2013 in Review: Becoming a Runner

2013 was a big year for me in terms of running. Before my 5K for Beginners class in January, my long-distance running attempts had been limited to one or two half-assed attempts at Couch to 5K; the rest of my life was spent balking at the idea of running more than 100 meters and jogging instead of all-out sprinting. This year certainly changed things.

In 2013 I learned proper running form in my aforementioned 5K class during MIT’s GetFit program and, possibly more importantly, I learned how to pace myself while running. (More than once I giddily sprinted past all my classmates, only to run out of gas shortly thereafter and have them all pass me. So disheartening.) I also learned that getting better at running requires cross-training and core-strengthening, not just running at the same pace a lot. (Have I actually done any of this cross-training and core-strengthening? Um… can I plead the 5th?)

In 2013 I ran my first race, the Ras na hEireann USA in Davis Square in March. It happened before I was mentally ready to run a race (I was planning to run my first in April), but Colin and Gina inspired and motivated me, and showed me that I could actually run more than 1 mile in one go. I experienced my first runner’s high after that race, and was pretty solidly bitten by the racing bug. I spend too much of my skiving time now looking up new races to sign up for.

In 2013 I did my first “tourist run,” the Old Port 5K in Portland, Maine. Though I had run out-of-state before then (in Exeter, New Hampshire), the Old Port felt much more touristy in that we turned it into a weekend event – exploring the city, trying out new restaurants, etc. instead of just driving across the border, running, and coming home. I loved the experience, and look forward to more tourist runs in the future!

Now for my year in numbers:

Races completed: 15

States raced in: 4 (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and California)

5K PR: 30:49 (At America’s Hometown Thanksgiving 5K)

-Races missed: 3 (the Poppy Run in London was canceled, the Jingle Bell Run in Davis Square was rescheduled to a day I couldn’t make, and I bailed on the Reggae Ramble in Cambridge due to my back/neck injury)

And goals for next year:

-Get my 5K PR under 30 minutes

-Complete a 10K

-Run in a BAA event, hopefully the 5K

Here’s to 2014, hopefully another fun year full of running and new experiences!

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