Monday, December 31, 2012

Q & A 2012: A look back

Last year at this time, I recapped my running from throughout the year by listing out each month's miles & the races I completed.  Recently, I've seen a few people recapping their running year through a list of questions.  Neither really seemed to be how I wanted to recap my year - probably because the year turned out much differently than I thought it would - but I'm stealing the questions from Paulette's blog because the thought of posting basically nothing for part of spring and early summer is really depressing.  If you want to read race recaps from this year's races, just click on the "races" tab above and you can find them there.  

Shall we get started?  (feel free to steal these and play along)

Best Race Experience - This one is actually pretty easy.  Without a doubt, I'm calling the Down and Dirty Mud Run that I did with Erin as the best race experience of 2012.  I was literally DAYS out of my boot for my stress injury and I wasn't sure I'd be able to complete the race.  I couldn't run so we walked the course, laughed, had fun, and kicked ass on the obstacles - plus got really muddy in the process.
Runners up are definitely the two Disney races I ran this year: The Tinker Bell Half and Wine and Dine Half.  They were two of the "worst" races I've ever run as far as time goes, but running in costume, Disney magic and getting to spend time with very dear friends makes up for that piece.

Best Run - This one is more recent and also a race.  My best run of this year was the Turkey Trot 5k I did on Thanksgiving Day.  I had just come off of a disappointing performance at Wine and Dine and decided on a whim to run this local 5k.  I had no real goals related to pace, just to go out and see what I could do.  What I did was manage to annihilate my previous 5k PR by almost 5 1/2 minutes and run my first sub-30 :)  Not only that, I managed to re-kindle the love of running that I'd been missing. The only bad thing? That 28:15 5k is going to be very tough to beat.

Best Piece of New Gear - This will have to be my Trek Lexa road bike.  This bike kept me fit while I was recovering from my injury and helped me finish my first triathlon.  Now, it's hooked up to a trainer in my basement (because the trails are more snow-covered now) and will help keep my fitness up this winter.

Best Piece of Running Advice Received - This question is a lot tougher to answer.  With my injury this year and all the rehab I've done, I should probably go with something related to listening to my body and allowing it to heal, and while those are VERY sound pieces of advice, I'm going with something else.  "You can breathe when you're done."  This year was the year of the speed work and pushing myself.  I did Yasso 800's for the first time at a 9 mm pace.  Something I thought I'd never be able to do.  All that speed work didn't pay off at Wine and Dine like it was supposed to but it paid off in spades at that Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.  "You can breathe when you're done" was my mantra for the last 1/2 mile or more.  It's about pushing yourself farther than you think you are capable.  Someone also recently said, "Don't eat yellow snow" - also sound advice, especially around these parts :)

Most Inspirational Runner(s) - There is no way I can pick just one person for this so I'm taking the easy way out and saying ALL OF YOU!!! Whether you walk, cycle, run, sprint, whatever, reading about your workouts on DailyMile or Twitter motivates me to get my ass out the door.  The social media community never ceases to amaze me with the love and support they give.

If You Could Sum Up Your Year of Running in Three Words What Would They Be? - Hmmmm.....

  • Fun - I ran in some REALLY fun races this year (see above) and just recently found out how fun it is to run with a group.
  • Frustrating - This year's injury(s) really kicked my ass.  I don't think I ever had a month where I was running 100% injury or pain free.  This was definitely the year of faster/slower/faster/slower. I'd seem to be making great improvements and then BAM something would knock me down again. 
  • Faster - While I didn't get my half marathon PR that I was gunning for, I set PRs in the 10k and 5k - both after coming back from injury.  I'm pretty damn proud of that.
So how about you?  Pick one of these questions to answer - or steal the lot of them - let me know how you did in 2012.

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