This year, I set out to run 15 races. Ya know, for 2015. I filled my calendar with lots of fun races during the first half of the year. I ran ten races before June and then during the summer, I ran a few shorter races for fun. Then, I moved on to the fall. I raced six times between September 26 and November 21 and I set four new personal records (PRs) during that time frame. In case you’re curious, I PRed the 10k, the ten miler, the half marathon and the marathon. While I did not set out to run that many races and I certainly didn’t set out for all those PRs (I really wanted to just PR the marathon this fall), I did learn some important lessons during all my races this year.
- You can easily incorporate races into your training – it just takes a bit of planning. I used a number of races as a part of my training. I picked races where the distance worked out to what I wanted to run (for example, I ran a 10k the weekend before a marathon and that worked out well) and didn’t gun for a particular time. However, I did let myself push it once I realized that I could PR in those races.
- Removing pressure can bring great results. When I ran the Richmond half marathon this year, I took all the pressure off myself and didn’t look at my watch until the last mile. I ran by feel the whole way and ended up running a PR. I felt no pressure and really surprised myself. Sometimes by removing the pressure you make sure to keep the fun.
- Listening to your body is KEY. After my 20th race, I felt a cold coming on and I was honestly just a bit tired of racing. So I’m taking a couple weeks of running on a schedule. I’m running what I want, when I want and not feeling bad about sleeping in or skipping a run. I’m still being active – walking, taking Pure Barre classes and the like, but I’m giving myself a break. Mentally and physically, I was ready for it after being in training what felt like all year long. I really want to kill it on my next training cycle (more on that in a later post) and in order to be ready to tackle that, I need some time off.
- A great group of training buddies can help get you through anything. The best thing I did this summer was join a new training group. Not only did I get a group of awesome run buddies, I made a group of new friends. This group of women has been key to keeping me running happy this year. We trained together, raced together, traveled together and shared our lives. I’m so grateful to this group of women and it’s the best thing ever to have a supportive group of runner friends.
I still can’t believe I finished 20 races this year – I didn’t set out to race that much but I learned so much this year in terms of running and I’m excited to see what 2016 will bring, running wise!
How many races did you run this year?