Friday, December 20, 2013

CheapRunnerMike's 2013 Year in Running

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Even though I still have a couple more posts to write before New Year's, I figured it was about time to release my own personal Running Year in Review…here goes!

The month of January was a down month for me for a couple of reasons…first of all I was coming off of an IT Band injury and… was January.  I had been running for less than a year at this point and I was going through my first winter running season.  Fighting an injury combined with less than great running conditions meant that there wasn't a lot of mileage, but I did begin training for my first Half Marathon towards the end of the month.
Total Miles: 74  Races: 0

Once February rolled around I was getting into the swing of my Half Marathon training.  I ran at least 5 times a week the entire month, which was especially impressive as I ran all 7 days we were on vacation in Mexico.  I was even able to go under 20 minutes on a 5K run, showing me that my speed had returned after my IT injury.  I also was one of the lucky people that was able to register for the Chicago Marathon before the registration servers completely crashed and were taken offline, resulting in a lottery for the final 10,000 spots.
Total Miles: 110  Races: 0

2 Cheap Vacationers

This month saw an increase in mileage again and I was feeling just about ready to go with my first half marathon.  I completed my longest run ever to that point, 14 miles, and was so ready for my Half that I signed up for another one that was actually two weeks before my goal race in April.  Wasn't sure how wise that was, but didn't really care.  I also ran my first race of the year, the Downtown 5K, where I paced Michelle to a sub-30 minute finish.  There was also a 2.5K run that I did with Kennedy.
Total Miles: 174  Races: 1 (paced Michelle)

This was a busier month as I had entered two races…the first race was the Run for Retina Half Marathon (in which I had originally registered for the 10K) and the second was my actual goal race, the Forest City Road Race Half Marathon.  We also started this little blog with our first post on April 4.  I had a great time running my two HM's over the course of 14 days, and was thrilled to come away with a 1:31:08 and follow it up with a 1:30:18 (so close to breaking 1:30!).  In April I also remember setting my PVR the morning of April 15th before going to work to record the CBS Boston affiliate's all-day coverage of the Boston Marathon.  I avoided everything on social media and got home from work just after 4:00 ready to watch the race, when a flurry of text messages came in from people.  The world had changed once again.
Total Miles: 117  Races: 2 (HM 10th out of 178, HM 16th out of 748)

Ready for my First Half Marathon

A lighter race month, but managed to get in the my first MEC Series race.  I would go on to run the other two races MEC offered locally later in the year and really enjoyed their events.  May's race was a 15K on Mother's Day that I ran in 1:01:59.  I also began my training for the Chicago Marathon in October and that meant this was my last race for a while…on to the long solo runs!
Total Miles: 179  Races: 1 (15K 5th overall)

No races in June for me, but this was my highest mileage month of the year, despite a long-weekend anniversary trip to Chicago that saw me log ZERO miles.  I also got in some cycling and generally just enjoyed training in some really nice weather.  During June I decided to change my 2014 Disney Marathon registration from the Full Marathon to the Goofy Challenge, the Half and the Full on consecutive days.  I finished out the month with a nice long run, a 19-miler, and the big accomplishment of the month was all those miles were injury-free.
Total Miles: 202  Races: 0

After running four triathlons in 2012, I had looked forward to doing more in 2013.  With the training requirements for my first marathon though, that just wasn't realistic.  There was one race I really wanted to do again though and that was the Bluewater.  It's a nice local race that is just down the road from the cottage and I enjoyed it immensely the first time around in 2012.  I signed up for the Duathlon this year, but it was a moot point as the Tri swim was cancelled and everyone did the Du.  I ran well and was super happy with the bike improvements I made, shaving over 10 minutes off my 2012 time.  I ended up finishing 5th in my age group and even one a door prize.
Total Miles: 183 Races: 1 (Olympic Duathlon 2:05:41)

Look at all that Spandex!

Again a no-race month…my mileage fell a bit as well and I only ran one really long run.  Looking back I'm not really sure what happened, though my marathon training had really peaked and I was all trained up.  I should have been running a marathon this month really, but surprisingly they don't hold many of them in August :)
Total Miles: 129  Races: 0

I knew I had to ramp up again and get in some good miles before my marathon in October.  I ran the Springbank Half and treated it as a training run, yet still pulled a 1:30:45.  I also did another MEC Race, this time a 5K that I ran with both of the kid's (Jackson's first 5K!).  I even managed to get in one last 20-miler and it was my best training run ever, maintaining a 7'37" mile pace and giving me the confidence boost I needed.
Total Miles: 177  Races: 2 (HM 1:30:45, 5K second-last place)

We started the month off with a bang, running our first Disney race, the Tower of Terror 10-Miler.  I had a blast and treated it totally as a fun race, finishing in 1:13:59 (80th out of nearly 10,000 people).  The next weekend was the Chicago Marathon, which was simply one of the best experiences of my life.  It was such a blast and I was really happy with my run and my 3:15:29 time.  I learned a lot from the race and will build on the experience.  I finished out the month with a local 5K costume race, the Halloween Haunting.  I ran an 18:44 PR…with a cape.
Total Miles: 125  Races: 3 (10-M 80/9473, 26.2 2096/38,847, 5K 12/378)


Eased into a bit of a "running diet" this month…I was getting the runs in but not a lot of long run activity.  We also had a great family vacation in Disney where runs just weren't happening (and that was fine by me).
Total Miles: 107  Races: 0

Last race of the year, the final MEC Race.  I ran the 10K in snowy, slushy, slippery conditions, and not only did I PR with a 38:24, but I also won a race for the first time!  The following weekend we did a 5K(ish) run with the kids, the Santa Shuffle.  It was just a good time for everyone as we got to enjoy each other's company for a few laps around the track.
Total Miles: 90 (and counting) Races: 1 (10K, 1st place)


So looking back it has been a very successful year for me…I've logged over 1600 miles and put over 200 hours on my legs, gained both speed and endurance, and most importantly, I've had a blast doing it.  I've also enjoyed writing on this blog with my best buds and getting to meet all kinds of great people through blogging, twitter and Instagram.  Thanks for sharing in my 2013 and I look forward to more adventures and good times in 2014!


  1. I loved reading this!!! Way to go and thanks for sharing it!

  2. All I got from this post is you are one speedy mo fo and your wife is smokin' hott!! ;)

  3. Fun recap - love the monthly breakdowns! Can't wait to see wait 2014 brings to your running!

  4. BA!! Glad you enjoyed it...and Merry Christmas my friend :)

  5. Me too Kim, 2014 will be fun! I saw a few other 2013 reviews and decided to do one of my own...

  6. You have had such an awesome year- and it's funny, until reading this I forgot you were a relatively "new" runner- I can't wait to see what 2014 are just getting started my badass friend!

  7. Yup, I'm still somewhat of a n00b...looking forward to 2014! And thanks for all your encouragement through the year Laura...I really rely on experienced runners like you for advice and it is greatly appreciated :)