Sunday, January 10, 2016

Two 5k's to start off 2016

By now you have probably heard of the Run The Year 2016 challenge where you run 2,016 miles either as an individual runner or by splitting the total mileage as a team.  In 2015, I signed up for the challenge as a team and I was nowhere near my half mileage of 1,007.5 miles.  Nowhere near!  I only completed two half marathons and a few 5k's last year compared to 2014 when I completed 14 half marathons and quite a few 5k's and races of other distances.  But last year I battled plantar fasciitis on and off, which completely destroyed my confidence.  I loved my training experience with Fleet Feet, but my heart just was not in it!  So here we go....a new year, a new start.  Another chance and the motivation by way of a challenge, to continue running throughout 2016 and not fail a second year.  So this year, I *only* have to run 1,008 miles by December 31st.  Doable, right?  I hope so, especially since so many runners complete the challenge SOLO.

So to start the New Year off right, I ran the Commitment Day 5K in Ellisville, MO on January 1st.  The race started and ended at Lifetime Fitness, which sponsors the race at various locations across the country.  I was so self-conscious about my time (since I had not run in more weeks than I want to admit), that I removed the timing strip from the back of my bib.  I didn't care about my time, I just wanted to feel that excitement when I crossed the finish line.  I really enjoyed this race.  Why you ask?
  1. The race didn't start until 10 a.m., giving you time to sleep in a bit.
  2. Plenty of parking.
  3. FREE access to Lifetime Fitness for the day.  This gym was incredible!  I even work part-time at another local gym and I was very impressed.
  4. Nice short-sleeved race shirt.
  5. Pre-race group stretch and warm-up session.
  6. Post-race coffee, water, bananas, protein bars, AND fresh waffles!
On Saturday, I was sore.  I hate admitting that after only 3.1 miles, but it is the truth.  I needed that wake-up call.  My parents came in town for an overnight visit and so that my step-dad and I could run the Way of Lights 5K in Belleville, IL.  This is a night run through the Christmas lights at Our Lady of the Snows.  I left my timing chip on my bib this time, and although my time was slow, I see it as a starting point and just hope that I don't get any slower this year!  The race was fun, unique, and well-attended.  So well-attended that they ran out of bananas by the time I finished and my step-dad took one of the last bottles of water when he finished.  You could pay for one of several post-race buffet options, but I was not interested in paying for post-race food having been spoiled by the Commitment Day 5K food the day prior.
Race shirt
Post-Race food for purchase
Running through the lights

On the drive home, my step-dad and I agreed that while the race was fun, we likely would not make it a yearly event.  

Last Sunday, I remembered that I was running after work on Monday with a co-worker.  I thought, we not run Sunday too so that I can say that I ran four days in a row after so many weeks off?  Well that running streak has now continued 10 days.  I have ran (meaning walk-run in intervals) at least a mile every day and so has my Run the Year 2016 partner.  Hopefully we can keep this streak going for a while.

Happy New Year!