Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tips On Choosing Your Top Races For The New Year!

Happy New Year and greetings from I Run Long!  Thank you Women Races for feature me in your #Pacesetters feature!  Be sure to follow at and on their facebook page at  I am honored!  My name is fRAN and I am a competitive endurance Masters runner.  Masters runners are those who are in the 40 and up age group.

Let’s talk races/racing!  2013 was a GREAT year for me.  I ran a lot of races…20 of them ranging from 5K’s to marathons!  Because of running 5 half marathons in 63 days in 2013, I became a member of the Half Fanatics group-YAY #6109! 

This girl grew up as a high school sprinter in track and ran cross-country back in the day.  I never thought that I would one day become a marathoner!  I’m really proud of all the new distances I tried this past year.  I was nervous about trying something new, but I did it and you can too!  I ran new distances such as the Pumpkin Run 5-miler, Blue Moon 10K, Big Red Shoe 15K Run With The Wind 25K, AdventureMax Half Marathon Trail race and the OKC Marathon!  Just before the New Year and as I thought about how to choose races for 2014, thought I’d take a look at what I ran in 2013.  I was curious to know how many races I’d ran.  I ran 20 races and how I will determine what races goes on the 2014 list will be to choose my favorite!   


If you’re not sure what to run in 2014, make a list of all the races you did and put a star next to your favorites.  Choose the amount of races you allow yourself.  That should make it easier for you.  You might leave room for a new distance race to try.  If you’ve done all 5K’s, kick it up a notch to the next distance such as a 10K or maybe even a half.  Most training schedules have 10 miles as your longest training run.  If you can run 10 then 3.1 more shouldn’t be that hard for you.  I’ve been there.  You can do it!  If you’ve done several halfs, try mixing in a trail race.  I loved it!  It is really fun mixing things up.  Have faith in yourself and know you can conquer any challenges and obstacles. 

#1 on the list is the first marathon I ever ran and that was the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.  It was supposed to be Little Rock Marathon, but I ended up getting sick and couldn’t run it, so OKC Marathon was a back-up plan, which turned out to be perfect!  It was just over 3 hrs. from my hometown.  I’ve registered for that one as my 1st year anniversary 26.2 and can’t wait to run it again.  This time without stopping to take photos, LOL!  I loved the whole experience and would suggest that as a first marathon. Little Rock Marathon is on my list and set to run it March 2nd.

The AdventureMax Trail Half Marathon in Highlandville, MO was a new experience for me, so I will for sure do that race again. It was quite different than everything else I have been running because trails are run on different surfaces.  On part of the race we ran in a single file line, but can pass when you reach a good spot to pass.  I’m a roadrunner and running on rocks, dirt, uneven surface, was quite challenging and you have to watch where you’re stepping.  I about fell five times and was pretty sore when I got home, but it was worth it.  I love challenges!  It was held an hour or so from where I live.  It was a great experience, beautiful scenery along the course, great medals, etc. 

Our local Ronald McDonald House Big Red Shoe 15K in Joplin, MO was challenging because of the hills along the course, but being a part of the first year event and tackling those hills was fun for me.  The final stretch of hills was on Jackson St. and that road is known as “Miss Jackson.”   I accomplished something pretty tough, but most of all, it was for a great cause.

Lastly, any of the local and surrounding area races will be on my list for sure such as the Joplin Memorial Run, Run For The Wind, Bass Pro Conservation weekend races, Run for the Ranch, Joplin Chilly 5K, Joplin Turkey Trot, to name a few, are on the list for 2014.  Three full marathons are on the list and I am already registered for two of them  already.