2012: The year of the half marathon

I started the year flying high and ready to tackle my second-ever half marathon. This event meant a lot of things to me. It was the first time I felt comfortable running the 13.1 distance. It was the first time I could consider a race this long to be fun – a celebration even. It was my birthday gift as I started my 40th year. And it ended up launching the year of the half marathon.

After Tink, I felt like I could use the year to prove something to myself. 2011 was a difficult running year for me. On the one hand, I did more than I ever thought possible. On the other hand, I failed at my primary goal. So in 2012 I wanted to do something big. I wanted to prove that I really was a stronger runner. I wanted to leave the girl who trained for her first half marathon in a state of nausea in the dust.

And that’s when I decided to do a half marathon every season.

Don't those Disney medals make nice bookends?
Don’t those Disney medals make nice bookends?

Winter: Disney’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon

Spring: Chicago Spring Half Marathon

Summer: Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon

Fall: Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon

I purposely decided to do one *every season*. I wanted to push myself to train hard year-round. I wanted to force myself to run distance in a variety of weather. I wanted to challenge myself to run double digits all year long. It wasn’t always easy but I am proud when I look back on this year because I did all that and more:

  • In 2012, I ran 824 miles. I didn’t start diligently tracking all running mileage until this year but I know that my previous best annual mileage was somewhere around 500 miles. Add in the cycling, swimming and walking miles and I broke 1,000 training miles this year.
  • Set a half marathon PR Finally coming in under 2 hours and 30 minutes for this distance.
  • Set a sub-30 5K PR A 28:17 – beating my previous PR by more than two minutes.
  • Completed eight races That included a tough, hilly 10-miler and a 15K.
  • Took a speed work class. This challenge was never easy, but I left the training session each week shaking, sweaty and ecstatic. As a result, my new comfortable pace is a solid 30 seconds per minute faster than before.

I ran a lot of those miles, and those races, with wonderful people by my side. I also ran a good portion of them all on my own. In both situations, I learned a lot about myself. I am so grateful for every one of the miles and race experiences I had this year – yes, even the ones in the lousy weather.

The medal hung around your neck also signifies the successful completion of training, not only the finishing of a race. ~Hal Higdon


5 thoughts on “2012: The year of the half marathon

  1. “I learned a lot about myself” This is the most important part.
    I was giving my 13yo a mini speech on our run yesterday, making sure he knows that those things that he loves (running, cello) are his alone and that we are proud of him for working hard and doing his best and he never has to do something or reach a specific goal for us. Because in the end, it is NOT where he ends up, it is about using these things to learn about himself. This is why I love running, it is an amazing teacher of life.

  2. I am so proud of you! You set forth a goal for yourself and you did it. I am still impressed with how you dealt with the conditions in the summer half–I’m pretty sure I would’ve said, “screw this” and taken a nap. You rock, lady.

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