As the year draws to an end, it’s time to reflect back on 2021 and my year of running, something I’ve been doing as the year dwindles to an end each year since 2014. For whatever reason I can’t find my 2015 post so I can only assume that it’s been sucked into the great abyss of the internet.
- • Year of Running 2020
- • Year of Running 2019
- • Year of Running 2018
- • Year of Running 2017
- • Year of Running 2016
- • Year of Running 2015 🤷♀️
- • Year of Running 2014
Best race experience: Out of the five races I ran in 2021, the Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K was by far my best race experience. It was at that race that things were the closest to back to normal, I saw many of my friends, and I ran a great race.
Best run: My best run was in July when our friend Tiffany visited from California and I joined the girls for a 5-mile run on the W&OD Trail. I had no problem hanging with them and it felt like old times with the four of us running together. Several years ago it was with these three that I regularly ran at 6 AM on Tuesday and Thursdays until I needed an earlier start time.
Best new piece of running gear: I can only think of three new pieces of running gear purchased in 2021: Garmin Forerunner 235 (affiliate link), Altra Escalante running shoes (affiliate link), and turkey capris (affiliate link). Of those three items, my new shoes are by far my best new piece of running gear – I was simply upgrading my watch to a heart rate version and I could have worn any other capris in the turkey trot. My shoes stand out as the best purchase because as I’ve gotten older, my feet have become more finicky and it’s hard to find running shoes that don’t hurt the arthritic bone at the base of my big toe (Hallux rigidus). With a larger toe box, the Altra make my feet happy!
Best running advice you’ve received this year: My best piece of advice this year came from a little voice in my head. I knew if I wanted to be able to run long into my golden years, I needed to cut back on my mileage and there was no time better than during the comeback from a nearly year-long injury. My heart wanted to build back to 20-30 miles per week, but I knew mileage that high would most likely lead to another injury.
I focused more on cycling and got my long-distance cardio fix in by spending time in the saddle while not pounding my joints. Cycling became the perfect compliment to my two to three short runs per week.
Most inspirational runner: Like many runners, I loved seeing Molly Seidel, a little known runner, take bronze for the USA in the summer Olympics. Her quick rise into the national spotlight as a long distance runner and her humble approach to her newfound fame make her instantly likable.
Favorite picture from a run or race this year: While in Florida over Memorial Day weekend, I ran with my son and future daughter-in-law (now daughter-in-law). During our run, my son took this picture and I love how the colors I’m wearing replicate the sky, water, and grass background.
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Not to sound like a broken record, but I felt so good and had such a great race that I’d repeat my turkey trot in a heartbeat!
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Cross training pays off!
After an injury kept me sidelined for much longer than expected last year, I was determined to train smart and not reinjure myself. By adding cycling into my cardio mix, I was able to enjoy pushing my physical limits without the unnecessary pounding running puts on my spine.
- • Focusing just on fitness and meeting your fitness goals, how was your 2021?
- • If you’re a runner, what was your favorite run or race?
- • Have you planned your 2022 racing calendar? If so, which race are you most looking forward to running?
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