After reading the posts by my fellow SFM Ambassardors Paulette, Alisyn and Meg, I couldn’t help myself: I needed to write one of these, even if just for myself. So here it is, my 2012 Year in Review Q&A Style (better late than never)
Best Race Experience
This is a toughy for me. I did 18 races in 2012 (say what?!), a mix of triathlons and running races.
I would have to say that I think my best running race was the Santa Run 5k in December. I achieved a PR (21:52), was surrounded by great friends, and realized that with the right words, attitude and training, I can achieve my goals, even if they’re beyond what I think I can physically do.
For triathlons, it would definitely be the Big Kahuna half ironman distance. I was almost positive that I had it in me to complete the race, but I wasn’t sure. Even though it was a draining race (it took me 41 minutes longer than I had hoped), I finished it and proved to myself I could do it.
Best run…I think that would have to be my first run back from my injury. I ran only three miles, but two of my favorite running ladies, Leslie & Meg, were just as excited as I was that I was back running, that they took it easy with me and just made sure everything went well that first run back. It was exhilarating — it renewed my love for running and made me so very thankful that I can run.
Best Piece of New Gear
My best piece of new gear? That would probably have to be my tri shorts. I had a pair of bulky tri shorts I wore at my first triathlon last year, and then I invested in a new pair, and it was instant love. I wear them all.the.time for biking, triathlons, spin class, just for fun (what?!) — I should probably buy new ones its that disgusting how often I wear them.
Seriously — three different times in photos alone in less than 3 weeks…
Best Running Advice Received
It was actually from my CrossFit coaches, surprisingly. And it was that you need to listen to your body and when it says “no” loud and clear, listen — but that sometimes even if you’re not feeling the greatest, you need to get out and do it. You’ll know within 5-10 minutes if the workout (run, CrossFit, bike, swim) was a good idea and usually it is.
Most Inspirational Runners
The members of my running group, Santa Cruz Endurance, are some of the most inspirational runners I know. They have taught me that you can get anywhere you set your mind too, and have shown me that with good work ethic and determination (and injury avoidance) you can achieve great things. A good example of this is my good friend Meg, who set PR after PR this past year — and it was truly her dedication to running and improving that got her there. Its something I aspire to this coming year.
The other most inspiring runner I met is another Santa Cruz area runner, Michelle. She is an incredible runner (wins races frequently), and incredibly humble and thankful everyday for her ability to run, enjoy life and just be alive. I aspire to be more like her in my everyday life, let alone in running and triathlons, and hope to embrace some of her positive attitude as we dive into 2013.
If you could sum up your year in running in three words, what would they be?
Frustrating – This year has been frustrating for me in terms of athletics for a number of reasons. I have long suffered from GI issues, which have left me in search of port-a-potty after port-a-potty in no small number of races. Additionally, in late September I was sidelined with a partially torn arch, which crushed my hopes at running a sub-4 hour marathon, and attempting the BQ at CIM.
Inspiring – I have met so many wonderful runners and athletes this past year that have left me wanting and yearning for more. They have inspired me on so many levels to not settle for what I’ve currently achieved and to always push the limit to see if it can go a little further. Whether its PRing in a 5k, or going for that first strict pullup at CrossFit (a goal for early 2013) — I know now, by those athletes in my life, that I can achieve them.
Grounding – My injury this past fall wasn’t the only thing that threw my running and athletic world for a spin. In late October, after experiencing undiagnosed symptoms for years, I finally got to the bottom of things. After seeing a rheumatologist, I was diagnosed with lupus, a life-long incurable autoimmune disease. (If you’d like more information please go here. I will do a post on the symptoms I have and how it affects my training/every day life in the near future.) After lots of research, lifestyle changes (no more drinking – sad day!), starting medication (I take 20+ pills a day in the form of prescriptions and supplements/vitamins to help prevent the onset of additional symptoms), and rest due to the extreme fatigue of the disease, I have finally leveled out at a place where I can sustain my workload and workouts without needed to sleep 16+ hours a day. This change in my lifestyle has made me realize how thankful I am that I can run, bike, swim and do CrossFit, and has made me more in tune with my body and appreciate every day all that much more. It has grounded me and made me reevaluate some of more original aspirations and goals — I may not be able to shoot for the moon at lightning speed, but I’m going to shoot for it, with everything I can.
What were some of the highlights of your year in running/athletics? What words would you use to describe your 2012?