2015 Running Look Back Part 2

In case you missed the first six months, here they are.  We the left the recap off in early July.


Chapter 7: Rise and Grind…grind…grind…

After running the 19:15 5k at the Firecracker on July 4th, I hoped I had officially broken through my 5k plateau.  I had been seriously committed to 5ks for four months but my broken plateau was short-lived.  I continued to log more 5ks through the summer, but most of them were between 19:45-20:00.  While it was consistently faster than before, it was not a 19:15.

I tapered for the Belmar Chase 5k and had a disappointing race.  I knew the course was flat and fast.  I knew I was in the best fitness I had been for two years, but I flopped the race and ran a 19:34.  It was still a decent time, but my goal had been to break 19:00.  The Belmar Chase made me realize my fitness had a long way to go.  It humbled me a lot and caused me to add a second speed workout to my training week.

Belmar chase

Chapter 8: This is not a 5k

After racing no less than 15, 5ks, I took a racing mileage jump and ran the RnR half marathon in Virginia Beach.  Before RnR, the last half marathon I raced healthy was in April of 2014.  I had no idea what to expect.  I hadn’t raced a half in a while and it was 80+ degrees (as the race always is).  Due to meeting the time standard within two years, I was able to receive a comped entry.  My husband hadn’t been running much and ended finishing around my pace.  That’s possibly the only time that will ever happen and a race I will always treasure.

RnR Virginia Beach

Long story short, I ran a 1:31 and I was ecstaticIt was hot, humid and it was a good baseline for me.

The rest of September I dabbled in a cross country 10k and several more 5ks.  None of the 5ks were remarkable and I continued to run 19:45-20:00.

run the vineyards 5

Chapter 9: Month of Change

October has been one of the most pivotal months of training this year for me.  During the first week of October, I went to Syracuse to run the Festival of Races 5k.  After three months of seeing no improvement in the 5k, I saw a two second improvement.  I was untapered and didn’t foresee myself running around 19:15…but I did and ran a 19:13.  Running that fast was a complete shock.

How was this already a month ago?

Then the next weekend I ran a 19:04.  I finally felt as though I was breaking through another plateau.

Image from Bob Brock
Image from Bob Brock

Chapter 10: Runners World Festival and Celebrities

The following weekend I was invited to the Runners World Festival.  While there were many races, I opted to run the 5k and the 13.1.  They were both extremely hilly and challenge courses.  I didn’t think they would both bring the fastest times I’ve run in two years! 

On Saturday, I ran the 5k in 18:56 which was good enough for third place.  The course was difficult, and out of every 5k has been my best effort and showing.  The course was challenging, but I had an exceptional day.Runners World Half

The next day I ran the half marathon.  On a more difficult course and after having my best 5k in 2 years I was 3 minutes faster.  I was able to run a 1:28.13.  I left that weekend feeling rejuvenated with my running.  I felt confident and excited. 

Allison and I hashtag #jazzhands
Allison and I hashtag #jazzhands

Chapter 11: Running Rebirth

For the rest of October and November, I raced a lot.  I also did a lot of workouts but it seems like I haven’t raced on the right day.

I ran a 3.05 miler at my fastest pace (6:01) but the course was short. 

I ran two half marathons: RnR Philadelphia (1:25.49) and the Philadelphia half marathon (1:25.00) but I felt sick during both.  Later I found out my skin antibiotics were playing a role in that.  While it was great to have an answer, it still stinks.  I haven’t fully recovered from that yet.  While I don’t feel bad, I don’t feel like myself either.

me running philadelphia

2015 in Running Summary: 

Despite finishing my marathon injured, it was the only distance I Pred in.  That being said, I’ve had plenty of great races and gained so much fitness. I have gone from consistently running 20:30 5ks, to now consistently running 19-19:30.  My half marathon time has dropped about 7 minutes this year and I’m edging down towards my PR.  I’ve had an awesome year training wise and it’s helped me rebuild fitness I lost.

So where does that leave me now?

I currently have a few more 5ks left in 2015.  Thinking out loud, I have a few plans in the Spring of 2016 that I’m excited for but I want to take time this Holiday season for myself and for my family.

Questions for you:
How was your 2015?
What are your goals for next year? 


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  1. Sounds to me like you really had an awesome running year. Improvement is almost never linear; hard to come to terms with, but true.

    Good luck in 2016!

  2. What a solid year! Carry that over to 2016 and can’t wait to see how your running progresses!

  3. My 2015 was great! Looking forward to running more marathons next year as well. Great job with all of your races in 2015!!

  4. You had a crazy 2015 but I think you set yourself up for a really strong 2016! I’m excited to see some of those big PRs fall for you.

  5. Wow. It sounds like you had a great year. I finally broke a 1.5 year old HM PR in October, and I’m hoping to break it again in the Spring. I’ve got my eye set on breaking 1:50, so that I can eventually break 1:45.

    1. That’s great to hear Jessie! I hope you are able to set some PRs in 2016. That would be awesome!

  6. You have so many badass race photos! If you put a montage of them together for the whole year it would look amazing. I think you’ve had a pretty strong year and you have consistently been improving. You run times for multiple races back to back that I would dream of 🙂

    I only have one goal for next year and it is to run the longest race I’ve ever done. It’s all about distance and not speed in the first half of next year, which is why I’m trying for my idea of ‘speed’ from now until the end of January. I want to see if I can beat my brain, because technically I can keep going for longer than I think if I’m willing to walk/run once my leg gives out, but my mind/ego doesn’t hold out…I’m embarrassed to walk and my self-doubt and panic always get the better of me. Even if I can’t physically do it, 2016 might be my last shot at beating my relentlessly negative brain.

  7. Such a fun recap. Thanks for putting it together. My 2016 goal is to PR in the Half (I don’t expect this will happen early 2016). I’m already signed up for 3 Halfs in 2016 and am leaning towards trying to run a Half in each month! But I’m not going to force it if I’m feeling beat. Main goal is be injury free! Please!! 🙂

  8. Your body is incredible!!! My 2016 goals are a marathon PR (hopefully that won’t be too difficult as it will be only my second marathon!) and to have a successful crack at the half Ironman distance after limping home almost last a few months ago. Oh and a sub 25 5km. And an Olympic distance PR. And.. And… And…!!

  9. First I wanna say you did great this year .you worked your butt off to get where your at.good job.hope to see you at a few more 5ks next year.
    My goals for next year is to get from 19s-to the 18s in 5ks. I like to do a few more half marathon, and broad street run,ADRENALINE 5k , and if I can get more traning in, I’d like to set for a full MARATHON.
    My goals for next year.
    Happy running to you. Yes enjoy the holidays with your family..
    Be safe.

  10. You’ve had a really great year with a lot of runs and races, but also fun life stuff like getting married and going on your honeymoon. You overcame a lot with the injury and always bounce back from rough races and running spells. I hope 2016 goes your way and is happy and injury-free.

    My goal for 2016 is to run a half marathon in under 1:40 and a 5K in under 21.

  11. That Runner’s World weekend was so amazing in so many ways! I loved how you can just see the progress you made consistently though out the year. It sucks that you ran blazing fast half marathon but didn’t feel well. I hope you can shake that off in the new year and run even faster!…is that possible?? 🙂

  12. You had such an awesome year of running — super psyched for you, Hollie! Next year will be all about pushing myself out of my running comfort zone and increase my distance and work on a faster pace. That and I hope to -finally- enter my first race.

  13. Ah, I forgot about RnR where you and Tim ran together–what a memorable experience! Can’t wait to see you build on this improvement in 2016!

  14. You’ve had such an amazing year of running! I would do a recap myself but I’ve been injured for most of it… oops! Hope you continue on this streak in 2016 😀

  15. It’s been a long time since I broke 4 hours in the marathon. Lots of life stuff has happened and I haven’t put in enough quality work to do it, so I can’t blame anyone/anything but myself. I’d love to qualify for Boston again, but first I want to get back under 4 hours and feel good about the work I’m doing. Great year of races for you – it has been so fun to read all about your comeback to the 5k!

  16. I have to read part 1, but I love this! You really had such a great year. I’m so happy that I started following you and got to know you in real life!! Here’s to many more great years of running!

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