Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: The Year Of The Run

Photo by OHventures

While the end of the world did not come on December 21, 2012 as the Mayans presumably predicted, I sure took the liberty to checkmark as much as I could off of my bucket list, as if the world WAS about to end. What stood out most above all else this year was my constant participation in running events! 

My competitive running amounted to 40.8 miles in 2012, spread amongst 10 different races around Ohio. I began the year attending a kickoff event for the Capital City Half Marathon, where I unknowingly would discover my love and passion for the sport of running!

Here is a recap of my 10 races from this past year, which were all unique in their own way:

1. Capital City Half Marathon (13.1 miles in 2:26:19): I trained hard (too hard at times), got the proper footwear, raised over $1,500 to fight cancer, suffered a knee injury, and ran my first ever half marathon on May 5, 2012 along with dozens of friends and thousands of other runners! This was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life, but also one of the most rewarding! I will never forget it, and hope to someday do another half or even a full marathon!

2. Run With The Pack 5K (3.1 miles in 33 minutes): Fresh after adopting my 2-year old Chihuahua Slider from the Franklin County Animal Shelter, I participated in the Run With The Pack 5K on June 23, in which hundreds of folks ran with their leashed canines at the Scioto Audubon Metropark in Columbus! I was very impressed with my 9-pound pup’s running ability – and his apparent love for it! The registration fee went to benefit “Pets Without Parents” and got me and my dog active and healthy!
3. Defend Your Friend 5K (3.1 miles in 44 minutes): Taking place once again at the Scioto Audubon Metropark, this doggy 5K proved a bit more challenging for my dog, probably because it was on one of the hottest days of the year (August 2), and at 7PM rather than at 8AM like the previous race. Be that as it may, we definitely enjoyed mingling with all of the other dogs and their owners, and of course were pleased to contribute funds to help the Capital Area Humane Society.
4. Warrior Dash Ohio II (3.1 miles in 43:34): On August 25, my brother Curt and I, joined by his wife Regina, ran in the Warrior Dash Ohio II in North Lawrence, Stark County. There was much more than mud at this run: wecrawled under barbed wire, jumped over fire, and jumped in and out of trash dumpsters, among a dozen other obstacles. We celebrated our achievement, got hosed off, grabbed our free beers, chomped on a turkey leg, listened to the live music, and enjoyed being amongst hundreds and hundreds of other like-minded WARRIORS and OHventurers from across the state!
5. Abercrombie & Fitch Challenge (3.1 miles in 27 minutes): After running with my dog (sorry Slider!) and through mud in the last 3 races, I was more than anxious to run a race by myself again! This time, I was given an invitation to run in the Abercrombie & Fitch Challenge on August 30 at the A&F Home Office located in New Albany. My knee was giving me a lot of trouble but I managed to pick a new friend in the crowd (Wes) and keep pace with him! After the race (whose proceeds went to the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute), we got to enjoy food, booze, and a concert by WALK THE MOON!
6. Oktoberfest Brat Trot (4 miles in 34:48): On September 28, the Columbus Oktoberfest added running to its list of traditions by incorporating a four mile (vier meiler) run known affectionately as the "Brat Trot" into the opening day of the festivities. What's best is that after the run, we got to experience all the fun and tasty German amenities late into the evening. My friend Matt and I eagerly signed up for the Brat Trot, in part due to all of the great perks that came along with it – a cream puff, Bahama Mama from Schmidt’s, a German beer, and a technical shirt!
7. Hubbard Library Zombie Run (3.1 miles in 27 minutes): Zombies have become all the rage in 2012, even popping up in running events! The basic premise is that people dress up as "zombies," who, along the course, "attack" runners by ripping a flag off of them (much like flag football). It's an all-out war between zombies and runners, as each tries to conquer the other. My big bro and I took part in a zombie run in our hometown of Hubbard on October 14, and had a blast doing it, even though it was pretty disorganized!
8. Hot Chocolate 5K/15K (3.1 miles in 25:54): Also becoming popular this year was the “Hot Chocolate” races, which benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities, whose goal is to help sick children in need. My sister-in-law ran the Hot Chocolate 5K in Columbus on November 18. The motivation for running in the cold, cold weather was to get to the finish line and warm up with tasty hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, and other treats! It was one of my favorite races of the year (and personal record) for sure!
9. Warren Kiwanis Turkey Trot (2 miles in 18:01): What is now going to be a tradition with my entire family is the Warren Kiwanis Turkey Trot, which takes place on Thanksgiving Day (November 22 this year) and gives you the excuse to pig out later in the day! It’s one of many turkey trots across the state that take place on the morning of Thanksgiving. While grandma is busy preparing the dinner, you can burn some preemptive calories to make up for all the starchy goodness you’ll be eating later that day.
10. Jingle Bell Run/Walk For Arthritis (3.1 miles in 24:39):  2012 was winding down and I had almost fulfilled my personal goal to run 10 races in one calendar year. I had 9 under my belt and just needed one more to cap things off. Thankfully, a friend of mine, Beth, invited me to run in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis on December 1. What better way to end my year of running alongside people dressed as elves and snowmen with jingle bells attached to my shoes?! I also ended the year with a new personal record!!!
I am extremely proud of the 40.8 competitive miles I ran this year (and countless more in training). I hope through this blog to inspire other runners in 2013! Shamefully, I must admit that the jingle bells from December 1 are STILL attached to my running shoes, which means I haven’t even ran for fun in a WHOLE month! When the New Year starts, however, my OHventures running around the state will continue in full force! The holidays are over, folks, as is the year 2012. Let’s take a deep breath, stretch, and get our rears in shape in 2013! :)

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