Happy New Year!
As 2019 kicks off, I’m eager to set new running goals, sign up for some races, and create a plan for the new year. But before I do so, I’m going to reflect on the progress that was made this past year
2018 was a pretty well-rounded year in terms of running. After a few weeks off during the holidays, the year started by training for a 25k. This training plan kept me motivated during the winter and helped me discover some of the joys and advantages of low mileage running!
Shortly after spring races were complete, I eagerly began marathon training for my sixth marathon. After not getting into the Marine Corps Marathon lottery, I decided to sign up for a race that was close to home and took place late in the fall.
Summer was spent moving across the state, looking for a house while maintaining training, and adjusting to our new location. As training ramped up, we decided to adopt a puppy (which presented more challenges than I could have imagined)!
Despite the challenges, the marathon was by far my best one yet. After a successful fall marathon, I spend the last few months of the year running festive races and getting in some relaxed miles with the pup.
Here are some of my running favorites from 2018!
2018: A Year of Running in Review
Completed races: 7
After avoiding spring races for years because I couldn’t find the motivation to train during the winter months, I finally decided that a race on my birthday in my favorite city was enough of a sign to just do it.
I was pleasantly surprised with how well training for this 25k went. Using a low mileage training method, I was able to complete all of my long runs and mid-week runs feeling better than ever.
Race day was definitely a cold one and filled with plenty of challenges, but brought enough fun and excitement to make up for it! I ran the entire race with my mom and it made for a very memorable birthday.
Two weeks after the 25k, I ran the beautiful Bayshore Half Marathon in Traverse City, Michigan. The weather was drastically different for this race and it certainly felt like summer!
I was a little nervous how this race would play out since I significantly cut back my mileage for the two weeks leading up to it after the 25k, but things went better than I could have expected.
The course was beautiful and the race was a perfect way to come back after an extended taper and rest period.
Speaking of weird weather – this half marathon definitely takes the cake. I decided to run this half for fun in Chicago after just a few weeks of marathon training.
The weather decided to throw us a few extra challenges with continuous downpours and unseasonably cool temperatures on race day. I don’t think I’ve ever run in so much rain before!
Despite the torrential downpours, there were still tons of spectators and runners who showed up on race day. Running in the rain was well worth it!
After completing the full marathon in Detroit in 2015, I knew I would have to come back! This race series is one of my absolute favorites. My mom and I signed up in the beginning of the year, not knowing that my husband and I would end up moving to metro Detroit just months before race day.
This race course takes you over the Ambassador Bridge into Canada, and then back to Detroit through the underwater tunnel. It is truly one of a kind! The weather felt chilly at the start but ended up being the perfect temperature.
I love the size of this race and everything about the scenery. My mom and I had a great experience! I used this race as a long run during marathon training just two weeks before the marathon.
This was my sixth marathon, and the first full I have gone into with a time goal. I was very nervous about setting a challenging goal for myself with a distance that takes so much out of you, but am beyond happy that I did.
Adding speedwork to my marathon training plan was just what I needed to mix things up each week and keep me focused.
It seemed like so many things were working against me in the few weeks leading up to this marathon, but that just left me feeling more determined than ever. Even though I started late and didn’t get GPS right away, I was still able to catch up to the pacer and beat my marathon PR by 13 minutes. I will remember this marathon forever!
Kona Chocolate Run 10k
I signed my husband and I up for a local 10k two weeks after the marathon to keep myself motivated and ease the transition back to running after recovering.
This race was chocolate themed, and although we both did not want to wake up early on a Saturday, we were both so glad we did it. It ended up snowing for the first time all year during the race, so everything was beautiful!
We refueled with tons of chocolate and enjoyed our endorphins all day long.
This race was one of the most festive I have ever seen. Just about every runner was dressed up and I truly felt like I was running amongst the whos of Whoville!
My mom and I ran this race together and it was a great way to get in the spirit of the holidays. Everyone was happy to be there despite the cold and we were able to refuel with some delicious cookies. This was a great race to close out the year!
Although there were many great races this year, the best race would have to be the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Even with a really great training season, I was a little worried about my abilities to hit my goal on race day. And when numerous obstacles presented themselves in the weeks leading up to race day, this worry definitely grew.
Hitting my goals and finally beating the PR that I unintentionally set during my first marathon was even sweeter than I could have imagined. I really gave it my all during this marathon and it is a race I will never forget.
There were a lot of great runs this year. Many of my best runs took place while training for the 25k in the beginning of 2018, when I was using a low mileage strategy and had given up sugar. Each long run felt even better than the one before, with no aches and pains or mental fatigue.
Aside from the 25k training season, my best run was actually the 20 miler during marathon training. I met my mom for this run and we ran on a beautiful trail at the peak of the fall color season. The weather was cooler than usual and I ended this run with more energy than I expected!
Favorite Piece of Gear
There are SO many pieces of running gear that I couldn’t live without – it’s so tough to narrow everything down to just one. Since it’s winter, I have cold weather on the brain and am stuck between my favorite running leggings and these mittens. Both items are staples at this time of year and I could not get out the door without them!
Favorite Running Gadget
My favorite running gadget is definitely my watch, the Garmin Forerunner 235 with Wrist Heart Rate Monitor. It really revitalized my running this year as I got into the depths of marathon training and my first season of structured speed workouts. Having a heart rate monitor helped me keep track of my progress and make sure I was never doing too much or recovering too little. I will forever love this running watch.
Favorite Running Posts
One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is look back through all of the posts I have written! Some were written quickly, many took time, and quite a few were filled with inspiration from something I’d seen or experienced recently. Here are my favorite blog posts from 2018.
- 7 Training Strategies to Achieve Your Next Race Goal
- The Biggest Obstacle Keeping You From Fitness Success
- 10 Lessons I Learned in My First Year of Marriage
- The 5 Biggest Mistakes Runners Make (and How to Fix Them)
- My Journey with Running and Autoimmune Disease
- What to Do When Your Goals Feel Out of Reach
- A Message for Anyone Going Through a Tough Time
- When You Have Nothing Left to Give
2018 has been a year filled with its fair share of successes, failures, challenges, trial, progress, change, consistency and happiness. It’s easy to forget everything that has occurred within the past 365 days when we are wrapped up in the busyness of the holiday season.
Today I am spending time reflecting, dreaming, and created. 2019 has all the potential to be the greatest year yet, and I am eager to make it so.
Happy to new year, friends!