That’s a Wrap!

My year in running in 2022

Oh, this sport. Running has been a part of my life now for 10 years. For 8 of those, I have run at least one spring half marathon and a fall full marathon. This year was no exception. Adding to my activities were a few leadership roles. And despite having Covid in August, I still managed to run over 700 miles, including 4 official half marathons, one 10k, a 5k race series, and a full marathon.

Races

Spring was all about half marathons. I ran the Sports Backers half on the Virginia Capital Trail in March, the Blue Ridge half in Roanoke in April, and the Uncorked Half in New Kent County in May. My favorite of the three was Blue Ridge, and I will be back to run again in 2023, but this time, I plan to conquer the full. 

I ran the Monument 10k virtually. The live race conflicted with my race schedule. Technically, I have run this race every year since 2013!

In July, I ran the Richmond Road Runners Club Cul-de-Sac 5k series. This is an evening race in the heat and humidity that is summer in Virginia. I hadn’t planned to run this, but was absolutely persuaded by the swag for finishing all 3 races: a pair of Goodr sunglasses. It was worth it!

Right after this, I contracted Covid. And after 3 weeks of no running because I was too ill to do so, I made the rather poor decision to run the Ashland Half Marathon in late August. I paid for the race, and I was going to finish. Besides, it was only a half marathon! That was my reasoning. I made it just after the cutoff. I don’t recommend running a race of this magnitude so soon after Covid to anyone!

My fall marathon was undecided until August. Even though I train with Sports Backers with a schedule that prepares one for running the Richmond Marathon, as a coach, I’m on the course race day. Sports Backers reimburses us for running a different fall race. I chose the Chessie Trail Marathon in Lexington, VA this year, which is a one and done for me. 

I loved that two of my races were “racecations.” It’s always fun to take a little weekend trip out of town, especially if it involves friends and running! Both of my trips were in the mountains, my happy place.

In November, I was on the course of the Richmond marathon. It was extremely hot that day, but all of our runners finished!

Public Speaking

Never did I imagine myself speaking in public, but the organizers of the Richmond VegFest asked me to talk about my vegan journey and how it affected my running. I was honored to do so, calling my speech My Vegan Evolution. I was really happy to see so many friends there! I also met a few of my friends from Instagram in real life!

Leadership Roles

My year began with being asked to serve on the board of the Richmond Road Runners Club. This morphed into being nominated to serve as the VP of Marketing on the executive board. It took some convincing, but I finally agreed. By the time I truly figure out what I’m doing, it will be time to pass the baton. But it’s been fun so far. 

Also with the club, I stepped up as assistant editor of our quarterly magazine, Miles and Minutes. In addition to curating issues, I’m a regular contributor. It’s truly a joy to write about running and to give others an outlet for their thoughts and information as well. 

I also returned as an assistant coach with the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team, joining my fellow coaches with the Pink Nation, our subteam. This was my 4th year in this role. Helping new marathoners reach their goals never gets old!

Challenges

Personally, my year has been challenging. Covid in August happened the week I was supposed to be on vacation. My time off was far less enjoyable than I’d planned. I’m still not fully recovered, my running pace a solid minute slower than my baseline. My family also helped take care of my father-in-law who required 24-hour care, succumbing to Parkinson’s disease in October. I also lost my own father right after Christmas.

Looking ahead

January begins with two goals: abstaining from alcohol and completing a run streak. The last time I attempted a dry January, I made it 10 days. Let’s hope I can do better this year. And although I generally am not a fan of run streaks, I will do them from time to time. My hope is to gain a bit more consistency with my training. My streaks are basically maintaining my planned running schedule, running one mile on the days I would typically not run. That’s the trick for me for avoiding overuse injuries. 

Planning my spring race schedule, the only thing I have on the books for certain is the Blue Ridge Marathon. I have several friends running this distance, so we can all climb the mountains together (there are 3!) It certainly earns its title of America’s toughest road race! Goals should be lofty enough to scare you just a bit. This will be marathon 11 for me!

As far as leadership roles go, I will complete my term as VP with my local run club, I will continue to help edit Miles and MInutes, and I plan to return to my coaching role with Sports Backers marathon training team. 

Community

As with most endeavors in athletics, it’s the community that makes it great. I could not have done any of this without the support of the Richmond running community. I’m so lucky to live and run here!

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Do you have some intentions on creating healthy habits in the new year? I’d love to hear about it!

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy. 

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Lead photo: Pexels free image for WordPress. Second: At the star on Mill Mountain during the Blue Ridge half marathon. Third: those sweet Goodr sunglasses that were the swag for the 5k series. Fourth: During the Chessie Trail Marathon. Fifth: on the Lee Bridge during the Richmond Marathon. Sixth: At the Richmond VegFest in September. Seventh: With my fellow Pink Nation coaches. Eighth: One issue of Miles and Minutes magazine.

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

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