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13 in 2013 Recap

Hello friends!  I hope that your holidays were wonderful and you enjoyed your families!

It’s time for me to reflect on this past year.  So many events, some great, some difficult.  Running related, as you all know, I joined the 13 in 2013 challenge to run 13 races of any distance of your choice in 2013.  I personally chose my 13 races to be half marathons.  I knew that getting in some of these races would be difficult.  My son’s passion is basketball, and looking ahead in 2013, I knew that we would be so busy with all the things he was involved in with that, so doing some official races would not be possible.  I was NOT going to choose races over watching my son play basketball, I was relieved that there were going to be several virtual races I could run and still participate in the challenge.  Here are short recaps of the 13 races I completed:

Mom’s Run This Town Winter Virtual~January:  I started off the year with a virtual half on the treadmill!  It was hosted by Moms Run This Town (MRTT) and it felt great to get the first one done and out of the way.  My finish time was 2:37:00

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Barking Mad About Running Virtual~February:  Kimberly at Barking Mad About Running hosted a virtual race in February to raise money for breast cancer.  The weather was nicer for this race, surprisingly, and I ran this one outside.   It felt great and I was really surprised at my time for this one which was 2:25:00. 

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Get Lucky Half~March:  I love this race!  This was my third year in a row running this race in St. Paul, MN.  It is hosted by Team Ortho of the Twin Cities and they help Shriners Children’s Hospital.  It’s a St. Patrick’s Day themed race and I love dressing up!  My cousin is the race director for this so that always makes it extra special!  I ran with a friend in honor of her nephew who is battling Lymphoma at age 16.  It was her first half ever and she did just great!  Our finish time was 2:35:11.

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Barking Mad About Running No Day But Today Half~May: I skipped April for getting a half done.  It was so crazy busy for us that month!  Again, another great virtual from Kimberly at Barking Mad About Running.  This one was particularly special to me.  It was to raise money for cancer and also a music themed half in honor of a teacher.  I am a music teacher so this was a great race for me to support!  Finish time was 2:30:00.

Sparkle Cupcake Half~May:  I doubled up halfs in May.  This Sparkle Cupcake was put on by Darlena at Run Find Your Happy Pace.  Her races also benefit cancer and have cute cupcake medals!  I love doing her races as well!  Finish time was 2:36:41.

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Moms Run This Town Running Mad Virtual Half~July:  Another race from Moms Run This Town and it was an Alice in Wonderland themed race.  I did not dress up, but was glad to find this to get one fit in before the next race that I was nervous about!  Finish time was: 2:30:22.

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Aspen Valley Half Marathon~July:  WOW, WOW, WOW.  I can’t believe I actually did this race.  We were going to be vacationing in Breckenridge, Colorado and I found this race in Aspen.  We were going to visit Aspen anyway, so I decided to register.  I live at an altitude of about 1,000, and this would be running in the Rocky Mountains….elevation 7,500.  What was I thinking?!?!  I was very scared of running at high altitude, especially a half.  However, I am so glad that I had the courage to do it.  It was one of the most amazing races I have ever run.  It was so beautiful and the experience of running there was just pure awesome.  I had no altitude sickness, no complications whatsoever.  Finish time was 2:38:55.

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Jill and Jen’s Birthday Bash Half~August:  Jill and Jen, the hosts of the 13 in 2013 challenge, had a virtual run to celebrate their birthdays.  I had fun doing this one as well!  Finish time was: 2:21:53 and was happy with that time!

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Women Rock Half Marathon~August: This is the second year in a row I have done this race. Again put on by Team Ortho and in St. Paul, MN.  I had a difficult time during this race.  Something was just not right.  Toward the end, my toes were hurting really badly and I could not figure out why as this has never happened to me before.  When I took my shoes off at the end, my socks were bloody.  I’m still not really sure what happened with my toes, but I did not have any injuries.  Finish time was 2:32:15.  That wasn’t a terrible finish, but something just didn’t feel right the entire race.

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Quad Cities Half Marathon~September: Loved, loved, loved this race!  I had told my father-in-law back in March as he was heading in for a very serious and dangerous heart surgery that I would run this race (they live in the Quad Cities) and wear a shirt of his favorite team once he pulled through.  He did great during the surgery and I made good on my word.  He loves the University of Illinois, so that’s what I wore for the race!  A few weeks prior to the race, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I wore breast cancer jewelry for her.  I ran this race for both of them.  The most emotional and wonderful part was coming to the finish line.  I was searching the crowds for them and I spotted them yelling my name and waving.  I waved back and yelled out, “This is for you both!” Finish time was 2:31:45.  Not that much different of a time from the Women Rock, but I felt so much better during this race and was 10 pounds lighter!

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Jill and Jen’s Run for a Teacher Half~October:  This was an emotional race for me.  I ran from my town to a different town for the 13.1 mileage via our bike trails.  I ran in honor of my Uncle John.  The day before I ran this virtual, we had his memorial service.  Uncle John was a teacher, coach, principal and a wonderful man.  I thought about him and all that he meant to not only our family, but all the students he had over the years.  At his memorial service as they were playing TAPS, a bald eagle flew over the grave.  Nearing the end of my run, a bald eagle flew over me.  It was beautiful and I truly felt that Uncle John was with me on this run.  I wore St. Patrick’s gear as he was so proud of his Irish heritage.  My finish time was the best I had ever done to that point and I was just thrilled!  2:17:00.

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Jedi Challenge Half~December:  I skipped November…again just so busy.  I LOVED this theme.  My son is a huge Star Wars fan and this was also a race to raise money for cancer.  The medal is cute with a light saber on it and a saying that was very “Yoda-like”.  Finish time was 2:15:22 and the best so far!

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Jill and Jen’s 13 in 2013 Celebration Half~December:  And the final race!  Jill and Jen once again hosted a virtual and the final one to cap off the challenge.   There was a lot going on in my life when I needed to get this done.  I had been in the hospital with my mom and so there was a lot going on with that and on my mind.  But, I was not going to skip it as I was so close!  Finish time was 2:19:22.

Completion of a year long goal feels so good!  It wasn’t always easy to find the time to fit in the virtuals and not only that, but there were lots of times that I had a difficult time getting myself out the door.  It’s very easy to procrastinate virtual runs, especially when life gets busy.  I am very proud of myself for pushing through those busy times and still getting it done. 

I don’t know if I am going to join the 14 in 2014 yet.  I am still deciding what I want to do next year.  I wish all of you the very best in the next year and hope you all go for your dreams!  Thank you for joining me! 

 

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