Ready, Set

Last year, I attempted to write out my race plan for the year and shared it in the first Training for Tuesday of 2015. Shortly after, that plan fell apart—but don't worry! I survived. And learned my lesson.

Making my race plan this year has been an effort in pure honesty with myself: Do I really want to run that race? Do I really want to run it in that time? Can I really afford that race fee in that month? Can I really afford to travel for this one?

I also had to do a lot of thinking about my goals and clarify who I'm setting them for. Am I setting them for me, becuase I really want to achieve them, or because it sounds good to say XYZ—whether or not I really feel attracted to that goal?

As you know, I ran my first marathon on November 1, 2015. I have no plans to run a marathon in 2016. But it's not because I hated my marathon experience. Even while sustaining an injury in the first half of the race, I loved my marathon experience. But it's because of that experience that I'm not running another marathon this year.

I know and know of a lot of people who are one-and-done with marathons, and I get that. They want to do it once because it's a massive undertaking that so few people (in the grand scheme of things) do. They want to prove what their bodies are capable of, and once satisfied with that knowledge, they're ready to move on.

My marathon proved a lot of things to me. And I hope my next one shows me even more about myself. Which is why I'm tabling it until 2017. Given that I'm in YTT through March, a spring marathon was always out of the question. And after last year's summer training cycle, I know I'm not willing to repeat that just yet. Not for just any race. Maybe someday when New York City is on the table, but not yet.

So what will 2016 be about, if not another shot at 26.2?

Well, 2014 was the year I really became a runner.
Then 2015 was the year I became a marathoner.
And 2016 will be the year I try to become a fast(er) runner.

Because races are fun, and running is fun, and traveling with running buddies is fun, here's my race plan for the year ahead:

Blacksburg Classic 10-Miler: Blacksburg, VA – February
Tracy has graciously invited me down to her turf for what will be our fourth race together. (Right, Trace? For some reason it feel like there've been more than that...) Coming off a fall and winter of uncertainty, my goal for this race is to have fun running with my friend, tune-up for a spring training season, and get outta dodge for a few days for the best reason.

Cherry Blossom 10-Miler: Washington, D.C. – April
Tracy, Lisa, her boyfriend Brian, and I entered the lottery for this race and miraculously won on our first try! I might try to crank up the heat on this race and set a somewhat-lofty goal time, but we four run such different paces it remains to be seen how we'll feel on that day and what we'll feel like doing.

New Jersey Half Marathon: Jersey Shore – May
This will likely be my first test of the year. I'll be running alone and gunning for time. Currently, my half marathon PR is from Rock 'n Roll, 2:08:11. By the time the New Jersey Half rolls around, that PR will be nearly 14 months old. I think it'll be about time to oust it.

Lager Run 5k: Home – June
Sunset Classic 5-Miler: Home – June
The Lager Run holds my official 5k PR...from June 2014. I haven't raced a 5k since, and I'll be looking to drop some time there too. The second race is run by the same organizations as the first, and they also put on the Ashenfelter 8k on Thanksgiving that I ran last year. These are maybes, depending on race buddies and summer travel plans. And I'll be going for PRs in both.

Wicked 10k: Virginia Beach – October
Since this will be happening right between Tracy's biggest race of the year and mine, it's a TBD until we see how everybody's feeling. I would love to make it down to my friend's hometown for this race she loves (and, honestly, my FIRST 10k—what?!), but it's but a pipe dream for now.

Richmond Half Marathon: Richmond, VA – November
Remember when I said I wanted to get fast in 2016? No better race course to do it on than this one. I caught a glimpse of it this past year as Tracy and I watched Brian, Lisa, and Becky be awesome all over the half and full marathon courses, and then I signed up for the 2016 race literally the very next day. I'm ready to say I will be working my ass off to haul in a sub-2 half marathon on this course.

Ashenfelter Classic 8k: Home – Thanksgiving, November
I had a lot of fun at this race last year, and I'm ready to make it a tradition. Will I shock you to death if I say I'll be looking for a PR here too? Yeah, I thought not...

So that's the plan for this year. At first I was a little bummed about not having a BIG RACE or another marathon on my schedule for 2016, but the more I look at this race schedule, the happier I get. I'll be pushing myself, but not killing myself. I'll be running for goals, running for fun, and most importantly, running with friends. I think it's going to be a great year.

Over to you! What are your 2016 race plans or other goals? Grab your button and be sure to link up below! We can't wait to see what you're working toward.


  1. I love that this year you are looking to better your running game - which you will I have no doubt!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. Woo! This list is like...perfect. I think you have a great mix of local races and runcations, friend races and solo races, goal races and fun races, etc.
    I'm so happy to see Wicked on this list. I know the timing isn't exactly ideal but I just LOVE it so much. I will be praying to the running gods from now until Halloween that my legs will be in physical condition to some how, some way carry me 6.2 miles that day.
    I think sub-2 is well within your reach this year, whether it's at NJ or Richmond. I think those PRs count as big races, for the record, and they'll set you up for a great TBD future marathon. And yeah, I just counted - 4th race together, 6th (!) that we've been at together. See you soon! <3

  3. Great list, lady! I'm excited for the Cherry Blossom run because you'll be in my area!!!!

  4. I'm happy your longest race is "only" a half. This year will set you up to be a better yogi, a better runner and while I don't know if it's really possible... a better you! <3

  5. This inspires me! I think my half marathon last year was enough of an endurance test but I keep thinking back to how good those first 6-7 miles actually felt. They weren't awful. I truly didn't hate them. I felt strong and capable. I enjoyed running with people and pushing towards a goal. I've been toying with the idea of doing what you've outlined here -- a little something each month if possible. Shorter distances, incorporating friends, etc. I love your enthusiasm and the way the definition of "success" changes over time. You go, girl! ♥

  6. i'm so excited for all your races! i like your reasoning and logic for not doing a bigger race, and i'm glad you're feeling good about it all. i hope i can join you for richmond! can't wait to follow along as you PR all the races, because you totally will.

  7. We should totally get together for Cherry Blossom! I'm not running it (have had terrible luck with that race) but I'll be cheering everyone on! It sounds like putting a 26.2 off until next year is a great idea. I'm leaning toward running the Richmond Half too though!

  8. Even though you aren't running a marathon this year, you do have a lot of races! I think it is great that you are going to work on being faster and not do another marathon this year. Cant wait to follow along in your journey!

  9. I ran my first marathon last year as well but have elected not to do another one this year either. I think at some point I will give it another try, but for now I like focusing on shorter races and getting faster.

    It might seem like you don't have any big races on your calendar this year, but don't underestimate your shorter races. While the marathon was mentally tough (for me anyway), a 1 mile race is where I actually ran my hardest. My lungs were still raw the next day from running so hard.

  10. I am so excited for you guys to come in April!! Also, it's still so amazing for me how you went from not running to doing a marathon(!!!!) in such a short amount of time, I feel like that's some kind of super power or something.

  11. W o W! At this rate you should just move to Virginia for the year! You're going to do amazing!


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