12 months. 12 races. 30 pounds. Size 14/16 to Size 8/10. I recently was being reminiscent about running, but it all came full circle today. So, I’m writing about running again by recapping all 12 races.
1. Munster Rotary Run-A-Round 5K. 6/18/11. 38:27
I trained for this for about a month. I kind of knew I was slow, but I also kind of thought I’d be faster than a lot of people. I was just barely ahead of the walkers. I was competing with a really old man the whole time, but I ended up beating him. I got my ass beat by a girl who couldn’t have been older than 6 or 7. When I finished the race, there were about 5 minutes until the 10K started, and amazed, I watched a bunch of people who’d done the 5K hop back in line and do the 10K as well. I was completely floored by these people. Even though I’d gotten my ass all kinds of kicked, I was hooked on running officially. That night, I did my research and found my next race.
I had also lost about 10 pounds by this point and was very confident as a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding.
2. Tippy Connect 10K. 9/10/11. 1:11:50
When I did my first 5K, I ran/walked it. The big thing I took away from it is that I wanted to do a 10K, and I wanted to run the ENTIRETY of the race. I stopped focusing on speed because, let’s face it, I’m not fast. And I started to focus on just running the entire race. I remember during my training for this 10K how ecstatic I was about being able to actually run in full 4 or 5 miles.
This particular race was really small. The majority of the people were doing the 5K. There may have been 20 or 30 of us doing the 10K. I came in third to last. The whole race though I was actually second to last, and the last half mile, I kicked it in out of nowhere, and beat the lady who’d been like a block of ahead of me the whole time. When I passed her, she shouted, “NO!” It was kind of funny, but I also felt bad. The man who came in dead last was GIANT and finished like 45 minutes or more after I did, but he finished! I honestly feel like he woke up that morning and decided to run for the first time in his life. I was excited though because I ran the whole damn race.
3. Back on My Feet 42k Relay. 10/23/11. Lap 1: 24:09. Lap 2: 24:52. Lap 3: 26:27
This was a marathon relay. My team consisted of 4 women, and we each had to run three 2.2 mile laps. Some of the teams were just 2 people, and there were 2 guys there doing all 26.2 miles by themselves. One of them beat our team; the other one was doing his first marathon and was still going when we left. This race kind of sucked because it was cold as hell, and we had like an 1 hour wait between laps, so every time it was my turn again, I had to warm back up all over again. The woman who put our team together named our team, “What Was I Thinking?” We won best team name, but who knows what place we came in.
In the month of October, I had only ran 8 times out of the 31 days because my knees started to kill every time I ran. By this time, I started using knee bands on both knees.
4. Santa Hustle 5K. 12/17/11. 36:27
This race was a lot of fun. Thousands of people dressed up in Santa garb running in the FREEZING cold. At this point, I was using compression socks instead of knee bands. I have short legs so the compression socks came up high enough that they did the same thing as knee bands.This was also my first run where all my miles were sub 12 minutes.
There’s a quote I like by Sasha Azevado that says, “Running is one of the best solutions to a clear mind.” Around this time, everything else in my life was changing, and I had a lot of runs to clear my mind and a lot of time to think about where my life was going. 9 days after I ran this race, I left my husband who I had been with for 7 years (since I was 19) and married to for less than 2 years. It was a decision that was born of something inside me that always knew the relationship wasn’t truly forever for A LOT of reasons. It was a pretty difficult, TERRIFYING decision, but it was the right one that I haven’t regretted once.
In this month, I had started reading Born to Run by Chris McDougall. I already liked running because of the benefits to my body, but this book really, really started to change the game for me. The day after I left my husband and was trying to figure out if it was permanent or not, I ran in Vibram Five Fingers (a purchase inspired by the book). That run was just over 30 seconds faster than the Santa Hustle time; I was instantly hooked on barefoot running.
5. First Annual Planet Adventure Winter Quarter Trail Marathon. 1/28/12. 1:27:26
This was the most fun race I have ever done. There was also a mini and a full marathon going simultaneously. It started at 6PM and was on a nature trail. It was cold as hell, the ground was covered in mud, and flashlights were required. The best part was watching the flashlights bob through the woods ahead because that was all I could see in the complete darkness.
At some point between this race and the last, I decided that I was running a mini marathon, and my training had already began.
6. Indy 500 Mini Training Series 10K. 3/3/12. 1:06:55.
I competed with the speed walker from hell this whole entire race. It was ridiculous. She was right next to me and really pushed me. When the race ended, I decided that 10Ks were my favorite races, and I was going to stop doing 5Ks.
The next day, I had my last long run of my mini training and ran 13.1 miles. So I put in 19.3 miles in one weekend! When I finished that long run, I was on the pond path behind my house. I fell down and started bawling hysterically.I can’t even explain what a feeling of accomplishment I had.
7. Florida Beach Halfathon. 3/18/12. 2:35:30
For details, check out this post. I beat my practice run by 6 minutes. Oh and, I RAN A FLIPPING HALF MARATHON.
8. Fight-O-For-Mito 5K. 4/21/12. 31:20
While I had decided to stop running 5Ks earlier in the year, I realized that 5Ks were essential in my goal of getting faster. I wanted to be a runner who could always run sub 11 minutes during training and sub 10 minutes during races. So I broke my vow to never do 5Ks again.
This race was put on by the school where I work. I was helping run it, and then decided to do it since I had my running clothes with me. It was a very small local race. I actually got a medal for 3rd in my age group… which consisted of 5 people ages 19-39. This was also the first race where all my miles were sub 11 minutes. I was extraordinarily hungover at this race and was shocked that I did so well compared to my last 5K.
9. Jay Cooperrider 5K. 4/28/12. 30:42
At this one, I had two sub 10 minute miles which blew my mind completely. This is my fastest 5K to date, and after this race, I decided that I will be happy as a runner when I can get my 5K sub 30 minutes.
10. Two Rivers Meet 5K. 3/26/12. 30:53
I did not do much training for this 5K because I started training for a bike race. I also spent a week out of town job searching and NOT working out, so I didn’t do as well. I still had fun despite my insane allergic reaction that morning that had me looking like Will Smith after his allergic reaction in Hitch all day. It was pretty hot.
11. Indianapolis Mayor’s Ride. 6/2/12. 50:21
Adding this to the list may be cheating as it wasn’t a running race. It was a 9 mile bike ride. We rode to the ride and back home from it, totaling almost 20 miles in one day. While this wasn’t a running race, I include it because saying 12 races in 12 months sounds cooler, and I never, ever would have done anything like this had I not started running.
12. Munster Rotary Run-A-Round. 6/9/12. 31:57
Originally this race was scheduled on 6/23 which I couldn’t do. I didn’t realize that the date had changed till the Thursday before it. I haven’t been properly training in running since the Jay Cooperrider in April, but I’m still proud of my time. This is almost 6 minutes faster than when I ran this race a year ago, and I got second in my age group.
And here I come full circle. Since my first race a year ago, a lot has changed. I have two more minis in my sights, then who knows where I’ll go from there. But every day. Every single day, I thank running for opening up my eyes. And changing my life.
“Running, to me, has just been freedom.” -Simon Wheatcroft