2013 recap: my year in racing

I am sitting on my couch in my PJ’s writing this post on New Year’s Eve.  There is a fresh load of, um, “fresh” diapers in the washer.  MacKenna is sleeping soundly in her bed.  I have a bowl of M&M’s in my lap and have already split a few beers with the hubs.  I think I have officially reached the point in my life where I would be considered old.  Yup.  Welcome to parenthood…

But, as I sit at home on New Year’s Eve for I think the first time ever, I can’t help but think about everything that happened in 2013.  I know this will post a day late, but no one would read this tonight anyway.  Nothing profound or life changing really happened in 2013:  I’m still in the same job (although I did start a new role as the head volleyball coach), I’m still married to the same wonderful man, and our daughter continues to grow entirely too quickly.  I did get to watch my brother and sister-in-law’s journey through her pregnancy and gained a daring little nephew last week.  It certainly will be fun to watch MacKenna interact with her new cousin and see them grow up together.

Nothing overly exciting on the home front, but I had an awesome year in racing.  This was my year for racing.  I have never trained as hard or raced as much as I have in 2013.

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My first race of the year was the Run to the Helmet 7K for St. Patrick’s Day.  Running a new distance is definitely intimidating, especially when you’re used to running a mile shorter in races.  It was definitely a challenging race and by far not my best race of the year, but I finished 1st in my age group (4th overall) with a time of 29:04.  Best part about a new race distance?  Automatic PR!  Sweet!

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I spent much of the winter and spring training for my annual half marathon – the one and only half I run every year, the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon.  But, this year was a little more special because I got to run it with my brother.  It was his first half marathon, and we vowed in the very beginning to run it together.  I enjoyed spending a few of our long training runs together, but it was even more fun to cross the finish line with him.  Plus, he pushed me to run a new half marathon PR – 1:35:36.

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The second race I completed with my brother was the Ferguson Twilight Run 5K.  Of course, my brother totally beat me in this race (by a good 200 meters), but I ended up as the 1st place female with a time of 20:27.

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In June, Matt and I did our first “destination” race of the year, traveling down to Branson for Father’s Day in order to compete in the Dash to the Splash 5K.  I totally exceeded my expectations on this race as I remember lining up thinking, “Maybe I should just push Kenna and take it easy this race.”  I’m definitely glad I didn’t as I placed 2nd (1st in my age group) and shattered my PR by 8 seconds, running a 19:50!  The first time since 2009 I have been able to break 20 minutes in the 5K.  I think I’m still in shock that I set a new PR this year!

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Probably the biggest race I will take away from 2013 is completing my first triathlon.  I spent the summer training for the Alligator Creek Sprint Triathlon (400m swim, 18 mile bike, 5K run) and remember being more nervous for this race than any other one I have ever competed in before.  I had a great swim and run, but definitely struggled on the bike, which I expected having only completed two total rides outside (only 1 with the road bike I raced with).  I finished the race in 1:45:04 and I fell totally in love with triathlons.  I absolutely cannot wait to train and finish another one (hopefully in 2014).

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After finishing my first triathlon, I was ready for more multi-sport races.  What better than a multi-sport relay race!  I competed in the Pedal and Pound with my friend (and fellow vegetarian) Michelle, a 7.2-mile relay race switching off biking and running with your partner (one bikes while the other runs, switch as much or as little as you like).  We blew everyone away not only finishing first in the female division, but placing 3rd overall!

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One of my absolute favorite and most memorable races of the year was the Run to the Lights 5k in Silver Dollar City (Branson, Mo).  A surprising 1st place finish and a time of 20:16 – can’t complain about that!

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And to finish off the year, I ran a very chilly 5K as part of the Winter Park Race Series.  It was definitely one of my tougher races of the year, mostly because it was cold and raining, but also because I really had to work to place well in the race.  A tough race but probably one of the better ones of the year.

Believe it or not, there are actually 2 other races that I ran that I did not write recaps for as they took place during my very busy/stressful volleyball season.  I ran one other race with my brother this year, the Mo’Cowbell Half Marathon RELAY.  We each ran about a 10K (I took the first leg) and surprisingly finished 2nd overall with a time of 1:31:58.  I also ran a 5K that support the cross country team at my school.  Even with racing against a few state qualifying girls, I finished 1st overall with a time of 20:14.

1st place finishes:  6 (4 overall, 2 age group)
New PRs:  3
Total Races:  10
Total Running Mileage for the Year:  1,101
Total Mileage for the Year:  1,292

In 2014, I will turn 30 years old.  It’s the first milestone birthday I have had since turning 21.  I have mixed feelings about turning 30.  I have been told that your 30s are the absolute best times of your life.  But, 30 also makes me feel like I should have my life figured out and I am far, far from that.  Plus, I’ll be entering into a much more difficult age group when it comes to racing, but no worries – I plan to DOMINATE the 30s!

I have goals for 2014 ready to go that I plan on sharing soon, but until then, Happy New Year!  I hope 2014 is your best year yet!

  • Catie

    Happy New Year and congrats on a great year of running and racing! Don’t worry, I just turned 30 on Tuesday…it’s not so bad! ;)

    • Kristen

      Haha! Good! That makes me feel a little bit better!

  • Your race recaps are so inspiring! Congratulations on a great year in racing!
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