I am beginning my 2nd full year of running as I begin this blog. There was a lot that happened during the first year. I ran lots of races, had a few injuries, basically lived and learned.
I had issues with shin splits early in the year. I didn't get properly fitted for running shoes until after the Shamrock Shuffle. Once I did that I was in good shape for awhile. I pulled a hamstring sprinting to the finish of the BTN Big Ten 10k and that slowed me down for a bit. Overall I did ok on the injury front. I learned what my body would tolerate as far as training load and running form.
When it comes to races I learned a few lessons too. My body absolutely hates running in warmer weather. It just runs hot and I overheat easily. My first ever half marathon was the Allstate 13.1 last June. The temperature during the race reached 85 degrees which I was completely unprepared for. I was doing well for about 9 miles until I started sputtering. I walked most of the last 3 miles just trying to get to the finish line. I also learned I shouldn't charge so hard up the "hills" we have here in Chicago. It led to another situation where I bonked during the Monster Dash and wound up doing walking/jogging intervals for the last 2 miles of the race.
Since it was my first year of running, I was able to improve a lot over the course of the year. I don't think I'll ever be super fast considering I'm short (5'6'') and on the heavier side (170lbs), but still do alright.
5K 24:24 -> 23:35
10K 53:xx -> 47:49
13.1 2:13:10 -> 1:55:07
Now that I'm in my 2nd year of running and will be logging a lot more miles as I train for the Chicago Marathon I will see my times continue to fall.