First topic to discuss: my training plan.
Going into training my biggest fear was not sticking with my training. So when researching plans to base my own plan off of I was really drawn to the idea of FIRST Half Marathon Training where the basic idea is you run 3 times a week and no junk miles. This doesn't mean that the other 4 days are rest days, but you can read all up on the idea behind that kind of training plan from the link above.
So, in the end my plan had three days a week of running, an interval workout, a tempo run, and a long run. And supposed cross and strength training. Let's just say, this did NOT work for me.
One of my biggest obstacles was that I was always looking forward to what sounded like hard (which they were supposed to be) and awful runs which made it all too easy to postpone them a day and then opps, I need to get in that tempo now too. I never had a nice easy 3 mile run that I could walk out the door and not really even think about; it was all engaged, pace-focused running and that took all the joy out of running.
I didn't plan the cross training days, but biking and swimming are recommended. I have this weird phobia of swimming and not knowing proper technique so there was no way I was about to jump into a public pool with other people around.
I LOVE biking and have a nice road bike, but for the most part it was winter and no where near weather I would comfortably bike in so that didn't happen much until the very end of 'training.' I did however make it to a couple spin classes which I am a fan of. And I did the elliptical a couple times, but I absolutely hate it so I didn't stick with that either. I did do a LOT of hot yoga, but I think I am going to write a whole post on that one!
The main thing was, I didn't have a solid, go-to form of cross training that I could do whenever I wanted and I felt like I "couldn't" just go for an easy 3-4 miler. And you might think I could have just tweaked the plan in the middle... but I abandoned it completely and ran very little. There were some other factors that contributed to this but I'm not going to go into any of those.
So, when it comes down to it I think my 'training plan' was a complete fail. I did well (for me) in both races, but I still wondered what I could be capable of if I trained more properly. And I guess that is what this year is for.