Question…why does every year have to be bigger and better than the last?
Personally, I’ll admit that if 2017 stayed on par with the fun, love and miles I enjoyed in 2016, I’ll be more than content.
Instead of looking ahead with plans of crushing a new mileage goal or hitting a new killer race pace, today I’m going to enjoy a little backward gazing. You can’t go back, but who says you can’t relish it too!This year was another that took me by surprise in all the right ways.
- We moved to Colorado (and are in love).
- We bought a home again (and sold our Kansas City home).
- We started making friends (the lifelong kind).
- We celebrated holidays with family (a first in many years).
- We explored new places every weekend (and yet our list is still growing).
- We – yup the WE is really important because without David none of it would have been as enjoyable.
PAST PERFORMANCE (miles)
Linked years are a recap from that year! Unfortunately I didn’t start digitally tracking til half way through 2007, which means I’m not 100% of my numbers for the first 5 years of my running career. I’d love to know what my true total is!
Thanks to my spreadsheet love, I realized my big old feet have run over 20,000 miles since I took up running in 2002.
As noted before I don’t look at monthly or weekly mileage until December hits then I become curious and this year I was excited to surpass 1600 once again.
— Highest Month: May 156.1
— Lowest month: December 102.2 (a little deceiving as I spent 7 days hiking in Costa Rica)
This year, I absolutely stuck to my goal of strength training a couple days a week. However, outside of that my cross training was largely hiking and the occasional time on the bike.
Longest Run: 15 miles. I did a 2o mile hike, but without a marathon on tap, no need to run that far.
Most interesting run: The Jerusalem Half Marathon was a pretty stand out moment this year. Not just for the smiling face of my friend Adam who joined me the whole way, but the completely unique experience.Most exciting #runnerd moment: I geeked out over a variety of new gear this year, especially while testing out the Oakley Radar in Hawaii. I love testing all the gizmo’s and seeing who will really benefit from the ongoing technology advances.
How did this year compare? This was our first year in Colorado and that meant a massive shift in my training. Suddenly there was altitude, hills, snow and so many trails to explore. I spent this year just enjoying getting out and without focusing on the need to race.
Best race: Well there was only 1 race this year and it was a total fluke! Some FL friends happened to be visiting family in Colorado and recommended the Platte River Half Marathon. It was our first attempt at pushing pace at altitude and mostly we realized, it was going to take a bit more time to get up to speed! Favorite gear: I’ve put together two gear guides, one for summer and one for winter which answers this thoroughly.
Goal for next year? I really do want to crack 1:40 in the half marathon and do my first trail race now that I have all these Denver trails to explore! But as always my body is running the show, so after a new Endocrinologist appointment in January I hope to make some solid plans.What was your best #running moment of 2016? @runtothefinish wants to know, so come share! Click To Tweet
Lessons of 20,000 Miles
I spent years faking knee pain to avoid running.
It was a horrible punishment in school and then later just a reminder that I wasn’t the speed demon many of my friends expected with my long legs. Luckily, life conspired to teach me so many lessons and used running as the tool.
I couldn’t let the realization that I’ve hit such a crazy number slip by without a few quick thoughts.You Are Not Your Weight
Whether it’s checking the scale the day after a long run and finding you’ve gained weight (hello tired muscles retain water) or realizing that your skinny jeans now zip, despite the scale refusing to budge…running helped me to learn that my body was so much more than a number.
In putting the miles, I found a new number that mattered. The one that said, “today I showed up and my body allowed me to do this“. Suddenly I was more focused on my strong legs, my endurance and my changing attitude than the scale. A mental victory that I’ll cherish for life.
Your Body Can Talk
I jokingly used to say my IT Band was telling me to slow the eff down, but the reality is my body was indeed talking! Once I allowed myself to listen to it, rather than feeling the need to always push, things began to change.
I didn’t stop eating milk to look better, but to feel better.
I didn’t add in daily lunges to get shapely legs, but to keep my hips strong.
I didn’t take pain pills because I wanted to hear my body telling me when I’d done enough.
Many runners I talk to agree that running has helped them become so much more in tune with their bodies. We know immediately when something is off and because we love to run, we take quick action to resolve it. The beauty in that is we catch little things before they become big things.
I Get to Run
I have plenty of non-running friends who don’t understand why I’ve been at it for so long and especially with endurance distances. But I think it’s because very early on I realized that I didn’t have to run, I was choosing to run. I had a body that let me run and I was grateful. That same idea often comes back to me in other moments.
I don’t have to pay a mortgage, but I’m lucky that we get to.
I don’t have to clean up kitty puke, but I’m so happy we have them to snuggle.
I don’t have to laugh at D’s bad jokes, but I’m grateful for his lightheartedness.
I get to, not I have to, changes perception so quickly. The Journey is Seriously Important
Too many of my friends have picked a marathon, trained diligently and then stopped running after the finish line. In nearly every instance, it’s because they hated the journey. The only reason, I’ve found it so easy to run without a race on the calendar is because the clock isn’t my only goal.
I love exploring new places on foot.
I adore the feeling of pride each time I finish.
I am far too excited to share all things running with others.
Once I realized how enjoying the journey made running more fun, I tried to translate that to other areas. Enjoying the process of coming up with new blogs or planning a trip or hosting a party. It just relieves so much stress to have fun with the process rather than only the end.
Since I recently wrote 14 Life Lessons from running, I won’t belabor the life part here.
Instead, here are some of the physical lessons I’ve learned as well!
- Strong hips are the key to reducing IT Band and knee pain
- Rotating shoes is really helpful and a good excuse to have multiple pairs
- The right gear makes it possible to run in almost any weather
- Trail running is harder, but so rewarding
- Changing up your route is important for preventing muscle imbalances
- Pre-hab is so much more time effective than re-hab
- Eating well leads to better running
- Anti-inflammatory foods are more helpful than taking pills
- Choose supplements wisely and know they are the cherry on top, not the main course
- Stop using foods or gels that make you feel bad, no matter the science
- Good gear is worth the money to eliminate chafing…ouch
- Solo running is important for listening to your body and developing mental strength
- Group runs are helpful for comradery and speed
- Running coaches aren’t just for the elite, they help us all get to the next level
Honestly I could go on for days about my running love and lessons learned…I guess that’s why I have a blog. Thanks for being part of my journey! I love getting your feedback, questions and thoughts on everything I share.
What was your best running moment of 2016?
Do you log your total mileage?
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