My running in 2017 wasn’t quite as impressive as my Year of Running, 2016 (no half-marathon every month), but I did do seven half-marathons including one preceded a day earlier by a 5K and 10K, and achieve two long-desired PRs! Read on for my Year of Running, 2017! (You can also read my Year of Running, 2015.)
Best Race Experience
This is a tough one, but I’m going to have to go with the Disneyland Paris half-marathon. This is the only Disney half I’ve ever done where we spent a majority of the race on Disney property that isn’t just roads. The first 5+ miles were in the parks, then we went out in the lovely French countryside for about 5 miles, then back in the parks for the final 3 miles. This was also my first international race, and it was a fun experience to have the race morning hype squad speak another language, have distances marked in kilometers, and have everyone cheering me on with cries of, “Allez! Allez!”
Runners-up: Runner’s World Festival in Bethlehem, PA in October; Disneyland Avengers/Superheroes half-marathon
Either the Gasparilla half in Tampa, FL in February, or the Winter Beach Run in Jacksonville Beach, FL in January. During Gasparilla I felt great and kept my pace for the first ten miles! …And then we turned around and it was like we were in a wind tunnel. According to my GPS watch I was able to walk nearly as fast as I was able to run, so I switched to that rather than expending all the energy to run and not go much faster. In the end I still finished with my then-third fastest time. During the Winter Beach Run I managed to hit a long-awaited time goal: five miles under 55 minutes!
Best New Piece of Gear
I didn’t get much new gear this year, but I think I have to go with my Skirt Sports Vixen Skirt in black. It inspired my Disney World Star Wars: Dark Side half-marathon femVader costume and also worked great for my Scarlet Witch costume for the Disneyland Superheroes Half-marathon. It has two huge pockets so no race belt is necessary, has mesh shorts (better in hot weather) that don’t budge – and it looks awesome!
Best Piece of Running Advice You Received
“Everyone has a bad race. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad runner.” Now, I am certainly not a good runner, but just because I have a bad race doesn’t mean I should feel like a failure. I was at a definite low in October after having an absolutely awful Marine Corps Half-Marathon. What once was my PR for fastest half is as of that day also my PR for slowest half. (Not counting Disney races, where I only aim to PR in fun.) Others I know also had bad races that day, but they’re fast, so for them I knew it was a fluke. I began trying to convince myself that I need to be OK with never getting faster in my half-marathon. A week after that I went to the Runner’s World Festival in Bethlehem, PA. I had a weekend with a bunch of encouraging internet runner friends from the Sub-30 Club. I ran a 5K and 10K on Saturday and then a half-marathon on Sunday in hilly eastern PA… and I finished about 15 minutes faster than I had the Marine Corps half the week before. I had a bad race; I am not a bad runner.
Most Inspirational Runner
I’m going to go with fellow Subber, parrot head, and Route 91 survivor, Sandra. Her life got very scary when during that music festival in Las Vegas with friends, a lunatic opened fire on the crowd. She understandably stopped running and worked on recovering. She was going to not run much at RWF because she wasn’t up to it, but after running the 5K with a Jimmy Buffett-themed Sub-30 group, she also went on to rock the 10K she had been unsure of. She is getting her groove back, training like the awesome person she is, and not letting PTSD and other painful things keep her down. You rock, Sandra!
Getting to do both Disney’s Castle to Chateau and Coast to Coast Challenges was pretty amazing. I also hit sub-55 in a 5-miler and finally went sub-2 in a 15K!
Favorite Picture From a Run or Race This Year
All the pics already in this post, plus these. L-R: Running a Hula Hustle dressed as Moana with my friend dressed as Lilo; Running the first part of the RWF 10K with a big group of Subbers; Finishing the Winter Beach Run 5-miler knowing I made my time goal. I also love this one because that shirt makes me happy.
Race Experience You Would Repeat in A Heartbeat
There are several, but this year it’s far and away Disneyland Paris.
I’ve run half-marathons in:
2015: Tennessee, Florida, Connecticut
2016: Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, California, Hawaii
2017: Pennsylvania, France
If you could sum up your running year in one word, what would it be?
Running Goals for 2018
- Sub-2:40 half (I got SO CLOSE at Best Damn Race Jacksonville this month! 2:40:56! At least it was a PR!)
- Sub-1:50 Gate River Run 15K (this will happen if the weather cooperates)
- Sub-32 5K
- Do at least eight half-marathons
- Check off half-marathons in at least two more states
- Maybe do a 25K?