Running the 2013 Numbers
In case you’re new to my running story, let me catch you up. In spring 2012 I became single after 12 years and was sad. As a newly solo dog mom, I endeavoured to tire out my high-energy Labrador retriever/border collie mix (cute, isn’t she?) by taking up running again after a very long hiatus. It changed my life. I ran my first half-marathon, began training for a full marathon (I did it! And BQ’d!), and realized the joy and confidence I feel on the running trail applies to everyday life. Running makes me happy, keeps me sane, and lets me believe anything is possible.
Do you know Phaedra Kennedy of Blisters and Black Toenails? If not, you should. Her blog is great; she’s so much fun to follow. She’s also a fierce competitor and is crazy-fast. Her scorching times are proof positive that racing ain’t over once we hit 40. She’s my inspiration for speed-training.
Phaedra just put together a year-in-numbers post (check out that race bling!), and it inspired me to do the same. As my first full year of racing, 2013 was a big one for me. It saw me race at all distances, run my first half-marathon, run my first marathon, and achieve better-than-I-ever-expected results across the board. Most important of all, I loved it all so much that I’m doing it over again in 2014 — all the while chasing bigger goals and faster times.
So here it is, my year in numbers:
5/5: Number of races run and personal bests set. The really fun thing about your first full year of racing is that you’re guaranteed to PB across the board! There are some nice highlights in this mix, though:
- At 5K I cracked the top 10 in my age category with a 23:20
- At 10K I took 7 minutes off my previous 10K race time with a 47:31
- At 21.1K, I ran well under my two-hour goal for my first half-marathon with a 1:46:55
- At 30K, despite running with a compartment injury, I finished in a respectable 2:36:55, with the best last 800m I’ve ever raced
- At 42.2K, I enjoyed every single aspect of the entire day of my first marathon while meeting my goal-time window and qualifying for Boston with a 3:39:43 (if my time makes the cut next September, I’ll be racing the 119th Boston Marathon on April 20, 2015!)
2: Number of toenails I lost training and racing this year. I have learned the hard way to start buying all my running shoes a half-size larger…
7: Number of pairs of running shoes I own. Hey, you need the right tool for the right job. I do a lot of trail-running with my dog, Tilda, so I own summer and winter trail shoes. I’ve also got two pairs of distance trainers (both netural; I’ve come to really like a minimal-drop shoe that connects me to the ground) and two pairs of racing flats. My seventh pair is a little old and beat up, so I save them for really awful weather when I know I’m going to come home with sopping, mud-caked feet. Final note: Most of my shoes are Saucony. I’m a diehard fan. #FindYourStrong
1: Number of side-lining injuries. I grappled with a late-season muscle compartment injury, but thankfully a great physiotherapist had me on my feet and race-ready for my October marathon. This injury had the potential to be quite serious; I consider myself lucky that it wasn’t. Follow that link, read my story, and learn from my stupidity.
0: Number of running-related tattoos. I sport ink on my hip; I have a sunflower, a symbol of creativity and resistance, that reminds me never to lose vision and to always question authority. As followers of this blog know, however, running has transformed my life. As a result I’ve been contemplating a running-related tattoo. “Believe” was a powerful word for me in 2013; I used it as a reminder that more than anything else, faith in myself would take me far. I had a ring made post-marathon to commemorate the word, but I’m thinking of having it made a more permanent part of me. Blog followers will also know that Tilda was the reason I started running again in the first place. As a result, the other tatt I’m considering is her paw print on the sole of my foot so that we will run together forever.
Too many to count: Number of amazing runners I’ve met in person and via social media. I look forward to chatting with all of you, in person and virtually, every day. Your stories, tenacity, and accomplishments inspire me. I consider you my extended family!
What are your 2013 numbers?
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