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!

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  • 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:
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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.

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

 

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Everything Oiselle. New discovery for me!

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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?

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