The good, the bad, the sweaty: another year of running.
Today I will bundle up and head out for my last easy 3 of 2014 which brings my total miles run this year to … 713. 713 miles for the girl who never thought she’d be a runner? Pretty awesome. What I’m even more shocked about is that this year I logged 54.26 miles IN THE POOL! That’s pretty much a mile a week. That’s like swimming to New Hampshire (okay so I didn’t swim all those miles at the same time- but you get my point). This number really impresses me because I was incredibly anxious about really learning to swim, and now it’s become routine to me.
When I filled out this survey last December I was still on my new runner high. I had just finished an impressive year of firsts and PRs and figured that rush would just spill into a new year. And then came injury. Setbacks. Learning you can’t build speed and distance at the same time. ACCEPTING that you can’t build speed and distance at the same time. This year has had a lot of ups and downs, but I think I’ve learned a lot. After a year of 14 races (5 5Ks, 2 5 milers, 2 10Ks, 3 half marathons and 2/3rds of a triathlon) I’m ready to take what I’ve learned and work towards new challenges, new accomplishments, and as few niggles as possible. Here’s to a 3rd New Years Eve without resolutions, but with a commitment to keep moving forward.
Best race experience: I have two favorites here. The first being the Hingham 4th of July Road Race. I had just (barely) finished a miserable half, was in the middle of injury land, and felt terrible about my running in general. It simply took two friends sticking back to run with me, a few patriotic facts, and endless jokes to turn it into one of the best races I’ve done.
The other is the Timberman Half. The combination of a double out-and-back, a mid day start, and the first 13.1 I conquered on my own still give me goosebumps of pride. A challenge that seemed so impossible at first, but somehow I crossed that finish line grinning from ear to ear.
Worst race experience: Although there were a few “memorable” (for better or worse) races this year the Pilgrimman Tri definitely wins. A few weeks ago I slid into a lane at the pool with a guy wearing the yellow swim cap I threw away, and immediately felt my face turn 50 shades of pink. I’m still ashamed, still angry, and still a little shaken over the whole ordeal.
Race I will never forget: The Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run! From the half marathoners showing up shirtless with their numbers pinned to board shorts, to when I turned my head to find horses running alongside the course, this was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I go back to it in my mind when my nose won’t stop running and my cheeks hurt from the cold wind. 🙂
Best run: My wedding morning “shake out” run. I’ll never forget heading towards the beach as the sun came up, letting the familiarity of “right left right” calm the nervous energy flowing through my body. I arrived back at my house excited, refreshed, and ready to be transformed into a bride.
Best new piece of gear: With Christmas less than a week behind us I would have to say all of the awesome winter gear my husband got me for marathon training. Which he wrapped in individual boxes. With motivational quotes on each of them. Have I ever mentioned how much I love this guy?
Best piece of running advice I’ve received: “Do it for you”. My PRs are never going to impress anyone, there will always be someone out there who is faster than me, and the majority of you could give two shits about my goals for 2015. Not a soul could read my weekly posts and I would keep writing them. I do it for myself, as a journal of my progress and a way of holding myself accountable. And if someone happens to read it and feels motivated to do the same that’s just a bonus. At the end of the day only I know where I’ve come from, only I know what I’m capable of, and I’m the one who gets to celebrate those wins, as tiny as they sometimes may be. My motivation can’t be to prove to someone else I can do something, I’ve got to prove it to myself.
Most inspirational runner: I have to take my answer from last year and firmly stick with it again. Because in fact, there’s still no one who inspires me more than she does. For a girl who is often so afraid to challenge and push herself, it’s crazy to observe someone who does it over and over again. I need someone to hold my hand and jump off the ledge with me, and she just dives in head first. She pushes and challenges herself without hesitation, at least in my eyes. The great thing about this relationship is that watching her dive in helps me be a little braver. Makes me want to try it too. And that’s turning out to be a pretty great thing. 🙂
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Learning. Foam rolling. Stretching. Persistence.