It’s been a hugely successful year of running for me. Much better than I would have ever dreamed. There were highs and lows. Thankfully, I pushed on after the lows or I wouldn’t have experienced the highs. I found out what a DNF feels like in January at my first attempt at the ultra marathon (a 50k in the mountains.) I felt the joy of crossing the finish line (in last place) at my second attempt at the 50k in April. Tears of joy streamed down my cheeks as the spectators cheered so loudly for me. The response was so enthusiastic, it sounded like they’d confused my last place finish for first place. They were that encouraging and I accepted all that love right into my soul.
I ran my first half marathon (a crazy, fun local half with the reputation for being the toughest half marathon in the northwest due to the first 8 miles being all uphill) in April. It was a blast!!!! I think I smiled for the entire race! My second half marathon was in July on a flatter course and much to my surprise – I ran it in 1:53:05 – cleanly breaking two hours – even with temperatures in the 80’s. In November, I had one more shot at a half marathon – another hilly course – and again, exceeded my expectations when I came in at 1:57:33!
I PR’d at the 10k, achieving my goals of breaking an hour (52:27) and bettering my 2009 time on the same course by about 10 minutes – and much to my shock – receiving my first age group placing medal ever! I got 2nd in the 30-39 age group!!!! It was such an exciting moment!
I set a goal of running a 2 mile race in July and again, surprised myself when I did it in 14:48 and placed 3rd in my age group. That particular race was probably the highlight of the year for me since I got to run it with my friend, Julie. We had so much fun playing cat and mouse the last mile that I think we were both trying not to laugh as we gunned for the finish line. Running and racing with friends is always the most fun!!!
My husband, Wayne and I teamed up with our friends Ryan and Michelle for a freezing Turkey Trot this November, as well. It was so much fun having all of our kids hanging out in the vehicle cheering us on from the open hatch while we took turns running that crazy stick in a two mile loop! Definitely a memory I’ll always cherish!
I set a goal this week last year of running 1000 miles in 2010. I was a little nervous that it was too lofty since I’d only run about 750 in 2009, but I not only achieved it (in fact, I passed the 1000 mile mark while running the Boston Marathon course in September), but reached 1430 on the nose today. Not bad at all!
I ran my second marathon in May, then my third in October — (PRing by 37 minutes with a 4:20:59.) That fall marathon was the celebration of one year of being a marathoner and it felt like a big party with so many friends participating or pacing me (thank you again Sam, Bertha and Mike for running me in the last few miles! You guys are the best!!)
Other highlights of this year: Running my fastest mile ever on my birthday (Nov 2nd) in 6:50, winning third place female overall in an 8k race in September (how in the world is that possible – all the fast girls must have stayed home that day – but I really loved the pretty ribbon and the $50 check!) and running the Boston Marathon course solo while on vacation there in September.
Even more important to me than my improved times this year is the amazing community of runners I’ve become part of. In March, when my running buddy was unable to train with me due to an injury and family commitments, I turned here to Daily Mile and found a local runner named Andrea who agreed to do a training run with me. That day I met not only Andrea (who is now one of my favorite people in the world) but also her friends, Randy and Paul (two more of my favorite peeps!!) From there it just snowballed! We’re all now part of a community of about 100 runners (many of them ultra runners) who train together on the weekends in the Boise foothills. We’ve all become good friends — and for THAT I am truly grateful for 2010 since having the support and encouragement of other people who you enjoy is the most important thing of all about this sport. I am so blessed and I hope that all of you have had as positive of a year as well!
Here’s to more adventures, PR’s and friendships in 2011!