Over the holidays I got the same question from several different people- “How did you start running?” Several friends and family members confessed to me that they are interested in running, but the hate it or don’t know where to begin. 2016 wasn’t a very good year for me overall, but it was the first time I have ever kept a resolution. In 2016 I became a runner. Not a fast runner, but still a runner.

I joined two groups that helped me get started, thanks to my long time best friend Amanda.

The first is the Hogwarts Running Club. They give you medals to earn at your own pace, and the medals are Harry Potter themed! I have been reading HP since I was in 4th grade and grew up watching the movies and reading the books. The cheesy Harry Potter themed medals motivated me during some of the longer training runs. More importantly though the club helped me connect with other runners in my area to meet up with before and after each local race. I spent the majority of the year with my husband deployed and none of my existing local friends are runners or even willing to meet me at a race  to cheer me on so it was so nice always having a group to meet up with so I wasn’t drinking alone after the race.

The second thing that kept me motivated was Run The Year. I joined because of my friend Amanda- again. She included me in her team of 4 and I was terrified to let her down. I wasn’t a runner or even a walker. Our team goal was 504 miles each to equal 2016 miles for the year. I am thrilled to say I met the goal and achieved 586.7 miles for the year. I only counted my intentional miles for running or walking. My FitBit miles were well over 1,000 for the year, but I chose to make the challenge only related to working out. My team had some issues logging their miles in the tracker, one seemed to have totally lost interest, and one was pregnant for the first half of the year and then a single mom the second half of the year… so I don’t think we actually made out goal. I still display my medal with pride, because I know that I did my part and stayed committed throughout the year.

So now what? In 2016 I completed 170 race miles combining virtual races and live races. That includes live three half marathons with an 18min 18 second improvement between the first and the last half. I completed multiple challenges and pushed myself to do more than I ever thought possible.

What’s next?

My goal for this year will be to reach over 733 miles, a 25% increase from last year. It is only an average of 2 miles a day which seems pretty do-able. My challenge is to achieve 1008.5 running miles to complete the 2017 miles with just myself and Amanda. 84 miles a month. It is twice my miles from last year, but I think it is possible with determination…and accountability.

I am currently signed up for 21 races, a few include a challenge medal so I will have another year full of bling.

I will continue to do the Hogwarts Running Club races, because I love the HP medals and they motivate me to push myself during training runs.

I am the most excited to do the Disney Princess Half Marathon next month! It is going to be a highlight of my running so far.

I signed up to participate with a local training team which meets 2-4x a week and provides me with a training plan. Everyone in the group has been so friendly, motivating, and encouraging. I never would have thought I could make it with a group of “real runners.” I am not fast and may never be fast with my knee issues, but this group makes me feel welcomed and encourages me to push myself to try harder and get better with every run. I find myself wanting to get out there and complete my training runs. I look forward to Thursday nights and Saturday mornings when I run with the team.

Finally- I mentioned accountability. I started this blog a few months ago when I came up with the name “RockAnneRun” and “RockAnneRace”. I didn’t know if I wanted to do anything with it though. It has just been sitting here waiting. When I was out walking this afternoon I captured a great picture of the sunset at the park near my house. Reflecting on the last year and how far I have come and the conversations I had over the break about my running experience so far I decided to give this blog and the instagram a go. Why not? The worst that can happen is that I decide I don’t have the time or energy for it. Then it will go away. Maybe it will keep me accountable though. Let’s find out… happy 2017!


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