2011 Races

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:

Hopeful 5k
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!

A

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.

B

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.

C

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!

D

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.

E

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.

F

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.

G

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.

H

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

Torchlight 5k
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.

J

Fearless 5k
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.

K

Thanksgiving 5k
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.

L

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.

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