I’m not the biggest fan of “yearly recaps” and such in the blog world, but then again if I don’t sum up my year in running no one else will. Since 2012 is definitely one I want to remember and I saw this neat little list on other blogs, I decided to take a stab.
1. Best race experience: Philly, hands down. After NYCM was canceled, I wasn’t sure a fall marathon would happen for me due to internship commitments and barely there finances. I’m still so thankful the Philly Marathon folks opened up their race to us NYCers, that my friend Meghan was the most amazing hostess (and I got to hang with her and baby Amelia – bonus!) and obviously that I was able to run the race.
It was an experience, and I still can’t help but smile whenever I think about it. A 15+ minute PR helps too
2. Best run: Definitely my last 20 miler of NYCM-turned-Philly training. Coach John had me run 8-10 miles at marathon pace as a final confidence booster before tapering. I was pretty intimidated about the MP miles, which I did after an 8 mile warm-up, but the whole run I just felt “on.”
I hit MP perfectly for 10 miles, mostly along the West Side Highway, and felt amazing. Obviously I fell short of goal MP during Philly, but this run still gives me confidence that I’m capable of hitting ~8:10 for 26.2 (soon!)
3. Best new piece of gear: This is a great question – working at a running store I’ve pretty much had the opportunity to check out all things gear-related and get some pretty sweet discounts. I’ve learned a crazy amount about running shoes and tried a million different ones, but I’d have to say my favorite this year are probably my Brooks Pure Flows:
They’re a lightweight shoe with a 4mm heel-to-toe drop to allow for a more natural, “feel the ground” type of fit, but have more cushioning than a lot of racing flats which I really dig. I use them for speedwork and racing, and they even held up during Philly’s 26.2 miles pretty well.
4. Best piece of running advice received: This is a tough one, because most things I’ve learned from Coach John over the past ~ 6 months have been ridiculously helpful and enlightening. But if I were to pick one thing, I’d have to say this gem in regards to the question of marathon pacing. After giving me splits for the first 20 miles of the race, he said this about the last 6.2:
“The last 10k is just going to be what you’ve got left. Believe in yourself and run on feel. Everyone says that the last 10k of a marathon isn’t about what you’ve put into your training or the workouts you’ve done. It comes down to what you’ve got in your heart and your soul.”
This one really gets me because I think it can be related to more than just the last 10K of a marathon – having enough heart can get you pretty far in racing and in life. You’ve just got to believe.
5. Most inspirational runner: That would have to be my friend Meb.
the day before Boston in April
Dude is 37 years old, and in the past year he followed his January Olympic marathon trial victory with a fourth place finish in the London Olympics this summer. He barely missed a medal after clawing his way back from something like 16th place, and was the only American man with enough guts to even finish the race. And! Meb’s old sponsor Nike dropped him in 2012. HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES, NIKE?
I think what I like most about Meb is that even after everyone has counted him out (too old, his “best” is behind him, etc.), he never counts himself out. Sure, he’s talented, but when it all comes down to it he puts his head down, ignores the critics and works his ass off. That plus his incredible amount of heart will always get him places, in my opinion. Also I feel really cool when he runs in Central Park and waves back at me.
6. If you could sum up your year in running in a couple of words, what would they be? Enlightening comes to mind because of all the things Coach John has shown me in terms of training and workouts. And if we’re going with alliteration, I’d also pick essential, because running got me through lots of tough times in 2012 and my dietetic internship.
Lastly, enthusiastic – I’ve loved running since I started maybe 8-9 years ago, but have never felt more passionate about the sport. I’m looking toward 2013 with nothing but enthusiasm and excitement.
Maybe you’ve already done this little survey, maybe not. But I’m most curious about who has inspired you the most this year. Pro runners? Friends? Both?