12 Things I Learned in my Year of Running

Post By: Maggie Gebhardt, PT, DPT, OCS

As some of you may know my New Year’s resolution for 2014 was to run 1 race a month. I did not put any stipulations on it except that it had to be a sanctioned race aka  I had to pay for it and I got a shirt at the end of it.  The distance did not matter, but I did want to attempt getting to a half-marathon somewhere in the middle of all these races. The half-marathon was important to me because it was the race that has alluded me over the past couple of years due to a variety of injuries or unexpected life circumstances. In my mind, completing a half would be a true sign that I had stuck with something that was both physically and time demanding and required a fair amount of discipline to complete. Spoiler Alert…I did complete my 1st half in October and now I am hooked! Looking to plan another in 2015 already! Here are a few things I learned:

January–  Atlanta Mission 5k: Layers are important!

FebruaryTartan Trot 5K: The value of running alone. Appreciate the solitude. I’m doing this for myself and no one else!

MarchPublix 5K: It’s important to cross-train (not to confuse that with over-training) in order to stay healthy and keep running! I explain this to my patients all the time, but didn’t appreciate the value in it until I adopted it myself.

AprilGirls on the Run 5K: Physical activity is a great way to model health living!

MayBig Peach 5K: The days you don’t want to get up and run are the days it is the most important to do so. Making a commitment to yourself and sticking to it is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

JunePeachtree Corners Festival 5K: Prepare for the heat! Make sure you hydrate and acclimatize yourself to the extreme summer temperatures. Don’t just go out and exert yourself if you haven’t trained in this weather!

JulyBald Head Island Turtle Trot 5K: Running with family and friends can be so fun! One of the things I had to learn to do was to incorporate my running schedule into my vacation plans. I really enjoyed looking for races in towns I was going to be visiting and exploring the area in ways I otherwise wouldn’t have.

AugustSeeds of Change 5K: Half-marathon training officially begins…what have I gotten myself into?! The motto for this month is perseverance!

SeptemberAtlanta Beltline 8K: The half is getting closer and I am in the middle of my training. I followed Hal Higdon’s half-marathon training program and I highly recommend it! He only has you run 3 times per week, cross-train twice a week, stretch once a week, and then rest one day. I followed it fairly closely, only missing a run or two and managed to stay healthy throughout. I think it prepares you well, especially for your first one. The motto for this month is discipline!

OctoberAthHalf: I did it! I finished my first half and met my time! Words cannot express how much this accomplishment meant to me. I was lucky enough to train with my best friend and we finished only minutes apart from each other. I truly valued having training partner and would recommend having someone to go through this with you. It’s nice to have that support, that accountability, and some to gripe to knowing that they are travelling along the same path you are.

NovemberGirls on the Run 5K:  Respect and be true to yourself!

DecemberWinter Coat 5K: Everyone needs a role model.

So, what’s next you ask? Well I’ve already got a race lined up for January and April, with another half potentially in the works. I guess you can say that I have caught the running bug! Did you have any interesting New Year’s resolution stories? What activity goals did you set for yourself last year or plan to set for 2015? We would love to hear from you! Here’s to a healthy 2015!

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