I have actually been feeling pretty uninspired to write on the blog lately. Mostly because it’s just that blah time of year and my routine isn’t really changing much as I’m at a point where I’m just maintaining a certain level of fitness/miles before ramping back up in the new year. But I read Fiona’s year in running and post and thoroughly enjoyed and when I mentioned that to her, she suggested that I should write my own. So thank you for the inspiration, Fiona!
Best race experience
I like racing in general so mercifully, I’ve very few bad experiences. And as I look back on the year, there are three races that stick out in my mind. Rough Creek half marathon was best executed.
I nailed my nutrition, kept a steady pace, saw improvement in my climbing and conditioning and never hit a suck patch. My most recent 5 mile race at Isle du Bois sticks out too, as it was my first time medaling.
But I think the best overall race experience was Whispering Pines 20 miler.
It was a goal race and my first big race coming back from having plantar fasciitis. It was the prettiest of the races I did-at least in my opinion-and it was where I found myself shedding some old, ugly beliefs about myself. So from an emotional perspective, it was definitely the best.
Even though this run ended on the struggle bus, those few miles of pure freedom still stick out in my mind as the best run I’ve ever had.
Best new piece of gear
Easy! My dirty, grungy, beat up hokas.
I started running in these shoes early in the year in a desperate attempt to fix my PF and it WORKED. I really think these shoes were a major contributor in being able to train and complete a 20 mile race and to train for a 50K (granted I couldn’t complete the race but I sure put a lot on my feet before I had to step back to knee issues).
Best piece of running advice
This is the last thing I’m answering because while I’m so inspired by many people and look up to and respect so many of the runners I’ve met, I also like to find my own way to do things. Mainly because while I think there is so much knowledgeable people with expertise to give great advice out there, I also think that everyone’s individual body is different and what works for one person may not work for another.
For example, I remember listening to a podcast with one of the great ultra runners (I think it was Dave Horton but I could be wrong) who said if you want to get better at running, you run. Forget the cross training and all that and just run. Now he is obviously much more knowledgeable and accomplished than I’ll ever be but that doesn’t seem to work for my body. I see better performance and reduced injury if I add strength training to my routine. Doesn’t mean it’s not good advice, just doesn’t work for me.
BUT, if I had to share one piece advice that has really stuck with me, it’s that it’s all about time on your feet when training up for a goal/long distance race. Don’t focus on the mileage as much as you focus on getting your legs used to moving for hours and hours. That really helped put things in perspective for me and not freak out about getting a certain number of miles in at a certain time.
Best inspirational runner
There are so many people I fangirl over. That’s why Jason and I are making a movie about midpack runners to begin with-because I’m so impressed and inspired by the people I see out on the trail. The every day people with kids and jobs that are still putting in hours of training to come across often empty finish lines. Those are the people who often bring tears to my eyes-the 60 year olds and the single moms and the first timers and the ones who have been around for 20 years and are still slogging away and the people who train by themselves for no glory other than their own personal satisfaction. They keep me going and their stories tell me that I can do it too.
Having said that, I was watching Desert Runners for the 50th time while on the elliptical today and as far as elite runners go, Samantha Gash and Lisa Tamati are definite inspirations as well. I love that Samantha says: ‘It doesn’t go away, it does not go away, this feeling of am I going to be able to do this.’
Sum up year in a few words
Adapt and overcome.
Anyone else doing year in review sort of posts? I’d love to read them. You can comment or let me know on twitter.
If I don’t see you guys before Christmas, I hope you it’s a great one for you!