Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week:

Remember to take rest days!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011: A Year in Review

Another year has flown by... but I can't complain.  It was a really good year for me!  I PR'd in almost (damn the 5k! grrr!) every distance (that I've tried) this year.

Here are my new race PRs:

10k - 55:26
Half Marathon - 2:00:59
Marathon - 4:31:16

I'm proud of those times.  They reflect the hard work and energy I put into it.  And I did all this training alone. However, I did miss my 2011 goal for the half.  I had a goal to get a sub-2 hour time.  As I've mentioned previously, I missed it - by one minute!  Grrr! *breathe in, breathe out* But this is about appreciating how far I've come as a runner.

Every year since I've been running I've tried to make it a point to run a new race at least once a year.  I've definitely found my fav races here in California and I can't give them up!  But out of the 8 races I ran this year 7 of them were new.  Wow!  Blew that goal away!

I had a couple of "firsts" this year as well.  I ran my first mud run - the Gladiator Rock n Run - in Irvine.  My friend Bridget, her husband, brother and some friends ran too.  Since I have never run one of these before I wasn't sure what to expect.  I read on the website that costumes were welcome but almost everyone we saw had a costume or team uniforms of some kind.  It was fascinating to see!  People dressed up in S.W.A.T. team gear to wedding dresses and tuxes.  It was so crazy!   The obstacles weren't nearly as bad as they described them to be. But those mud pits were no joke! Yuck! They said you'd get mud in places you never thought - and they were right! LOL! Overall it was more like a party than a race.  I'd definitely like to do another one!

The "before" picture

The "After" picture of the entire crew
The other first this year was when I ran a trail run.  I usually run road races but when I saw this race and it was in remembrance of the 9/11 Heroes, I decided to run it.  It was a good experience and it is totally different than a road race.  We ran through lots of gravel and rocky ground.  Jumped over boulders and tree trunks.  The most I had to be aware of in road races were dropped Gu packets and crushed solo cups.
Mission Trails - 9/11 Heroes Run
Probably my most memorable race this year was the LA Marathon. I ran it with my friend Bridget who lived in Santa Monica at the time.  All week they had been forecasting for race weekend.  But not just rain - ALOT of rain.  The rain held off Friday and Saturday.  In anticipation for the rain, we got some unused garbage bags to use as rain ponchos.

Early Sunday morning as Andrew (Bridget's husband) was dropping us off, it began to drizzle on and off. Surprisingly, it was only a light sprinkle when the race began. I was wearing our make shift rain poncho over two layers.  After a couple of miles, it still wasn't raining and I was getting super hot! So at mile 4, I ripped off the poncho.  And of course, you know what happened.. it began to pour!!  The rain was so heavy at times that all I could see was a little waterfall from the bill of my cap. (Found out later that race day had historic record rainfall!)  I kept my eyes on the road because there were tons of puddles and little rivers on the streets.

I never did get to see the Hollywood sign or really savor running down Sunset Blvd.  And Rodeo Drive was a big watery blur.  But I was making great time!  At the half mark, my time was apprx 2:05 and I was feeling good.  Wet and cold but good. Until mile 22.  It was then I think the cold and rain finally got to me.  Even though they were moving, my legs just couldn't get warm and felt pretty numb. So I tried a walk/run combo for the next couple of miles and stretching at each mile.  At mile 24, I scarfed down a bag of Sportbeans and said, "Legs, let's go!" and they went!  LOL!  As fast as they could go! Which wasn't very fast but it was faster than those last few miles!  Finally on the last mile, the race turned onto Ocean Blvd which apparently was the where the gale force winds decided to push us sideways!  Grrrr! I said really loudly, "Seriously?!  The last mile?!  C'mon!" This guy next to me laughed and said, "Right?!" (he also said some other choice words, but we'll leave those out) We could see the finish line but it seemed so far away and it was so hard to get there!  I yelled, "Finished strong!" and took off.  I finished with a new PR of 4:31. And given the weather conditions, I couldn't be happier with that time.

It was a great year!  I hope 2012 brings just as much hard work, energy and blessings as I was able have in 2011.

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