Friday, December 21, 2012

The Year of Awesome Bling

Last Christmas, I received a "For the Bling of It" headband from my parents. At the time, I thought of it merely a funny saying. Little did I know how true that would become for my next year of running.

When I revisited my treadmill this week, I took a deeper look at all my medals hanging on the basement wall. An entire rack was from 2012 races alone! I quickly realized that many of the events I registered soley because I wanted the bling.  I did more races... but less for the time, and more for the fun bling of it.

It's hard to pick my favorite. While some are just cool designs, others have huge emotional attachment based on the achievement represented.

Race Medals from Jan-June 2012
(left to right)  
Myrtle Beach Half Marathon - I worked really hard for this one - my first sub-2!!  The one and only race that I cried at the finish. So proud of those flip-flops!

Lincoln Presidental Half Marathon - I did this for the giant penny, no lie. It was a hilly course that I usually would have veered away from... but I still finished sub-2.

Oshkosh Half Marathon (not pictured) - Perhaps I forgot to include this medal because it's always the ugliest one of the year? Ha! Regardless, I run the race because it's close to my hometown in Wisconsin and super cheap race. Another sub-2. I was on a roll!

Wisconsin Marathon - I had initially planned to run the half - called in by the awesome Wisconsin cheese medal. Then they announced the ribbon colors: Full marathon was yellow for cheddar cheese and the Half was white for swiss cheese. I don't like swiss cheese... so just like that, I signed up for the full. Foolish? Yes!  But I trained hard for this and PR'd over my previous marathon by 25 minutes!  Still my standing marathon PR.

Bayshore Half Marathon - The medal is classic and nothing fancy. However, the course for this high-demand, hard-to-get-in event was simply amazing! Probably the most scenic course I've ever ran. It was also super flat - resulting in a stunning PR that will be super hard for me to ever break.

Ragnar Ultra Chicago - I still haven't even written a recap for this two-day race. The whole experience was awesome and grueling in the same sentence. A huge run challenge that became even more difficult as the brutal summer heat tore us apart. I ran a total of 33.5 miles and proud of the venture... although I'm not exactly rushing to sign up for another. The medal is by far my heaviest to date.

Sole Sisters Birthday Run - simple dog tag necklace to celebrate the first anniversary of the Sole Sisters, my women's running group.  Love these ladies!

Race Medals from July-Dec 2012
(left to right)  

Air Force Half Marathon - It was really the first event picked for my Race All 50 quest, chosen based on our dedication to the Air Force. I had a terrible run, but it was my husband's first Half. I loved the classic look of the medal, which had a similar look to the Air Force coins.  The ribbon is of course outstanding and makes it one of my favorites.

Route 66 Marathon - Confession, I ran this soley for the bling. Once I saw that medal, I was obsessed with trying to find a way to get to Oklahoma. In fact, I registered before even looking at the course and elevation chart. It was a challenging run for me, but the "girls road trip" made it one of my favorite experiences of the year.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon - I registered before I even saw the bling. I felt a need to run a Disney race after reading so many rave reviews... and my kids were ready for a Disney vacation. So I tied the two into one trip... lesson #1, don't do that. The course was nice and I enjoyed running at night, but the whole event just kinda left a 'blah' taste in my mouth. Disney races just aren't my cup of tea, but the medal sure is cool!

Cupcake Classic 5K - My 2nd annual virtual race! Thanks everyone for participating!

Monster Dash 10K - Spur of the moment registration... slightly for the bling and jacket, but also part of my birthday getaway weekend. Two races back to back. I had a beautiful easy run along the lakeshore of Chicago and really enjoyed this race!  (and another one that I have yet to write a race recap...)

IVS Half Marathon Relay - The medal was designed to be a pretty Christmas ornament. It came with a sparkly ribbon attached to the see through medallion to hang on your tree.  Creative, but I removed that part to hang nicely on my medal rack instead. I had a fun time running this local race on a team with one of my favorite running buddies.

ZOOMA Half Marathon - A different kind of bling, we got a cool necklace at the finish line of this women's half marathon. Another hilly course that I'm proud to have conquered. Also part of my birthday getaway weekend, I had a super fun time with the Chicago bloggers and my local friends that made the trip with me. Gotta love Girls Weekends!

Another variation of race bling, I received this palm-size coin at the Route 66 Marathon for taking the 'Center of the Universe detour', making it the world's shortest ultra-marathon.

I never win this kind of stuff, so I was really excited to add these to my collection this year.  I won the trophy at my very first triathlon this past August. Also in August, I crushed my PR in a local 5K, collecting the 1st place ribbon in my age group!

I think it's safe to say that 2012 was the Year of Awesome Bling!
This year's race schedule begins for me with the Little Rock Marathon (medal as big as your head!!), so I can't wait to see what 2013 will bring. Race directors, keep bringing your creativity to the race! This runner loves it.

What race had your favorite bling this year?


  1. great medals, Jess! And I still heart ya even though you're not a #runDisney fan ;)

    Hope we get another chance to meet in 2013!!!!!! That was MY biggest disappointment about W+D ;)

  2. You had a fabulous year and the bling to prove it! Even better (for me) I got to see you 3X!!!
    Wisconsin Marathon
    Ragnar--ok I saw your van, not you. Haha!
    I so want that penny medal but the hills repel me.
    Happy Holidays!

  3. I love this idea. I'm going to have to dig through my collection from this year.

    You've got some great bling there! Congratulations on all of your hard work.

  4. What a year! Here's to an even better '13, since I get to "run with" you a bunch!

  5. Wow! That is amazing! I'm pretty happy with my . . . . four medals. Ha! Can't wait to earn that Little Rock Marathon hubcap.

  6. My fav bling from this year is my corning wineglass medal...its hand blown corning glass! And I did it w/my bff from highschool, whom I see only once every few years!

  7. Love all of the bling! My favorite bling was probably one of my relays, since I love them so much, and even though it wasn't a great race and I struggled (mentally and physically) my first marathon medal. Although, my second marathon medal will be more important since my husband will, hopefully, finish that race (unlike our first).

  8. AMAZING. I hope to have a year like that in 2013. I just started running in July but already have about 10 races lined up for 2013- 4 being half marathons! I can't wait to be back in the midwest, they have some great races there!

  9. Holy cow! That's a lot of bling!! I only did one race this year and there was no bling, just the "good" feeling for donating to the local food bank. I like the necklace idea, instead of a medal. Very cute.

  10. LOVE this post... your bling is way better than mine... i think i may now do a post called "year of the not so bling" and post all the sucky ones I got haha.

    little rock's bling is making me want to run that race again!

  11. Awesome bling girl and again congrats on your sub-2 at Myrtle Beach! You should be super proud of those flip flops!
    I hope one day to run a sub-2.

  12. My favorite medal this year is from the Ragnar Relay. I wish I was doing it again next year!

  13. Wow! Love all the bling. My favorite bling from this year was my Dances with Dirt Half Marathon bling. It was my first trail race and we had a blast doing it.

  14. Congrats to you , those are all awesome and you worked very hard for them!! Way to go!!

  15. congrats to you, and GREAT bling! i want that lincoln medal so bad!

  16. Great bling! Looking forward to seeing that Eugene hit your hanger too.

  17. Wow, love it!! YOu had an amazing 2012!!


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