12 Month Club

A race each month of the year?  It can be done and it is great for fitness and fun!

12 month club pin

My good friend Beth has been working towards a really fun running goal for the past few years.  She is running a race a month and calls it the 12 month club!  She lives and races in Washington, DC, so there is always a cool race happening.

You may remember that Beth is my best friend Sarah’s sister.  We all grew up together and still get to spend some quality time together. Here we are this past summer in Washington, DC.

(Beth is on the left)

beth sarah julie

Beth was also one of the first guest posters on Running in a Skirt over two years ago when she shared her experiences running and training for the Chicago Marathon.  We have really bonded over running the same marathon!

I was so happy when she offered to share her experiences racing so much this year.  So without further ado, I’m passing the blog over the Beth for the day to talk more about the 12 month club!

Thanks Beth!

12 Month Club

After years of missing the half marathon or marathon distance, I have finally submitted to the middle distance. The last few years, I have run/aimed for a race a month. Most years I’m 8/12 or 9/12 (darn summer & January!) but this year (fingers crossed) I will run a race in 11 out of 12 months!

What does running a race a month offer?

1- Motivation

When you have a race to run a month, you can’t really opt-out of a training run  – especially once you’ve registered, paid, and Facebooked about it! A race a month provides the focus for training, goal-setting, and measurable improvement. Most runners improve the greatest in the first several years, so if you’re running a 5k a month, you’ll see a incremental, measurable,  and t-shirt approved progress. Plus, who doesn’t want a high-five from a stranger affirming your awesomeness? The key to successful fitness is finding the right motivation and having this goal definitely has helped me!beth december race

2-  Fitness

The more you train in a race setting; the better your pacing and running economy will become. The more running, the more endurance, and  the more opportunities to improve! Every April in DC, there is a 5k every Friday in a local business district. It’ s a great way to add a speed workout to your weekly training, and I don’t know about you but I’d take a 5k over running 4 x 800s any day!


3-  Positive

Runners are happy people. I think it’s rare to go to a race and see folks lining up before the sunrises, and not feel their positive energy. So, do the math – a race a month, 12 opportunities to be around an awesome, happy, and fit group. Another positive – worried you’re not fast enough to be a runner or not good enough? Run a race. You will not be last – far from it! If that’s not motivation enough, run another, you’ve got 11 more!

beth glow stick race

4- Brunch

I love brunch: cooking, dining out, friends, and the mimosaness of it all!  A race a month is a reason to try a new recipe, new restaurant, and/or  host friends to re-hash that crazy hill or crazy week!


(Note from Julie:  Beth is an amazing chef!!! An invitation to a meal at her house means a gourmet feast!)

5- Realistic, goal-setting

I firmly believe the best exercise is the one you do! For me, its running & yoga! Running a race a month allows you to scale the effort to your goal and fitness-level.

Totals for the year:
11 – months raced
15 total races in 2014 (at least one every month except January)
5ks – 8
8ks – 2
10ks – 4

So, what do you think? Want to join the 12-month club?

I’m sharing this post on Friday for the Jill Conyers Fitness Friday linkup!

Your turn?

How many races do you run a year?

I tend to run most of my races in the Spring and Early summer.  Sometimes I’ll plan a busy Fall season too, but life always seems to get in the way for me in the Fall.

Have you ever aimed for a fun goal like this one?

By | 2017-08-15T14:04:20-04:00 December 10th, 2014|Fitness, Friends & Family, Motivation/ Inspiration, Newbie Running, Running|28 Comments


  1. Aspen Egbert December 25, 2015 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Last December I made a goal for 2015! I wanted to run at least a 1/2 marathon every month of the year with 2 full marathons thrown into the mix somewhere. I started training on December 29th 2014, 10 days after my 4th baby was born and ran my first 1/2 marathon of the year January 17th when he was only 4 weeks old. I actually ran 3 full marathons, a 200 mile relay, 9 half marathons, two 10k’s, and a 5k with my kids. 700 miles later and counting, I have learned a few things. I share this with you not to brag but to share what I’ve learned along the way. I never imagined I could be a runner! Never crossed my mind…until I turned 30 a few years back and realized running a marathon was on my bucket list but I couldn’t even run 2 minutes without stopping and thinking I was going to die!
    I’ve learned a lot this past year as I trained, putting in the miles running, strength training, cross training and mentally preparing myself through daily scripture study and personal development. Creating the balance in my life that I need to be a wife, mother, business owner, exercise & nutrition coach, volunteer, and runner is very important to me and I don’t get that balance without having the right mindset first. I couldn’t have accomplished this goal without the continued support of a loving husband and kids, friends and family that watched kids as I trained and raced. My running friends that were willing to run with me down the Canyon countless times and meet me at races.
    I have learned that I can do anything I set my mind to. I can do hard things. Did I get tired? Yes! Did I face challenges? Yes! There were days of up hill running and when I thought I’d catch a break and be able to go down hill, there was a 25 mph wind blowing in my face. Snowy, rainy and cold days. Races that I expexcted to do better but it rained the whole time. There were days I couldn’t train outside and the miles on the treadmill were miserable. There were days that I didn’t make it out early so I’d have to push a stroller with 2 kids and 100 extra lbs. of weight. There were days I didn’t feel like training and I was going to give up making the excuse that it was too lofty of a goal. But I got out there and I made it happen. Why? Because I believe in myself and know that if I put my mind to something, there will be a way to make it happen. For things to change we need to change and for things to get better we need to get better and it happened for me with this goal, one step at a time!
    As you think about the new year approaching, think about what you want to accomplish in 2016. What’s your big vision? Then break it down to what each month would be like to reach it, then what each week. I didn’t run 16 races by the end of the year without setting a plan of what I was going to accomplish each month.
    If your goal is to be a better runner, get stronger, lose weight, tone up, eat healthier, have more energy, be financially stable or if you’re wondering how you are going to make time for your goals, send me a message and reach out to me! I would love to assist you in your endeavors and help you set up a plan.

    A goal without a plan is simply a wish! Let’s put it in action and let me help you this coming year! 2016 is your year to do great things! Why not you, why not now?

    Vision + Discipline = A goal accomplished
    Thank you for reading! I wish you all a happy and healthy new year!

    • JulieWunder January 3, 2016 at 10:28 am - Reply

      What a great testament to what hard work can accomplish! Congratulations– So proud of you! Thanks for taking the time to write about it and I’m very excited to see what you’ll pull off in 2016!

  2. Denise Ronzzo December 23, 2015 at 12:48 am - Reply

    My goal for 2015 was to run one race each month and I not only achieved it, but surpassed it by running 16 which included one half marathon and one Spartan. Now I have a week and a half to figure out what goal to set for 2016.

  3. jill conyers December 13, 2014 at 4:09 am - Reply

    I’m interested! I’ve done 12 in 2012 and 13 in 2013 and loved the challenge and motivation. Not quite as successful with 14 in 2014 (injuries ugh!) but that won’t stop me from another year long running challenge. I’m sending you an email πŸ™‚

  4. Bryan White December 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    I can’t say I am a full-on member of the 12 Month Club because sometimes there simply aren’t races on the calendar that fit my goals. I tend to pick races based on distance, where the money is going, and if it’s a course I normally couldn’t run on my own for free. I sometimes will do at least 2 races a month but have one month where I’m not racing. Depends on how it all pans out with scheduling, $$, and the other factors I mentioned.

  5. Beth December 12, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Awesome job, Beth! I had no idea that you had such a fantastic goal set out. I agree that doing a race a month is a great way to stay motivated to move a little each day, without wearing yourself out. Having just finished a marathon, doing some 5-10k’s sounds just fine for a while. See you out on the courses!

  6. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West December 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Julie (and Beth). This is my first time stopping by. I LOVE this post. You see, I’m not much of a runner but have done a few races (I get most of my running in when teaching or taking group fitness). And I love the way I feel on race day and after finishing. Not to mention, it’s a good time to bring together your running friends. I did a Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving and my time was better than ever before, so I know I’d keep getting faster if I ran more. Thanks for the inspiration. Have a happy Thursday!

  7. Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections December 11, 2014 at 8:40 am - Reply

    I LOVE this idea! I think it would really keep me motivated as a runner!

  8. Joanna @Makingmine December 11, 2014 at 7:35 am - Reply

    I ALMOST achieved this goal this year – just missed 2 months. Next year I’ll have a new baby, but maybe the year after that I can try again! πŸ™‚

    • JulieWunder December 11, 2014 at 8:30 am - Reply

      That’s great! The year after next sounds perfect for you!

  9. Jolie December 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Great idea! This was a totally reasonable goal when I lived in FL or ATL where races were more prevalent but it is definitely harder to make happen here without being willing to travel in/around WNC a bit. Especially during the winter months the races here get a bit sparse. I definitely think it is worth a try though!!!

  10. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes December 10, 2014 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    I love the idea of a race a month…I think I may have actually done that this year. Well, I may have missed a month and doubled up on others πŸ™‚

  11. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie December 10, 2014 at 8:53 am - Reply

    I am so game!! This sounds like a lot of fun. I normally fun 3-4 races a year, but have always wanted to run more.

    • JulieWunder December 10, 2014 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      I agree. It is such a fun way to keep the running momentum year round.

  12. Tracy December 10, 2014 at 8:28 am - Reply

    I loved reading this! In 2013 I set a goal to do a race every month (I think I missed August but still ended up with 14 or 15), and I think I’ve done 13 or 14 this year too (just worked out that way). I really agree that it helps to have a race to look forward to and that being around other runners so often keeps me happy πŸ™‚

    • JulieWunder December 10, 2014 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      I agree. I love to have a plan and the next race too. Even if it is just a race for fun, it gives me a reason to keep at it.

  13. Kirtley @ The Gist of Fit December 10, 2014 at 8:21 am - Reply

    WHATTTT?? That’s crazy awesome!! I think I’m happy with one a year haha. Those babies can get super pricey haha, but they’re a lot of fun. Great idea!

    • JulieWunder December 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      Isn’t it cool!
      There are a lot of small affordable races around here so I’m lucky!

  14. Dan Steadman December 10, 2014 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Somehow I wind up around 7 no matter how I try to cut back, they do cost money…this year I ran in 7 of 12 months and ran 8 races…fun goal no, but I did try a half marathon in back to back weekends trying to PR each and came 30 seconds off that goal (PR’d the first)

    • JulieWunder December 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      You are racing a good bit every year too! I’m so glad the back to back half gave you your PR! You’ve had a great year.

  15. Interesting! Will have to connect with Beth since she lives in the DC area.I think running races is great for all of the reasons you’ve mentioned. If you keep it to shorter races as she has done it works. One year I did too many half races too close together and it was too much for me. It’s hard to resist the urge to sign up for everything all my friends are signing up for!

    • JulieWunder December 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm - Reply

      Yes! We will have to figure that out. I think she was at the same race you were this past weekend. She love running groups.
      I really struggle with avoiding that urge to sign up for ALL THE RACES too.

  16. Susie @ SuzLyfe December 10, 2014 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Wooo hooo! I would totally do this if I a) had the funds and b) didn’t live in constant fear of getting hurt, lol.
    PS I love that one of your reasons is brunch. YOU ARE MY FAVORITE FOR THAT

    • JulieWunder December 10, 2014 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      Good point Susie! I have to be careful to not push too hard all the time or I will get hurt.
      I could totally do this though and pick some of the races to be “fun runs” or help pace a newbie running friend.

  17. Jenny December 10, 2014 at 5:10 am - Reply

    These points are great! I especially love the “t-shirt approved progress.” Am I the only runner in the world who really doesn’t like races? I really, really want to like them! Maybe I should ease into a goal like this and the bug will find me… πŸ™‚

    • JulieWunder December 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Very funny line from Beth πŸ™‚
      I didn’t know you don’t like races! Very interesting! I obviously love racing, but I can get burnt out too. I ran a TON this spring and totally needed a break after the last one.

      • Jenny December 11, 2014 at 10:10 am - Reply

        I think it’s the whole hurry up and wait thing at the beginning…I like Beth’s perspective of feeding off the anticipation and energy, though! πŸ˜‰

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