Line 'em Up

In 2014, I ran five races: four 5ks and one half marathon. My half marathon was the final race of the year, and was 10 months in the making. It wasn't until I ran my first race on March 30 that I knew I would love racing, let alone want to run a half marathon 10 months after my very first run.

Going into 2015, I came from two different perspectives and somehow tried to make them mesh:
1. Races are expensive, yo. And running is free.
2. Racing makes running more fun, and having a goal makes me a better runner.
Before I made my 2015 racing spreadsheet (of course I have one), I knew for sure there would be two dates to fill in: My first race last year is a 5k/10k, and it's an annual event right near my birthday. I've yet to run a 10k, so my birthday race this year was always going to be this 10k. And in May, there's a half marathon that I once thought would be my first big race.

But before I knew it, I filled in more and more lines in my spreadsheet. Because racing is fun, and runcations are part of my goal to run a race in all 48 continental U.S. states. And because running with friends is more fun than running without them.

My 2015 racing schedule has taken most of its shape at this point, but I know realistically that there's always room for another 5k or 10k to crop up. As for the biggies, here's what's coming down the pike this year:

Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon — We've been talking about this one for a couple of months already, and I'm deep into training for a time goal. I've been hesitant about putting it on the blog so far, but I'm going for it: I'm hoping to run this race in 2:00:00. Hopefully I can convince Tracy to pace me for this one ;)
Apple Chase 10k — Last year, the Apple Chase 5k was the first finish line I ever crossed, and it was great. I've yet to race an official 10k, and this year the Apple Chase falls exactly on my birthday! So on my 26th birthday, I'll be looking for a 55:00 finish on my first official 10k. It benefits a foundation in honor of a friend's mother, among other good charities, so I'll be volunteering again this year as well.

Superhero Half Marathon — I know a few people who've run this race in the past, and I hear it's a good time! It also benefits the American Cancer Society, and if there's anything better than running, it's running for a cause. I will have a time goal for this one too, but I'm waiting to see how I do at RnR before setting it.

Fitzgerald's Lager Run 5k — I ran this 5k last year (and PR'ed... by a lot.) and it was so much fun. One of the sponsors is a local bar I love and the race celebrations commenced at the bar afterward. I'll be looking for another 5k PR here, but I'm not sure what it is yet.

City of Oaks* — Since I've been running, I've wanted to race the City of Oaks in Raleigh, North Carolina. My good friends Tracy and Lisa are intimately familiar with City of Oaks, and it's just such a pretty town and big race event, and I want to be a part of it.

Surf & Santa 5 Miler — This is more tentative logistically, but in my mind it's kind of definite. Because nothing says Alyssa like planning a race 12 months in advance. The thing to note about this race? It will involve a visit to Tracy's stomping grounds!

The Maybes
New Jersey Marathon Series — The weekend of April 25, the New Jersey Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k races all take place on our beautiful Jersey Shore. It's not totally likely that timing and scheduling and financials will be in my favor for the half/5k, but we'll see.

Boston Run to Remember — The week after my May half marathon, a friend has invited me to run another in Boston. It's a huge maybe but probably no, but I won't count it out yet.

Sunset Classic 5 Miler — The run shop near me is a sponsor of this June race and I thought about participating last year. It's on the maybe list for this year if I can find a date and it works out for me.

Tunnel to Towers 5k — I was supposed to run this 9/11 hero's memorial race last year, circumstances and stuff and then I didn't end up racing. It's an incredible cause and if I can, I'd like to make it happen this September.

The Asterisk*
*Oh, so you noticed that? Well, here's the thing. When I first started running, I knew race goals would help me to keep going. At the very start, I thought a 5k was impossible. Once I learned it wasn't (one year ago yesterday I ran 3 miles for the first time ever, and I knew I could cross a 5k finish line), I started dreaming a little bigger. My goal list said I would run a half marathon by the end of 2015, and a full marathon by March 29, 2019 — the day I'll turn 30.

But then I ran a half marathon exactly 10 months to the very day after I started running, and everything changed.

So this year, I'm going to train for a full marathon, and run 26.2 miles in Raleigh this November. If I pull this off, I will have gone from 0 to 26.2 in less than two years; I'll be a marathoner.

And now that I'm putting this out onto the Internet in somewhere other than an email to Kristen or Tracy, I'll be in a cold sweat from now until November. Don't worry about me.


Your turn! Go ahead and share with us anything you're working toward, and don't forget to spread some of the love around and share some motivation with others! We're here for all of you, whether you're working on your next marathon or your first 5k, whether you're up in the gym workin' on your fitness or trying to get that warrior 1 just right.


  1. I think it's so fun to run a race on your birthday - you're going to feel amazing when you finish it!! I'm so happy and proud of you that you'll be running a full marathon this year!!! woo hoo! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  2. You go, speedy! I hope I can keep up with you this year ;) Running that 10k on your birthday is going to be the best thing EVER, and so is RnR (at this point I'm more worried about not being able to pace you fast enough but I will be there every step of the way for as long as I can), and so is Surf n Santa, and City of Oaks is just going to be the best best BEST thing ever. I'm so proud of you for going for it and can't wait to watch you cross your first marathon finish line!

  3. Man, I totally want to run a race on my birthday!! That would be so awesome. Seriously though, all of these races sound so fun and I hope you can do every single one. But I feel ya, races are expensive! But they make running SO FUN. Meanwhile - stop cold sweating it (can I say that?) because you are going to be totally amazing and there is no way you are NOT going to smash any and every goal you have, including a full marathon. Yay you!!!

  4. I know I say this all the time, but I can't believe you've knocked off so many races only running for such a short time. I don't think there is any bigger of an encouragement for me to feel like I can actually do it! And YAY for training for your first full-marathon! I can't wait to hear more about it.

  5. You go Alyssa! That is awesome that you are planning to do so many races. I am beyond excited for you :) I am thinking, heavily thinking, about doing a mud run and a color run this year. I need the weather to cooperate a little more with me though so that I can start running and hopefully get myself into shape!

  6. You can do it! I signed up for my first full this year in October. Some days it feels so far off that it's not even going to happen, and some days I'm scared out of my mind. But I know I can do it, and so can you! Thanks for co-hosting with Tracy. I'm feeling the winter blahs about running right now, so reading about other people's training and goals helps get me excited again!

  7. I run 5K's and I have done a 10K and a 10 miler but I hated it. For some reason I just can't get myself to run any further. Your list is very impressive and I would like to start running more 5K's per year however. Maybe that will change my perspective on running.

  8. I am SO excited you're gonna train for a full!! That's so awesome!! I have no doubt you can do a sub 2 half too.

  9. Ahh I missed this one but Ill be back for the next one! So excited that you have all of these on the agenda! And I hope you make the full marathon you can totes do it!!

  10. This is such a great list!! I try to plan out my races for the year as well, especially because I love to travel and try to find races in different cities to visit friends or whatever. And I think the fact that you did a half marathon during your first year of running is AMAZING!!! I started running 2012 and struggled for about a year, even though I ran a lot of 5K's and a 10K that year, and then in May 2013 I ran my first half...and it was bad, lol. But I've redeemed myself since then and have 3 lined up this year!! And with you going for the FULL this year, I think 2015 is going to be a great year :)

  11. I just came across your blog! I have just started running again and I eventually want to run a marathon! I used to run track and play soccer all in high school and then college hit and I stopped and then I graduated 2 years ago and now I am finally making time to run again! I am definitely starting out slow but I am giving myself time! Do you have any tips on how you went from 0 to 26.2 in less than 2 years?


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