Year of Running: 2014
What a year it has been. This has really been a turning point year for me with my running. I started running with the Couch25K program in late 2011. By 2012 I was running 5Ks and feeling good about it. I thought I could really push it and run a 10K that spring, but I didn’t train properly for it. It was a miserable experience, and I swore off distances for quite a while. In 2013 I regained some of my confidence by doggedly training, and I ran 4, 5 and 6 mile races feeling better about them. Not fast, mind you, but comfortably. Now I’m a good three years in and I feel like running has become a routine, a habit, a way of life.
Last year I ran 13 races in 12 months. This year I ran 15 races in 12 months (17 if you count virtual runs). There have been some great ones, some terrible ones and a lot in between. My year in running looked like this:
Feb: Sweetheart 4 Mile Race
Mar: Shamrock and Roll 5K
James Mattioli Memorial 5K
Sandy Hook 5K (virtual)
Apr: Donnelly Dash 3.5 M
Westport Minuteman 10K
May: DAWS Wag Your Tail 5K
Norwalk Mother’s Day 10K
Jun: Stratton Faxon Half Marathon
Jul: Trumbull Sunset Run 5K
Aug: MADD Dash 5K
Newtown Road Race 5K
Oct: Monroe Trail Run 4M (virtual)
Nov: Vicki Soto 5K
Dec: Jingle Bell 5K
- Best race experience? Has to be the Stratton Faxon Half. Not only was it such a personal milestone, but the race was really well organized and put together. Plenty of hydration and fuel available, fantastic T shirt, easy pre race pick up and they even gave us a 13.1 magnet for the car.
- Best run? Probably the James Mattioli race. It is to date my PR for the 5K distance. Beautiful, super flat course. Nice weather, lots of people I knew there. Although the Trumbull Sunset Run was also very nice. Despite a hilly course, it felt like a great run, very picturesque and they gave out free Italian ice and pizza after. 🙂
- Best new piece of gear? Before the last month I would have said my running hat; it is a lightweight, breathable hat that keeps the sun out of your eyes and actually kept me cool during some hot runs this summer. But now that it is cooler I am absolutely loving my new running gloves from Hind. They have gloves but then a mitten that goes over them to keep you warm. The fingers have that material that still allows you to work your phone, and there’s even a little LED light on them.
- Best piece of running advice you received? To run my own race. To not let anyone else’s time or performance make me think less of the miles I log or how hard I have worked. Also, to run at least three days a week to maintain performance, four to improve. That advice served me well training for my half.
- If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Grateful. I am grateful to have found an activity that helps me not only become more fit, but set goals and work towards accomplishing them. I enjoy running, even if I am not the fastest one out there. I am grateful every day to be able to lace up my shoes and get out there doing something I never thought I could.