2013 was such a huge year for me – I learned a lot about myself, my body, and my abilities. I learned that the only limits we truly have are the ones we set for ourselves – that’s why I threw the “Lose Your Limits Challenge 2014” out there. At the time, I didn’t realize I had already taken on this challenge myself. As my 2013 running season drew to a close, I began lining up my 2014 season – that is where MY challenge lies – this upcoming year of races is jam-packed. If things continue the way they are I’ll be running a race nearly every weekend! Lots of races are close together or back to back, and there are going to be some BIG ones later in the year. My 2014 season starts in 13 days, and I’d like to share the first installment of that season with you today.

I’m so fortunate to have a number of sponsors backing me for my 2014 race season! Without them, I wouldn’t be able to run nearly as many races as I am. These first three races I want to share with you are sponsored by my  very first sponsor – the one that made it possible for me to run my first half-martahon SportClips in Falmouth.

For those of you who haven’t been there…as the logo implies, it’s a sports-themed haircut place meant primarily for guys. There are tv’s literally everywhere – including posted up between chairs for you to watch tv while you get a haircut. It’s definitely an interesting concept, and I can dig it. They also do this thing called the “MVP” – it’s like a little man-spa. You should check out their site and learn a little more – if you’re anywhere near (or on) Cape Cod, the one in Falmouth is the closest one to you – I’m pretty sure it’s the only one this side of Boston.

The Races

George (the owner over at SportClips) was kind enough to sponsor me for three local races. The first one is on January 5th! I bet that’ll be a cold one (or not, if this weird New England weather keeps up!).

Cape Cod Road Runner’s 34th Annual Winter Fun Run
This one looks like a lot of fun! The course takes you through some back-road area in Bourne / Monument Beach (just past the Bourne Bridge), with about a half-mile stretch along the beach itself. I’m REALLY hoping it’s not windy – that half-mile could be pretty awful. It’s a weird length for a course – 4.87 miles. I’ve found that most, if not all, non-standard distance courses tend to have a story behind their distance. The Falmouth Road Race began as a run from the Captain Kidd in Woods Hole to the BBC in Falmouth (hence 7.4 miles), and it looks like (in terms of having a story) this race is no different. It used to be a course along a dirt road, which began at The Weary Traveler Shrine Club (Shriners are a part of Freemasonry), but over time maintenance of the dirt road became an issue, so they chose a new course. The revised course fell just short of 5 miles, but they stuck with it.

This is a “fun run”. What does that mean? It means there is no chip timing, and those bibs you see in the picture are basic and, it would seem, to help them jot down some overall and age group award winners. This’ll feel the same as any other race I’ve run – not like I’m the leader of the pack taking home the prize for running a 15 minute 5K yet! Hah. The entry fees from this go to support the Bourne Conservation Trust – a private non-profit that acquires land in order to leave it in its natural state. Sounds good to me :).

Lovin’ L.I.F.E. 5K
This one has some special meaning for me. This was not only my first 5K, but my first RACE ever! I’m VERY excited to run it again and see how I stack up against myself from last year. Last time I ran this race it was just a month and a half after I started running in the first place.

This race, if they keep the same course as last year, takes you through some back roads and neighborhoods in Mashpee, MA. The home stretch goes along Great Neck Road in Mashpee, and the finish line is right in the L.I.F.E. complex.
L.I.F.E. stands for Living Independently Forever. It’s a non-profit org that provides assisted living for adults with disabilities in its condominium complex. It’s a great group doing some great work, and I’m happy to support them! The race is on May 4th, 2014. Should be a nice spring day, just like last year!

Falmouth Flag Day 5K

This race is still pending announcement, so it’s tentative. I’m PLANNING on running this one! This looks like a really fun race, and I ALMOST registered for it last year. I’m not sure of the exact route of the course, but if photos are any indication it looks like the finish is right near the Falmouth Road Race finish – by the BBC in Falmouth Heights. If that’s the case, I’m sure this will be a very scenic race! This (hopefully) sunny June race will be a nice way to come down off of a half-marathon and an obstacle race…more on that soon 😉

WHY Am I Doing This?

These are just three of the 12 races I am (so far) registered for (through July), and there will be more coming. Why am I running so many races? And why would I register for races back to back? I’m doing it to show that you can. If I can do it, anyone can. This time last year I was just beginning my fitness journey – I had just finished P90X, I was on the road to being healthy, but I never in a million years would’ve thought I could go and run. A year and a half ago…I was still resigned to the “fact” that I was, and would forever be, big. Clearly, that is not the case.

Running is the most simple form of fitness.
Some more…enthusiastic runners…can make it very complicated…but in its simplest form, you strap on a pair of shoes and hit the road, trail, or treadmill. That’s it. No complicated moves, no fancy agility training, no weights, no special gear, just you and the road. There is no reason why someone can’t get out there and be a runner. This is how I’m losing my limits – I’m running. I’m running more, I’m running faster, I’m running farther. By the end of 2014, I want to have completed my first marathon. I want that 26.2. And I’ll get it.

I didn’t identify, personally, as a runner until I finished that half-marathon. I don’t really know why…maybe I felt like I had something to prove to myself, or had to accomplish something big…who knows. I’ve come to find, however, that it’s very easy to figure out if you’re a runner.

So get out there. Challenge yourself. Do something amazing. Lose your limits. I promise you, if you lose your perceptions of what you’re capable of, if you challenge yourself, and put the time in to train…you can accomplish some mind-blowing feats. If someone had come up to me in August 2012 (when this all started) and told me that as I entered 2014 I would be training for my first marathon…I would’ve told them to their face they were high. Now…Now I’m hoping to be training for an Ultra-Marathon by 2015. Funny how things change.
What are YOU training for? Have you taken on the challenge?