Saturday, November 26, 2011

2011 Year in Review: Races, Places and People

2011 was my first full year of doing races as a runner. I did several races in 2010, but in 2011, I really started to run races frequently: 19 races in total. Here's the good, bad, and ugly of my race year.

2011 Race Records:

5K Races (6)

Snowman Shuffle 1/18/11 25:24
SIU Run From the Law 3/27/11 24:36
Nutrition 5K 4/9/11 26:47
Grace Race 11 6/3/11 28:52
iRun Homecoming 10/15/11 26:56
Women Together 11/12/11 26:04

Two Mile Races

Grand Avenue
Pumpkin Run 10/30/11 16:17

10K Races

Southern IL 10K 4/2/11 57:33
For Kids' Sake 9/24/11 55:54
SIUC Army 10K 10/29/11 54:03

10 Mile Races

Great River Road
Run 11/26/11 1:34:35

Half Marathons

Fly with the Eagles 2/12/11 2:09:58
YMCA CMT 5/22/11 2:04:56
Madison WI Half 5/29/11 2:08:56
Paducah Iron Mom 6/18/11 2:12:11
Bearcat McKendree 9/10/11 2:10:45*
City of Roses 9/18/11 2:10:25
Evansville Half 10/9/11 2:06:36
STL Track Club 11/6/11 2:04:14

*race was 13.25 miles rather than standard 13.1 half length

Favorite Race(s): St. Louis Track Club, Evansville Half, Great River Road Run
Least Favorite: Reveal Turkey Trot (the 15K I didn't finish due to getting lost on course)
Hardest Races: Bearcat McKendree, City of Roses--aka halfs with hills
Race with Finish Time I Still Don't Believe I Accomplished: SIU Run from the Law (was the course short?)
Most Fun Race: Madison Half (Madison is a great town to run in and a great place to eat! Viva cheese!)

Many thanks must go to my lovely husband Jon, who is not a runner and has not asked for a divorce in the wake of all these races and the hours I spend on training runs. I do not drive, so Jon has sacrificed to get me to races, has taken my finish line photos, has listened to me as I try on new words like "gel" and "chip time."

Also want to give props to my friends on Daily Mile--total strangers who have decided to invest in the athletic lives of other total strangers. It is so nice to post an average day's run and have folks give me compliments about getting it done. Folks on DM are often much kinder to my running self than I am.

Speaking of a running self, it's taken a while to develop one. But I've gone from "Oh, I'm not a runner, I just do the treadmill for cardio," to "Well, I've done some 5Ks, but I'd never do a half marathon," to a woman who has done 8 half marathons. I've learned to stretch myself, to go beyond what I thought I was capable of and love that I can do that, to listen to my body (and not my mind, which can be much lazier), and to take the advice I hear and read and decide which of it works for me. I read Runner's World, Running Times, Women's Running and practically all the fitness magazines (Health, Prevention, Shape, Women's Health, Fitness). They all have great advice, but not all of it appeals to me or works for me. I've learned to take what I need and leave the rest behind.

In 2012, I hope to continue to run safely and without injury. I haven't had any significant injuries. My worst problem is a really messed up toenail on my right foot (what color is that?!?). I think I've been lucky regarding injuries, but I also am not fast. I always conjecture that my lack of speed makes me more durable!

Will I ever do a full marathon? I don't know. I feel like I've accomplished plenty without doing one. I have yet to do a training run over 13.1 miles. My current goal isn't really to do a marathon; it's to do a single run of 14 miles or longer. My other goal is to do 13 half marathons before I even think about 26.2. I'm very much satisfied doing half marathon races, and don't think of myself as half a runner under any circumstances.


  1. Great year as a runner Allison! It is a real pleasure following your training!

  2. You are such an inspiration, Allison! I'm 41, just began distance running 2 years ago. I'm doing my first race-- a half marathon-- in May, and I've joined a Ragnar Relay team for Minnesota in August. Our new Ragnar team blog has links to Runner's World, Running Ahead, and this... your blog. Thanks for chronicling your adventures. Happy running and writing to you!