Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Year of Running, 2015

Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC is hosting a "year of running" link up. It's such a great way to look back over the highlights from the year, and to read about what made other people's years so great. There are lots of great posts on the link up and I encourage you to check them out.

  • 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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Frosty 5k Race Recap

It's been over two weeks since the Frosty 5k and I haven't had time to post about it with the busy season (holidays & work) and a sick kitty (cancer). So, here is my very short and sweet recap:

I ran a good race that I was pleased with; much more satisfying than the Turkey Day 5k a couple weeks prior. I ran a consistent pace throughout the race, sprinted at the end, and left it all on the course. I finished in 34:47, and was glad to beat 35 minutes.

It was a beautiful day, bizarrely warm for mid-December, and we had a nice group together to celebrate Lynn's birthday. Here are some photo highlights:

Counter-clockwise, starting from Frosty:
Jen, Lynn, Laura, Emily, me, Susan, Marian
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Marleen Van den Neste
Frosty is ready to run!
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Marleen Van den Neste
Woodrow Wilson & his secret service detail
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Craig Hunter Ross
Cathy Ross, coming in to the finish...
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Craig Hunter Ross
...and a photo of her husband, Craig Hunter Ross, capturing her finish - isn't that sweet?
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Marleen Van den Neste
"barefoot guy" in the red singlet on the left
I don't know him, but see him often & I'm impressed by his technique
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Marleen Van den Neste
Laura at the finish
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Craig Hunter Ross
Susan at the start
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Marleen Van den Neste
Marian helped pace Jen to a course PR
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running
(by the photographer I don't know yet!)
Lynn, smiling for her birthday run
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running
(the mystery photographer again)
Shawn decked out in her holiday finery
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Craig Hunter Ross
Emily brought out some holiday finery, too
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running
(the mystery photographer)
Seeing the finish line (almost) always makes me smile
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Marleen Van den Neste
These poor girl scouts were selling hot cocoa on an unseasonably warm day
photo courtesy of Potomac River Running, Marleen Van den Neste
Happy Holidays to all!
photo courtesy of Marian