This time last year I decided it would be fun to run one race a month for a year. I also knew it would get expensive and exhausting. Would I want to spend my Saturdays waking up super early to get to a start line? What if I got injured? I decided to just sign up for a few races then see where it took me. Twelve months have passed and I can’t believe I actually did it. Twelve bib numbers, twelve timing chips, twelve start lines, twelve race fees, twelve post-race bananas later and I actually did it. Here’s a brief recap from my 2013 running journey…
Winter 5K – January 26, 2013
This was the only race I ran that I had to drive to. I was fortunate enough to walk to all the other races. This was also the only race where there was some serious snow and ice on the ground that almost caused me to slip and fall twice. Glad I escaped this one injury-free since it was the first race of the year. On to the next!
500 Training 5K – February 9, 2013
I had signed up for the 500 Festival Mini and I definitely wanted to take advantage of the associated training series. The training series was super cheap. I think I only paid around $36 for the 5K, 10K and 15K combined. I knew if I was doing lots of races this year that I would need to save money in anyway possible. This was the first race of the series. It was also my fastest 5K out of the seven 5Ks I completed this year. I normally run faster when it’s chilly out which is evident from this race. It was definitely still cold in February but there wasn’t as much snow and ice on the ground to trip me up. Whew – 10 more races to go!
500 Training 10K – March 9, 2013
I had never run a 10K before but I knew this would be a perfect distance for me. It was more challenging than a 5K but not as exhausting as a 15K or half marathon. The half marathon was getting closer and I was feeling more confident with every race!
500 Training 15K – April 6, 2013
The 15K was also a new race for me but I figured I could handle it. I remember last year when I ran my first half marathon, my friend told me she had run a 15K to prepare for the half marathon. At the time, I was very impressed that she had already done a 9.3 mile race to prepare. I thought this was about as close as you could get to preparing for the real thing. I told myself at the time that I would try to do the same thing in preparation for my next mini and I’m glad I did. This race definitely showed me I could run another mini with no problem.
500 Festival Mini Marathon – May 4, 2013
Ah, the mini! I love the 500 Festival Mini. It is the largest mini marathon in the states with over 35,000 participants. You are literally surrounded by people the entire time. It is so encouraging to know that you are not the only crazy one spending your Saturday morning in running shoes. This was a great race for me. I felt strong the entire way through and I even cut 20 minutes off my last mini time! The weather was perfect, the course was flat, and I was feeling good! Now it’s time to rest from running before getting back into my races!
IOPO 15K – June 15, 2013
IOPO held a 5K and 15K race on the same day. As a result, the 15K course was not very creative – it was three 5K laps. Super boring. But, the great news was that I made a new running buddy during this race. I was running next to the same person at the exact same pace for a couple miles when I finally introduced myself and told her “we’ve got this!” She turned out to be super sweet and encouraging. We finished the race together and have since kept in touch about upcoming races. I was very lucky to find a running buddy during this race as it was my least favorite race of the year. In addition to the boring course, there were only about 40 people running the 15K so there just wasn’t that running support network that I love seeing in the bigger races. I also believe that running this longer race so soon after the half marathon ended up causing a foot injury. The arch of my foot hurt with every step after this race. I had to essentially hold off on running except for the races themselves until October. Lesson learned for next time…
Firecracker 6 Mile – July 4, 2013
I had heard good things about the Firecracker. I was nervous about doing a longer race with my injured foot but I knew this would be the best race to compete in for July. The race drew lots of participants and the patriotic-vibe was fun and memorable. This was my first holiday-themed race and I loved it. But, my foot started to hurt a bit in the last mile or two. After this race, I decided I needed to either end my race streak or just limit myself to a few slow 5ks until I was able to return to training. Since I had made it to seven months, I really, really wanted to keep going. Thankfully, there was a 5K in August at the very end of the month so I could rest up most of July and August. I decided to keep going despite the stubborn foot!
Indy Women’s 5K – August 31, 2013
This 5K was actually part of a larger women’s half marathon. After having run a half marathon just recently, it was nice showing up knowing I was only doing 3.1 instead of 13.1. This race was my slowest 5K since I hadn’t run much at all since the Firecracker. It was also blazing hot outside. My injured foot took first priority so I was perfectly happy running at a slower pace. Let the 5Ks continue!
Ovarian Cancer 5K – September 28, 2013
Ovarian cancer takes over September in Indianapolis. The city even dyes the downtown canal teal for the month of September to raise awareness of the disease. My foot was finally feeling better and the weather was perfect. There were a ton of survivors running this race which made it even better. You can race for all sorts of reasons and this particular race made me glad to be running against cancer.
Germanfest 5K – October 12, 2013
The costumes were the best at this race. Getting passed in a race typically sucks but it was so awesome when I got passed by grown men wearing head-to-toe Bavarian outfits. Indy’s Germanfest took place after the 5K and it had free admission with a running bib. There was plenty of beer, music, pretzels, and dachshunds running around. I loved the idea of combining a race with a festival held right after.
Monumental 5K – November 2, 2013
That one time when I got to talk to the Kenyan who finished first place in the half marathon. Technically all I said was “good job” and he said “thanks” but that should count as a conversation, right? This race was also memorable for the kids. There were a thousand elementary-age students running the 5K alongside everyone else. So many of them did really well. It’s great to see schools encouraging students to get involved in running at a young age. Some students who weren’t participating showed up to cheer. They were all lined up along the course. High-fiving approximately a hundred kids while in the middle of a run helped me finish strong. Running this race also provided me with a sneak peak into the world of marathoning. I love watching the marathon runners take off knowing I would not see them return for hours. So crazy but it has also encouraged me to sign up for the Monumental Marathon next year. I could always fall back to the half marathon but my goal for now is the marathon!
Jingle Bell 5K – December 15, 2013
Finally! The last race is here. This race was just as cold as my first and there was a little bit of snow on the ground again. I haven’t been running a lot lately since it has been so cold and dark out lately. However, I was still glad to finish this race and accomplish my goal! Twelve races in twelve months! I must’ve been crazy when I decided to do this but it’s a great accomplishment and something I highly recommend trying for any other runners out there in 2014! I look forward to more miles in my future and can’t wait to see where the roads take me.