2009 - Ran my first mile on September 2nd (thank you blogger archives for that date).
2010 - Ran my first 5K in February; joined USAFit in August and ran my first half marathon in November.
2011 - Injured my ankle in January; had surgery on it in October - zero running this year.
2012 - Started from scratch with running again; worked up to running 5Ks in the spring and ran two half marathons in the fall.
2013 - Ran all year; became organizer of our running group, injured hamstring in September, still managed to run our goal race half marathon in December.
As you can see, even though I've technically been running for nearly four and a half years, I've really only had about three years of getting to run. Some years have been super fun, some, not-so-much (2012, I'm looking at you). This last year ended up being really fun, even with the hamstring injury that continues to irritate me both mentally and physically. I think having other stuff to focus on (all the details that go into our long run days, plus looking out for our runners) helped lessen that running/race anxiety that plagued me throughout 2012. So what's next?
Well, body-willing (I sure am ready for this nagging hamstring to shut up already and be completely healed), I'd like to get back to running a few miles without having to walk. Don't get me wrong - I like doing intervals and think they are always going to be a part of my distance running (although I'd like to lengthen the running time of each interval, once I'm injury-free). But I'd also like to do a 5K without walking. Amy and I discussed this during the half marathon, and she's on board - we've set a goal to run the entire Girls Just Want to Have Fun 5K race, which will be on March 22nd. So we've got three months to get there, and we've got a plan, which we'll start this Saturday.
I will also continue to train for another half marathon - this one is in Houston, on January 26th. We are doing this race because the young girl who, along with her mother, trained with us, was not eligible to register for the BCS half marathon (their age limit is 12, and she just turned 11). However, she IS age-eligible for the race in January, so she and her mom, along with Jeff, Amy, myself and a few others from our group will go ahead and run it. It's a USAFit race, so I know it'll be done well.
After that race, I'm going to take it easy on the distance - I think I'll run 4 or 5 miles most Saturdays. I like that distance - I feel like I've done something, but I still have energy left to not laze around the rest of the day. I will run a couple of days during the week, but as I'm a social runner, I need to find some weekly running buddies - I just don't do well with getting out on my own to run by myself.
As far as future racing, unless it's a race that I know will sell out early (like the Girls run), I'm going to wait to register until close to the race day. Why? Well, because I'm tired of racing when it's ridiculously hot...a lot of these 5Ks don't start until 8:00 am, and when the temps are nearing 80 degrees with high humidity, it just makes for a miserable run, and the end result is that I don't feel good about myself or my running when I've endured such a race. So I'm giving myself permission to sit out the hot races. I'm FIFTY (have I mentioned that lately?) and I can do what I want!
I've decided to continue on with being the organizer for our running club, at least for one more season. While I am inherently lazy at heart, and this does take a lot of work starting several months before we do our first official group run, this season went well, and since I know more of what I'm doing, I might as well keep doing it. One cool thing is that Amy is interested in taking over the organizer role when I'm ready to step down, so as organizer-in-training, she gets to go with me to the official USAFit organizer conference in March - we'll be heading to Salt Lake City, Utah, which should be fun, inspiring, and most of all, a nice little getaway.
The tl;dr version (too long; didn't read) is:
- Run a 5K without walking
- Start and finish 2014 with a half marathon (USAFit in January, BCS in December)
- Run 4 - 5 miles on Saturdays during the off season
- Organize USAFit again and train from July - December with the group