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As the year draws to an end, it’s time to reflect back on 2018 and my year of running. My friend Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC makes it easy to create a year end wrap-up by posting questions for fellow running bloggers in her linkup, Year of Running. Without further ado, here are my responses…
Best race experience: This past year I ran in seven races: 2018 New Day New Year 5K, 2018 Hungry Mother 25K Trail Race, 2018 Fiesta 5K, 2018 Grand Teton Half, 2018 Firecracker 5K, 2018 Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K, and 2018 Run With Santa 5K. If I have to choose one race as the best experience, I’d pick the Grand Teton Half.
Even though I didn’t have high expectations of running a very good race at high altitude at the Grand Teton Half, I ran a very conservative and evenly paced race and managed to pull off a 2:10:07 (9:56 pace) while placing 2nd out of 44 runners in my age group. The views were magnificent and made up for the pain of running at 6,148 feet when I train at near sea level. Bill and I had a two-week vacation planned around the race, so performing well set the tone for an all around blast of a vacation!
Best run: With most of my runs at 5:30 AM and solo, it’s hard to tell them apart. After a summer of less than stellar paces, I distinctly remember coming in from a dark solo run in mid-October and happily telling Bill that everything had felt good and I’d finally gotten my average pace back down to a low nine. I felt so good after the run that I took the rare pre-dawn selfie.
Best new piece of running gear: I honestly can’t think of any new piece of running gear I purchased this past year other than replacement shoes and perhaps some shorts and tops. Bill just traded in our old GoPro Hero 4 for the newest Hero 7 (affiliate link), but I love my Hero 6 (affiliate link), so I suspect I’ll continue to use it and he’ll use the newer one for biking.
Best running advice you’ve received this year: Just this past weekend while texting with my good friend Lupe, she asked how I was doing. When I told her that things had started hurting at around the 3.5-mile mark of my 5-mile run, she replied, “Ah, give it more time. Maybe just a couple of miles in the beginning…” And you know what, she was exactly right. That’s the advice as a coach I would give to any of my runners, but for myself… Sometimes it just takes someone from the outside looking in to state the obvious.
Most inspirational runner: I’ve not met this runner, but Jeannie Rice trains with my friend Miles during the winter while snow-birding in Naples, Florida. Jeannie set two world records during 2018, one at the Chicago Marathon with a mind-blowing time of 3:27:50 (7:56 pace) and the other at the Labor Day John Clay 5K with an equally impressive time of 21:38 (6:56 pace). What’s most remarkable about this story is that Jeannie is 70 years old.
Favorite picture from a run or race this year: This is always the hardest question for me because I take so many pictures while out on runs and many of the races I run in have several photographers along the course offering free pictures as part of the race package. However, if I must narrow it down to just one picture, I have to pick this one that my very own race photographer took prior to the Fiesta 5K.
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: The Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K has become an annual favorite for my family and many of our Cruiser and MRTT friends. It starts and finishes near our house so it’s a quick walk over, a rare treat in the racing world. 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? I’m not getting any younger and I’m running in a well-broken-in body. A simple little misstep can cause an unexpected injury, and as a result, I don’t take a single run for granted. I still strive to kick ass and keep up with my younger running friends, but I listen to my body and don’t push myself as hard as I used to…
- Focusing just on fitness and meeting your fitness goals, how was your 2018?
- If you’re a runner, what was your favorite run or race?
- Have you planned your 2019 racing calendar? If so, which race are you most looking forward to running?
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