The running year in review

I first read about this link up on Deb’s blog and then on Stephanie’s and Jan’s (I was playing catch-up this weekend). This is originally from Miss Zippy’s blog. Now I’m supposed to grab a button, but I really have no clue what that means. So I’m going to just repost the picture and call it good.

Does anyone else see a picture like that and immediately want to run on that trail?? I often have a hard time remembering what the heck I did all year when I try and look back. However, this year I started a blog (on January 14, to be exact) and between that and my running log I think I can handle this.

Best Race Experience

Is everyone expecting me to name the Thunder Road Marathon? Well, that was an amazing experience because it was my first full marathon after all. But I’m going to throw you a curve ball and actually name a race you’re probably not expecting. My best race experience this year was the Shamrock Hill Run 10K. First of all, it was my first-ever 10K. Secondly, it was one of the only races I ran this year where I felt really strong and just felt like I had a great race overall. I spent the majority of the race picking people off one by one. Let’s face it- that’s a pretty good feeling.

Honorable mention of course goes to the Thunder Road Marathon, which was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done but simultaneously left me wanting to run another one, and to the Downtown Sundown 5K because that race was just fun.

Best Run

I had to get my training log out for this one. Although I actually knew right away which run would be the ‘Best Run of 2013’, I wasn’t sure when it actually took place. My best run was a 13.1 mile run on the Huckleberry Trail at the end of March. You know it was a great run when you use an exclamation point in your training log in the ‘Notes’ section. This was one of those days where running just feels effortless and when one of those days coincides with a long run day, great things happen.

Honorable mention goes to two runs. The first was a ten mile run on a quarter mile loop in a campground that nearly landed me in a padded cell with a straight jacket on. Although I did not particularly enjoy this run while it was happening, when I look back on it I have to admit there were some serious gains in mental strength from this run.

The second honorable mention run was my first (and only) 20 miler during marathon training. This was not a floating-on-air-I-can-run-forever run, but it was a run where I had to dig really deep and was rewarded with an accomplishment that I wasn’t sure I could achieve. Barry rode his bike alongside me and refilled my water bottle as needed, which allowed me to run the first 17 miles without ever stopping. I only stopped at mile 17 for a bathroom break. He left me to finish the final 3 miles on my own, which I did.

Best New Piece of Gear

Hands down, my best new piece of gear this year is my Oiselle Distance Shorts. I had previously only run in soccer shorts, because I could never find “running shorts” that fit the way I wanted. Finally, I found these shorts that not only fit the way I like, but also have three pockets that allow me to store fuel, car keys, etc. while on the run!  They are hands down my new favorite race shorts.

Virginia 10 Miler, Hokie Half with Deb, and Thunder Road Marathon

Best Piece of Running Advice You Received

I have received so much advice from folks I now consider friends, whom I’ve met through blogging. I am so thankful for the connections I’ve made and the thoughtful advice and helpful tips I have received. It is really hard to pick one piece of advice, but one specific thing that came to mind is something my dad told me as he was biking alongside me during the marathon. It was in the later miles, somewhere past mile 20 for sure, and I was struggling. He told me “well, I may not have given you the genes to be an elite long-distance runner, but I did give you the genes to finish what you start.” That is not a direct quote, of course, since I was practically delirious, but it is something that resonated with me and that applied both in that moment and to running and life in general.

Sign on the front of my dad’s bike

Most Inspirational Runner

I draw a lot of inspiration from both my running buddy, Kim, and my husband, Barry. Kim and I have been running together for just over two years now. We have run countless miles and hours together and I couldn’t ask for a better running buddy or friend outside of running. Her and her husband recently welcomed a sweet little baby girl into the world on December 11, and she was able to run throughout the majority of her pregnancy. I am looking forward to miles together in the future.

I’m sure she loves me for using a picture from a day when it was 100 degrees and humid outside

I also draw inspiration from my husband and best friend, Barry. We are one of those couples that runs together but not together. Barry often has an unconventional way of training for races (as in he doesn’t typically follow a training plan), but his heart and tenacity for running carry him through. You can see how much he puts into every race on his face as he approaches the finish line. He inspires me to dig deeper and expect more of myself.

2012 Varmint Half Marathon

Sum Up Your Year In A Couple of Words

I am a marathoner. Plain and simple.

When you look back on 2013, what stands out the most?

Answer one (or all) of the questions above! Or if you’re a blogger, join in on the link up!

10 Comments

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  1. A great year for you! I like pockets in my shorts for carrying stuff, too. Handy! If I don’t have enough pockets, I use a spi-belt.

    1. It changed my world the day I got running shorts with pockets! I have never used a spi-belt before, but I’ve thought about it.

  2. I’m so glad you did this… I completely forgot that you had that long run on the 0.25 mile course! That was too much. Your running shorts look fantastic. Next stop – the Oiselle website to check them out. What do you love about them besides the pockets? Are my thighs going to rub together in these shorts? Thank you for any and all input!! I’m always looking for shorts I can actually wear for a long run without having to wear spandex shorts underneath.
    Congrats on a GREAT year of running (you marathon runner, you!)!!

    1. My best advice is to try and find the Oiselle shorts in a local running store, if possible, so that you can try them on and see how you like them. I did not like the famed Rogas that many runners are crazy about. For me, I haven’t had any chaffing issues with the distance shorts, but I do use Vaseline to help prevent that on my thighs (TMI??).

  3. Two things about this post… I love what your dad said to you during the marathon, and I love how you summed up your year! Congrats on a great running year, and I look forward to running many more races with you and Barry in the future!

    1. Thanks, Deb! The structure laid out by Miss Zippy made it really easy to capture the year in one post without being too long/wordy. I am looking forward to more races with you! Hopefully I will be able to improve on my speed a bit in the coming year.

  4. Loved reading all about your year of running, especially from earlier in the year! Here’s to a fabulous year of running & life in 2014!

  5. This was fun to read through! Thanks for sharing a summary of your year. I love that you had so many good runs and races! Happy 2013 to you and here’s to a great 2014!

    1. I’ve enjoyed reading all of the 2013 recaps floating around in blogland! They’re a great way to capture the year as a whole. Happy New Years!

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