Earlier in the year I decided to sign up for the 13 in 2013 challenge. The concept was pretty simple, run 13 races in 2013, any distance. Somehow or other 2013 became the year of crazy racing as there weren’t very many races I said no to. As we head in to December I’ve completed 21 races now! Links to all of my race reports are here.
So what have I learned after this crazy year of racing?
- Progress can be hard to come by. I picked a couple of key races and prepared well for them, but I felt like any gains in my running were somewhat small and hard fought. I don’t know if it was because I was racing all the time or not though.
Racing with friends is so much fun! Some of my best memories from racing this year were the ones where I had a friend by my side. It was such a great experience as we helped each other through the ups and downs of our races. Sometimes a race with a friend is more important than chasing a time goal.
You may get a lot of race shirts! There are a handful of shirts that I really like and have worn again. Unfortunately the majority of the women’s cut shirts I’ve gotten are super short on my torso and the unisex short sleeve shirts aren’t all that flattering…but we don’t do races just for the shirt, right? That being said I would take a unisex long sleeve cotton tee over a short sleeve unisex race shirt almost any day.
Having a race will get me out the door for a run on a day where I might prefer to stay home and under the covers!
Relays have to be one of the best experiences ever. I owe Nuun a huge thank you for inviting me to join them for Ragnar Northwest Passage…and running with my Little Bloggy Blue Birds was so much fun. I loved getting to know these awesome ladies better!
- Don’t just focus on a time goal, set process goals for yourself. Time goals are a good thing to have, but you may have your best possible day and your legs just aren’t moving fast enough. That doesn’t mean that your day is a failure…you need to look at the big picture and focus on how your race execution went. That is why setting process goals is so important.
- Get off the road. I loved the Edworthy Park XC race! I’m excited to run more of these because I know they will help to motivate me during a cold winter with no early season races planned. I think all of that hill climbing and running on snow and ice will make me a better runner. So don’t just run a race to race it…find something else to get out of it too.
So will I sign up for 14 in 2014? I’m leaning towards no. I have two big goals for next year – Ironman Boulder and prepping for the 2015 Goofy Challenge (yup, that was the reason I didn’t want to sign up for Ironman Arizona). The majority of the races I pick will be to either support those two goals or to be a test of fitness. I will be going for quality over quantity! That being said I really enjoyed this year of racing as I feel like I learned a lot from it.
Did you run 13 races in 2013? What was your biggest take away from the experience?