Confession: I love year-end recap lists. I think it’s nice to take a moment and think about all that happened in the past year, whether it be in the vapid sense of ‘most buzz-worthy celebrity moments of 2013’ (I’m looking at you, Miley) or in the more reflective sense of ‘how I’ve grown as a person’. This year was a particularly noteworthy one for me in terms of running, and given that this is a running blog, I just can’t resist a review. In order of significance, 2013 was the year that I:
2. Experienced 40, 50, and 60 mile weeks while training for the aforementioned marathons. For the first time in my life I felt like a real long distance runner.
3. Broke 6 minutes in the mile: This was just Lina and I timing ourselves on a track one day so the time is unofficial, but it was huge for me nonetheless. Recap here.
4. Nursed injured IT bands, peroneal tendons, MCL’s, and finicky hips back to health. (I’m basically a doctor.)
5. Ran my first 5k since high school, and miraculously won an age group medal for the first time in my life. Recap here.
Obviously, completing a marathon has to be the highlight, but training for those marathons was a very close second because those intense weeks of running made me feel like an initiate into some sort of long distance club. Also, it was during that training that I got to know the best running buddy a girl could ask for, the one and only: Lina. For that, I cannot be thankful enough.
Running a sub-six minute mile comes in third because it was a goal I had had for more than a decade. A decade!
I mention nursing myself back from injury as a noteworthy part of my 2013 running life because those marathons did a number on my body, and it took a lot of mental and emotional strength to step back, take breaks from running, forego races, and then slowly build back to health time and again. And lastly, the 5k was fun and a really nice counterpoint to all that marathoning.
More than anything, this past year made me fall in love with running all over again. I was a huge track enthusiast back in high school, but I lost the seriousness with which I approached the sport sometime during college. I realized how much I missed that attitude towards racing and training when I took on the challenge of running a marathon, and I’m so happy to have rediscovered that zeal. (And if I’m honest, I have Lina to thank for being able to talk about marathons in the first place :).)
As for 2014, I have the following goals in mind:
1. Don’t get injured.
2. Consistently run 25-40 miles a week.
3. Break 1:45:00 in the half marathon in the first half of year; break 1:40:00 in the second half of the year.
4. Break 22:00 in the 5k, and 46:00 in the 10k.
5. Be patient if #3 and #4 don’t happen as hoped for.
It’s important for me to put non-time-related goals first because without #1 and #2, I don’t think goals #3 and #4 are going to happen. I learned that this year.
Currently, I’m still sort of training for the Phoenix Rock N Roll Half Marathon. I say ‘sort of’ because between resting my knee, traveling, getting sick, bad weather, and visiting friends, I haven’t managed to follow my training plan at all. I know I can run sub 1:50:00, but that’s about all I can be sure of. I’m making the health of my knee my first priority, so if that continues to mean more strength training and less running, I’ll just have to be okay with that.
In any case, I’m so excited for 2014!!!!
P.S. Running in Arizona in the winter is THE BEST THING EVER.