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- Best race experience? Definitely the 3M Half Marathon in January. The weather was perfect and I PR’d by over 8 minutes. While my time was definitely assisted by gravity (since the course is mostly downhill), I was still shocked that I finished under 1:40. At the time, I hadn’t broken 1:45 in a half marathon– let alone 1:40– so it gave me a huge confidence boost and made me push myself to run faster than I thought possible. Honestly, without this race I don’t think my 10K and 10 mile PRs later in the year would have happened.
- Best run? Sadly, I’ve had very few great runs this year due to being injured for so long. I went through my Daily Mile and a lot of the runs I said were “great” were only great because they happened after a long period of not running at all. But I found one memorable one from back in March. My dad had visited for the weekend and I took Monday off from work to take him to the airport and catch up on laundry, etc. After coming home from the airport I went for a really nice 10 mile run on the trail. The weather was sunny and in the 40s (i.e. perfect running conditions) and I just remember how nice it felt to go for a relaxing run while the sun was out during the week.
- Best new piece of gear? Back in March before I was injured and considering a fall marathon I went to Rogue Running and bought a pair of New Balance 880v3 shoes. I’ve been faithful to the Mizuno Wave Riders for years (and I still have a pair of the 16s that I wear sometimes) but 880v3 is my new favorite. I even went ahead and bought 2 more pairs from Joe’s New Balance Outlet a few months ago. After my stress fracture I’ve become super paranoid about how much pounding I’m inflicting on my legs, and the 880v3 has just the right amount of cushioning. Also, hats off to Rogue Running for helping me find this shoe. I never would have tried it on if I hadn’t gone to a brick and mortar running store.
- Best piece of running advice you received? No one really gave me this advice but a lesson I learned this year after getting injured is to slow down. I guess a danger in hitting a massive PR like I did at 3M in January is that it makes me hungry for more PRs. So I ramped up my speed work, didn’t really take any time off after running half marathons in January and February, kept running 40+ miles a week, and got injured. Yeah, I got some nice 10K and 10 mile PRs but I also had to mostly quit running for 6 months. I think I still have some more PRs in me– and maybe even a marathon– but I’m not in as much of a rush to PR at every race. My 22:50 5K a few weeks ago wasn’t a PR and wasn’t the sub-22:00 time I’ve been hoping to run for several years now but I was really happy to run that time after being out of commission for so long.
- Most inspirational runner? I read an absurd number of running blogs. The ones who really inspired me this year were the injured ones. I’ve had minor aches and pains before but my stress fracture this year was my first real injury. It was so helpful to read about other injuries such as stress fractures similar to mine or much more serious issues .
- If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? It was a roller coaster!