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:
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!
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 tasting...at 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??
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!)