The goal in 2011 was to run 12 races in 12 months. I’m happy to report we met our goal! Here’s the recap of the races in 2011:
This race was the morning of New Years Day. It was 4 degrees. I layered like a true Minnesotan and braved the weather to run my 1st race of 2011. This race was so special to me – not only because it was a Charities Challenge race, but runners were encouraged to wear a sign with what they were “hopeful” for. Mine said, “I am hopeful in 2011 to run a half-marathon.” You would not believe how many encouragements and motivational comments I received that day! I’d like to think the support of the other runners carried me to the half marathon in July!
100% Irish For A Day 5k
This was our 2nd cold-weather race of the year, and we were joined by friends and weight-loss bloggers. This race was special because I ran a sub-40:00 5k (my first ever) and actualized my goal to be a runner. I knew I was a “runner” but for some reason, it really sunk in during this race.
Challenge Obesity 5k
This race was another Charities Challenge 5k, and I loved it because it recognized people who have lost a significant amount of weight. Although Jay and I didn’t have any friends or family run this race with us, it was an important cause to support – since we had both lost about 50 lbs at that time. This race was another PB for both of us, and one of my favorites.
Get in Gear 10k
This was my first (and only) 10k and I loved it. Despite the rain. Despite the cold. Despite the uphill at Mile 4. This race was HUGE, but I still got to see Jen and Jen after the race finished. I felt fortunate to run with girls who have been such an inspiration to me during my weight-loss journey. I’m honored to call them friends and I’m so thankful they are in my life!
Mother’s Day 5k
We ran this Charities Challenge 5k with my mom on Mother’s Day. It was so special to run the race with her – and she even set a PR that morning! We were joined by my friend Lisa and her parents. Coach Gary made sure to give special attention to the moms – he even passed out flowers to each mother as she finished the race. I loved doing this 5k with my mom because she has been one of my biggest supporters during my journey.
Challenge Hearts & Minds 5k
This race, otherwise known as the #PriorFatPack or #Fat2FitPack race was the largest race of the year. Not by race participants, but by people I knew who finished. We had a group of weight-loss bloggers who met the night before for a pot-luck and finished this race together. For some of them, it was their 1st 5k. I’ve never cheered more or felt more pride and love for other race participants as I did for this Charities Challenge 5k.
Red White & Boom Half Marathon
This was The Race of the year. Jay and I planned most of our races around training for and finishing the half-marathon. It didn’t go as planned, but we finished and earned our metals. Our friend Jason also completed the half-marathon. This race was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve never been so proud of finishing a race, as I was for the half-marathon.
Shooting Star Trail Ride
Okay, okay. So this technically was not a race, rather, an “organized bike ride”, but I rode 40 miles with a specific route, a start, a finish, food, drinks, stops along the way, and a t-shirt…. so I’m calling it a race. Plus, it was crazy-hard. I rode with Jay, my mom, and Lori. It was just a few weeks after Jay’s bike accident (click to link) and simply finishing the 40-mile ride was a HUGE accomplishment! Plus, I totally realized my love for riding a road-bike.
Ragnar Relay – Great River
My co-worker convinced me to sign up for the Ragnar Relay. I had no idea what to expect, and unless you’ve done a Ragnar Relay, the explanations don’t do it justice. You run on a team of 12 runners, each running 3 legs of a 200-mile race, for the duration of about 24-32 hours. It was B-AN-AN-AS. By far, one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I loved the team I was on and finished this race with not only the experience of doing it, but new running friends.
I ran this race less than a week after finishing Ragnar Relay. That was kinda stupid. My body HATED me for a good few days. But this race was a special occasion – it was on a weeknight, through downtown Minneapolis. There were thousands of people, and I was joined by Jay and my good friend Lisa. It wasn’t my strongest race, time-wise, but it was definitely an experience to run a night race through downtown.
It was most important for me to do this Charities Challenge 5k in 2011,because it was the 1st race I ran in 2010. This race was full of lessons learned – mostly don’t start off too fast. And despite not being pleased with my performance (mentally and physically – it was SO HARD), I was proud of finishing and loved being able to run this race 2 years in a row.
This race was fun. There were a handful of friends and weight-loss bloggers who finished the Charities Challenge Thanksgiving 5k with us. I can honestly say, this is the very first race I’ve ever truly enjoyed doing. I loved the atmosphere, the people, Coach Gary and the volunteers and I had a really, really good time. I also think I was relieved to finish my goal of 12 races in 12 months without having to run in freezing cold and/or snow.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past year, with races, weight-loss ups and downs, and moving forward in my journey. I am still struggling with emotional eating and making healthy choices. But I’m at a completely different place than I was last year at this time.
I’m filled with so much pride and accomplishment for finishing the goal of 12 races in 12 months – 5ks, 10k, half-marathon, 40-mile bike ride, and Ragnar Relay. Each race taught me something new, and whether I was running the race by myself, with Jay, or in a large group of people – I can confidently say I did the very best I could do.