It’s that time of the year! End of the year surveys!
Best race experience?
Running the Biggest Loser RunWalk 10K in September. I had been working so hard the few weeks prior to that race to get back into good running shape. Since I got a stress fracture back in 2013, my running routine and diet suffered immensely. I was slow and what I considered out of shape. In the back of my mind I could only thing about how back before I fractured my shin I was starting to break the 7 minute mile pace. I was starting to find my groove. I missed the feelings of elation I felt being able to run quickly. When I took off that morning and found myself pacing a 7:30 mile and being the frontrunner of the race I felt like I was back in the game. I felt alive. More importantly, I didn’t feel as though I’d never be back to my prior running shape. I realized it was possible and I wasn’t out for the count. It re-ignited the fire within me. I was back and winning overall was the reassurance I needed to continue to push myself.
Crazy enough it was my 17-miler I did for my training run for Baltimore. I had never set out to run that distance on my own outside of a race. I felt great and so free. It was also the first time I legitimately trained for a race and I was elated that I followed through with the plan. Ha, now I can barely stand the thought of doing that distance alone again. Then again, the cold and dark mornings don’t help, lol.
Best new piece of gear?
My Hi-Rez New Balance shoes. I used minimalist shoes before but these were “my” shoes. They feel as though they were made for me. Anything else feels wrong. I love them so much I bought 2 more pairs when my first bit the dust.
Best piece of running advice you received?
It wasn’t really advice but more of encouragement. My father told me he believed in me and my running. He continually asks about my races. This a big deal because he never showed any interest in anything I did outside of academics. It made my heart sing that he believed and supported my silly recreational running goals.
Outside of this year, I did get one piece of advice from a 5-year running streaker. He told me that you don’t really peak in your 20s so don’t give up on your running goals. If you want it bad enough you’ll achieve what you set out to do. He’s a masters runner who constantly finishes in the top 3 and runs a sub 3-hour Boston Marathon. He told me if he gave up at my age he wouldn’t be where he was at now. That conversation is all I need to remember when I doubt myself.
Most inspirational runner?
The runners out there who run despite everything they have to face. Anyone from the runner who gets up before sunrise or sets out at night to squeeze in the run s/he needs to do to stay on track while working full time to those who run when others tell them they can’t or laugh at them. The fact that they have the drive and courage to continue on despite everything weighing them down is inspirational.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
Rebirth. I felt really lost in the beginning with whether I would be a “good runner” again. After several huge life events that drastically changed my life, I found my running self again. From here on out I hope to hold on to this confidence and go on to do great things with my running.