Looking Back to Go Forward

Hey there! Happy Hump Day!

I’ve finally gotten around to looking back at 2013, and it was definitely my first season of really learning about my own personal running habits.  Since I’m pretty new to running, I spent 2011 and 2012 simply learning how to run, where to run, etc.  2013 was much more about learning my running preferences in terms of fuel, training, and company.  Here’s what I learned:

Date Race Time / Distance Pace Observations
2-24-13 Princess Half Marathon 2:17:30 / 13.1mi 10:29/m My first Half.  Longest training run 10 miles.  Trained through snow, yuck!  Chaffed with bad shorts/skirt.
5-26-13 Calgary Marathon 5k 31:47 / 3.1mi 10:15/m Too much time off.  Ran casually with a friend.  Let her run ahead the last mile because I was dying.
6-8-13 Betty’s ALS 5-Miler 51:43 / 5.0mi 10:20/m Tough, but alright considering lack of conditioning.  Arms chaffed on vest seams.
7-6-13 Stampede Road Race 1:06:27 / 6.2mi 10:43/m Start of knee/ITB injury.  Hadn’t been training, and paid the price.
7-27-13 Shoppers Run for Women 1:17:25 / 6.2mi 12:29/m Ran 30s/Walk 2mins due to knee pain.  Never want to race like this again.  Arms chaffed with bad t-shirt.
9-7-13 Run for Water 1:04:30 / 6.2mi 10:24/m Rainy and cool.  Dressed properly though!  Felt like I was dragging my partner.
9-28-13 Melissa’s Road Race 1:03:01 / 6.2mi 10:09/m Ran alone.  Not properly trained or fed.  Couldn’t manage hills and felt weak.
10-5-13 Harvest Half 2:38:47 / 13.1mi 12:07/m Properly fed and dressed.  Loved my race fuel.  Felt really healthy during/after this race.  Could have finished faster but was pacing a partner.
10-13-13 Thanksgiving Memory Run 1:02:29 / 6.2mi 10:04/m Ran with my dad.  A little under the weather.  Took a gel around 7k.
10-26-13 Halloween Howl Untimed / 3.1mi Ran with Lisa, so much fun!
12-7-13 Santa Shuffle Untimed / 3.1mi Ran alone, was SO very cold!

The Thanksgiving race as well as Melissa’s Road Race were my two best paces – one alone, and one supported by my dad.  I think that needs to carry through to next year.  The vast majority of these races I ran with a partner when I am used to racing alone…and I run better that way.  When running with someone else (except dad and Lisa, who are faster than me and become my pace bunnies!), I changed my own run to match their pace and their strategy…and that just doesn’t work for me.  Much as I love training with others, racing is a different story, and honestly none of these races met my competitive expectations this year.  I didn’t PR once.  Granted, I was working through a pretty brutal injury from July – November, but it was a disappointing year.  But, at least I learned some things about food and clothing that I do and don’t like, and limitations I need to set for myself and my running friendships.

Looking ahead to 2014, I got really excited about maybe doing 14 races, or trying to qualify for Half Fanatics, or doing a trail race series….  But I have come to realize that last year’s “ambitious” schedule of 10 races kind of took the fun out of running for me.  One of my favourite things about running is being competitive: butterflies at the start line, and charging through the last 400m.  And I didn’t really get any of that this year.  Racing wasn’t racing anymore; it was “just another weekend.”  Races weren’t races, they were just training runs and social opportunities.  And honestly, that’s not good enough for me.  I hate that I did that to myself.  So in 2014, it’s about quality over quantity.  Ample spacing between races, and every race is an opportunity for a PR, not “just another run.”  Here’s the tentative plan:

– Calgary Marathon 10k, June 1st.  This isn’t a particularly fast course but, being the 50th anniversary of the race, if you do PR you get to bang a gong at the end! How cool is that?!  Also, in honour of their anniversary, they are requesting retro running themed outfits, and we all know that running in costume is right up my alley.

– Queen City Marathon Half, September 7th.  I don’t think there could BE a more fast or flat course than this one.  It will be really nice to run at home, and a big PR opportunity awaits.

– Melissa’s Road Race 10k, September 27th.  I love the challenge of conquering this mountain.  In 2012, I did a pretty good job at 1:01:42.  In 2013, I utterly failed, even at 1:03:01.  It wasn’t even about the failure in time; that race just felt HORRIBLE.  It’s my personal challenge to get this race under one hour.

– Nike Women’s Run San Francisco Half, October.  Lisa and I are committed to trying for this race this year as a fun destination run.  We know that it won’t be a PR, given the crazy hilly course, but it would be great to just go together and finish off my competitive year.

Hope you’re having a great week, and I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Any really awesome races that I’m missing out on?  I think I could justify something in July/August to keep my training up….

xoox
Princess Lindsey

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9 thoughts on “Looking Back to Go Forward

  1. OMG! I’m so jelly!!!! I’m new to running too, I just started last summer. I’m really looking forward to the Spartan trifecta, Color Me Rad and a Pineapple Fun Run this year. Too bad that they don’t have many of those fun races here in Montreal 😦
    Oh, and congratulations on your accomplishments so far! It’s amazing how much you’ve improved your pace!

    xoxo
    Olena

    • Hey! Welcome to the online running community! You really don’t have that many options in Montreal? We’ve had all of those races in Calgary this year, although I didn’t participate in any of them. The sporty challenges like that are gaining popularity though, so I’m sure you will find some in your area soon. Congrats on starting to run, and good luck this season! ~ L

  2. I’d say you picked some great races! If you ever want to hit the west coast the BMO Vancouver Half (May) and Scotiabank half (June) are really fast courses. I really want to run Calgary this year too, it looks fun!

  3. Disney Princess is going to be my first half marathon too! I’m also going to have my longest training run be 10 miles. Did you think that was okay for race day or do you wish you had run farther? It sounds like you had an awesome year! Good luck with your 2014 races!

    • You know, with it being my first, I felt that 10 was sufficient. Plus it was chappy and snowy here and I hate training indoors, so I otherwise might have done more, but that’s just the way it worked out. That said, my splits were interesting. I took a huge dive down to almost 11 mons per mile at mile 10, and then back up to 9:33 or something like that at miles 12 and 13. Lost my goal time of 2:15 because of that, and starting a bit too slow. What corral are you starting in, or what’s your goal finish?

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