Thursday, 19 December 2013

My Year of Running - 2013

The lovely Miss Zippy posted her annual Year of Running link up and you know I had to join the fun. As always running was HUGE part of my 2013 year. So here we go...

Best Race Experience:
I think it kind of goes without saying that my Marathon takes the cake here. 2013 was not a great year, and I spent a lot of time doubting my ability to hit my goal time and to get the race I wanted. I spent almost all of those many kilometers smiling. And I could not have dreamed of a better experience. Crossing the finish line on November 3rd was about overcoming so much more than just 42.2km. It meant that anything was possible.

Best Run:
This is also technically a race, but since I was just 12 weeks post-op, I am calling it a Run. The one and only Pavement Runner came to visit, run the Toronto Goodlife Marathon, and run it in tutus no less. The internet is a strange and magical place. You "meet" people, get to know all about their lives, their goals, their dreams, but you may never get to actually meet them in real life. I am have a ton of "internet friends" - as strange and creepy as that sounds.
Pavey is one of those friends. He is one of those people who's energy and kindness just comes through. So having the opportunity to run with him this year (and to meet his beautiful wife - waves frantically at the screen), was definitely one of my highlights this year. We got to become in-real-life friends, and it was boost needed during a tough a year. PS We need to plan a second round of racing sometime soon!

Best New Piece of Gear:
I think I would have to pick my Mizuno Wave Sayonaras. I have long been a Mizuno-girl, but these shoes really hit the sweet spot for me. They were light and extremely comfortable. Plus I felt they had just enough support for me. I ran all my major races in these - including my marathon - and I know I am a Sayonara convert!

Best Piece of Running Advice You Received:
This year I learned how to "Slow Down" in more ways than one.
The idea of "Slow Down" started after the first race I ran with my coach Michelle. I was tired, sipping coffee, and taking instagram pictures when out popped Michelle! It was just a 5km race so I was not too worried about warming up. But Michelle informed me I need to run 5km before we started, race, and then do a 5km "Slow Down". What the Heck?! Who knew?! Admittedly this is not how I roll. But it gave me a serious kick in the pants about the kind of training I needed to do if I wanted to see a change.

Michelle also just taught me to slow down in general. I would always run every run as fast as I could. As long as I didn't max out my heart rate - I was good to go. So apparently that doesn't work in the long run. Some runs are meant to be hard (tempo, track, hills, etc.) and other runs are just about getting mileage in. You need to go hard are your hard days, but you also need to remember to take it easy on your easy days. That was definitely a huge lesson for me this year.

Most Inspirational Runner:
I think I gotta pick my Mizuno Girls - Christina and Michelle. Our runs together, talks, phone calls, emails, and text messages kept me going when I gave some serious thought to just giving up. Their enthusiasm and support kept me inspired and motivated to keep pushing! Love these girls!

Sum Up Your Years in a Couple of Words:
Persevere. I think that about does it. I wrote that one word on my hand before my Marathon this year, and I think it says so much about 2013 as year and about what running and racing means to me.

How was your year?
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,