minutes per mile blog

what’s next on my running agenda?

It’s been a big year of running! And now that the year is almost over, I’m wondering: what’s next? I’m finally sitting down to reflect on the past year of running and write about upcoming running goals and races. Here goes!

Looking back

The past year of running had some ups and downs, but overall it was pretty stellar. I started racing early in the spring with the Seaside Half Marathon. I was mostly running this for fun (I was strapped down with a GoPro, after all) and was pretty pleased with my 1:36 finish for so early in the year.
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A couple months later I had the urge to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Country Music half marathon and “bandit-ed” a bib a few days in advance. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to taper or train for this race and came down with a nasty cold — and then was stupid enough to run the race anyways. I totally tanked and clocked in at 1:48, which was pretty depressing.country music half marathon 2015That race was a bit of a confidence crusher, but in that same month I ran really fast at the Purity Dairy Dash 10k! I came in close to my current 10k PR and got 3rd place for women.purity_dairy_dash 10k 2015By the time my big spring goal race came around I was feeling pretty ready. Lizzie, Anthony, and I headed to Asheville for the Downhill at Dawn half marathon and I set a new PR of 1:29 (which I will probably never beat unless I find a route that’s even more downhill than this one). Also snagged a 2nd place spot for ladies. Yay!!downhill at dawn half marathon race review 2015
Flash forward through a summer of long, hot training runs and we arrive at the Detroit Marathon. This was my big goal race for the year and my goal was simply to set a new PR (anything under 3:25). So when I came in at 3:20 I was stupid shocked/happy. How did I ever run that fast?! Also, Lizzie, you are my lucky race buddy BFF :)1018151036-001Only a few weeks after that big race, I laced up again and ran the ZOOMA Nashville women’s half marathon. Since I was still recovering from the full marathon, I went into this one with a “let’s see what happens” mentality. About four miles in I realized that I should just run this one for fun since my legs were still tired. I came in at 1:40 which isn’t great but isn’t too terrible (for me), either!1108150748And now, here we are. 2015 was a good year. Looking ahead, I’m excited to announce TWO things that are on my upcoming running calendar:

1. The 2015 Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk! The Tennessee chapter of the Arthritis Foundation reached out and asked if I’d like to run this race and of course I said yes. One last race for the year! I hardly ever run 5ks because I am a wimp when it comes to fast/short distances, but this race sounds really fun. It’s set in beautiful historic Franklin (you can find me at Puckett’s brunching afterwards), involves costumes, and supports a good cause. I’d like to see if I can come in under 20 minutes for this race but admit that I haven’t done a single speed workout in about two months. So basically, I have no idea how I’ll do here but I’m excited anyways. It can’t be as freezing and icy as the jingle bell 8k I did in DC a couple years ago, right? (ps: miss you, Anne!)pacers_jingle_8k_dc_04041-001
2. A whole lot of NOTHING. Yep. After this 5k, I have absolutely zero running plans, goals, or races for the long term. After running at least one marathon every year for the past SEVEN years of my life, I think it’s time for a racing break. I’m not entirely sick of running or racing, but I am a bit tired. Tired, but happy! I did well in both of my goal races for 2015 and think it’s time for a well-deserved break.0606150751Although I love pushing through a long training cycle and seeing myself get faster at the end of it all, right now I simply want to run for fun again — with no pressure to hit a certain pace or finish time. Running is an amazing way to challenge yourself and measure your fitness level. But: It’s also an amazing way to get outside, hang out with friends, and give yourself some time to think. In 2016 I’m going to focus more on those last things.

My 2016 New Year’s running resolutions are as follows: have fun, run with friends as much as possible, get enough sleep, and be okay with getting slower. The first two should be easy and the last two will be challenging for my type-A self. I’m not planning on running any full marathons in 2016 and doubt that I’ll even get out there for a half. And if I do find myself at a race start line: I’m not planning on running any faster than I did in 2015.

Oh, and my other goal: find something to blog about when I’m not training 5-6 days a week ;). Hope you stick around for it all!

  • Have you ever taken a break from running/racing? For how long?
  • How many years in a row have you run marathons/half marathons?
  • What are your New Year’s resolutions (running or non-running?)

13 thoughts on “what’s next on my running agenda?

  1. I need to make one of my goals being ok with getting slower. I had a couple years where every race was a good time and I definitely didn’t appreciate those when they were happening. Now my race times have dipped and there isn’t anything wrong with that! But in my head, they should all be faster! Good luck on the 5k…I always tell people I have no idea how to race those either! :)

  2. It’s so much better to take a break on purpose than because of injury of serious burnout! I think this is a really smart decision although I’ll be missing your speedy recaps for motivation :) Happy Thanksgiving!

    • oh, good point! i hadn’t even thought of it that way. very true. don’t worry, i’ll still be running a lot and hopefully not like molasses slow, haha.

  3. My recent goals are amping up! After taking the last three years slow with training due to pregnancies, I am amped up to start up again in 2016. It probably has to do with my current coaching clients. I am seeing so much progress in them and can’t wait what 2016 brings for them!!!

  4. haha I hear you about not having things to really blog about when you aren’t training for something. Some days all I can think of is “so – you like stuff?”. But at least you have some yummy food adventures to talk about!

    I’ve only been doing the longer distance thing since 2012 – and have only run one marathon. Going to try the marathon again this year!

  5. You’ve had a killer year! You’ve earned a break!

    This last year I wasn’t going to train for anything. I had a series of small injuries that stopped any speed work so I figured I’d run when I wanted to and not worry about it much. End result- 10 min PR, 3:23 marathon. Apparently not training agrees with me. I know that’s not a long term solution, but it was a nice surprise.

    Resolutions- be less audibly judgey, eat more veggies.

  6. Those sound like great running goals!
    And you are fast!! My half PR is 1:59…………but I am not super dilligent on speed work, I would rather run farther than faster!

    I plan to run a marathon every other year ( I did my first in 2013 and my second this month) and then stick to a half or two a year other than that. I love the Franklin half marathon in June and there’s a new Chattanooga one debuting in March, so those will be my regular ones each year, with maybe a fall one thrown in too, hopefully in Nashville.

    After this past marathon, I love just being able to go run without planning out how far or long I have to go. And I do keep myself trained up to 8 miles year round, so that I can easily train up for a half marathon. I feel so strong when I can go out and run 8 or 9 miles easily!

  7. Definitely taking the time to just ENJOY running for the mental and physical exercise it gives me. Treadmill in the winter – yay, midwest, also I get up super eraly – but it’s still therapy for me! I’m also working hard not comparing myself to others – like those who have 1/2 marathon times of 1:40, which I would also be thrilled to get! 😉 Enjoy the holidays! I love reading your blog, and it just makes me want to visit Nashville even more!