2018 was a huge year for me in terms of how I saw myself as a runner and how I defined my relationship to running. For five years, I was running almost on my own, making up my own training plans based on online/magazine plans and books, and running with the goals of getting a new PR (personal record) and/or finishing with a smile. After 2017’s heart-breaking Chicago Marathon experience I decided that I needed to let go: not only of creating my own training plans, but also of the need to chase PRs.
Sure, the PRs are great and very satisfying, but they are also focused on one day and not always reflective of all the growth and changes that happen during an entire training cycle.
Following Chicago, I handed over the reigns of my training to Jessica of Sugar Runs Coaching. I went with Jessica as a coach because (1) she is a woman, (2) shes a strong runner herself, (3) from what I had seen on her Instagram account, she knows how to balance training with life (hello, wine!), and (4) she was on-board with coaching me to strength versus coaching me to a time-goal. We worked together for all of 2018 and, most impressively, she helped me find the joy in training for a full marathon. I’ve always grumbled my way through marathon training, but this year, with Jessica’s guidance, it all clicked and the weeks and miles went by without a single complaint about how much marathon training sucks.
The 2018 Chicago Marathon happened and, although it wasn’t the race I trained for in terms of time, it was the race I trained for in terms of strength. I wrote about my experience with the race here, but the end result with Chicago is that I ran strong and finished stronger. I have never been prouder of myself and of the effort that went into training for and finishing the race.
2018 running goal: run in a way that left me feeling strong, regardless of pace and race times. I’d like to think this goal was met every time I toed a start line and crossed a finish line.
2019 running goal: The 2018 goal will carry over into 2019, although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t eyeing the half marathon and hoping to do big things at that distance. I’m picking 13.1 because (1) it’s my favorite distance, (2) training isn’t as intense as full marathon training, (3) it’s a long-enough distance to be a challenge, and (4) it’s also a short-enough distance that recovery is quick.
My favorite running memory from 2018: Convincing my dad and sister to run a 5K while I ran the 305 Half Marathon. The pictures of them running are hilarious and priceless.
Total Miles: somewhere around 1500.
2018 Race Roster:
Miami Half Marathon (January): 2:04:04
Princess 10K (February): 56:29
Princess Half Marathon (February): 2:18:15
305 Half Marathon (March): 1:53:35
Asheville Half Marathon (June): 2:07:24
Run 4 The Sea Virtual 5K (June): untimed
Chicago Full Marathon (October): 4:21:19
Halloween Half Marathon (October): 2:06:48
Turkey Trot 10K (November): 1:01:45
Islamorada Half Marathon (December): 2:01:35
MIA 5K (December): 25:32
Favorite race: 305 Half Marathon is a fun race with a beautiful course. Weather in Miami in March is great for running and nothing beats running along the water and incoming cruise ships.
Most challenging race: You’d think it would be the Chicago Marathon, but it was actually the Asheville Half Marathon. Running a course with hills and along the mountains was tough. I was also mentally beat before going into the race because delays in my husband’s travel plans brought me very close to not being able to run the race.
Miami Half Marathon (January)
Princess Half Marathon (February)
305 Half Marathon (March)
I haven’t decided what races I’ll be doing beyond March, but I have a feeling they will be pretty amazing. I’d like to know where you are running and racing in 2019; maybe it will inspire me to run further and farther!