Hey everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! Mine was spent hanging out with old friends, celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday, and running the Kris Kringle 5 Mile Run in Reading! Quick look back: I ran this race last December as well, and it was a very snowy and icy run! I finished the race in 1:00:10 and was really happy because it was a distance PR for me.
This year I’ve been running faster and farther than in 2012, so I figured I could PR. It’s the first repeat race I’ve ever done, so I was interested in seeing how much I could improve over a year’s time. I was so excited to run this race until I woke up to rainy, 35 degree weather! Plus Andrew and I overslept so I arrived at the race only 3 minutes before race time! I didn’t have time to take my race hoodie back to the car, and it was freezing and pouring, so I made a last minute choice to wear it for the race. And it was actually a surprisingly good choice! By the time I started getting warm the cotton was soaked through with water and it actually kept me cool throughout the race. I probably will invest in a waterproof running jacket for the future though since it was pretty uncomfortable at the end 🙂 It was really nice running on a race course that I was already familiar with because it helped the race pass by faster. I also knew how many hills were in the race (a lot) and where they were (at the beginning, middle, and end) so I was able to mentally push through the tough parts. Even though the race was super hilly and muddy, the views from the Union Canal Path were beautiful! If you’re not afraid of hills I would definitely recommend this race. Once I got to the fourth mile marker, we were back on paved roads and I was able to speed up without worrying about slipping on mud. When I turned the final corner to the finish line I literally said “Oh my god” out loud because I had scored a major PR!
The official results aren’t out yet, but my Garmin results are 55:14 – almost 5 whole minutes faster than last year! I actually smiled while crossing the finish line! As soon as I was done I sped over to the agricultural center where the post race party was being held, took off my hoodie (it weighed like 5 pounds from all the water!), and chowed down on pizza and Godiva chocolate! The Pagoda Pacers know how to throw a party! After about 5 minutes I was shivering so bad that I knew I had to get out of my wet clothes asap. Here’s some wet/cold race advice: pack an extra set of clothes and a huge beach towel. When you get back to your car, you can cover yourself with the towel and change out of your wet clothes in the car! It was the best feeling ever when I took off those wet socks!
After seeing how much I’ve improved in only 1 year, I spent all day coming up with new running goals for next year. I’ve got 2 half marathons to train for, plus I’m going to try to put my name in for the Broad Street Run lottery. But I need to have more than just races to motivate me to keep running on days when I really don’t feel like doing anything at all. So I’ve spent a few days checking out some awesome ways to keep my goals possible, and I’ve settled on the following fitness goals, courtesy of my fellow bloggers:
- Run This Year 2014: Running Hutch is hosting this year long challenge and it’s pretty awesome. The basic goal is to literally run this year, as in 2,014 miles. Yeah, that’s a lot. For those of you who are in shock right now, don’t worry because she has two other options! Option #2 is to run this year…in kilometers! 2,014 kilometers is 1,251.4 miles so that’s a much more attainable goal for most runners. Unfortunately I’m not really there yet in my milage, so I’m going with Option #3: Get Your Own Goal! She’s letting runners who want to participate choose their own challenging milage goal to work towards in 2014. I had already decided that I want to try to run 1,000 miles in 2014 before hearing about this challenge, and now I have an awesome group of runners to keep me accountable and inspired throughout the year!
- 14 in 2014: I love running races – the awesome swag, the feeling of getting a PR, and the training plans that keep me running frequently! Fitness, Health, and Happiness is hosting a 14 in 2014 challenge, and the goal is pretty simple: run 14 races in 2014. You can choose the length of the races you run (for example, 14 marathons! What!) and you can even do virtual races if you aren’t able to sign up for 14 physical races. I signed up so that I have an excuse to do all the races I want to do next year 🙂
- I’m also signing up for a fitness challenge hosted by one of my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors! The challenge lasts 12 weeks and the only thing I have to do is work out 5 days a week for 30 minutes. With all the racing and running I’ll be doing in the other challenges, I figured this was just another way to keep myself on track without too much extra work. Plus everyone who completes the challenge gets a goodie bag and you all know how much I love free stuff!
- And last but not least, I think I might join a local running club at some point in 2014. I’m kind of a running loner and I really want to change that! Plus it’s a good way to meet more people and not have to run races alone anymore 🙂 If you know of any great running groups in the DelCo/Philly area let me know!
Part of me wants to keep the Runner’s World Run Streak going (I’m not ruling it out yet!), but I honestly need to do some cross training, yoga, and get in some rest days without worrying about squeezing in a quick mile each day. I’ve gained a bit of weight since my wedding in June, and I’d like to lose at least 5 of those pounds to get back down to my happy weight. Running every day hasn’t helped me lose any weight so cross training is going to be necessary! I think that all 3 challenges I’ve signed up for will fit together perfectly and will just encourage me to run farther and workout longer. Take that, Christmas cookies!
What are your goals for 2014? Are you doing any challenges to keep yourself accountable?