With most of the holiday decorating and shopping behind me, I can now take some time to reflect on my running year. I had a solid year of running with one month off to rest and recover after the Marine Corps Marathon. I ran 5 races this year, a 1-mile, 10k, 2 half marathons, and a marathon. None were PRs but I was happy with the results as they were an improvement from the previous year. Still I will continue to chase after new PRs, a lofty goal but otherwise achievable if I put enough work towards it.
To summarize my year of running, I am linking-up with Courtney @EatPrayRunDC.
It’s my first-time doing a link-up. I enjoyed reading her post and thought this would be the perfect way to sum-up my 2015 experience.
Best race experience: It may have been the hottest, most humid race I’ve ever ran and my slowest half-marathon to date, but the Rock n Roll Chicago I ran in July was my best race experience. What made it so great? It was a “run-cation” with two of my best college friends whom I haven’t seen in several years. Never in our minds back in college almost 20 years ago that we would all run a race together. I ran with Shannon who was my maid of honor and she kept telling me I can run ahead of her but I didn’t want to leave her side. I wanted to be there for her as a cheerleader to keep her motivated. She did awesome and only stopped once to walk. At the end of the race, she told me if I didn’t run with her she probably would have stopped a lot more often. Finishing the race with her and knowing I helped her out was the most rewarding.
Best run: A morning long run along Sunset Cliffs in June. It was the 11th anniversary of when I lost my sister. Running effortless, my thoughts were filled with memories of the two of us as highschool cross-country runners, trying to compete against each other but at the same time being one another’s motivator and supporter. I ran 11 miles that Saturday, each mile I reminisced of the days we spent together crying, laughing, fighting as siblings usually do and laughing again. My heart felt heavy with sadness but the run was uplifting and made me feel at peace.
Best new piece of running gear: Lululemon Skinny flyaway tamer headband I received as a ‘running gift’ from my friend Shannon – she gave one to Jaime and I the day before the race. If you notice from the pictures above, we were all sporting one. I’ve worn headbands before but they were either too tight or slipped off my head. Shannon swore these were the best headbands she’s ever worn and I couldn’t agree more.
Best running advice you’ve received this year: The mantra on the back of the shirt we received from the San Diego Track Club’s Rockin n’ Runnin marathon training program. Believing in your dream is the first step in making it happen!
Most inspirational runner: Not officially a runner yet, but in training perhaps? My girls inspire me to commit to run and stay healthy so I can take care of them for as long as they need me. My 5 year old this year started kindergarten and one of their big fundraisers was a jog-a-thon. She and her classmates lined up every morning to run a few laps around the grassy area by the playground to train for the event. I loved seeing the determination on their faces as they ran as many laps as they could to collect popsicle sticks. Their faces proud as they tallied up the sticks and discover how many laps they accomplished. On jog-a-thon day, they were prepared and ready to go!
Favorite picture from a run or race this year: To stand in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial after an awesome race was an honor. It’s the best finisher photo ever taken!
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Freedom Mile in Mammoth, CA on the 4th of July. It’s a mile race running through the main street in Mammoth before their 4th of July parade. The streets were lined up with spectators in red, white and blue. Although it’s only a mile, it was a gut-wrenching experience due to the high altitude. I pushed until I couldn’t push any longer. It was very challenging but I loved the scene. Mammoth is one cool mountain town. Oh yeah, I got a selfie with the renowned Deena Kastor who was there to run with her 5 yr old daughter.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Making a connection. Beyond the speed workouts and long runs and the dream of achieving new PRs, this has been a year of re-connecting with old friends, building friendships with the people I run with, sharing my experiences with my family as well as deeply connecting with myself. It truly has been an exceptional year!