I have a huge problem on my hands for 2015. You see, last year was an absolute dream year of running, biking and racing for me. I mean, I represented Team USA in Spain at the Duathlon World Championships! Before that, I won a friggin’ sword! How in the Sam hell am I going to top that? Spoiler alert: I’m not.

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No, that’s not me running though the streets of Munich but my good friend Miss Zippy aka Amanda. She hosts this awesome running reflection each year so that those of us who are not so inclined to stop and reflect, are forced to. I have to say, if there was ever I year of running that I just wanted to soak in, it was 2014.

Best Race Experience: Possibly the greatest race experience of my entire living life was becoming the bull and running though the streets of Pontevedre, Spain for Team USA. My family was with me, cheering me on though out the race and spending the next 10 days celebrating with me in Spain and Portugal. I can honestly say that a day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about our time there. It was one of the very best and I don’t think it could ever be duplicated. Perfection.

Finish line!

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Best run: Again, I have to go back overseas but this time to the beaches of Portugal. After the World Championships I took three days off to eat, drink and rest with my family. On the fourth day I took a nice, easy run though the streets of Portugal and along the sandy beaches, as near to the roaring surf as I dared, with a view of some of the best surfers in the world. Perfection.

 

What happened to this view?  I want to go back each and every day I wake up back here.

I made a promise to do more yoga after Spain.  I started on the beach in Portugal.

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The boys, hand in hand, going down to run from the waves.

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Best New Piece of Gear: I now have a permanent mark from my journey in Spain. It’s something that has been inside of me since I was born and I’ve been nurturing for almost 40 years. It’s a very unique piece and no one else in the world has it. It’s my bull tattoo, that I couldn’t wait to have marked on me, after my lifetime journey that culminated in 2014. Perfection.

The mark of the BULL!

The mark of the BULL!

Best piece of running advice I received: ‘Have fun.’ Those were the two words my coach chose to say to me when, during the Shamrock Ten Penny Ale Duathlon, I was the first woman into the bike transition. She could have said any number of things, starting with ‘you’re in the lead!’ but she knows me too well. She knew I needed to hear something to calm me down, and to be reminded of why I was there…or at least why I should be there!

I ended up winning the race by a mere three seconds and the very best award I’ve ever won: A actual sword!

And yes, I've been bringing it with me everywhere.  Wouldn't you?

...and, of course, CRS had to knight me.

My coach (Becky aka Coach Rocket Science!) knighting me after the race. Yes, I have a beer in my hand.

Most Inspirational Runner: My running friends. My BRF (best running friend) Chrissie trained for and ran her first marathon ever and qualified for Boston, a neighbor of mine continues to set outstanding racing PRs not the least of which was a 2:51 marathon this past October, and my bestie set her PR in the half this Fall despite starting a new full-time job, planning a wedding and mothering two sets of twins.

It’s the women I see day after day on the treadmill at the Y where I teach and train. Do you know what a mind-numbing experience it is to train for a race day after day on a treadmill? They do it because they have no choice. Their babies are in the day care and they can’t leave the building. Wait…they do have a choice, they could not run. Yeah right.

I’m so lucky that I get to surround myself with all these athletes. Perfection.

Chrissie and me post race bling!

Pre-race, obviously, since we're smiling.

Shannon and I (like wet dogs!) changing in my car after the half so we could cheer Chrissie into the marathon finish!

 

If you could sum up your year of running in a couple of words, what would they be? Perfection. Absolute perfection.

As I look to 2015, I’m dreaming big because that’s how I roll. I’m also a realist and although I want to do well and reach my lofty goals, I also think there is just no way to top last year. But you know what? I don’t have to.

Thinking about ‘duplicating’ anything makes me think of my two amazing little duplicates – Miles and Vaughn. They are identical twins in looks only. Each has his own brilliant outlook on life, smile, personality and vulnerability. I was able to duplicate extraordinary kids so, why not ‘mere’ racing? Don’t think I won’t keep that in mind.

How was your year? Did you meet your goals?

Join the link-up or answer any one of the questions in the comments!

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