Top Ten Running Moments of 2017

2017 was another great year for running. I am not sure if any year will top 2016 – running my first marathon and meeting some amazing running friends is very hard to beat! But this was still an awesome year. Check out my recap! They aren’t listed in any particular order, just as they came to mind. :)

The Sub 30 5k // I have had a goal to run a sub 30 5k for a long time, and honestly never thought it would be possible. And even more honestly I don’t know if it will ever be possible again! I chose to run a race I had not planned on running with one of my best friends who was also looking to run her first sub 30 5k. We had both gotten so close, but had some serious time to shave off. We knew the course at the Elsie Dairy Dash was flat as flat can be, and the weather was looking perfect for a sub 30 5k to become a reality for us. We pushed each other without really saying anything – we both looked at each other and thought, “She’s still going, I’m going to keep going, but I really want to walk, but she’s still running so I gotta keep running!” So many of our friends were there to cheer us on and we did it! We felt like puking, but we did it. She went on to get another sub 30 5k not long after that and I couldn’t be prouder of her.

The Toughest Race of the Year // This spring I focused my training on running my first ever 25k. I had had several PRs leading up to the River Bank Run 25k race, and I was feeling really good about my training. The night before the race my friend Crissy was stressing out since her training had not been as good. She was really afraid of getting hurt or not finishing and was considering dropping down to a difference distance. I told her I would run with her, no matter what, I’d stick with her and finish the race with her, as long as she was okay with doing my run/walk intervals. The race started off stressful – she lost me and was tearful when we finally reunited. After that it was good for a while; Crissy really liked the run/walk intervals! But then her stomach started acting up and from mile 6 and on it was a struggle. I tried my best to stay strong for her and keep her going, pushing her until the very end. Mentally it was a tough race for me. When we saw that finish line, we were overjoyed! I grabbed her hand and she raced me to the finish – crazy girl! It was a hard day, and even harder to not get a finish time, but in the end we both know how hard we pushed and that we crossed that dang finish line, dragging each other along!

My Hubby’s First Age Group Award // My husband has always been my number one supporter, and this year he took it a step further and started running with me! We ran his first official 5k in February, just a couple weeks after he had walked an 8k with his friend. At the time we were doing the Focus T25 workouts and he was getting healthier and stronger. He ran the race with my friend Jenny, doing run/walk intervals, and ended up doing great! Super great, in fact, because he ended up winning his age group! I was so surprised when I heard them call his name and sent him a picture (he was in the car) with me holding his medal – “Hey, you won this!” He is definitely motivated by bling, so this helped push him further.

My First Age Group Award // Similar to my hubby, I was not expecting to win  my first age group award at the Freeze Your Fanny 5k. I normally skip the awards ceremony and head out early to breakfast, but this year my friends and I stuck around to see who won. They announced the first place in my age group, and then started saying the time of second place, and I thought, “Hey… that was my time…” and then heard my name and I squealed! In fact, I was so excited that I dropped and knocked over my post-race Coke and spilled it all over! It was definitely unexpected but really exciting to actually place in my age group.

My First Triathlon // On Black Friday 2016, 3 Disciplines announced their race scheduled for 2017. I had been entertaining the idea of doing a triathlon for several years and had my eye out for the Sanford and Sun triathlon. It just so happened that the race would fall on my 30th birthday (normally it is the first weekend in August) and I felt like it was fate, so I went for it – I signed up for my first triathlon. Training was less than ideal… I didn’t love swimming the way that I once had… but I still did it. I had a great group of friends come out to cheer me on, which was amazing, and my amazing friend and supervisor Maggie treated me to the Purple treatment after the race. It was such an amazing accomplishment – something I am so glad that I did – although I don’t know if I will do another one. I am so glad to have crossed it off my bucket list!

Nikki’s First Half Marathon // As I am sure many of you have read, my training and my race in Detroit did not go as I had planned. But I wouldn’t change it for anything! A few weeks before the race I reached out to my friend Nikki, who I knew was running her first half marathon at Detroit. I asked if she would mind if I ran the first half with her – hoping that I could push her to keep going and that she would keep me from pushing too hard in the beginning. Thanks to the lovely weather of this stinkin’ weekend, Nikki was suffering a bit – it was a tough race. But we stayed together and kept putting one foot in front of the other. We had to split up before the finish for me to continue on to the second half and for her to cross the finish line of the first half. I love the picture that we took right at the split and her hug is what fired me up to start the second half of my marathon! Running a half marathon together will bring you closer to someone than you expect, and I am so glad I was able to be a part of Nikki’s first half!

Catching the 6:30 Pacer in Detroit // I took off fast after I left Nikki at the halfway point. I really wanted to push for a 6 hour marathon, or at least a PR. The weather as I mentioned before was less than ideal. It had started to rain, which like the year before was actually welcome since it was so humid. The crazy winds, however, were not so welcome. As I made my way to Belle Isle, it felt like I might get blown off the course! I was putting my head down so that my hat would not fly off my head. Not long after I made it onto the island, I saw a runner with a sign ahead of me. I wondered what pacer that was, thinking maybe it was a pacer for the U.S. Only half marathon. As I got closer, I realized it was the 6:30 marathon pacer. And I realized that if I caught up to her, I would definitely be getting a PR (because I had started in the corral 2 minutes behind her)… and that if I passed her, I might even have a chance at my 6 hour marathon. The rush that I got realizing this pushed me through the rest of that marathon – the hardest part of the marathon – the last 6.2 miles.

The Sub 2 Hour Crim // Leading up to the Crim I was marathon training and not at all expecting to or really wanting to do anything spectacular at the Crim. My first Crim I had finished in just over 2 hours, and my second Crim I had done for fun and came in at about 2.5 hours. I wasn’t sure what I was capable of, based on my long runs being pretty crappy around that time, but in the back of my mind I wondered… could I do a sub 2 hour Crim? I ran with two of my best running friends, and we did run/walk intervals. We had such a fun time! We were cracking jokes left and right and it made those miles fly by. By the time we had reached the golf course I realized that my dream of a sub 2 hour Crim was definitely a possibility. We ran hard to the finish and made it happen! It was one of the best races of the year, for sure.

The 8k PR with my Sister from Another Mister // Winterlaufe was a bittersweet race for me, but in the interest of staying positive I will focus on the sweet part. Winterlaufe has been one of my favorite races since the first time I ran it. The night before my first 8k I expressed to my followers on Facebook that I was very nervous. My friend told me not to worry, there were a couple of hills, but I’d be okay. Well, for anyone who hasn’t run Winterlaufe there are more than just a couple of hills… the whole course is full of hills! Not only that, but it is winter. Hence the name. 5 miles of hills and potentially freezing temperatures! In 2017 I set out to run the race in under an hour, and my friend Christine offered to help me accomplish that. I was very flattered since she is a faster runner than I am. This was also when people started to notice how much her and I look alike, eventually leading us to call each other “sisters from another mister!” Race day did not disappoint with temps in the single digits, but luckily we dressed well. Even the snowy/icy part of the race down Beyer Rd. did not slow us up too badly. Since it is an out and back course, we got to see our friends on course, including my hubby and his friend Mark who were doing their first ever 8k! On the way back to the finish we saw a familiar face coming to meet us – our running friend Ed had come back to help push me to my PR! I ended up finishing the race in under an hour at 55:52.

My First Pub Run with FSARC // Last, but certainly not least, was my first Pub Run with FSARC. On December 1st, a group of runners from our local running club got together to run from bar to bar in Saginaw, with some adult beverages to fuel our way. We all dressed festively and had a great time. It was so awesome to be with positive people and to get out and do something different. I also loved getting to see some of Saginaw that I had never really experienced before. Christine and I went together and laughed and laughed all day. People were mistaking us for each other and many people were absolutely convinced that we had to be sisters. We had a good time with it! I am definitely looking forward to making this a tradition every year.

So that’s it – my best running moments of 2017! Here’s to an even better 2018.

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