Quick look - Runderdog's 2017 race roundup

This was a good year for running, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t break any records, but I didn’t break any bones, either. I did manage to rack up a 5K PR, and I need another race medal rack to hold the new hardware. 

So there’s that.

Here’s an alphabetical list of some of my favorite races of 2017:

Chicago Fall Half Marathon
Chicago Spring Half Marathon
Cupid Shuffle 5K
Elf Run 5K
Evil Smiley Vets Day 5K
Fort 2 Base 10NM
Luck of the Irish 5K
Pike River Cani-Cross
Progress Days 5K
Pumpkin Run 5K
Run into the New Year 5K
Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Quarter Marathon
Team RWB Run as One
The Big Chill 5K

This list doesn’t include every race I did, and it doesn't have several smaller trail and track events or untimed theme and fun runs. But these were highlights -- for various personal reasons.

What’s on the books for 2018?

I’m already committed to a winter race series, a spring half marathon, and a fall full marathon. As the new year approaches, I’m plotting out the calendar to fill in with several 10Ks, a 10NM, and a couple more half marathons.

Raise a glass – or a sports bottle – to 2018. Here we go!

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Done! I ran 2,017 miles in 2017

Phew! Did it, and with about a week to spare. I finished this 365-day goal on December 23, breathing a sigh of relief. It sure sounded like a lot of miles, when I committed to the thing at the beginning of the year.

UPDATE: My year-end total for 2017 was just over 2,050.

This was a virtual race challenge, organized by Run the Edge. And I don’t usually sign up for virtual races. But I liked the challenge. I needed the motivation. So I did it.

Several snags tried to trip me up:  an ankle injury, a bout with bronchitis, shin splints, a couple of flu incidents, more than a few back spasms ("Hello, kinesthesiology tape!") and a whopping multiple sclerosis exacerbation that lasted a few weeks. And there were these two pairs of pricey (but ill-fitting) sneakers that didn’t work out for me in midsummer. (Yup, I donated them without a blink.)

But somehow, the miles got done.

Here’s what I counted and logged:  race miles, road running miles, training run miles, trail hike miles, dog-joring/canine cross-country miles, treadmill miles, elliptical miles, and track miles. I did not count routine Fitbit or Garmin steps (I switched devices in the fall.). 

Nope. these were intentional “lace-on-those-sneakers-and-sweat” miles.

So there it is. And I burned up three pairs of running shoes in the process. Workin’ on the fourth pair now.

Did I re-up for the 2,018 in 2018 challenge? Not officially. I’m gonna try to reach that total, but my bigger goal for the year is to train and run my first-ever full marathon. If I can rack up 2,018 miles in the process, all the better.

Happy New Year!

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Yes, I am streaking through the holiday season!

I love a good goal. And the holiday season is the ideal time to set a few fitness objectives. Like many runners, I need an extra push at this time of year.

The holiday food orgy unofficially begins with Halloween and runs right through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and all the way to Easter. Sure, you know the drill.

I really don't want to turn into a couch potato -- or even a sweet potato.

I'd rather not wind up in any spud-like form at all. I’ve had winters in which I’ve become something of a slug, hunkering indoors without exercising nearly enough. And I’ve paid for this inactivity in the spring, when races picked up speed again. It's hard to come back, if things slip that far.

(Besides, I have a pretty significant 
personal running goal coming up in 2018, 
so I have to stick with the training. 
Watch for more on that in an upcoming post – 
when I have the official paperwork!)

This year, I’m doing the holiday streak again. 

That means I’ve committed to run at least one mile each day – from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. Sure, one mile doesn’t sound like much. But there are days when excuses can abound:

  • Sloppy white stuff can fall from the sky.
  • The wind chill can drop to dangerous levels.
  • Family and friends can drop by … and stay for a while.
  • Party invitations can come along.
  • Holiday baking may beckon.
  • Year-end deadlines can pile up.
  • Christmas decorating and gift wrapping may need to be done.
  • Winter flu can hit.
  • Or I might just not feel like doing much for once.

Those are the times when a holiday streak commitment can come in handy. Even if it’s just a mile.

A race director I know runs an annual challenge called The Holiday Mile. Participants sign up to run a mile a day (during the same period) and report them on the event website. Then they can earn finisher medals (for the virtual event) and buy the event tee shirts. I didn’t sign up this year, but I’m tracking my own similar goal. (Bills have piled up lately, and I don’t want to admit how many running tee shirts I already have.)

Runners World has the #RWRUNSTREAK, which is similar.

Hey, it all helps. 

Some of us need an additional motivator.

At the same time, I’m participating in a holiday fitness challenge with my fellow Team RWB members in our city. We’re tracking at least 30 minutes of physical exercise each day, also from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. And we’re posting our workouts in an online group.

This is fun. We check in daily to spot snapshots of activity trackers and treadmill screens, sweaty selfies, and group gym photos. The game is on!

So bring on the turkey and pumpkin pie. Pass the Christmas cookies. Fill my cocoa mug. I’m gonna get out there and burn those calories anyway! Who else is up for it? The more, the merrier.

Gotta love the holidays … and holiday challenges.

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