That’s a wrap!

My year of running has officially come to an end. Well, it’s not like I’ll be kicking off my running shoes and taking it easy until January 1st, but I did run my last race of the year this past weekend. Nothing major- just a small, un-timed, all women 5K. I ended up running it alone and without music (a first for me minus my tris and the half. That’s right- I ran an entire half marathon without headphones), which I was annoyed with at first but eventually found myself in a pretty good groove. It had started to snow lightly and I listened to the snowflakes falling to the ground, listened to my breathing, listened to my feet hitting the pavement. According to my watch I was less than a minute from a PR which didn’t upset me at all. Sometimes its just not about your time.

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So after 11 5Ks, 2 10Ks, 3 5 Milers, 2 triathlons, a few random races, and one half marathon I’m wrapping up a year of running and putting a big beautiful bow on it. It really blows my mind how much I was able to accomplish this year. How much I grew both as a person and as an ATHLETE (still feels weird to call myself that, PS). How much I learned. I still remember the day I was asked if I wanted to “race or run” a race and how embarrassed I was that I didn’t know the difference. I know the difference now.

photo (4)I’ve seen a little running survey going around (Thanks for the idea Sarah!) and thought that a list of “superlatives” was a perfect way to sum up my year. It’s a combination of the best, the worst, and the most important things I’ve learned. Here’s to discovering the happiness of running… and hopefully another wonderful year of it.

Best race experience: For sure, Iron Girl. Almost 6 months later and I constantly find myself going back to the pictures of that day and smiling. I think it was the fact that I was SO nervous, that I was SO certain I couldn’t do it and yet when my body hit the water… it was as if I went into autopilot. I think the pictures the race photographer caught say it all, for I am literally floating across the finish line. Oh Iron Girl, you send happy shivers down my spine.

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Worst race experience: There are definitely a few that I’ve put into the “that never happened” category but the worst to date was my first 5 miler. I even made my fiancee delete the pictures of me running it because I wanted to erase it from my memory completely. A combination of practically no dinner the night before, eating something new on race day, 110% humidity, and some MISERABLE hills nearly made me pass out at the finish. Plenty of lessons learned here kids.

Race I will never forget: Not a race that I ran but it certainly changed my life forever. I know that I’ve made a few references to it in my posts, but I still think about the Marathon constantly, I’d say almost every day. It’s amazing how clear every detail of that day remains right down to what I was wearing. I can’t walk near where I was standing when the bombs went off without a nagging feeling in my stomach. It will forever be a reminder to be thankful for the people that surround me, and the limbs that carry me.

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Best run: This may sound strange- but my 10 mile training run for the Chilly Half. It was my first double digit run, and I did it completely by myself. My brain is constantly getting in the way of my feet but this was one occasion where I willed myself to keep going and entered the world of double digit running like a true rockstar.

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Best new piece of gear: My TomTom Multisport watch. Sometimes Tom gets a little wacky (his mile chirps get sadder the further into a run we go) but he’s helping me become a better runner, one mile at a time.

Best piece of running advice I’ve received: Trust in your training. I am actually considering getting that tattooed across my face- backwards- so it will be staring back at me when I look in the mirror. I need to tell myself this every day. I am constantly second guessing my body even though it’s constantly proving me wrong. Someday it will all click.

Favorite thing about being a runner: The community. I love my running family so much. I love that we can talk about bodily functions and compare blisters without a blink of an eye. I love that we all pile into a car and no one can tell who smells worse. I love that they challenge me and inspire me and make my runs so fun. They are worth more than all the medals in the world.

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Most inspirational runner: If you know me at all I’m sure it doesn’t come as a shock that without skipping a beat I say this girl:

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Even if you don’t know me outside of this blog I’m sure that you have noticed by now that she is in almost all my race pictures… because she has been right next to me at every major finish line. She’s an incredible runner and athlete who inspires me to work a little harder every day (Mostly because I just want something I’m better than her at!). Sometimes I think she knows me better than I know myself…. she certainly knows what I’m capable of light years before I do. She pushes me physically and mentally, she motivates me, she calls me out when I’m being a half ass, and she literally leaves me in awe of what she does. If I ever become half the runner she is I will feel accomplished.

To sum up my year in a few words: Sweaty. Achy. Hard work. Educational. Inspiring. Amazing. 🙂

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About Kathleen

When your legs get tired run with your heart.

Posted on December 17, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Love love love! I’m excited to see what 2014 brings.

  2. Sounds like you had an amazing year of running and racing. I agree with you that one of the best things about being a runner is the community and atmosphere. Great post and great recap on 2013. 🙂

  3. Ok you make me cry every post. I love reading about your journey and feel so honored that I’ve been part of some of those journeys with you (especially iron girl). You rock!

  4. Awesome post! Sounds like 2013 was a great year for you. Looking forward to following along in 2014!

  5. What an amazing year and an awesome post. Looking forward to following along in 2014!

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