December 5, 2014

How do you describe a successful running year?

This topic has been on my mind alot the last couple of weeks.  Both Christine and I had fall marathons that did not live up to our expectations in terms of our results.  Everyone has their own opinion of what is a good race result and many of the blogs we read include A, B and C race goals.  If you meet the A goal, obviously you reached what you considered your maximum race day potential and are celebrating a great run. It is hard to have every race be a "goal" race unless you race just a couple times a year.  Most recreational runners run races periodically throughout the year and some we know run a race every week.

To have a successful year of running, expectations need to be realistic based on your ability and amount of time and effort you put into training.  Each of us has time commitments that can impede a running /training plan.  There are definitely tradeoffs that are made to have a great race. This year, I missed some fun evenings out and you probably did too before a special goal race.

Now how do I access my year of racing?  I'm going to break it down into the highs and lows!



The low: The Marine Corps Marathon was my less than stellar race this year.  To say I was disappointed in myself would be an understatement.  I did not do the proper research ahead of race day to understand the course crowding, and when you are running a huge race like MCM, you need to be prepared.  As one of Tom's coworkers used to say, Proper preparation prevents pi**poor performance.  I missed the boat on this one.  My physical training was great, but the race planning was terrible!

The highs:  Getting a marathon PR at the Dopey Challenge was probably one of the biggest moments of the year for Christine and me.  We had such a blast during that race and to do it together was just fantastic.  My biggest high had to be my race here at home, the Quintiles Marathon where I was paced by a teammate to my Boston Qualifying time.  Megan did a tremendous job and I will be thinking fondly of her next April as I toe the starting line in Hopkinton for my biggest race ever.  One of my favorite races of the year was in Myrtle Beach when I got to return the favor and paced my friend Mitzie to her first half marathon finish.  We had an absolute blast and she ran a great race!

Last of all, this year was a huge success due to many of our running friends and relatives, including many of you who read our blog. While PRs and Age Group awards are wonderful, the experience of running races with a group of friends or relatives is the best feeling of all.

How did your year go?  How do you measure running success?

18 comments:

  1. You had an amazing year Pam! So did Christine! And I did too! I lost 36 pounds this year and ran my first sub 2 half marathon! I'd say that was a success! Here's to a great 2015!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Mindy. You did so well with your weight loss which resulted in much speedier running. Congrats to you!

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  2. A very good question. As someone who races OFTEN, I understand I trade off settings PRs for just the wonderful race experience itself...the people, the places, the courses, the fun. Running with a great group of friends beats a PR any day.

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  3. Good question. No injuries is it for me!!!

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    1. Darlene, I agree....no injuries is really important!

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  4. I think if I qualified for Boston, every other race could actually have BEEN p**s poor and I wouldn't even care! :) With all my knee issues this year, I kept my sights on one thing only, Wine and Dine. Even though it was my worst half ever, the fact that I had two new friends who ran it with me and stuck by my side the whole time - including the last four miles that I had no choice but to walk - made it the best worst race ever. Here's to an amazing 2015 race year for us all!

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    1. Kimberley, I am so happy you were able to enjoy Wine and Dine and yes, here's to a fabulous 2015 year of racing and running!

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  5. Hard to grade this year for me. It was rough pretty much the whole year followed by a monster race where I achieved a goal I had set for the year so what do I make if it? Still figuring it out. I see you had ups and downs as well but a marathon PR? During Dopey?! Wow That in itself is a pretty good year if you ask me.

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    1. Frank I think that if you reach a goal that you set for the year, it has to be considered a fantastic year. But I definitely understand how you feel, as certain races can shake our confidence.

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  6. Both you and Christine had a great year! Its hard to remember that not every race will be what we expect it to be, but as you said, its the experiences that we have and who we get to experience them with that help to make the great memories that will last a lifetime!

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    1. Kathryn, I tell myself it's about the experiences etc, but I still do want to do well at most races. I know it is unrealistic if you have many planned during a short period of time too!

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  7. Qualifying for Boston would probably eclipse any other misgivings I had about my racing season! And a PR during Dopey? Incredible! Congratulations to you both on your successes!!

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    1. Thanks Jamie, I am very happy with my year, but as we try to keep everything open here, I have to admit that my fall race was not so hot. Anyway, onward to Boston and first Princess weekend!

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  8. You both had such a great running year. Congratulations!
    And so much to look forward to in the coming year. Running success is completing each race.. regardless of time, each one is still a victory. Excited to start my journey for 2015. -L

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    1. Lacey, I'm not sure what you have planned for 2015, but hopefully with your new location you can experience some new races!

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  9. It looks like a pretty great year! I feel like success is just being able to keep on going. I've had running years where I've missed races due to illness or injury. Each time I'm able to get out there and finish something I signed up for months before is a win.

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    1. Great attitude Jennifer. It is a huge accomplishment just to complete races. Sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture as we strive for more success in the speed department!

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