As the year draws to an end, it’s time to reflect back on 2017 and my year of running, something I’ve done for the last several years. My friend Courtney makes it easy each year by posting questions for us running bloggers to work from. Without further ado, here are my responses…
Best race experience: This past year I ran in seven races: For The Love Of It 10K, Firecracker 5K, Outer Banks Lighthouse 5K, Shenandoah Half Marathon, OBX Half Marathon, Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K, and Run With Santa 5K.
Even though the OBX Half was my target fall race and a very fun girls’ getaway weekend, the Shenandoah Half was my best race experience. I went into the race after two weeks of vacationing at the beach and didn’t have any big expectations, yet the race went really well. I didn’t PR or place in my age group; however, I ran a strong race on a very hilly and challenging course. The race was part of an overnight trip with two of my running girlfriends, Lupe and Angela, and just a really lovely experience all around.
Best run: I have vivid memories of a specific 5:30 AM run in late-January with my running friends. After our turnaround, Lupe and I pulled ahead of the other runners and everything felt so good and easy. We finished our 5-mile run at an average pace of 8:24, yet it felt effortless. The weather was cold and crisp; however, it felt invigorating and perfect. That run stuck in my mind because just two short weeks later an unexpected pain/tingling in my right hip joint/upper leg caused me to not be able to finish a run and I had to walk the last half. That injury sidelined me for close to a month and I had to ease back into running, taking months to get my paces back down to those of that memorable January morning run.
Best new piece of running gear: It’s tough to narrow down my favorite new piece of running gear to just one item… This past summer I upgraded my old, basic Garmin to the 230 Forerunner (affiliate link) and for my birthday, Bill replaced my old GoPro Hero 4 with the GoPro Hero 6 (affiliate link). Both gadgets are much improved over their earlier counterparts and so much easier to use.
Best running advice you’ve received this year: While getting stretched out by my favorite sports medicine chiropractor, I mentioned that the week earlier when running on the many hills surrounding my mom’s house that I felt like I was pulling with my right leg rather than running evenly. When I said that I was nervous about starting hill repeats soon in my training cycle, my doctor asked which races I was planning to run. After I told him the OBX Half was my target race, he replied, “That’s a flat course, why do you need to do hill repeats if hills bother you?” I thought about it and even though I really love running hill repeats, I took his advice and stuck with track intervals my entire training cycle. Sometimes it just takes someone from the outside looking in to state the obvious.
Most inspirational runner: It’s usually hard for me to narrow down the most inspirational runner to just one person, but last year I honored my well-deserving friend Miles with the distinction. As an active person in my local MRTT chapter, I see so many women deserving of the honor. One lady is 39-weeks along in her pregnancy and still rocking her morning runs. Another has been plagued by injuries and illness, but is still determined to run the Disney Princess Half. These women may not be famous, but with each of their runs, they are inspiring other runners and reminding them that anything is possible.
Favorite picture from a run or race this year: This is always the hardest question for me and last year I posted seven pictures. This year I forced myself to narrow it down to one, and I think this picture sums up my year best. My running friends are so important to me, and these are some of my favorite ladies. This picture was taken after the OBX Half Marathon when six of my girlfriends joined Bill and me for a girls’ getaway weekend at the beach to celebrate my sixtieth birthday!
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: The Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K has become an annual race for my family and many of our Cruiser and MRTT friends. It starts and finishes near our house so our friends meet us for the quick walk over. Afterwards, our friends return with us to our home for a simple champagne brunch before returning home for their own Thanksgiving Day festivities.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Hitting a milestone birthday of sixty years old last month reminded me that I’m running in a well-broken-in-body and that just a simple little misstep could cause an unexpected injury. As a result, I don’t take a single run for granted. I still strive to kick ass, but I listen to my body and don’t push myself as hard as I used to…
I’m joining in on the fun with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC for her third year of hosting the Year of Running linkup where fellow running bloggers and I are sharing our year-end wrap-ups from this past year on the running trail.
- Focusing just on fitness and meeting your fitness goals, how was your 2017?
- If you’re a runner, what was your favorite run or race?
- Have you planned your 2018 racing calendar? If so, which race are you most looking forward to running?
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