Top 13 Runs of 2013

Well, since everybody’s doing it, I guess a recap of 2013 running is due. In all seriousness, it was nice to look back and reflect on my training and races from this past year. 2013 was my first full year of running, and I totally exceeded my expectations. I ran more races and longer distances than I thought I’d be able to. I stepped out of my comfort zone several times by signing up for various races, and they all paid off. I want to keep that going in 2014.

So, here are my top 13 runs of the year. Lots of them are races because those are often the most memorable, but I realized I have some fun runs and training runs that stick out in my mind for 2013 too.

Las Vegas Half Marathon with Team Challenge: This race stands out for more than just running the Las Vegas strip at night. I got to run with people from across the country representing Team Challenge and raise awareness for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Documenting my training and fundraising for this race was the whole reason I started this blog. I met great people and really learned to open up about my ulcerative colitis.

Minnesota/Dakotas Team!
Minnesota/Dakotas Team!

Monster Dash Half: This was my very first half marathon, and it fell on my birthday. I was really happy with my performance in this race.

MD finiser

Big Ten 10K in Chicago: Hyedi and I ran (and ate) our way through Chicago this summer and it was awesome! We’re already plotting our next destination race.

Me and Goldy at Big Ten 10K
Me and Goldy at Big Ten 10K

Myrtle Beach: I traveled to Myrtle Beach with my family over the summer and got to do some runs on the beach. I was training for Ragnar Relay and half marathons. If you’re gonna be training, you might as well do it somewhere beautiful!

Morning run on the beach
Morning run on the beach

Ragnar (Leg 3): I ran 3 legs for our Ragnar Relay, but my third leg stands out to me. It was my longest leg (6.7 miles), I was running on a couple hours of sleep, and it was hot in the middle of the afternoon in August. But, even with all of that, I felt great the entire way. I ran faster than I expected (and faster than my team expected). Great way to end my first relay race!

After Ragnar Relay 2013
After Ragnar Relay 2013

10 mile milestone run: I did a 10 mile training run around a couple of the Minneapolis Lakes as training for my half marathons, and this one stands out because it was one of those running milestones where I ran farther than I had ever run. On top of that, it was a gorgeous day to be running around the lakes!

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Lake Nokomis runs (and Sandcastle for dinner after): I fell in love with running around this lake over the summer. I loved all of training and fun runs I did there. Having a super yummy restaurant there made it a great place to meet up with friends for a run and some food.

Post run dinner by the lake
Post run dinner by the lake

Turkey trot: I did a 5 mile turkey trot on Thanksgiving. It was just a couple weeks after the Las Vegas half, but I felt great and ran a bit faster than I thought I’d be able to. Plus, we got pie!

Who needs a medal when there's pie?!
Who needs a medal when there’s pie?!

Run @ Work 5K: I PR’d! And that made it very memorable 🙂

Finish line!
Finish line!

Goldy’s 10 mile: It was literally last New Year’s Eve that I registered for this race. At the time, I hadn’t run anything longer than a 5K, so 10 miles was a huge step for me. Signing up for this race was a New Year’s resolution to myself to make sure I kept up with running during the winter, and it totally worked! I ran a great race, had so much fun, and gained a lot of confidence. And now, I’m coming full circle and have once again registered for Goldy’s 10 mile on New Year’s Eve. Bring it on!

Finished on 50 yard line
Finished on 50 yard line

Get in Gear 10K: This race was just 2 weeks after Goldy’s 10 mile, so I wasn’t sure how it would go. I started out and felt great. Apparently the 10 mile training did wonders for my 10K because I finished in 1:00:04 and was not expecting that at all! That’s still my current 10K PR, but I’ll be back for the 2014 Get in Gear and hope to break that 1 hour mark.

8 mile training run on Summit: This was a chilly Sunday morning training run with my Team Challenge group, but it was a new location for me to run. Summit is a street in St. Paul. It’s got a slight hill that starts around mile 21 of the Twin Cities marathon, so it has a bit of a reputation. It’s not a super steep, but I imagine any incline at that point in a marathon is not pleasant. The street is also lined by beautiful houses, so I was excited to run in this iconic area of the city.

Summit Brewery Beer Run 5K: I took this race really easy because it was the day after my 5K PR. I ran with some friends and it was a gorgeous day for a leisurely 5K. Plus, it ended with beer and bagels, so who can complain?!

Beer and bagels - breakfast of champions ;)
Beer and bagels – breakfast of champions 😉

I’m so excited for all of the races I have planned for 2014 and hope you’ll continue to join me on this fun run we call life! Happy New Year!

What are you doing New Year’s Eve? Any New Year’s resolutions involving running?

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