About a month ago (December 9, to be exact), Miss Zippy posted her now-famous How Was Your Year of Running? post. I am both too late for the formal link-up and too slow to publish before we hit 2014. On the plus side, I’ve had the chance to see every OTHER blogger’s “End of Year” wrap-up (both Miss Zippy-style, and otherwise), and have chosen three to copy/share. So here’s the first one, and the only one that is running-specific.
- Best race experience? No question: Chevron Surf to City Marathon in Perth. The combination of awesome weather, a perfectly organized event (There was space! Lots of space! No Singapore-style smushing in Perth!), and a faster race than I had the nerve to expect all combined to make the day an amazing one! Plus, I got to enjoy not only the race, but also a few days exploring Perth with GCA. On the morning of the big event:
- Best run? This is a tough one, and the only one where I’m struggling with the meaning of the word “best”. I had some great training runs, but one of the most memorable actually wasn’t super awesome or easy. It was a long, sloggy, hot training run for my first 50K (28 Miles is a Really Long Way). I did it solo, and pulled through some pretty low points. Ultimately, that mental training was important for helping me handle some tough moments on race day. So even though it wasn’t the sparkliest, happiest, prettiest training run – it was one of the most important.
- Best new piece of gear? The running towel. Boring, but so freakin’ true. It took me at least four months to start grabbing a towel when I went out for a long run. Finally, I decided to try carrying one of the little absorptive towels I’d been getting in race packs. (There must be a reason they were being put in there, right?) So I started hooking one onto my hydration pack for long runs, and BINGO – something to wipe my sweaty hands on before I wiped my eyes, something to wipe my sweaty face on when I stopped for a drink and suddenly had sweat pouring into my eyes, something to throw over my shoulder when I hop on the bus to go home so I LOOK like I’m making an effort to manage the sweat situation. Check out the towel, in all its glory – tucked sexily into the strap and under the hose on my vest:
- Best piece of running advice you received? I am crushing HARD on Jay Dicharry (author of Anatomy for Runners) lately. Reading his work has pushed me to become increasingly interested in the non-running exercises that runners can do to make their bodies better and more efficient running machines. So the advice I’m sharing here is a direct quotation from the first chapter of his book:
“Runners run, and oftentimes aimlessly, which leads to injury or suboptimal performance. Athletes develop their brain, their body, and the complementary skills necessary to take the right path. Runners, it’s time to develop your inner athlete.”
- Most inspirational runner? This is totally corny, but I’m going to say that my new runners (first time 5Kers) are my greatest inspiration. It’s one thing for me to pop out of bed and knock out 4 or 6 miles (7-10K) before breakfast. I do it on the regular. If I don’t want to, it’s because I’m tired or lazy or not in the mood – but not because it’s all that hard (for me). But for new runners, every.single.step is a challenge. NOTHING is easy. Yet they persevere, rallying their drive, determination, and dedication to get out there for their workouts every week – trusting that one day those steps will get easier. [THEY DO! I promise! Ask the folks who’ve been there already!] They are the ones who remind me to get out when I’m not quite feelin’ it.
- If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Sweat and hydration management. [Pretty fitting for my first year in Singapore.] Oh, and Run With Holly, of course! 🙂
If you haven’t taken the survey already, feel free to answer any of these questions in the Comments section.
Or (since we’re not just about running) tell me about your MOST MEMORABLE ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENT in 2013.
Or, because I’m feeling all weekend-y, tell me what you’re most excited for this weekend.