2016 was a year of many accomplishments and improvement for me. When the year started there was no way anyone could tell me everything that I would accomplish in 365 days. My year was centered around training for the Chicago Marathon and beating my time from my previous marathon, but before I could get to Chicago I had plenty of races in between. I finished with 16 races for the year and below i will do a small recap on a few of my favorites.
Tobacco Road Half Marathon(March 2016). This was my first race of the year and also my first time ever running Tobacco Road. It’s reputation was that many people hit their BQ there because it is flat. I decided to give the half a try and see if I could PR my half marathon time. I honestly did not like the half marathon at all. I am a people person and I get motivated by the crowds of people, and this race you didn’t get that. 10 of the 13 miles was through trails and there was nothing there but trees and other runners. I came up 4 minutes short of my PR, but still finished under 2 hours.
Rock and Roll Raleigh(Aprl 2016). My third race of the year and only Rock and Roll series I would complete in 2016. I have run Raleigh every year since it began so it has become a staple run for me. Raleigh hills are always challenging so this is not a favorite race by many locals, but lots of out of towners come run it. It was unusually cold for April, at race start it was in the 30s. Oddly enough I ran faster than i did at Tobacco Road the previous month and only missed my PR by 1 minute 30 seconds.
Flying Pirate Half Marathon(Aprl 2016) i called the month of April the Gauntlet because I had races every weekend of the month. I traveled to the outer banks for the Flying Pirate the week after Rock and Roll. It was my first time running in the outer banks and I admit it was fun. I did the challenge where you run a 5k Saturday and then the half marathon on Sunday. I not only performed well in both races but i met someone that would become a dear friend of mine. I ended up pacing my new friend to a 9 minute PR in her half marathon.
Raleigh 13.1(Midtown). Somehow i got talked into doing a half marathon in the month of June by my running partner. I don’t think that will ever happen again. That was probably the hottest race I have ever been a part of. By race in i was completely drenched in sweat and my clothes were heavy. Temperatures got into the 90s before the race was over. No wear near my PR but i still finished in 2 hours. A lot of people were not as fortunate.
Holden Beach Half Marathon(September 2016) My last tuneup race before the Chicago Marathon, we headed to the beach. This race started off great, but on the turn around we were running directly into the sun. You could see the weight of the sun affecting the runners, along with the fact that the traffic was not stopped for the runners. So not only were we dealing with the sun but we are dodging traffic as we ran. Another very hot race that i was happy to finish in 2 hours.
Chicago Marathon(October 2016) Finally, what i had trained all year for was upon me. I traveled to Chicago to take on the Chicago Marathon. I had to redeem myself and anything less than my PR I would have considered a failure. I wrote 25 family and friends names on my arm for motivation, dedicated a mile to each of them. Through the streets of Chicago we ran, passing retirement homes where the residents were waving from their windows, pass streets with elvis impersonators. All the spectators were so supportive and it paid off. I crossed the finish line in 4 hours 17 minutes, beating my previous PR by an astounding 45 minutes. I couldn’t have been more proud of myself. All the training, sacrifice and hours paid off.
Tuna 200 Relay(October 2016). I ran my first relay race. We had a team of 12 runners that ran from Garner, NC to Atlantic Beach. It was my first relay and i really enjoyed it. Running through the night and getting to see all the back roads of the state. I made plenty of new friends. We celebrated with drinks of the beach and grilled Tuna
Richmond Half Marathon(November 2016) My last half marathon of the year and i went out with a bang. I ran the streets and trails of Richmond virginia, finally crushing my half marathon PR by 5 minutes. I particularly loved this race because the last mile was straight downhill.. You can’t beat that.
2016 saw me beat my PRs in all the of the big 3 distances (5k, half marathon, full marathon)
Jingle Bell 5k: New PR 22:06 (Previous 23:55)
Richmond Half Marathon: New PR 1:43:06 (Previous 1:48:35)
Chicago Marathon: New PR 4:17 (Previous 5:02)
Tobacco Road Half Marathon : 1:52:04
Not So Normal 12k: 48:56
Rock and Roll Raleigh 5k: 24:35
Rock and Roll Raleigh Half Marathon: 1:49:19
Flying Pirate 5k: 23:31
Flying Pirate Half Marathon: 1:51:06
Tar Heel 10-Miler: 1:26:49
Race 13.1 Raleigh: 2:08:58
Susan K Komen 5k: 23:31
Holden Beach Half Marathon: 2:00:30
Bank of America Chicago Marathon: 4:17:37
Richmond Half Marathon: 1:43:06
Ridgewood Turkey Trot: 37:49
Jingle Bell Run 5k: 22:06
Reindeer Dash for Cash 10 Miler: 1:16:23