I got this idea from the amazing Katie at Running Our Lives – please go check out her blog! After I read her blog about this, I just couldn’t get the thought out of my head – I have learned a lot this year!
- Hot Chocolate 15K, January, Avg Pace 7:27: I learned that I could run much faster than I thought. Before the race started, John said he thought I would race a 7:30 pace. I remember thinking that was silly – until I did it.
2. Rock N Roll Half Marathon, March 29th, Avg Pace 8:13: I learned that sometimes racing SUCKS. Haha! But seriously – I was hurt and had a 101 fever. Like no! I was proud of myself for not being upset about my pace though. Sometimes you take what your body gives you and that’s something to be proud of too. Another big take away was my parents are the BEST supporters I could ever ask for. They were there and proud no matter what.
3. Bay to Breakers, May 17th, Avg Pace 12:45: I learned that racing for fun is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. Bay to Breakers is a huge event in San Francisco. It was a very special experience to enjoy it with my friends and run/walk through the crowds.
4. San Francisco Half Marathon, July 26th, Avg Pace 8:00: I learned that every race is a learning experience & that is worth celebrating. Even though I was healed from my injury, I had a flare up in the final miles. I was also aerobically out of shape for hills since I had been taking rest to let the injury heal. I still raced with heart, and had a respectable time. My mom and I had an amazing brunch after with mimosas and pizza – and that made it feel even more special.
5. Giants Half Marathon, August 23rd, Avg Pace 7:51: I learned I can still PR even when the circumstances aren’t perfect. This race was my birthday present to myself. Even though my right knee injury had healed completely, now my left IT band was acting up. I rested it correctly & started going to active release therapy. I still got a new personal best time despite that going on.
6. Nike Women’s Half Marathon, October 18th, Avg Pace 7:45: I learned that you can still train hard while avoiding injury. After recovering from my IT band issue, I committed to training hard for this race. It paid off when the hills came around. It was a pretty amazing dream come true to PR again right before getting on a flight to London with my family & my shiny new Tiffany necklace around my neck.
7. California International Marathon, December 6th, Avg 8:01 – finishing time 3:29:52: I learned SO much. The top three were: (1) It’s ok to dream big – this was my first marathon, qualifying for Boston under the threshold for early entry was a crazy goal, and that’s ok! (2) I can do hard things. The final 6 miles of this race were insanely hard. Each mile felt like death warmed over, but I hung on to my goal time and never quit. I will carry that knowledge with me for any challenge I come against. (3) In order to achieve your goals – you have to work your ass off. Literally. I protected every training run as fiercely as a mama bear. I planned meals, work outs and set every 3:30am alarm with gratitude that I had the opportunity to run this race. And it was worth it.
I also had some experiences that were very special to me with loved ones through my races this year.
- At the Hot Chocolate 15k – John saying he thought I would run a 7:30 pace was pretty special because it meant to me that he believed in me.
- At the San Francisco Half Marathon – my mom came by herself and watched me. I have always said – and always will – that spectating is harder than racing. It’s cold, you have to find spots to stand, and there isn’t really anywhere easy to hang out. It was special to have the mother/daughter time and I so appreciated my mom’s support.
- At the CIM – my dad’s face when I crossed the finish line and he asked me if Boston was on. He was so proud.
- At the CIM – my mom helped my two good friends Tiffany & Tam surprise me. Knowing they took the time out of their weekend when I know how busy they both are meant so much. Also, John came and watched. I know running isn’t exciting for him, and he mostly thinks it’s silly, but I really appreciated that he was there anyway.
What were your top race lessons of 2015? What are your new goals for 2016?