Dec 13

Year of Running 2013

I cannot resist the call from Miss Zippy any longer!  Who can?  I’m giving into temptation and linking up to her running recap.  After all, this has been one of my very best years of racing and running and I’m always humbled by, despite moving farther and farther into the 30+ category, I somehow pull at least one PR out of my ass!  When did I get to the point where I say something like “I can’t compete with the 31 year-olds?”  Oy!

This runner’s year in review:

  • Best race experience? This is like asking which of the twins I like best.  Miles.  Kidding!!!  How can I possibly chose between races?  I love so many for so many different reasons so instead of picking just one, I’ll list a few:

Best for being with friends:  The Santa’s Run this past weekend because it was my husband’s first 5K, I run it almost every year, there were at least 10 friends doing it this year and we all went out for beer and burgers afterward!

Best for pushing my limits:  The Duathlon Nationals.  But I think we’re supposed to talk strictly about running races.  I never was one to follow rules anyway…

Best for signs in the crowd:  The New Haven 20K.  “May the course be with you!” and “WTF? Where’s the finish?”

Best for a PR:  ING Hartford Half where I ran a sub 1:30 for the first time eva!


  • Best run? The second 5K at the Duathlon Nationals (there I go again!) because I knew I was going to qualify for the World’s team in Spain and all the months of training, sacrificing and lack of sleep was all about to pay off in a major way.  The whole trip (with the exception of the flights out there!) was amazing and every time I think about it I smile.  BIG.
  • Best new piece of gear?  Warning: I LOVE gear.  Well, is clothing technically “gear?”  I’m going to say yes!  These are a few of my favorite things:

TrailHeads neck warmer that kept me alive on my first winter run and my Optic Nerve shades that keep me looking dangerous… and the sun out of my eyes!

Sacouny Multi-Glove!  It's a mitten…no, it's a glove!  It's perfect.

Sacouny Multi-Glove. It’s a glove…no, it’s a mitten (below)! It’s perfect.



My very first pair of “racing shoes!” KA-CHOW!



Everything Oiselle. New discovery for me!


Another day, another headband – this one’s reversible and from Athleta.


  • Best piece of running advice you received?  The best piece of advice was given to me by an old curmudgeon of a coach I hired to train for my second marathon.  He made me understand the importance of REST DAYS!  I literally scheduled them on my training plans right alongside speed work, tempo runs and distance.  The end result?  A Boston qualifier.  Rest works.
  • Most inspirational runner? Meb Keflezighi.  I’m sure most of you heard or read the story about how he completed the NYC marathon, even though he had no chance of placing and qualifying for the Olympic trials, and ran in with another runner to the finish who told him he was his hero!  Meb chose to push on to honor New York, Boston and all those who’s lives were lost in the past year’s tragedies.  Meb broke-down in the follow-up interview when he recounted the story.  Like my brother says – “That guy’s all heart.”  You’re my hero too Meb!
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Two words – THANK YOU!  I’m so grateful that I’m a runner and that I have something I can do anytime, anywhere and be completely at peace with, yet so fiercely competitive in.  It’s not who I am but it’s most certainly what I do.

I’ll be starting off 2014 as I always do – a half-marathon that is solid hills.  Bring it on baby!  I’m ready.

How will you start the new year?  What are you most proud or appreciative of in 2013?


Skip to comment form

  1. The Dose of Reality

    I absolutely love that you have different categories of “Best of” races. That’s so awesome. (and I will always, ALWAYS love hearing about the signs at races. May the Course be with you!! Bwahahahaha!) I’m not going to lie…that picture of you crossing the line under 1:30 with your fist in the air…it brought a tear to my eye with the overwhelming awesomeness!
    I’m going to go read about Meb Keflezighi right now. I’m going to grab a box of kleenex. I can already tell that is going to be necessary.
    You’re starting off 2014 with a hilly half marathon? Wow. I think I’m starting with a series of “rest days”. Yes. That is what I shall choose to call them! 😀 –Lisa

    Ps. Which Optic Nerve shades are those? I love them.
    The Dose of Reality recently posted…Pinterest Nightmare #412: The Veasyble Privacy ShellMy Profile

    1. vita88

      You are so awesome Lisa! You deserve those rest days mama – you don’t have to be a runner to take them.
      You definitely need kleenex for Meb. He is a true champion in every sense of the word.
      I’m embarrassed that I don’t know exactly which style my Optic Nerve shades are but I will get back to you…
      Thanks again so much for your comments!! I never tire of reading them 🙂

  2. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama

    YAY, I’m so glad you linked up with Miss Zippy and let us relive your awesome year of running with you. Talk about a killa year, mama! And I know you’ll kick just as much ass in 2014. My favorite race signs this year were at Richmond. There was a couple on the course with a sign that said, “You’re my favorite runner.” They kept moving around the course, so I saw them 5 or 6 times. They were like my marathon guardian angels. My other fav was the sign that said something like, “You’ve had it long, hard, and wet before. You’ve got this.” At this point in the race, I was soaking wet from the rain, and this sign was perfect. And hilarious! Here’s to another fab year of running in 2014! Cheers!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted…Holiday Wish ListMy Profile

    1. vita88

      OMG that “long, hard and wet” sign is hilarious!!! HA HA HA!! I think I would have keeled over if I saw that.
      Isn’t it funny that one person holding a sign can become your guardian angel during a marathon? Just one more thing to love about being a runner!! Thanks Nicole 🙂

  3. Alison

    “WTF? Where’s the finish?” HAHAHAHA!! That is awesome and needs to go on a t-shirt.

    Glad you had a great running year. May 2014 be super awesome!
    Alison recently posted…Shenanigans (Or What Goes On When The Husband Is Away)My Profile

    1. vita88

      It really does. Love it!!
      All the best in the New Year to you too my dear!!

  4. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Yes, rest works!! I am so proud of you for that sub-1:30, what an accomplishment!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…$100 #Swanson30daygiveawayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Laura! You know what it takes so I especially appreciate it 🙂

  5. Amber Day Hicks

    You are such an inspiration for me!!! Due to my car accident in 2005 (there’s a series of posts on my blog right now about it) I’m having issues making my left foot lift off the ground in a rapid fashion & have since that accident, but, I just may give it a shot in 2014 b/c of your inspiring words about running. You my friend are SO passionate & I love it! XO.~A~
    Amber Day Hicks recently posted…Part IV 120605My Profile

    1. vita88

      Amber, you just made my day! I’m so glad I can inspire you after what seems like a horrible accident that has been plaguing you for years now!? I’m positive that if you put you’re mind to it, you can run!! Thank you so much.

  6. Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness

    That is a great list! I love your gear list. The way the winter is shaping up I am going to need some better stuff. Great list of races. I look forward to reading about your races in 2014!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…Dear Santa….My SpinMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Kris! I’m a total gear addict. I justify it because I use it SOOO much and, in the cold weather you definitely need the right gear.

  7. Tara Newman

    Nice Work Allie! Love your energy. I totally agree about rest and clothing is most certainly gear!!
    Tara Newman recently posted…Fist Bump FridayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Tara! I’m glad you agree about the clothing 🙂

  8. Holly

    Can I have all of your gear please and that TrailHeads neck warmer!!!!!! (i’m going to google it right now). YOU Have had an awesome year and congrats on all your PR’s. I love your few words about being greatful to run…I forgot sometimes that we are all lucky/blessed to be able to do what we do and to not take it for granted. Cheers to 2014 my friend!
    Holly recently posted…Year of Running 2013My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks so much Holly! I try to be grateful that I’m out there running and not injured or worse – in a hospital bed! It makes the miles a lot easier when I get some perspective. Cheers to YOU!!

  9. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance

    You should definitely be proud! You are so inspirational! I am most appreciative of getting to my “happy place” in 2013 after a rough couple of years. I am not sure of my goals for 2014 but I better come up with them quick!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Friday’s Food & Fitness: Farewell!My Profile

    1. vita88

      I’m so happy for you too!! It’s pretty cool that there’s nothing at the top of your list for 2014. I would just be happy about that!

  10. EB @ Running on E

    I completely agree about the inspirational running question. I loved that story!
    EB @ Running on E recently posted…My year of running 2013My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thank you! Love Meb and love what he’s all about.

  11. Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady

    Such an awesome year! I understand your love for running but you made it very clear when you described the love for each run like trying to choose between the twins. So much passion, so inspiring. Keep it up in 2014! I am here for it!!!
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted…Fitness In The SpiritMy Profile

    1. vita88

      It’s so true! Thanks for noticing that Joi. Running is something that truly is a part of me and I’m so grateful for it 🙂

  12. misszippy

    You really crushed it this year, Allie! All that hard work pays off, for sure. And yes, rest is so not a four-letter word. Glad you discovered it and are benefiting from it.

    Sounds like you are starting 2014 in kick-ass fashion–love it!

    Thanks for joining in.
    misszippy recently posted…Topo Athletic shoe review/giveawayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      YES the power of rest is something I underestimated for years. Thank you so much – this was a great link up! Looking forward to sharing all our running stories of 2014 🙂

  13. Karen @ Baking In A Tornado

    If rest works then I must be a champion ’cause I’ve been resting for 2 years now.

    But seriously, congratulations on a year of amazing accomplishments. I’m so glad I got to know you and can’t wait to see what the upcoming year will bring. Looking forward to your races, your humorous stories and your sweet perspective.
    Karen @ Baking In A Tornado recently posted…Secret Subject Swap: Buried TreasureMy Profile

    1. vita88

      You are the cooking/baking champion of the world! I’m assuming you also need rest days for that? I wouldn’t know 🙂
      Thanks so much Karen. I too look forward to all you will bring to my world in 2014!

  14. Lindsey Hein

    This is all awesome! Congratulations on an amazing & FUN year. That half PR had to feel great! I say you can still have with the 31 year olds with times like that! 🙂
    Lindsey Hein recently posted…Training & Playlist ActionMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Ha ha!! Sometimes I try. The PR at the half was definitely a huge accomplishment for me – it has eluded me time and again. Thank you!

  15. Michelle @ Running with Attitude

    You had an awesome year! Love that picture of you finishing the Hartford Half – congrats!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Year in Running – 2013My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thank you Michelle! I enjoyed reading your recap as well. Here’s to another great year of running!

  16. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    That running face mask is BRILLIANT – I am going to need to wear that for the next 3 weeks, when I am visiting family in WYOMING as it will be oh around -22 as a HIGH every day! UGH!! lol!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Michelle Bridges Kicked My Booty, & I Liked It!My Profile

    1. vita88

      Um yep you will definitely need it there! If you had given me a heads-up I could have sent you one for early Christmas!! Stay warm my friend…

  17. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    I simply love the pic of you triumphantly running across the finish line for your half marathon PR! Badass mother runner right there.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Year in Running – 2013My Profile

    1. vita88

      Yeah baby!!! Ha ha ha! Seriously, all one has to do is see that picture and they can start to understand how much joy running brings me. I was so tired just a half-mile before that, then I saw the clock and was suddenly energized 🙂

  18. Tamara

    ”May the course be with you!” I love that one. I was totally wondering if you were going to link up a year of running post, because I read a few others and I thought, “I bet she’d have some good stories to tell!”
    Loving the Oiselle gear too!
    Tamara recently posted…The One In Which Honesty Is An Understatement..My Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Tamara. I love that you think of me when you think running – YES!!!
      I had never even heard of Oiselle but another blogger I follow (Emily from Sweat Once A Day) is an ambassador for them so I checked them out. I love all their stuff!! Very dangerous.

  19. Carla

    Oh, gosh! I’m not sure I’ll ever be at this level but this is certainly inspiring. Not even just because of the number of races or the speed but because you can hear your passion.
    Carla recently posted…Healthy Reasons to Eat a Salad…Today!My Profile

    1. vita88

      That is the best part! Years from now, when I’m no longer as speedy and not winning a thing, I’ll still run.

  20. Kim

    I’m so glad that you did you year review – it has been a phenomenal year for sure!!! That half PR is awesome!! And, even though your race in Arizona isn’t just a run – I’m still super impressed and can not wait for summer when you go to Spain and compete!!!! I think that 2014 is going to be even bigger and better in your running world!!!
    Kim recently posted…Today Is a Big Big Day!!!My Profile

    1. vita88

      Fingers crossed Kim!! I’m waiting for January to REALLY start training but, I’m very excited for everything to come in 2014.

  21. Ilene

    You are a running goddess. A sub 1:30 half marathon? Amazing. And I love Meb too. He really is all heart.
    Ilene recently posted…A Million Little ThingsMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thanks Ilene. When you reach a much sought after goal like that, all the hard work pays off – plus, I truly just love to run. And Meb? The best!

  22. Hope

    What a great recap Allie. I love te advice about resting. So important.You are such an inspiration. I don’t “love” running, but I certainly enjoy the feeling I get afterwards and its benefits. I hope to one day love it. You are definitely helping me on that journey…believe it or not.

    1. vita88

      I believe!! That is so great Hope! You’ve had some very interesting and fun runs yourself this year…you should link up 🙂

  23. Karen

    Yes and amen to rest days. The older I get the more I realize they WORK! I am currently 51 going on 52 so recovery time is obviously different than when I was in my thirties……..hate to admit but its true!

    1. vita88

      It’s a hard truth but yes, more rest as we age is key!! Keep it up 🙂

  24. Rachel Cotterill

    I started running just this summer. I haven’t quite worked out how I’m going to keep going through the winter, yet, as I had been in the habit of going at 6am and now it’s pitch black and icy at that time! But I need to find some kind of pattern. Your year sounds very inspiring to a 30+ beginner 🙂
    Rachel Cotterill recently posted…Four Christmas Hampers for CooksMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Good for you! The dark of morning can be tricky and scary but I know plenty of runners who do it. Clothing is obviously key and being SEEN is of utmost importance. Good luck out there and feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.

  25. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    I love Meb. He is an amazing human being and his post-NYCM interview had me tearing up. You had a pretty stellar year Allie. Congrats and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for you! PS I need those Saucony gloves! They would have been helpful on my run this morning.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Mick vs. Kelly: 2013 Billabong Pipe MastersMy Profile

    1. vita88

      He is the best!
      I LOVE the gloves and I highly recommend them. I’m not sure how I ever ran through the winter without them!
      Thanks Christine 🙂

  26. Dana

    You wouldn’t think peace and competitiveness go hand in hand, but how awesome is it that running is both for you? I hope it is always so. And may 2014 be even better. Remember – I’m fairly small – I’m sure I could fit into one of your bags when you head to Spain 🙂
    Dana recently posted…A Jew in DecemberMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Ha ha ha!! I would love to take you Dana!
      I also hope running always remains that way for me too. I guess, if it doesn’t, it’s time to stop.

  27. Melissa Burton

    I’m so proud of your year in running thoughts. Getting over those plane trips was definitely a feat, my friend. I find you such an inspiration not only because of your running prowess but because of your attitude, sense of humor and your absolute of health and fitness.

    I can’t wait for both of our 2014 Ragnars (but don’t expect me to run even a quarter as fast or as well as you). I’m hoping 2014 will be the year we get to meet in person!

    I also can’t wait to run and travel vicariously through you to Spain.
    Melissa Burton recently posted…Friday’s Featured Female – Jill Griffiths of Tree FitnessMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Thank you so much Melissa! I’m also hoping 2014 is the year we meet. With all the travel we’ll be doing and the FitBloggin conference, it’s our year!!

  28. Eli@coachdaddy

    I’ll have a little couch-to-5K in my 2014, so you’d better keep knocking down the PRs and junk, because I’m gonna try and catch you.

    I could do it – on horseback.

    Thanks for giving a little inspiration along the way.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted…Go Ask Daddy About Age Limits, Pricey Tickets and Google Trick … ets?My Profile

    1. vita88

      Ha ha ha ha!!! You can do it Eli!! Thanks Coach 🙂

  29. Michelle

    Love your energy! You had a great year – definitely inspirational! I’m kind of psyched for the snow, because I love snowshoeing…maybe I should take up snowshoe racing… Good luck in that half!
    Michelle recently posted…Mom Meltdown? Why This Hasn’t Been My Month!My Profile

    1. vita88

      I love the snow too – except when it messes with my plans! I busted out the snowshoes yesterday but I’m having trouble locating my x-country ski boots!!!

  30. emma @ a mom runs this town

    This is great… love you relating your races to your twins! HAHA! I need to get me some Oiselle things! Glad 2013 was so great for you!
    emma @ a mom runs this town recently posted…Workout and More MusingsMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Oiselle was such a great find – you will love them! Thanks Emma 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: