Sail on silver girl...Sail on by...Your time has come to shine...All your dreams are on their way...See how they shine

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

That New Year feelin'

I absolutely love the "clean slate" feeling that comes with the new year and the excitement of planning goals for the year.  Most of my goals always revolve around running, and I guess fitness and "being healthy" in general.  One of my favorite things to do is to plan my race calendar for the year! I get so excited looking up different races around the country, and try to make mini-vacations out of races when I can. Last year was full of exciting races in all different places!
The year started off with a Ragnar Relay in Key West in January. SO much fun!!!! My favorite leg was a 12 mile night run, across the bridges on Highway 1. Thank goodness I did not know this at the time, but the next day as we drove the course in reverse back to Miami, I came across this sign:
Not sure if you can make it out, but it says Crocodile Crossing! Yikes! I think I would have been freaked out had I seen it during my run, when it was just me and my headlamp at 2am running alone in the Everglades!!

Following that trip, I can home and buckled down for some tough training for Boston. I was planning on going for a PR in April, and really got down to business training-wise.   I felt confident in my training, and knew I was (finally) ready to conquer Boston.  (I had run Boston 3 previous times, and it always kicked my butt- but this year, I was ready to fight back- to finally make peace with the course).  Although Boston is a tricky course to master, I knew if I ran it smart, I could PR. That was until the heat wave of 2012 decided to come abit early this year, on Patriot's Day to be exact!
It actually ended up being a fun race to do, because all pressure was off and the only goal was "compete to complete".  Ironically enough, that was the same motto my friends and I used in 2007 when we did Boston in the Nor'easter. (I don't seem to have much luck with Boston!) Anyway,  I was glad to be part of the history of the Boston Marathon (once again), and now I will always be able to say that I was there when people talk about "the marathon of 2012".

In July, my friends and I flew off to San Francisco and Napa Valley for the Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half-Marathon.  Best post-race party ever!!!. As soon as you cross the finish line, you pick up your wine glass and start the complimentary wine 9:30am!!! We went across the street to the country market, got some nice cheese to go with our free wine, and sat on the grass and listened to the awesome band that played.  For this half, I did not have a time goal, but I did have a goal: to win a bottle of wine!  Instead of medals or plaques, the first 3 runners in each age group, receive a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates!! Seriously, is there any better prize then this??
Goal accomplished!!!

The highlight of the year, travel-wise, however, had to be the BERLIN MARATHON!!!! What a great marathon!!! and perfect time of year- smack dab in the middle of Octoberfest, so ofcourse, we had to partake in those festivities as well.  Needless to say, this marathon was just a "fun run" kind. Two nights before the race, we were dancing on top of tables with huge steins in each hand! So much fun and definitely a highlight of 2012.  Only London (and now tokyo)  left of the 5 (now 6) majors to run!
The year ended with a half marathon PR and 1st in age group award (unfortunately no wine this time, just a plaque-bummer!) in beautiful Bethlehem, PA at the Runner's World half marathon and running festival, and a marathon PR at Philadelphia Marathon.

It has been a great year for travel and a great year for races, and I cant wait to sort my 2013 calendar out!!

(Originally this post was going to be about how I am going to try to start cooking at home every night for a week, to kick start healthy eating in 2013, but talking about running is always so much more fun!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2 years later, 2 years older

Wow! I cannot believe it has been almost two years since I last posted.  I also cant believe I have to change my profile bio from a "thirty - something" year old to a "forty-something" year old-yikes!!!  If I didn't have such a good racing year, PRing both my marathon and half marathon, perhaps this age thing would bother me more, but it feels really good to be older, faster, and stronger (especially mentally). This entire year has been a year of growth for me, both personally and professionally, and for that I am so very grateful.

I came across this quote the other day that seems to be very fitting for New Years Day:

"Happy is the soul that has something to look backward to with pride and something to look forward to with hope."

I would have to say that the highlight of 2012 for me was the Philadelphia Marathon. I had trained very hard for it, following the program that my coach prepared for me to a T, and PR'd.  But the best part? After 11 marathons, I finally mastered a negative split! It felt soooo good to have the strength and energy to pick it up at the end.  What a feeling! What a confidence booster!
Philly was truly the perfect way to close out what I had dubbed the "year of me".  2012 started out as a personally challenging year for me, but I am a firm believer in what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and now as 2012 comes to a close I can definitely say I am a much stronger and a much better person (and runner) than I was coming into 2012.  Philly was definitely the cherry on top of what ended up being a perfectly great year!

And so now I look forward to 2013 with great hope. Not quite sure what my race plans for this year are yet, but I look forward to 2013 with great vigor!