If you don’t feel like reading a quick summary is as followed: I ran fewer miles, didn’t stress, set 2 PRs, and ran things I never thought I would. Two intense trail races? Another marathon? Sure why not…
Here we go…
I planned to run a 5k to kick in the new year, but I didn’t because it was cold. I don’t remember the exact temperature, but it was somewhere between 0-10 degrees. My best race in January was the Distance Series 15 miler in VA. I averaged about 6:35 pace for 15 miles which is significantly faster than anything I’ve run towards the latter half of the year.
It was a low key month as far as races, but the East Coast was cold and miserable for most of the month.
February was my best of the month for running of the year. I finally PRed in a half marathon. It took over two years to get back to a PR, but I ran almost a minute faster than my previous. As far as training went, every race I ran in February, just felt good. I can’t believe it’s almost been 11 months since then and I hope I’m able to get back there again.
I had a lot of fun training in March. When people ask my best performance of the year, I don’t think it’s my half or marathon PR. I actually think it was when I ran the Adrenaline Run in 18:29 in NJ, then drove 6 hours and ran the Shamrock Half in 1:23 in VA the next day. I wasn’t expecting to run that well, but I just felt good. It was my fastest time at Shamrock but also the best weather.
In 2017, I ran the April Fools race, and it was my last race before burning out. It was a culmination of too many things pulling me too many directions, so I took a mental and physical break. My goal for 2018, was to come back and win the April Fools Half. I’ve won the race before, but I wanted to win again. Of course, you can’t control who shows up, but it was one of my top five favorite running moments of the year. The weather was windy and rainy, and I also collided with a pedestrian, but I did what I wanted. Here is the recap.
May was a quiet month as far as running. I ran less, I just kind of bebopped along with nothing crazy either way. I ran Broad Street in 1:03 which I was pleased with. Not my fastest or slowest. I got to see my family and have fun. May started a long shift in mindset towards the end of the year that running became a lot of the “focus” in my life. Yes, I ran, but I chose other things before running on more than one occasion. While I don’t blog about my personal life with the military, it has been a busy later half. Some weeks, it takes more mental and physical time than my actual job, and that’s ok.
In May, I also ran the Cape May 10k, a race I had wanted to run for years. Sadly I felt like garbage the entire race, and it was one of the “worst” races I ran all year. I’ve run workouts faster, but it was fun to hang out with friends, and I enjoy Cape May. A photo of me finishing what I consider my worst race of the year, but still smiling because it’s just running and it was a really good day anyway.
I didn’t race much in June. My favorite was a five miler in Atlantic City. It ended on the beach but was a lot of fun. I barely won and if it had been 6 miles, I would not. Atlantic City races are my favorite. Not because I love gambling or AC, but I think the races are all well put together and I just enjoy the time there.
In July, I decided to run the Copper Mountain 25k, and I am so proud of myself for doing so. It was one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences I’ve had. I’ve never run a trail race of that magnitude before. It started at 9000 feet and climbed all the way to 12,000 feet. It was one of the reasons I decided to run another marathon. I hadn’t spent that much time on my feet in a long time, and I knew after that, I could do it again! It was one of my favorite race moments of the entire year.
I had so much fun at Copper Mountain, I ran the Killington 25k. Killington was a much more challenging and rocky course. It was lower elevation, but the rockiness and technical uphill and downhill made for more hiking than running. I was just as proud of my accomplishment there too. I ran Killington in 3:20 which is the longest I’ve ever spent running.
September started my “official” marathon training. Official is very loose because I didn’t follow a plan and ran when I ran. I knew I needed to get long runs in, but I also knew I wanted to get more shorter workouts and races in. I ran the Boothbay Harborfest Half Marathon which is the hilliest half I’ve done. It was one of the best half marathons I had in the fall despite being minutes slower than every Spring half. (Every? Yes, after checking every LOL).
My husband, father-in-law, and I all ran the Air Force half marathon. I ran much slower than the year before, but it was one of the hottest races, and they ended up shutting down the race early for safety. I got some of my favorite race photos from the race, so I came out with something.
October continued my running. While training for New York, I never really felt like I got back into shape. I was in shape, but I wasn’t in the same shape as the Spring. I ran the Atlantic City half in 1:27 and felt good about that.
November was about the marathon. I ran a 3:07 which I’m proud of. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. I was granted the very last (YAY for being the caboose) spot in the sub-elite corral. I got to watch the professionals warm up, hang out with them, and just relax. Then I ran a 7 minute PR. I never felt like I was in the best shape ever for the marathon, but I did feel like I was in “good shape.” I wasn’t in the same fitness as the winter and while it’s a 7 minute PR, I know I’m capable of doing more when I want too and when I get back to faster fitness.
December has been about building back fitness. It’s taken me a lot longer to come back (coming back from nothing is apparently more difficult than injury), but I’m okay with it. Some seasons are better than other. In December, I also ran my 50th half marathon in Baltimore. It was one of the least safe races I’ve done, and I took the race out too fast for how I felt but that’s ok, I had a great time.
As the end of the year approaches, I reflect on how good of the year 2018 was for running. Running will never be my life’s focus, but I’m glad to have a good year filled with more good races than bad, and new PRs too.
I look forward to what 2019 will bring. I don’t have any huge goals right now because I don’t know where I’ll be, what I’ll be doing, and where life will take me in 2019. My goal for running is always to stay healthy, injury free, and just enjoy it.
Questions for you:
How was your year of racing and training?
What was your favorite race? Least favorite race?