Last year, I linked up with Courtney for my 2015 year in running – albeit a little late, I thought I would join the fun again! This past year has been a busy, busy one! The most busy running year of my life! I have not had a year as active as this last one in a very long time and this is a great way to think back on some of the experiences. There are a couple more than FIVE highlights…but it works! Enjoy!
In 2016, I ran :
- 1 50K
- 1 marathon (+1 virtual marathon)
- 11 half marathons : 9 pacing events & 2 RnR Races (+1 extra medal)
- 1 5K
- 1 1K
- 12 virtual runs (always fun to spice up those long runs on the weekend!)
- 1 #RunChatHunt
- 1 #streakingwiththecoolkids
- 0 injuries (a sore foot from time to time doesn’t count)
At the beginning of 2016, I set out on my journey to run 2016 miles in 366 days and to train and run my first full marathon! While my miles for the year came up a little short, I was able to get my first full marathon…and a relatively unplanned first 50K!! Let’s look back on some of the fun!!
Best race experience :
I feel like most of my “race experiences” are great – especially when I am pacing other runners! I would say that my best race experience was running in the Kansas Half Marathon in Lawrence, KS.
An amazing morning for a run!! • The @kshalfmarathon had a beautiful course, good volunteers, and great company! God works in mysterious ways – and he brought me an awesome group of ladies to run with and they live in Manhattan!! What are the odds?! • I paced the 2:45 group and finished at 2:44:53 – I would have waited a couple seconds later but there was no one behind us for a long way. I even jumped back in the trenches to bring one of the runners from my core group – they all kicked butt!! • #kshalfmarathon #halfmarathon #smartpacing #pacer #keepittight #brooksrunning #garminrocks #makeithappen #owntherun #RERmiles #irun4aidennicole
This event had a great course and the runners made it the BEST! While we chatted most of the race, it wasn’t until the 5K mark that we started talking about where we were from… THEY WERE ALL FROM MANHATTAN. While this means little to anyone but me…I am also from Manhattan! This little nugget of knowledge kept the conversation going for the remainder of the race 🙂 Favorite running areas, worst running areas, running groups, coffee shops, everything… The ladies were easy to talk to and easier to motivate them to the finish.
We trained hard together for months, and conquered this challenge together, forging deeper friendships in the process. A first for @megeraaaa and Kristin @duellconstruction 👊 I can't say enough great things about how fantastic our pacer was. @livinglovingrunner coached us through the hills, the water stops, when things got hard for a gal in our little running pod the last couple of miles, she was so encouraging and even ran back to bring our last runner in through the finish line❤️ Thanks @kshalfmarathon for organizing such an inspiring run! * * * Photocred: @kshalfmarathon #instarunners #ks #lawrence #halfmarathontraining #halfmarathon #womenrunning #finishstrong @womensrunningcommunity #pacersrock #distancerunning #fortybyforty #latergram
Even though we lost one of the gals about a mile from the finish, that didn’t stop me from passing back across the finish to go hunt her down and bring her in!
While I have yet to search out these ladies for a running or coffee date, I am sure glad that we met! I have stayed on contact and they are planning on running more races that I am also planning on running or pacing!
I love new running buddies!!
Best run :
I am partial that my best runs are the ones that I am enjoying with friends!! My two favorite runs were out at the Konza Prairie reserve – first with 2 new running buddies (Mel and Michelle) and the second time solo. Well, I wasn’t completly solo…I went out to run on the same day as the Konquer The Konza 10K/25K Trail Runs. My last mile or so was with Michelle – she caught up with me and I kept her motivated to a PR 🙂
The Konza is going to be one of my long-run areas this summer while training for my first 50M in September – I love the Konza!!
Best new piece of running gear :
This one is a little tough…I am not sure what my “best” new piece of running gear was this past year – but I am really glad I purchased my Nathan’s Handheld. I would love to not have to run with my full hydration vest and this little handheld is great!
It is the perfect size for a short-ish run. Depending on the weather, it can last me anywhere from 5-15+ miles! It is also good to carry when “training” for my pacing gigs. The pacing stick isn’t too cumbersome, but the extra “stuff” in my hand helps me get more acclimated.
The second “best” new piece is my Garmin Forerunner 235 – a gifted upgrade to my favorite last year – the 225. Without this watch, or any running watch, my runs would be a little less exciting 🙂 I love my Garmin for all the fun features, but also just the simplicity of knowing when I have run my next mile.
Best running advice you’ve received this year :
For my first 50K attempt, I searched high and low for anything that would help me finish the challenge! This was the one quote that stuck with me the most :
“Start slow, and then slow down…”
Most inspirational runner :
Well…there were are few runners that come to mind…but I am going to steer this a little differently.
I am most inspired by my new little running buddy – Aiden Nicole. Aiden is my IRun4 buddy that I was matched up with in October! I had been on the wait list FOREVER and finally was given the gift of running for a little one!
Aiden and her twin sister, Jordan, were born at 29 weeks. Aiden’s membrane ruptured around 15 weeks and she experienced low amniotic fluid throughout the remainder of her mom’s pregnancy. Due to this, Aiden’s lungs were not as developed and has lived with chronic lung disease – through she has had a tracheostomy last June, she is still dependent on a ventilator (which has been getting less in recent days!!).
Aiden is a little miracle baby and I am so proud to be able to get to know her and her little family!
Favorite picture from a run or race this year :
While I have had a lot of fun pictures taken of me by race photographers, the ones that I favor the most were taken by a fellow running buddy towards the finish line of the Kansas City Marathon (I paced the half marathon)! My buddy June came out to support some of us local runners (a couple were running their first full and a couple in the half) and she took these shots and sent them to me 🙂
The last mile of any race that I pace is the toughest! All of my running instincts are telling me to RUN HARD to the finish – but my pacing gig leaves me with ample time to take the same pace to the finish that I have been running the entire race! This way, I can coheres all the runners that are running out of steam to kick it through to the finish. The gal at the KCM was struggling…hard. I pushed her to finish strong, every mantra I knew of was coming out of my mouth like vomit (runners seem to be driven by this)…I was in her head and I wasn’t going to let her stop!
I don’t get to see how the world views me as a pacer until June sent me these images 🙂 “Great Job. You’re an awesome pacer!” I sure do try!! 🙂
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat :
I REALLY wanted to put down my first 50K for most of these highlights…but I refrained! The race experience that I would repeat in a heartbeat is the (loooong title coming) 4th Annual Kansas Rails-to-Trails Fall Ultra Extravaganza Prairie Spirit Trail 50K.
As I have mentioned time and time again, this was not a running event that I had on my radar. A couple running buddies didn’t have a great first 50K experience (both ending with DNF) and one of the gals REALLY wanted to finish her first 50K by the end of the year! Since I was towards the end of my fall marathon training cycle, without a fall marathon to run, I decided to sign up with her! “It’s not that much longer than a marathon…and I did that already!”
I'm alive!! And upright!! 😆 • I had a great time running the KS Rails-to-Trails Prairie Spirit Trail 50k today!! The crew stops were awesome and yes, I super over prepared, but I didn't regret it a bit! • My dad was able to make it out to the Richmond turnaround, the 2nd Princeton stop, and the finish line!! ❤️ I loved seeing him get so excited for me!! • What next?? A bathroom break, quick @showerpill cleanup, change, eat, and find some cold water 😆 • #first #first50k #50k #railstotrails #prairiespirittrail #ultra #ultrarumner #runner #trail #trailnerds #nuunhydration #runhappy #garminrocks #beatyesterday #aftershokz #irun4aidennicole
I came. I saw. I ran. I FINISHED!
Every part of this race was great for me! The dinner the night before, the early start, the beautiful trail, the AMAZING aid stations (super spoiled for any other race to come!!), the support (my family came out in the beginning and my dad came out for the last 2 aid stops and my finish), the post race food, and the amazing pictures!
While the heat of an Indian Summer and painful feet are somehow omitted from my memory, the day was perfect!
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?
Yeah yeah yeah, this is the same as last year…but I can’t help it! If I am not running happy, what is the real point?! Yeah, there are going to be difficult runs…but if you are able to get into a mindset to make the most of it and the best of it – you can always find the silver lining!
UPDATE – 2016 miles in 2016
Well, no finishing parade for me this year! I am very happy with the 1700+ miles I WAS able to accomplish – but 2016 would have been that much better 🙂 There was a lot of running and a lot of fun had! No regrets!
What is your greatest accomplishment for this year? If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
This is quite the running post, so I will probably link up with some awesome bloggers next week – including Tuesdays On The Run, Wild Workout Wednesday, Running Coaches Corner – but for this week, I am linking up with a few Friday Five bloggers! Check them out!! Nicole – Rachel – Lacey & Meranda
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and start a conversation!
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