t have any races, but I did have a pretty damn good month in running! I hit one of my highest mileage months for the year (63 miles!) and got to drive down to hang out and do my first 10 mile run with an old friend from middle school and fellow blogger, Ali from Hit the Ground Running. I also found out that I was going to repeat my experience as a Skirt Sports ambassador. Skirt is an awesome company that encourages women of all shapes and sizes to get out and MOVE! I love how encouraging and community-like it feels; even though its based in Colorado and I haven’t had the chance to meet many of the women who represent this awesome company, I feel as if I ‘know’ them through our social media interactions and support of one another. I also had the opportunity to represent another awesome company, Pro Compression, for the second year in a row as their ambassador. I truly love all the Pro socks and designs they come out with. They are adorable and fun and really have helped me perform my best in all my races! Plus they are perfect for all my Disney race costumes ;-).
I was finally able to make my dream of running the Princess half marathon come true. While it wasn’t my first half as I’d hoped, I was able to redeem myself from the previous year when an injury killed my hopes for 2015. I dressed up as the Little Mermaid and it was perfect because that was the theme for this year. The one thing I’m not happy about? At mile 13, the mile marker typically indicates what the next year’s theme will be. This year, that mile marker was Snow White. Thinking that it was Snow White (and being that I’m not a huge fan of that movie), I decided to register for the Gasparilla challenge this year instead. However, being that Disney is releasing the new Beauty and the Beast movie next year, they changed the theme after it was already too late for me to register. :-/ Hopefully 2018 has a fun theme because I’m planning on going back for that year! Total running miles: 52
I registered for an impromptu 10k- the Best Damn Race Orlando. I was trying for a new 10k PR and I was aiming for sub 1:05. Those goals were to be slightly challenged when I tripped and fell midrace, causing me to lose about 1:30 off my time. However, I got back up and still managed to PR by about a minute, coming in at 1:06:22. Even though it wasn’t the PR I had originally hoped for, I’m happy with this race as I literally ran a great race and couldn’t have asked for more perfect conditions on race day. This month I also completed Savage Race with my boyfriend- they added some fun new obstacles to the mix and I got an epic fire jumping picture. Total running miles: 57
Towards the beginning of this month, I was in a running ‘funk.’ For some reason, I just couldn’t get excited about running. I began taking boot camp classes at my gym, which kept me in shape for the Disney Star Wars Dark Side challenge that I raced later this month. While I don’t recommend a two week total non-running taper, I still had a pretty strong half! And I was able to get my running mojo back (temporarily) after completing the challenge. It was an amazing weekend and I’m so glad I ran the inaugural event! I also signed up last minute for Rugged Maniac the following weekend and ran that event for fun with friends. Total running miles: 29
The beginning of this month started with a road trip to Atlanta with Jolene to meet our friend who lives there Deb and run the Tough Mudder Atlanta course with her. This year, the Tough Mudder schedule was hard for me as all the dates that events fell on conflicted with other events I had planned. I was able to work out that we could go to this one though, so we made the 8 hour drive to run one of the most beautiful courses I’d ever seen. It was great to have a ‘girl power’ team and it was pretty much the best day ever! Jolene and I volunteered the following day and met a few new friends as well as rounded out our week at Tough Mudder. Honestly, it was pretty damn fabulous. Earning that yellow headband felt AMAZING! And I finally had the courage to try King of the Swingers- I didn’t swing, but standing up there at the top of that jump felt good. Baby steps, right? Total running miles: 39
In order to try and keep my love for running alive and well during the summer months, I decided to join the #RWRunStreak from Memorial day to the 4th of July. I committed to running at least a mile per day this entire month. It was a good thing and it did help me keep running when I normally would have stopped due to the oppressive heat and humidity we suffer from in Florida. I also ran a 5k at the end of the month on the beach and had a pretty decent time of 31:10 despite running on sand! Total running miles: 62
This was another funky month for me. I didn’t have any races scheduled and between all the heated political debates I was getting into and the stress of having two jobs + inventory at my one job (requiring 12 hour days M-Thurs) I didn’t get much running in. Total running miles: 15
My family went on a cruise the first week of the month. This was the month I was matched with my irun4 buddy Isaac! I was pretty happy to have finally been matched after being on the waiting list for what seemed like forever! His name is Isaac- he’s 4 and has Cerebral Palsy.
Here’s how it all started:
“I Run 4 Michael is a non-profit organization founded in January 2013 by Tim Boyle, who was inspired to run for more than health and weight-loss by a viral meme saying, “I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can’t run, what they would give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them.” When Tim shared the meme, Michael, a 50-something man with Down Syndrome, replied, “You can run for me any time!”
Launched as a private group of 10 runners and buddies with special needs (20 total) who shared workouts and health updates in a private setting, IR4 rapidly grew to over 22,000 members and nearly 7,000 matches, with 3,500 athletes waiting, within 18 months.
As of September 2014, the four branches of IR4 serve over 30,000 members and 11,000 matches collectively, across all 50 states and in 28 countries.” (from the irun4 website)
I’m really honored to be a part of this program, and my buddy has inspired me to continue to run in times when I just wanted to give up, so thank you Isaac! I hope I get to continue running for you for a long time! Total running miles: 22
Race season started again for me this month! Although I didn’t do the Hooters 2 Hooters 10k this year (i have the past several years), I did do the Bonefrog Challenge for the first time. It was a pretty good race- my review of it may have been colored by the fact that it was so miserably hot outside that I didn’t feel good at all while running. But they had some fun and unique obstacles I hadn’t seen before. I would love to try them out a second time, but unfortunately they are only going to be in Florida on days when I can’t travel due to other commitments. Total running miles: 44
This was my most beastly month yet! I was originally supposed to run the Spartan Sprint the third week in October as part of my bid to claim my Spartan Trifecta, but the race got cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew that came through the Atlantic Coast of Florida and pretty much ravaged the majority of cities down that way. I still went up to South Carolina at the end of the month to run the Spartan Beast though- that was an epic but cruel course for a Floridian who’s used to flat courses! It was my biggest accomplishment to date though. Even though I could barely walk for about three days afterwards 😉 Total running miles: 81- best month all year!
I started out by traveling to the Disney Wine n Dine expo to work for Fit2Run and run the 10k with my good friend Alicia. It was her first 10k so I was really excited to be able to run it with her. I also quit my job at Lowe’s and transitioned to Fit2Run full time as a store manager for the downtown Sarasota store. Quitting Lowe’s made me really happy and I’m in a much better place working for a place I truly love and enjoy going to work. Plus it’s all about running, so basically my entire life revolves around running now, which is what I wanted ;-). On the downside though, after the Wine n Dine 10k, my achilles tendon was feeling funky, so I had it looked at and was diagnosed with achilles tendinitis. I took three full weeks off of running and only resumed running close to Thanksgiving. I had to pull out of the Myakka 1/2 marathon that I was supposed to do and essentially miss all other scheduled races for the end of 2016 so I wouldn’t hurt it further. Total running miles: 13
Now that I’m back to fully training for the Gasparilla challenge (find my posts on that here, here and here) I’ve been having some awesome training runs so far! I’m super excited for the 2017 race season to start! This month has been full of awesome highs for me:
- I was able to book the Star Wars Light Side 1/2 marathon via work, so I’ll be working the expo and running the race in early January
- I found out I was accepted into the Chicago marathon, which will be my first full marathon next October!
- I became an ambassador for Tough Mudder– my favorite obstacle series EVER! I’m super stoked to represent them in 2017!
- I registered for the Star Wars Dark Side 1/2 marathon in April next year to complete my Coast 2 Coast challenge for Disney.
We’re not done with this month yet, but it has been a good one for sure! Total running miles so far: 29 with many more to come!
How was your year in running? What awesome things did you accomplish this year? What’s 2017 looking like for you?