Year of Running 2017
A big thanks to Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC for hosting this annual link up of running adventures; she has had quite a year and I'm so thankful to have been able to see her in Richmond last month.
Looking back over the year, I am so grateful to have had the experiences that I've enjoyed in spite of the injury I suffered in March that led to a four month running hiatus. I tried to make the best of it by participating in other ways and it turned out to be a lot of fun. Here are the questions (and my answers!) that Courtney posted for us to reflect on the year of running; share some of yours in the comments!
Best race experience: This is a really tough one because, even though my racing was limited this year, I participated in several that were very special! I'm going to go with the inaugural Tenacious Ten in Seattle, Washington. My first trip to Seattle, reuniting with several friends and Oiselle teammates, a brand new race, and seeing teammates EVERYWHERE along the course made for an unforgettable weekend. Even though I was already injured, and quite disappointed that my performance would be limited, I met two new friends at the start line and we have stayed in touch regularly; it doesn't get much better than that!
Best run: Any run with this guy...
I officially adopted #MilestheDog on April 15 of this year; he is my running buddy and so much more. Even though he barks quite a bit (he is part Vizsla, part Coonhound - yowsa!), he is the sweetest, most easy going dog and I could not ask for a better companion. In addition, he and Scooter, my 9 pound miniature dachshund, often find themselves next to one another...but refuse to admit they are friends.
Best new piece of running gear: It's not strictly running gear, but my Apple Watch Series 3 has definitely been a helpful addition! I hate carrying my phone while running, but I know that I should; in addition, I took up cycling this year (thanks to my running injury) and being able to make/answer a call easily while riding has been clutch. While running, I can have all of my iTunes music on my arm and never have to bring along another device; in addition, I love the SOS feature in case of emergency.
Best running advice you've received this year: "Spend at least half as much time as you do running on strength training...and you really should add some additional time for cross training." In the past, that would have been a tall order; I've never been keen on anything other than running. The injury I'm recovering from has helped me to understand the importance of this advice and take heed; since May, I have been attending 2-3 barre/Pilates classes per week in addition to regular cycling and building back my running mileage. While I have made consistent progress, my physical therapist assures me that continued strength training will be the key to long term recovery and a successful return to full function.
Most inspirational runner: Hands down, my friend Mindy! She is the first to offer her time as a volunteer at any running-related event, even if she is already participating as a runner in the same event; she attends a weekly run with visually impaired runners through World Services for the Blind and helps guide them through local races; she is kind, compassionate and inclusive; AND she set new personal bests in all the distances (1 mile, 2 mile, 5K, 4 mile, 8K, 10K, 15K, 20K, half marathon and marathon) of the Arkansas Grand Prix Series and ran all twenty of the series races to earn Iron Runner status. If I didn't tell you this, you'd never know it; she is proud of her efforts, but too busy encouraging and congratulating others to toot her own horn.
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: The CASA Half Marathon, a local race that is directed by a generous couple (also runners!), is such a meaningful event; it is also a fantastic race course and there are always tons of friendly faces throughout the run. I try to do this race every year, if I schedule accordingly, and I always look forward to it.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Making adjustments! From finding a new sport (cycling) to embracing strength training and the discomfort of being patient, this year has been all about adjustments; it has been a fantastic learning experience and I know that life does not end when I have to make changes to my expectations. In fact, I have a new sense of freedom and find myself enjoying new activities much more than I would have guessed!
Tell me about your running year!