Friday, 18 December 2015

A Year of Running 2015

For the past few years I have linked up with Miss Zippy for the year end review, and this year it is being hosted by Courtney.

I gave some thought to skipping this blog post this year. Because when I think about running is 2015, I think of it as an After Thought. In the past my running and racing goals have been at the forefront of my mind. Usually by this time I am coming up with new plans to strive for PRs, dreaming of big distances, and putting together a race schedule for the coming year.

This year, I started 2015 recovering from surgery #7, and then promptly switched my focus toward career and family. So running and racing took a backseat.

And as I continue to be gentle with my body with my hopes of a rainbow baby as my primary focus, there are no race plans in place for year ahead.

But reviewing the past year has reminded me that even when I slow down and shift focus - running and racing is always there.

I some how managed to run 7 races this year, including 1 triathlon, and I provide support at 2 other events. I have to be honest, that number surprised me. But it is also shows what an important and constant place running has in my life. It has become a trusty companion.

Best Race Experience:
I think this one has to be my Spontaneous Triathlon at Challenge St. Andrews. I signed up the day before. I had no wetsuit. I borrowed a bike and a helmet. And I basically just winged the whole thing, but had a great time! Often those races that you sign up for just for fun with no expectations are the best possible experience, and this one was no exception.
I often struggle to embrace my defective body. After so many surgeries and our recent loss, the things I lack tend to be the things that come to mind first. So being able to just jump in a Triathlon with unknown/minimal equipment and finish in 1:48:24 was definitely a welcome reminder that my body is strong and capable. Even if I can't always see it.

Best Run:
So this was actually not one of my races, instead it was the Toronto Women's Half Marathon. I was there to provide race support to the ladies on course. I covered 17km running with women over the final 5km of their half marathon. For me what was so amazing about the day and the event itself, is that at its very core, it was about Women Supporting Women. We chatted, we cheered, we laughed, we cried, and we ran. It was a living breathing example of why I love this sport so much.

It reminded me that Sport goes so much deeper than speed, distance, or PRs. Sport is a lesson in strength, determination, and the true definition of health. Sport creates a community of positive supportive people all working together to get stronger and be healthier. And Sport teaches us to love ourselves and our bodies for what it can do, not what it looks like. It reminded me why I do this.

Best New Piece of Running Gear:
I have struggled a little bit with shoes this year. I was in love with the Mizuno's Sayonaras, but with the update this year, the new model wasn't quite what I was looking for. So I have switched to the Wave Riders - and I really like them!

Best Running Advice You Have Received this Year:
Trust Your Training and your Fitness will come back faster than you think.
Rebuilding after my surgery and coming back to running after my miscarriage has shown me how quickly your fitness comes back. The rebuilding process can be discouraging, but if you put the time into training, your body will do what you are asking it to. You just have to trust the process.

Favourite Picture from a Run or Race this Year:
I think it has to be this fall running picture. I remember this run being so peaceful. The weather was perfect. I paused half way to simply breathe and just be. And I felt like I was finally starting to find a healing place within my training.

Race Experience You Would Repeat in a Heartbeat:
This one stumped me for a little bit. But I ultimately decided I had to pick the Mississauga Half. With just 11 weeks of training following surgery #7 - I don't think I could have asked for a better race experience.

It wasn't a PR. I was not definitely not in the best shape I have ever been in. But I ran strong and I finished smiling. So I would repeat that experience any day of the week.

If You Could Sum up Your Year in a Couple of Words What Would They Be?
Running - a constant companion
For me running is always there. Sometimes at the forefront with hard training and ambitious times. At other times as just a space to clear my head and bring peace to my heart. Either way, running is something that will always be a part of me and my life.

How was your year?

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,