2015 brings about another year of (almost) injury free running (you will see why on this week’s recap). After the past three years starting out with the Walt Disney World Marathon, I decided to pass on the race weekend this year. Primarily because the Disney races have got so expensive, but also, because I wanted to focus on races toward my Fifty States Half Marathon goal.
I started the year out running a local half marathon with friends Rachel and Aaron in February. The race was the Save the Light Half Marathon on Folly Beach, SC. It was a great race, as it got me my second best time in a half marathon at 1:48.
After this race, I began some mega training to prepare for back to back half marathons in a weekend in May. It started with a long drive up to Indianapolis & Cincinnati. The weekend started on Saturday with the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, IN. It was a great race in that we got to run on the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was my 9th State toward my 50 States goal. The race time was 1:54:58.
After the Indianapolis race, we traveled to Cincinnati, OH to run the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon on Sunday. This race was my 10th state, with a time of 1:56:06. This was my first attempt at running to half marathons hard in back to back days, and was quite successful; however, was quite tired and wore out after this weekend.
Because I did not learn my lesson in May, I decided to attempt the same feat of back to back half marathons in a weekend again in October. This time my ventures took me to Baltimore, MD and Hershey, PA. For this trip, I flew up and met my buddy Chris, who was a tremendous help. So the weekend started with the Baltimore Half Marathon. This was my 11th state toward my 50 states goal, and I completed this race in 1:57:51.
Chris and I then traveled to Hershey, PA so I could run the Hershey Half Marathon on Sunday. This was a tough race for me. Both the Baltimore & Hershey races were very hilly, so I got really burnt out in this race, and the fact that it was 30 degrees! But I did complete it for my 12th state toward my goal, with a time of 2:07:33. The cool part was that they gave me two tickets to the HersheyPark post race, so Chris and I rode roller coasters the rest of the day. So that brightened my spirits fast!
In November, I decided to run the second annual Summerville Sweet Tea Half Marathon in my town. I ran the inaugural last year, and since I had a friend running the race, I decided to join her. Renee really pushed me in this race, and I was able to get a 1:50. This bested my 2014 race time by almost 7 minutes.
As has been the case the past two years, I finished up the year with the Space Coast Half Marathon. I started the Big Bang Series in 2013, which is a five year series commemorating each of the five Space Shuttles. This year was the Discovery. It also signified the halfway point, and we acquired a second medal, the “Milky Way Challenge” for completing the first 3 legs of the race series.
So it was a good race year. I did less races this year than years past, but was mostly focused on my 50 States Half Marathon venues.
To wrap up my review, I set a goal for 900 miles in 2015. At my mid-year review, I realized I was on pace for far more, so I upped my goal to 1,100 miles. After getting burnt out in October, I realized I will not make 1,100, but I would be over 1,000 miles which was my prior yearly record in 2013.
For my last two goals I set out for 2015 went in two opposite directions. The first was to help someone learn to run and stick with it for the year. Well I have to say this was a roaring success. My buddy Chris, The Journey of Ascent, has had a rough year; but in the midst of it, he decided to drop some weight, and take up running. When he and I started running in April, he was chugging along at 14-15 minute miles. As of his last fitness review on his blog, he had lost 86.2 pounds, and now running in the 8 minute pace range. I am so proud of him and his accomplishments. He has been very inspiring to me this year at seeing his accomplishments. Kudos Chris! Keep it up in 2016!
This is in direct contrast to my last goal, which was a fail. I had wanted to lose some weight and be down to 185 by year end. Well I did do good until about May, getting down to about 194, but then it took a turn for the worst, and I am on the north side of 200 at year end. I got to get a better hold on this goal in 2016, because I could tell my running was far better when I was in the low 190s. So this will be a returning goal for 2016!
Well here is to another year of running. Stay tuned soon for what I am planning for 2016!