- Best race experience: Without a doubt, my best race experience was running the Marine Corps Marathon. It was my primary goal for the year, my first marathon, and everything I could have hoped for. It was such a satisfying and exhilarating experience. I'm proud of the way I trained for and executed my race - I even ran negative splits. In a freaking marathon.
|High-fiving my son at mile 15|
- Best run: My best run from the year was the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon. I ran it somewhat spontaneously as a tune-up race for Marine Corps. My goal was to run just under a 12 minute mile, which would put me at 2:37. I felt so strong during the race I surprised myself with a final time of 2:28:43, crushing my goal! It was such a confidence booster for me, and a great payoff after the hard training I had been putting in.
|Absolutely thrilled during the Navy-Air Force Half|
- Best new piece of running gear: My Nathan Intensity Hydration Vest is easily my best new piece of running gear for the year. With the increased distance of marathon training, I needed more water than my hydration belt could provide. Switching to the vest enabled me to carry enough water and fuel for those longer runs, with extra room for my phone and little luxuries like body glide, sunscreen, and KT tape.
|I even added a bluetooth speaker for some of our longer runs|
- Best running advice you've received this year: You are faster than you think you are. I heard variations on this from my coaches, my running buddies, and my husband this year. I think I'm finally starting to believe it.
- Most inspirational runner: there are so many inspirational runners - Meb, Deena, Desi. But I think I draw the most inspiration from the people I know from training. Jen and Lynn in particular come to mind. I met them in Running 101 two years ago and the things I have seen them accomplish are fantastic!
|Jen, me, & Lynn at the 2015 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run|
- Favorite picture from a run or race this year: I have two favorite race pictures from this year.
- My husband, Rick, was a great supporter of my marathon training and he and Freddy were awesome spectators during the race. This picture by Laurentina Photography of Rick with the minion balloon they used to help me spot them is fantastic.
- Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: The Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run has a special place in my heart. It was my first "big" race when I ran it in 2014. In 2015, I coached Cherry Blossom training for Potomac River Running and the race was even more special as I shared in the accomplishments of the people I coached. In 2016, I will again coach Cherry Blossom training for PR and I am looking forward to running this special race for the third time.
|I was part of the Cherry Blossom Blog Team in 2015, which was an amazing experience.|
This year I will again be blogging for Cherry Blossom and serving as a race ambassador.
- If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be: This is someday. That was my race mantra for Marine Corps. It is a powerful phrase I saw on the day that started my unexpected journey towards running a marathon, and it also reminds me how special each day, each run, each race is. Treasure the somedays.