My Year of Running (2016)
As I do with so many things in life, it is nice to reflect on my year of running as the new year approaches. If I run the rest of the prescribed miles on my training schedule for this week, I'll be right at 1,675 miles for the year; but there's so much more to it than that, right? Thanks to my dear friend Courtney, I've got some prompts to guide me through the process that I thought I would share; feel free to join in and check out her post here!
Best race experience: The 2016 CASA Half Marathon, on December 10, was the toughest and most rewarding experience of the 12 races I completed this year (race recap here). I set my previous half marathon best time of 1:56:23 on October 25, 2008 (I was 33 years old - wow!), and haven't been able to beat it...until now. It was tough to wrap my mind around what would be required to make it happen, but I finished with a time of 1:53:11 and second place in my age group; a nice way to finish the year.
Best run: Um, running behind Jesse Thomas on Pre's Trail?!!
Okay, in all seriousness, running with these gals in Eugene, Oregon, this summer during the USATF Olympic Trials (you can read more about our shenanigans here); it was a surreal experience, finally being able to enjoy their company and cement lasting friendships.
Best new piece of running gear: Other than clothing and shoes, I don't think I bought any new running gear this year (maybe a new Garmin? Was that this year?); however, I am a die hard fan of Jasyoga (here's why) and the new Hit Reset book was published this year and it is fantastic. I can find a fix for everything that ails me, including my recent flare up of peroneal tendonitis, within this book and Erin's videos.
Most inspirational runner: This woman, Kate Grace. I'm still in awe, after spending time with her at the Trials this summer.
Favorite picture from a run or race this year: I had the pleasure and good fortune to attend a running camp at Zap Fitness in October with several of my Oiselle teammates; one of our activities was a prediction run and we were required to estimate the time it would take us to complete a 5K on an unknown route. There were plenty of shenanigans (especially with my friend and roommate Kelly) and it was so much fun.
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Even though the course is a beast, the Butte to Butte 10K in Eugene, Oregon; it's held on July 4, and there's a ton of community support and cheerleading. Plus, I ran with, oh, probably 50+ Oiselle teammates which made it even more spectacular.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? My year of running can be summed up in one word: connections. Connections with friends that have virtually supported and encouraged me for years; I was able to spend time, IN REAL LIFE, with so many of them during 2016 and I experienced indescribable feelings of joy. Connections, both physical and mental, within my own running and training that allowed me to break through some barriers and conquer a goal I'd been chasing for a while. After some tough years, I feel like so many things have come together to bring me back around, full circle, and I am so thankful.
Happy New Year, friends; here's to many more shenanigans in the year to come!