2011 was a big year for me as far as running races went. I tried new distances — including both an ultra (more than 26.2) and getting back into track with the 800 and 1500 meters. I went from beating my own personal best each time to placing in my age group.
Did I race you at all this past year? Here’s where I was seen running:
* Disney Princess Half Marathon, Florida (2:08): This race was fairly disappointing for me. There was a lot of hype and very little follow through. “Music along the whole course” meant maybe 10 musical acts, one of which was a slow song. After GU was handed out, there was no water for a mile. And the majority of the race was ran in the dark along highways.
* Get Your Rear in Gear 10k (53:39): I loved this race! It was an out-and-back along the scenic West River Drive in Philadelphia. It was my first time doing this distance and my second 5k ended up being my fastest to date.
* Broad Street 10 Miler (1:32): I do this race every year. It’s the best run in Philadelphia and always falls on my birthday weekend. This year I took 9 minutes off my time despite the fact that my toe went numb at mile 4!
* Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run (31:31): This is another Philadelphia run that I will definitely do every year as long as they still have it. Even though I loved it in 2010, I had a few complaints. But in 2011, all of them were fixed and the course was even better. My love of this race has my track coach thinking I’ll make a good steeplechase runner.
* Ron Jaworski’s Quarterback Scramble 5k (24:19): I traveled to Stone Harbor, NJ, along the beach, with a family for this fast and flat race. My performance shocked me because I had no clue I had gotten that fast. In 2010, my best 5k was 26 and change.
* Penn State Mt. Alto Cross Country 2.8 Miles (24:20): This was my first cross country race ever. And it sucked. Mud, rain, grass, rocks, trails, hills, … it sucked. I am not a cross country racer.
* Ragnar Relay (30 hours!): I ran the PA one from Lancaster to the Poconos with a relay team made up primarily of people I had never met before. Some of them have since become some of my favorite running buddies, including Kristin, with whom I ran a half marathon at 3 a.m. Both of us hit ultra distance during the relay!
* Girard College Trailblazer 5k (23:10): It pays to run with fast girls! I was chasing my track teammates along this paved Philly course and knocked another minute off my 5k time. It was my first time having my name called as a winner: I got 2nd in my age group!
* Rothman 8k (38:03): This is the Philadelphia Marathon’s shorter brother, run the same weekend along the same course. I took 9 minutes off from my previous 8k best!
* Bulle Rock Turkey Trot 5k (24:08): I traveled home to Maryland for Thanksgiving for this race because the previous winners had some times that seemed slow … then I ran the course and understood. It was no joke! The hills of a golf course are not fun to run. But I still managed to eek out 2nd in my age group and got a trophy!
* Delaware Open Cross Country Championship 5k (26:46): One word: death. I managed top 30 and our team took 1st for teams of 5 runners (seen in the picture here), but I hated everything about this race.
* Colgate-Palmolive Women’s Track Tournament: I’m racing the 800 and 1500 meter races in the 6-week New York City tournament. It’s the first time I have ever done either distance. So far I’ve hit just under 3 minutes for the 800 and just under 6 for the 1500. Hoping to improve in the coming weeks.