My girl Courtney of Eat Pray Run posted a great questionaire to help us wayward bloggers round up our best memories for of 2016. The year, in all areas, was outstanding for me personally and professionally and, after filling out the great things about running below, I realized that it was pretty good for running, too.
Best race experience — Love the Run You’re With 5K
Before I looked over my race list from this past year, I thought for sure my answer would be Richmond. As it turns out, this 5K had a little magic in all corners: I love love love Pacers races — it was uber convenient and the course is great, it was my dearest life bestie’s 5K PR (she’s only been running for about a year and it was a major day for her!) Mandy and Jaime were there, MB came to support and we had an awesome brunch afterward. Start to finish it was a great race and a near perfect day. I was kind of happy that, as I looked at the list, it was a triumph of friendship rather than a personal triumph that stood out for me.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to thank Tori, Hilary, Mandy, George, Jeff, Katinka, Natalie and all my friends who came out in literal droves to support me and my marathon PR at Richmond. When I think about it I’m STILL overwhelmed by the love I felt that day. It was unbelievable and I’ll never in my whole life forget how I felt that day.
Best run — The Walt Disney World 19 Miler
Making the call to not start the marathon with Mandy and Hilary was one of the hardest things I had to this year. After I cried for an hour and met Mandy at mile 7 of the marathon course we had literally the best run I’ve had in a long time. Mandy has a way of making you appreciate each and every step of every run you’re on with her. She has the best attitude, the best stories and she’s a joy to be with. I actually, despite the horror that surrounded that day for one of my dearest friends, think of the actual run very fondly.
A very very close second to my favorite run was every Wednesday night tempo run this summer. These training runs really laid the groundwork for my fitness level, it was a great opportunity to hang out with my best BABs and while MB was away this summer, gave me guaranteed human contact which I so desperately needed.
love you girls too, duh!
Best new piece of running gear — Oiselle distances shorts
My love of Oiselle was really intensified this year. As I feel like I’m becoming a more serious runner — is that a thing? — i’m so happy to have gear that makes me feel legit, fast and pretty. As we’ve discussed previously, I’ve never been able to run in shorts because no one made shorts for runners of my shape — big on bottom. I thought it was a me problem but Mandy and Oiselle CEO Sally, made me realize I don’t have to fit in the clothes I run in, they have to fit me. I now have four pairs of distance shorts and I am obsessed with them. If you’re a runner that thinks shorts aren’t for them because of your bottom, please, think again.
Best running advice you’ve received this year — “You can do hard things.”
Before MCM, I was getting amazing texts messages from all over the world. They all went in the happy bank in my head to be drawn on during the very dark miles (for me 18-22). One that really resonated with me, so much so that I wrote it on my arm in Sharpie to have on race day was from Steff.
we were really excited about Natalie’s baby, natch.
That little tidbit really made the decision to listen to my body when I literally couldn’t go on during MCM possible. I CAN do hard things — when my lungs cooperate. Having the reminder on my arm — in MB’s handwriting was everything. Since then, the advice appeared on a sign in Richmond and is my new mantra when I’m running mile repeats on the treadmill. You can do hard things.
Most inspirational runner — Kara Goucher
Everyday of my running life is filled with inspirational people — my running ohana, my BABs — they are all amazing. But Kara’s story of hard work, being nice to people, giving back, being honest and having it all pay off is so inspriational just thinking about it I get choked up. Listen — if homeslice can have a husband and a five year old, be building a house, rep 6 amazing running companies hard, hold a running retreat for women of all abilities, speak out against doping in T&F, all while coming back from knee surgery and training hard and then win BACK TO BACK HALF MARATHONS, then I can find the courage to bang out a 15 mile week.
Favorite race picture this year — Finish line of Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon
NOLA was rough for me. Emotionally and physically it was a slog and honestly I felt weird going into the race, too. But finishing a marathon, never mind my sixth one, is always always something to celebrate. This truly captures my joy and appreciation for my body, my hard work and all the support I get for every run, little or big.
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat — Leesburg 20K
This is one of the few races that that I had actually never done before 2015. As you’ll recall, the BABs signed up for this one as a way to get our long run in plus a medal and a shirt. And brunch. Always brunch. The course was challenging — hilly and hot — but it was also well staffed with friendly volunteers. The other runners were also really fantastic. We met a lot of super cool people when we were out there and we had a ton of fun. I’ve actually never recapped the race but that just means, to me, that I need to go run it in 2016 to give it the proper attention it deserves.
Mandy and I love jumping and free race photo downloads.
Sum up the year in a couple of words — Running is love.
There are so many runs and races that should not have gone that great. Some that didn’t actually go great. But I found that after a bad run, I couldn’t really consider it a loss. I was so surrounded by love I could barely stand it. My running friends, my family and friends and the running community came out in full force this year. And it’s overwhelming to think of how much love surrounds me each time I needed it. I hope that in the coming year I can pay the love I felt back to so many of my run Ohana.
From all of us (me, MB and Kanga) Happy, healthy 2016! Let’s go for a run!