As the year draws to an end, I’m joining in on the fun with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC for her second year of hosting the Year of Running linkup. Once Courtney posted the questions and topics, fellow bloggers and I used them to write our wrap-ups of our year on the streets and trails in our running shoes!

 

Best race experience: I ran ten races this past year including two Ragnar Relays. Each race had its own memorable experiences, some more memorable than others. Overall though, I’d have to say that despite being exhausted, Ragnar DC was my best race experience simply because I shared the race weekend with my husband, son, my son’s girlfriend, old running friends, and new!

Photo credit: Bill

Best run: Since my husband’s knee injury he rarely runs these days, so anytime I can run with him is a special day. We used to run a lot on the Appalachian Trail, but these days trail running is a rare treat for me. As a result, I’m picking one of my few trail runs with Bill this year at Pandapas Pond as my favorite run.

 

Best new piece of running gear: I really didn’t get much new gear this year other than replacement shoes and a couple of new outfits; however, before Ragnar DC Bill gave me a little super bright flashlight (affiliate link) to compliment my headlamp on my nighttime run. It proved very useful when I saw a pair of eyes staring at me from a ditch and I shined my extra light on a raccoon as I sprinted by.

 

Best running advice you’ve received this year: During the summer we had a proliferation of bears in our neighborhood (something very unusual for our area) and Bill insisted that I carry pepper spray (affiliate link) for my protection on all of my runs. Of course, I secretly hoped I would see a bear and capture him in a selfie as I ran by him eating berries while ignoring me.

 

Most inspirational runner: When I think of running and inspiration, I think of my friend Miles. Miles has probably gotten more people to the starting line of a race than Brooks and Asics combined! When I mentioned to Miles that I was training for my first marathon, he took me under his wing and the rest is history. Not only did Miles help refine my training plan, but he invited me to weekly track workouts with his colleagues. Before I’d even registered for that first marathon, Miles had planted the seed in my mind that it would be no big deal for me to run a 50-miler a month after that first marathon.

These days, Miles is retired and spends half the year in Florida. Whether in Florida or Maryland, he heads up running groups inspiring runners on a daily basis. I’m lucky that he came into my life when he did and honored to still be one of his friends!

Photo credit: Miles

Favorite picture from a run or race this year: Those who follow me on Instagram know that this was probably a very difficult decision because I post running pictures regularly that I take with my GoPro Hero 4 (affiliate link). I couldn’t pick just one, so I narrowed it down to seven…

 

Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: I wrapped up my 2016 racing season with a 1st Place Overall Masters Female at the Jingle Bell Jog 5K. I joined several of my running friends for this inaugural race in Virginia and I’m still smiling whenever I think of over a thousand Santa-clad runners heading down the parkway. It was seriously a blast from beginning to end and my friends and I even snagged some fantastic raffle prizes after the race!

Photo credit: Bill

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Forty-five years ago when I laced up my first pair of running shoes I had no idea how much running would impact my life. All these years later, I’m thrilled to still be running and I don’t take a single run for granted. So to sum up 2016 in a few words, I’d have to say, “Never be surprised by what your body can do!”

 

  • Questions:
  • How was your 2016 year in running?
  • If you’re a runner, what was your favorite run or race?
  • Have you planned your 2017 racing schedule yet?

 

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.

 

Happy Running! ~ Deb