As Christmas is upon us and it’s just a week until the clock strikes on 2016, I’m sharing my 2015 running year in review. I debated whether to do this, since earlier this month was my first blog-iversary and I recapped a few highlights then. But since Renaissance Runner Girl started off as a running and gluten free recipe blog, and I still focus a lot on running (with more lifestyle posts now than then) I figured it was only fair to give running a dedicated post!
When I first started running, I didn’t plan to race much. I ran a 10K about 6months into my running journey, in September 2013, to know I could. My first half marathon followed another 6 months later. But I wanted to keep running something I did “just for fun” and not focus too much on racing. Between that mindset and a hip injury in summer 2014, I only ran three other races last year. 2015 was a totally different story. Even though I continue to run for fun, and not because of any competition, I ran 16 races this year, far more than I ever expected to. Half were prompted by my goal of qualifying for the NYC Marathon in 2016 via the New York Road Runners 9+1 program.
My year started off with the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in January, my “comeback” to distance racing after a hip injury in summer 2014. I was happy to finish in the time that I did, and to finish without injury, even though I was about 5 minutes off the time I’d set in my first half marathon the previous March. It was a fun race, and it set me on the trajectory I took for the rest of the year, as my races fell into one of two camps throughout 2015 – “just for fun” or “NYRR 9+1”.
The NYC Half Marathon in March was really both. It was the first of my 9+1 races, and it was the anniversary of my first half marathon (and second anniversary of the first time I ran 3 miles!) Although I felt a bit queasy around Miles 3-4 in this race, I finished strong and felt proud of what I’d accomplished, running two half marathons in just over two months.
Things kicked up a notch after that, because it was only in April that I decided for sure to go for my 9+1. I finished the Run as One 4M at the end of April, the Healthy Kidney 10K in May, and a triple-header in June including the NYRR Retro 4-Miler, the Oakley Mini 10K, and the NYRR FrontRunners Pride 5M. That meant four races in five weekends, to finish six of the nine I needed before bar exam madness set in. I realized afterwards that although the distances were shorter than my usual weekend long runs, racing so much took a toll on me, and I needed the subsequent two month break from racing that studying for the bar exam and going on my trip to England provided. Of course, I did a lot of fun running in London!
The second of my bar trips kicked off with a race weekend, the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland in early September. Fun again, and definitely something I enjoyed doing without any feeling of pressure whatsoever. I got to run with my favorite cousin and one of my closest friends from law school, so I was a happy camper.
In the autumn, it was back to my hometown Pamby Half Marathon, my fourth half of the year. And my final three races to complete the 9+1, including the Poland Springs 5M Marathon Kickoff, the Dash to the Finish Line 5K, and the Race to Deliver 4M when I set a PR!
The races that followed were haphazard. My hometown Ridgefield Turkey Trot was a spur of the moment decision, the Girls On The Run NYC 5K was something I really wanted to do to get involved with the charity, and the Ted Corbitt 15K was originally supposed to be my #9 race before I ended up signing up for one of the others.
Between all these races, I had some time to think about the reasons why I run, my love of running off the beaten path, and how I adapted to running without music. Most of this thinking was done while pounding the pavement. In total, I’ll have run just over 1,200 miles by the last day of 2015, averaging 100 miles per month with each month ranging from 90-110. The summer months saw the highest totals, as I ran off the stress of studying for the bar, but I was pretty consistent despite some unexpected breaks.
I anticipate increasing my mileage in 2016 because my major goal is to cross the finish line at the NYC Marathon, with everything else building off that. Like not getting injured, for one, and slowly gaining greater stamina for another. I’m going to try to get to November Project workouts more consistently, and to dedicate time to cross-training on a regular basis as well. Otherwise, my plan is to take each day as it comes and have confidence that I can do it!
What was your best running memory of 2015?
What are your running goals for 2016?
Favorite race this year?
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