Happy New Year!
2015 was a phenomenal year in running for me. I ran my first marathon, and scored some pretty big Pros along the way. I’ve become stronger, faster and more confident in my running, and I can see the evidence of that as I reflect on the past 365 days.
Best race experience in 2015: Even though the race itself wasn’t my favorite (and that is one heck of an understatement), I’m going to have to say the WDW Marathon. Other than having to be at the staging area at 4:00 AM and the whole running 26.2 miles thing, this was one of the best-run and best-executed events in which I have participated. The on-course entertainment was plentiful and the crowds were enthusiastic. I loved that there was a huge variety of fluids and fuels on the course, as well as bananas, ice cold towels, and plenty of people with encouraging signs and cheers. Shirts and medals were excellent quality and post-race refreshments were on point. RunDisney does it right.
The Cupcake Run was amazing. It was the closest I’ve ever come to a sub-30 5K, and I felt absolutely on fire. There’s just something wonderful about being able to come to very close to a goal and feel fabulous.
Space Coast was a different kind of race. It was hard and grueling and brutal, but it showed me that I can dig deep and push beyond what I thought I could do. The sense of accomplishment was like nothing else.
Best new piece of gear: I didn’t really get much gear in 2015. Other than shoes, the only thing I did was change my red and black Garmin Forerunner 220 to a purple and white Garmin Forerunner 220.
I guess it’s one of those “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” moments.
Best medal of the year: It’s so hard to choose. There are so many great ones and they all have such meaning. The cutest is still probably the Puggerfly for the Virtual Pug Run, but my hardest earned were my Marathon and Space Coast Half medals.
Best piece of running advice received: “Learn to be ok with that run on that day in those conditions.” A lot can happen out on the asphalt. No matter how hard we train or how thoroughly we prepare, things come up and we have to accept that and be able to work through it. It’s very easy to get caught up in the what ifs, but it’s not productive and holds us back.
Total number of miles in 2015: 629.3. That’s 56 miles more than last year. I am pretty sure I can build on that going into 2016 – I won’t be running another marathon, but that also means I won’t be taking quite as much off.
Total number of races: Twenty-one! I had one full marathon, two virtual runs, two half marathons, one 10 mile, one 15K, one 12K, two 10Ks, one 6K, nine 5Ks and one multi-day challenge. Do I hear 22 for next year?
Total number of shoes: I went a little overboard in this category. I’m going to say eight pairs. I started out in two pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires 10s, which I could not stand, but I was afraid to try anything else. The 11s were a very welcome improvement, and I went through three of those. I decided to branch out, and ended up with a Saucony Guide 8, as well as a Brooks Adrenaline 15 GTS, as well as a Wave Inspire 12.
Worst running experience: This year, it was probably the Evergreen Pumpkin Run 10 Miler. I love this race, which makes that day even more disappointing, but it just wasn’t my day. From Mr PugRunner hurting his knee, to getting lost, to the heat and humidity to having to stop for a potty break, to the way my body was feeling. It was just all icky and miserable.
Race I probably wouldn’t run again: Maybe the Celebration 5K? Not because of anything wrong with the race itself, but just because it’s so hot and so hard to excel in those conditions.
It was fun as far as having a July race, but I can fill that slot with something else, too.
Race that surprised me: The Wolfson Children’s Challenge Ultra Relay. I was incredibly nervous about participating in a relay – worried about holding others back and how I would compare to everyone else, but honestly, it was so great. Knowing that we were all there as a team for a great cause was so much more important than my concerns, and I loved, not only running it, but cheering on my team members and the other runners.
Run experience you to which you are most looking forward in the New Year: Since I am all about new and great experiences, I have a few.
- My first trail 5K. Everyone keeps telling me that trail races are so fun, and so it’s time I got over my fear of nature and gave it a shot.
- My first runDisney challenge. While I have done Tour De Pain the last two years, as a multi-day, multi-mileage challenge, nothing quite compares to a runDisney event. I will be doing the Glass Slipper Challenge in February, with one of my local buddies, as well as with two of the incredible women I met at the marathon one year ago. The idea of a 10K followed by a half marathon is a little daunting, but we are going to have so much fun.
- The Publix Savannah Women’s Half. I was honored to be selected as an ambassador for this event and can’t wait to run this well-reviewed course in one of my favorite cities on April 2 (you can join me, and if you use the code RUNSWITHPUGS10, you can save $10 off the half marathon registration fee, especially before the price increase on 1/6).
The most important thing I took away from running this year: The community. Oh, the community.
These are just some of the people who make it all worth it. My husband, my son, and these beautiful, strong, supportive friends. I really don’t know what I would do without them.
Most inspirational runner: I can’t choose just one. I don’t know that I will ever be able to.
Of course, I have to share some goals for 2016. I did pretty well on my goals for last year, but I still have some work to do.
- Get that 2:30 half marathon. I was thisclose in November, and with a little more work, I think I can do it.
- Continue with my cross training. I have been very consistent with my body circuit classes (averaging about two a week) and the difference has been astounding. I love feeling stronger and seeing the results in my running.
- Keep pushing for the sub 30 5K in a race situation. It’s been eluding me, but one of these days, I’m going to make it happen.
- Do more stand up paddle boarding. I love it and need to spend more time out on the water.
- Think about possibly, maybe, potentially considering a triathlon. It’s something I would love to say that I accomplished, but I still have a lot of apprehensions about it. We will see.
- Add more races in other states to my list. For some reason, I decided it would be cool to run a race in every state. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it (I mean, when are we really ever going to go to North Dakota?), but it would be a neat thing to have swirling around in the background. So far, I have raced in Florida, Virginia, and the Bahamas, and I’m hoping to add Georgia in a few months. We will see how it goes.
Today, I’m linking up with Jill at JillConyers.com to share this post! Come on over to read other great fitness-related stories and share your own!
What made 2015 special for you? Go ahead and link to your own annual recap, share some of your highlights from the year, or post some of your upcoming goals in the comments. I’d love to cheer you on!