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    Expectation vs. Reality: 2018 Goals

    December 21, 2018

    Let’s be honest, keeping with a regular posting schedule on here has been challenging for me. But that goes along pretty well with my theme today of expectations versus reality. Looking back at my goals for 2018, the year panned out quite a bit different. 

    Planning out my year, I knew I was doing the Rock n’ Roll New Orleans Full Marathon in March, and I was throwing my hat in the ring for Lululemon’s Seawheeze, but there were a lot of other plans ‘in the works.’ So how did the year actually go?

    Rock n Roll New Orleans Marathon Finish

    I completed the Rock n’ Roll New Orleans Full in February. I loved the half marathon when we did it in 2017, but was ultimately not crazy about the full course. Regardless, I love traveling to NOLA, especially when we are able to make a race weekend out of it with girlfriends.

    After RnR NOLA, I had the opportunity to support the last Rock n’ Roll Raleigh half marathon. They needed someone local to coordinate cheer stations so I stepped in and filled that role. When they offered a free race entry I figured ‘why not?’ As much as running our local races is tough because it’s such a hilly area, I actually really enjoyed the Raleigh course the two times that I ran it. This race was no exception and while it wasn’t my fastest half, it was pretty close to my PR time. That was a super satisfying feeling considering I had just rolled out of doing a full and hadn’t been working on my speed.

    My next race was Race 13.1 in Raleigh in June. It was the start of the weather really warming up and it was muggy as all get out. I joined a friend for the race with the intent of just having a good time. No PR goals were met but I added another medal to my collection.

    Thanks to the heat in Raleigh, the summer was spent ramping up training for Fall races and my next one wasn’t until September. That’s when I flew out to Vancouver for the Lululemon Seawheeze half marathon. It was an incredible experience where I traveled solo to a new location, but in the process I met a wonderful group of ladies (also solo travelers). We spent the weekend doing some yoga, running, shopping, playing in Vancouver, and checking out the local scene. Definitely an experience to remember and I can’t wait to make it to another Seawheeze in the future. I ended up skipping out on Oiselle’s Bird Camp because of the big trip to Vancouver and because I thought there was going to be a smaller team get-together in North Carolina. The latter unfortunately didn’t pan out but it did make me resolve to make it to Bird Camp in 2019. More on that to come!

    New friends at Seawheeze in Vancouver

    Finally, the big, unexpected race that I tackled in the fall: City of Oaks Full Marathon.

    After running the half last year, I swore never to run COA again. A few factors in this rash decision: I was hit hard with a cold that basically started the day before the race last year, so I was miserable. Add to that training in the tail-end of our hot and gross summers, hills as far as the eye can see, and just general grumpiness on race day and I was done. Well this year, the New York Road Runners Association announced the change to get into the New York Marathon in 2019 if you could complete a virtual marathon the same weekend as the actual 2018 race. Knowing how hard it is to get into the New York Marathon, and already receiving my first set of rejection letters from both them and London, and I knew I couldn’t miss out on this opportunity. You had to meet some other requirements (time limits, tracking, etc), but I thought ‘how hard could this be?’ I originally planned to just run 26.2 on my own somewhere, but I had a few friends who were in the same boat or finally committed to running their first marathon. They picked City of Oaks. ‘Sure, I’ll join you guys!’
    I knew those words would haunt me.

    So the race I swore to never run again… not only did I run it again but I did the full instead of the half. I’m not going to repeat the curses that were used on various training runs and on actual race day. But I did it! It was a fantastic feeling to be done with it… again… for the last time. We’ll see.

    Not only that, but a week later I had Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas. Yes, I couldn’t miss that opportunity and perhaps poor planning on my part.

    Early in 2018 I decided that I wanted to run a half distance or greater in every state (as well as wanting to visit every state park, but that’s a different story). I had originally hoped that this would be my sub 2 PR race. That was one of my big goals for 2018 and a flat course in Vegas sounded perfect for it. Well, it did until I ran a marathon the week before. So alas, that goal was pushed out to 2019, but I had a blast running the strip at night with my BRF Stephanie (same friend that I ran RnR Nola with). With that race, I was done with my big races for the year! I participated in my annual turkey trot in Savannah, but that’s a wonderfully short 4 flat miles. My running has not come to a halt though! Quite the opposite as I’ve set even loftier goals for 2019. More on that to come…

    If you made it through all of that, or want the abbreviated version, here it is:

    2018 Races
    Rock n Roll New Orleans Full Marathon
    Rock n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon
    Race 13.1 Raleigh 
    Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon
    City of Oaks Full Marathon, Raleigh
    Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
    United Way of Coastal Georgia Turkey Trot, 4 Miler

    I’m pleased with my year overall! I ran a whole lot more than I thought I would, and tackled not one but two full marathons (so much for one and done!), bringing my grand total up to 4, with more on the way. My half marathons now total 13, and I’m back to working on distance with a side of speed so I don’t fall too far from where I want to be.

    How did your running and fitness goals fare for 2018?