I ran 2,339 miles in 2018. As for racing, I got to do 14 races this year. I did not “race” 14 times, but I ran races for fun, used races as workouts, and also ran for time.
- Hot Chocolate 5k, 1/7/2018 – 26:47: I jogged it out to get the 3 year in a row finisher medal. No shame in my game.
- Rock n Roll AZ 5K 1/11/2018 – 20:52: My first attempt at racing a 5k. My goal was to break 20 minutes. I made the mistake of assuming the course was pancake flat. There was a hill in the first mile, but I don’t honestly know if I could have done had it been flat.
- Rock n Roll AZ Half 1/12/2018 – 2:14:50: My dad decided in 2017 that he wanted to try running a half marathon. I helped him come up with a training plan and paced him. It was so much fun. It meant a lot to me and focusing on someone else’s racing other than my own was a huge gift to me. It reminded me why it is so much fun.
- Victory Half Marathon 2/24/18 – 1:38:01: I used this race as a workout for Boston training. First 8 miles at marathon pace (7:40), and cutting down the last 5 miles. The effort was a 7/10 hard, but I earned a new half marathon PR in the process, which I was so excited about. I was also second in my age group.
- Boston Marathon 4/16/2018 – 3:33:36: Marathon Monday! The one with 30 degree temps, 35mph head winds and sleeting rain. The conditions were challenging, but in retrospect I think I should have pushed harder from the beginning. Heat is what does me in, not cold, and I probably could have run a PR. However, I choose not to be disappointed. I got to have a really special weekend with my mom. Spending that weekend with her is something I’ll never forget. I got to see so many friends. I got to record a podcast with How Was Your Run Today. I got to be a part of a historic Boston experience.
- Craft Classic Bay Area 6/17/2018 – 21:08: My second attempt at breaking 20 minutes in the 5k. I really wanted to do it. I even tried wearing one of those BreatheRight nasal strips that you see pro runners do LOL. It was a really windy day on an out and back course, and I blew up spectacularly. My disappointment was very brief thanks to a few factors: 1 – my friend Lucas (who is an amazing runner) and his friend Dane (also super fast) told me neither of them PR-ed either. The wind factor meant it was not a PR day. 2 – I won! First woman overall. SO COOL lol. 3 – I won a pair of shoes. 4 – Most of all – John came and ran the race too! It was so much to have him there. And he was really proud of me for winning, so that pretty much killed any chance I had of being bummed.
- San Francisco Marathon – 1st Half 7/28/2018 – 1:37:27: I used this as a workout for Berlin. Same workout as race #4 above, but we bumped marathon pace to 7:20-7:30 for the first 8 miles, and then cut downs for last 5 miles. The difference with this race from the Victory race – which was flat and felt really hard, this race was very hilly and felt super easy. I earned 2nd in my age group – a huge honor in a big race, and was walking on air thinking about Berlin. If I could run this pace on a hilly course, I was in a really great place fitness-wise for Berlin.
- Berlin Marathon 9/16/2018 – 3:40:42: Whomp whomp. I just couldn’t put this race together. Somehow the pace corral I signed up for was way behind the actual 3:15 pace groups. My friend Stephanie ran with me, and we passed groups of 3:45 pacers about 6 times. Fighting through crowds, I was exhausted and too hot by mile 6. I don’t do well in the heat, and 68 degrees was hot to me (I run in the Bay Area’s 55 degrees and fog every day). I don’t know what I did to deserve Stephanie, but getting to run with her took a bad day to a fun day. Kipchoge set the world record on this day, and a lot of people had extremely successful races here, but it wasn’t my day. I was crushed. This is the first time I’ve ever allowed myself to cry after a race. My 3 year old marathon PR from CIM 2015 of 3:29:52 remained untouched after 7 marathons. My dad, John, and our friends were there to watch. I had worked harder than I ever knew I could and there was no doubt in my mind that I was the fittest I’ve ever been. But that’s marathoning for you. I chalked it up to a lesson learned at my first International Marathon.
- Indy Monumental Marathon 11/3/2018 – 3:16:38: Immediately after Berlin, I talked with James McKirdy (of McKirdy Trained) and Sarah Crouch, my coach. They said I should sign up for Indy just 7 weeks later. I know there is a lot of risk in running marathons close together, but I trust them both & they know me and my running well enough to make a call. I took the next 10 days I was traveling around Germany & the Czech Republic to recover, and hit it hard when I came home. I really didn’t have too much time to think about what I was doing, and I also didn’t tell anyone what I was doing. I even hid my runs on Strava. I just didn’t want to get myself all wound up. And it worked. The race that day, to borrow a phrase from my friend Cate Barrett, was like cheat codes. Everything clicked. I slid in and out of each mile like it was easy, choosing not to let the 7:20s (that’s fast for me!) on my watch freak me out. When I crossed the line, James was there to hug me and I cried – but happy tears this time. I traveled to the race solo, so it was a lot of fun that the whole McKirdy fam – and a lot of Instagram friends – were there to celebrate with.
- Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5k 11/9/2018 – 31:49: This 5k was a shake out run for the Monterey Bay Half. My dad and I had planned on running the race because we knew it was supposed to be a beautiful course along the water. He wanted to get this 3rd half marathon for the year, and I was just going to do it very easy for fun – honoring the fact that I had just set a huge PR the weekend before. However the Camp Fire had other plans, and after we ran the 5k on Saturday, the race director (appropriately) made the call to cancel the race the next day due to bad air quality.
- Chico Run for Food 11/22/2918 – 28:32: Turkey Trot while home in Chico for Thanksgiving! I got to do this race with Dad & John!
- CIM Saturday 5k 12/1/2018 – 28:15: John’s sister, KT, was running the full CIM marathon the next day, and I was doing the relay. So KT, John and myself all ran this 5k as a shake out together.
- CIM Relay (second half) 12/2/2018: 1:34:09 over 12.87 miles at 7:19 pace. I had no plan for how I was going to run this. I kept thinking I’d just go out and keep it easy, but honestly, as soon as I had that chip on my ankle and crowds were cheering, I let myself go. I had hoped to help pace some of my Arete team members, but couldn’t find them, so I took off. It wasn’t a hard effort, and I was holding back quite a bit. After I crossed the line, I had the realization that my half marathon PR really does need to be updated. It was a super fun day.
- Walnut Creek Half Marathon 12/7/2018 – 2:05:26: My dad really wanted to get 3 half marathons in the year 2018. When Monterey was cancelled, I found this race. I ran with him, and he was awesome. Monterey was going to be a flat course with beautiful scenery. This was a much hillier, tougher course, and the scenery was nowhere near as distracting. He ran great anyway, for his 3rd PR of the year in 3 half marathons. We got brunch at the Buttercup Cafe, which used to my Grandpa’s favorite. It was a perfect way to end the year of races.
Athlinks has been great to help keep track of all my results.
I’m so grateful for the year I had. I really don’t have the words to express that. This year I have thought many more times any any person deserves to that I don’t know what I did to deserve the wonderful people in my life and I love that racing facilitates that so well!
What races did you love the most that you did in 2018? What races are you doing in 2019?